Stops We Love: Bucks County Brewery
(2016) Before we begin, let us just say that the commonwealth of Pennsylvania has some weird alcohol laws. I say this in case any outsider comes to this area expecting to find cans of beer at gas stations or a wine aisle at the local grocer. You won’t. I can assure you things are changing. It’s only been about three hundred years worth of effort, but progress is happening. Until then, expect to learn all about 'state stores' throughout your visit. (Pennsylvania is the leading purchaser of wine worldwide.)
I could not believe I had overlooked the Bucks County Brewery as a post-ride stop considering its proximity to the creakybottombracket.com offices. Since summer is still cooking here, mid ride stops continue to be frowned upon; there’s no reason to stop and warm up like in the depths of winter. I’m sure the last thing people want to deal with are sweaty cyclists rubbing elbows with them, instead. Therefore continue on with the ride.
Today my ride got off to a late start. Meet up with the local riders at 8am came and went. Ride with the local bike shop at 10am quietly passed by. I managed to get out shortly thereafter and expressed interest in riding a road about which I have always been intrigued. It took some meandering back into the glacial detritus range. It took some sweating to resist the urge to plunge down to Homestead Coffee, but eventually I linked up with Lonely Cottage Road and it’s most easterly point, if there is such a thing. The funny thing about this road is its path is the definition of ‘meandering.’ It almost completely encircles itself. A late ride will put me back in the area around the time Bucks County Brewery opens. Things were looking up.
There’s something special about a new tertiary road. I kept looking around at the quiet scenes playing out in the area along Lonely Cottage Road. Unfortunately the trees have solidified the recent drought classification. They’re distressed and showing it by turning brown instead of the brilliant fall colors we all hope for. The grass is as crunchy as a bag of potato chips. It’s as tan as a handful of them, too. But the winding road with comfortable gradient does the trick by inspiring a harder effort. I note to make this part of my regular rides after counting one car that passed me during my time.
The route linked up with a highly recommended descent from the ridge. Upper Tinicum Church Road (which eventually changes names) is a miles-long downhill effort that’s worth every foot of asphalt. A car followed me during my descent and didn’t bother overtaking most likely due to the winding nature of the road. I wasn’t feeling fast today, but that road always changes those thoughts. I picked up the speed as the descent progressed.
Eventually I wound my way back to the ride’s departure but decided to add a sliver of enjoyment. Located off of Applebutter Road, in the industrial park, there’s a relaxing brewery attached to a distillery. This is an advantageous relationship of barrel sharing whenever needed. Its peaceful setting can lend itself to the perfect ending to a hard ride.
The Bucks County Brewery is a small batch brewery manned by a single tender, Andrew, who slings great beers. Today there were seven varieties available: an IPA, a saison, an ESB, a Scotch Ale, an Oktoberfest, and an Irish dry stout. Since being a trendy person (IPAs were far and away the preferred brew style in 2014, the most recent year of records) I went with the Peregrine IPA. Coming in at 8.2%, this IPA packs a punch equal to a double IPA. It’s smooth and deceiving. Having one is a great way to celebrate an enjoyable ride. Having two would mean a phone call to be picked up. The brewery has a big screen television and high top tables inside. If beers aren’t your play, Hewn Spirits are across the hall. So if rye whiskey or gin is your preference, you’re in luck. Also stocked is the local Peace Valley Winery's red or white variety. There's something for everyone available.
But here’s where the Pennsylvania liquor laws get weird. If you want to celebrate the ride with a flip-top bottle, you can do it in the brewery or outside on one of the picnic tables. If you’d like a pint, you can flag down Andrew to grab one. However if you’re tired from riding and want to order a growler to keep at the table, you can’t. Thank Pennsylvania law for that weird one. Bucks County Brewery offers both 32-ounce and 64-ounce growlers to go.
Hit the brewery at the right time and you may encounter a food truck to help with a post-ride recovery. They also feature live music on weekends when the weather is acceptable. There have been Philly-style pretzels each time we stopped in. There’s no reason to overlook the Bucks County Brewery.
With an industrial yet peaceful setting, the Bucks County Brewery is the perfect place to use as home base for a group ride. Roll out in the morning and return later in the day to kick back and enjoy the packed in miles. With this juxtaposed rural yet industrial setting, there’s no better way to end a ride as the seasons change to cyclocross weather. Oh, and did I mention pumpkin ale is due up next week?
Bucks County Brewery is located 31 Appletree Lane in Pipersville. They are open Friday 3-10pm, Saturday 1-10pm, and Sunday 1-6pm.