It brings me great joy to introduce and guide others around the county of my birth. Anyone who knows me well is well aware of the great pride I take in the rolling hills and fruit growing community that born me and raised me here in beautiful Adams County. Like anybody's home, it's not perfect, but it's mine. And there's no where else in the world I'd rather hail from and nowhere else I'd rather live than Northern Adams County, PA. When people vacation in "Wine Country", they wanna hang out where the grapes are grown. Well, cider fans, you're gonna be where the apples are grown if you visit my hometown of Biglerville PA this coming Saturday for the first PA Cider Fest. Here's why you should attend:
- The Cider! - With a great supply of apples (4th largest apple producer in US) and a great accompanying craft beer braintrust, PA ciders have the raw product and the know how to be a dominant force in the burgeoning national cider scene. But! You don't have to take my word for it, LeVar Burton!
- The Surrounds - The same rolling hills that grow these beautiful fruits are gorgeous in the summertime - lush, green, and beautiful. The soils beneath them make our lifestyle a reality. The green splendor above them will make you eager to return a second time!
- The Food! - What's one of my favorite reasons to travel? You got it! Food culture and traditions of other areas. Ours is no different with plenty to choose from. Plus we're not all fruit all the time - we have a diverse agricultural community with excellent organic vegetables, dairy, grains, pastured livestock - it's all available. Fidler & Co Craft Kitchen, The Inn at Herr Ridge, and Sidney all source locally. Increasingly more craft beer selections in the area as well, starting with Tommy's Pizza. Mason Dixon Distillery coming soon too!
- The Arts/Music Scene - For example, I'm playing a PA Cider Fest after party at the Cider House and tasting room of my good friends Reid's Cider House starting at 7pm Saturday. In addition to making some of the best ciders and wines in the area, they support local musicians - Dave having played a good bit himself. This self promotion aside, the beautiful walls of The Pub on the square are like an art installment all to themselves - a good painter friend did the whole interior/exterior. Local spots like Ragged Edge Coffeehouse and the Blue Parrot Bistro hang local art frequently. The Bluebrick Gallery has a great selection. Great music and art at the re-launched Waldo's & Couu on the Square. Plus always tasty brews and good tunes at Battlefield Brew Works just outside of town.
- Local Spots - There's few things that feel more like home than eating at Ernie's Texas Lunch. This as local a locals spot as it gets. Breakfast, gut busters, burgers - you can't go wrong. Half Pint Creamery on the way back to Biglerville... now you're in business.
- Jumping Off Point - As much as I love where I live, I kind of like what the region has to offer as well, which makes Biglerville and Gettysburg a great home base for any number of other nearby places. If you're craving a great beer after PA Cider Fest (and Battlefield Brew Works in Gettyburg), you can travel locally to Carlisle to hit up Molly Pitcher or to Chambersburg to Roy Pitz or regionally to destination breweries like Troeg's or Pizza Boy (Al's of Hampden). There's a cool scene in Harrisburg these days for food and drink, likewise York and (especially) Lancaster. Make a weekend of it.
I could go on forever. The point is we want you to see where we hang our hat. We love Adams County and we want to share it with you. Fire some questions at me in the comments, believe me - I shortened this as much as I could!
... said the farmer/music guy quite nerdishly:
I was at the Guster show in Lancaster and thinking to myself how I hoped our agriculturally rich Central PA area would represent well and provide some delicious local farm nourishment for these folks, a few of the most environmentally conscious touring musicians there are - speaking of Guster. In an idle moment after Jukebox the Ghost's opening set, I fired off this tweet:
To which I receive the following response from Ryan Miller himself:
Leading to many pork belly/quail egg references during the show (for the record, it's one of my favorite John J. Jefferies small plates as well). Thanks for an awesome night of music, and thanks for the kind words about our "so damn charming" area