Getaways With a Twist
In the culinary world, the pairing dinner has become quite the rage.
It all began with the wine pairing dinner – a different type of wine paired with each course of an exquisite meal. Once breweries expanded their menu to include many different types and flavors of beer, they quickly followed suit. A light pilsner to start, a hearty IPA with the main course and a fruit-flavored brew with dessert.
And the distilleries were not far behind. Bourbon dinners and even vodka dinners, featuring a number of exotic cocktails, have popped up at many different restaurants and country clubs.
So, why not take it to the next step: a wine/beer/spirits-paired golf trip.
One of the few places in this country where this is possible is the Gettysburg area on the southern rim of Pennsylvania.
Rich in history, dating back to the Civil War, now the area is rich in golf with the creation of new courses during the golf boom of the ’80s and ’90s, as well as rich with new and highly acclaimed wineries, breweries and distilleries.
In May of 2018, the Adams County Pour Tour was created. It is a way to engage visitors in a tasting tour of the greater Gettysburg area. At first, there were 14 properties participating in this initiative, put together by Destination Gettysburg, the marketing arm of the area. It has quickly grown to 20 participating entities, with two more potential tasting rooms on the horizon.
“We are absolutely thrilled with the reception that Adams County Pour Tour has received,” says Stacey Fox, vice president of Destination Gettysburg. “The participants have been extremely excited about the attention being focused on them and the visitors are really enjoying the experience.
“It’s all about the experience,” Fox adds. “People still come to Gettysburg for the history. And we certainly have a reputation for good, affordable golf. But now that we have become known as a culinary destination that also has cool, outdoor recreational activities, it’s been a win-win situation for everyone involved.”
Just how successful has this meld of Gettysburg, golf and guzzling been (Or maybe they should call it Muskets, Mashies and Mugs. Or possibly History, Hybrids and Highballs)? Enough with the alliteration. Bottom line is that the Gettysburg area is now percolating with excitement for a major portion of the calendar year.
“The average age of our visitor has dropped four years in just one year according to our statistics,” explains Fox. “To go along with this new wave of younger visitors, many of the stops along the Pour Tour have developed cool, fun events. Some have ax throwing. Others have dogs diving into pools. It’s all about creating something that is worthy of the time and money people are investing.”
If potential visitors are not sold by this point, then it is time to roll out the (activity) menu, along with the appropriate suggested pairing. Pick your favorite – or pick all three – for a feast of a fall experience in Gettysburg.
A sample menu is provided to get you started.
The Links at Gettysburg
It’s called “Golf’s Gettysburg Address” because it sits so close to the hallowed ground where Union and Confederate armies fought the definitive battle of the Civil War.
On the Links at Gettysburg battleground, the first shots were not fired until 1999, upon the completion of the masterful work by architects Steve Klein and Lindsay Ervin. Since that time, the course has received national acclaim.
The views are spectacular, with water on almost every hole. The layout moves naturally along the rolling terrain, climaxing with a progression of undulating greens. Elevated tees provide vistas of red rock cliffs and the multi-colored countryside.
The handsome clubhouse and the stunning backdrops have provided the site for many dream weddings. Membership has opened the door not only to championship golf, but also to award-winning dining as well as a pool and fitness center.
A community also has grown up around the Links at Gettysburg, with the establishment of unobtrusive high-quality housing. The homesites take full advantage of the nearby Monocacy River and Catoctin Mountains. And many of the maintenance chores are included, leaving more time for golf.
The Mason-Dixon Distillery is housed within a century-old furniture factory. It has made its name on a grain-to-glass process that produces quality small batch spirits. Currently there are four products on the distillery menu – vodka, rum, aged rum and corn whiskey.
The vodka is recommended for mixing with their homemade lavender lemonade. The rum is made with 100 percent molasses, a major improvement over rums made with white refined sugar. The aged rum is aged in American white oak barrels, resulting in a lot of flavor. Talk about local – all corn used in making the corn whiskey is grown locally.
But the capper at Mason-Dixon Distillery is the restaurant. They call it “comfort food done well.” Feast on anything from killer burgers to eclectic shareable items such as fried brussel sprouts or hand-formed hushpuppies to seasonal plates like shrimp and grits or jambalaya.
Fourscore Beer Company, which opened this summer, is the newest addition to the Adams County Pour Tour, but there is a long tradition of hospitality behind this beer and food upstart.
The Leedy family started Tommy’s Pizza, a staple in downtown Gettysburg, back in 1973. Now, grandsons Wade and Drew Leedy have opened a brewery and restaurant. No pizza, just a wide variety of beers – from IPAs to pilsner-style beers to ales. The focus is to have a beer for each of the 14 taps at the brewery.
The culinary aim is to develop a restaurant menu to complement the selection of beer – including appetizers, salads and sandwiches.
Penn National GC & Inn
A few miles west of Gettysburg, nestled in a tranquil section of Pennsylvania countryside, is the 36-hole golf resort at Penn National. When it comes to “getting away from it all,” Penn National is the poster child.
There are two great golf courses, 52 rooms and a 90-seat restaurant – all situated on a piece of property that is a never-ending picture postcard. But, from the beginning, golf has been the hallmark.
Named in tribute to the iron ore that was mined from the land in the 1800s, the Founders Course was built by designer Edmund Ault and opened in 1968. It experienced a bunker and tree renovation in 2006 and now stands as a classic Northeastern-style golf course.
The excitement builds throughout the layout, with a seven-acre lake coming into play on several holes of each nine, and a daunting five-hole stretch at the finish.
The Iron Forge Course was designed by Bill Love and added to the resort in 1997. It features 30-mile views of the surrounding farmland and mountains. It starts and plays toward the Michaux State Forest, in the foothills of South Mountain, and makes a single loop home – to the amenities of the resort.
Although the main location for Center Square Brewing is situated 30 miles east of Penn National, the line of handmade crafted beers is available at the golf resort. The goal of Center Square Brewing is to “incorporate fresh and local ingredients, whenever possible, to create one-of-a-kind beers with a local flair.”
If the golfers at Penn National want a fuller inspection of the entire Center Square Brewing operation, they can drive east to Abbottstown, where the brewery is housed in the popular Atland House Grill and Pub.
While in the Abbottstown area, visit the very unique Dawg Gone Bees retail store. No doubt there is a lot of buzz about this attraction.
The company began as a small honey stand in 2009 and quickly expanded to become a family owned and operated multi-location business. It produces a full line of honey and bee products, including mead – commonly referred to as “the oldest alcohol.”
This version of honey wine was the drink of choice of the Vikings. They brought the drink to England and it is reported to be what was cultivated by the legendary Friar Tuck, from the Tales of Robin Hood.
Another Abbottstown favorite is the Brookmere Winery Tasting Room. A small family winery, Brookmere uses their own grapes and fruits in production of their wines. They feature a variety of red, white, blush and fruit wines. The added attraction for stopping at the Abbottstown location is that the winery hosts live music from 7 to 10 p.m. every Friday.
Located just a few miles west of Gettysburg, Carroll Valley is part of the four-season Liberty Mountain Resort. Bursting with ski activity in the winter, it is a peaceful golf resort in the summer.
It is adjacent to the modern and recently renovated Liberty Hotel – with three choices of accommodations. There is the Highland Lodge, with modern meeting and conference space; the Alpine Lodge, which is closest to the slopes; and the Fairway Hotel, a favorite of the golfers as it overlooks the first tee.
The golf course is a picturesque, player-friendly layout that sits at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was once visited by President Bill Clinton for an afternoon round away from his nearby western White House at Camp David in Maryland.
Close to Carroll Valley, the Thirsty Farmer Brew Works is a popular stop along the Adams County Pour Tour. Not only is it a family farm brewery that produces small batches of ales, lagers and ciders, but the farm grows all of the hops used in the production process. It also offers light fare made with farm fresh ingredients, grown on site.
In addition, the Thirsty Farmer has a unique brand of entertainment. There is the standard live music every Saturday night in season, and each July the dog days of summer arrive early with the Westwind Diving Dogs competition, a three-day sanctioned event of the National Association of Diving Dogs.
The area’s oldest winery is Adams County Winery, crafting fine wines since 1975. It is the fifth-oldest winery in Pennsylvania and the barn was built just after the Civil War and still has original woodwork that can be seen in the tasting room.
The many varieties of wines include favorites such as Rebel Red, a sweet Concord blend; Moscato, a smooth sweet wine with bright tropical notes and a light citrus finish; and Three Ships to the Wind, a semi-sweet red blend that makes a great sangria.
The Terrace Bistro is a great spot to pair some food with the wines of Adams County Winery. In the summer, they feature wood-fired pizza-making on the deck. [END]