While visiting my sister and her family in NW Pennsylvania I decided I would see if the craft beer “fad” (I use fad in quotes because I don’t believe it is a fad – see my previous blog The “Death” of Craft Beer) had reached the sparsely populated rural area I grew up in, Crawford County. The county has a little over 88,000 and the county seat, Meadville, has a little over 13,000 people. With a lackluster economy and the limited population I wasn’t sure of my chances. But after a little searching on the internet I found a couple of Micro Breweries in the county, Voodoo Brewing and TimberCreek Brewing. Because of operating hours and my limited schedule I was unable to visit Voodoo and will have to try it on my next visit. But I was not disappointed by TimberCreek.
TimberCreek is a BrewPub by definition. The full name is TimberCreek Tap & Table, it’s two separate buildings connected by a breezeway. The Tap portion is the brewery and tap room. This wasn’t open when we visited but you can easily find their hours on their website. Just outside the Tap is a large open breezeway with a gas-fired firepit surrounded by outdoor seating for those who enjoy their refreshments out in the open.
To the right of the fire is the entrance to the Table, which is the brewpub/restaurant. You open a large door and enter into a large open chamber, featuring a high ceiling and exposed wooden rafters. Hanging from the center of the ceiling is a chandelier that throws out soft lighting which highlights the wooden rafters. The bar is on the left, the center floor has high tables and stools and booths with high wooden backs on a raised level line the right and opposite wall. Overall the atmosphere is warm and welcoming.
There are two menus, one each for food and drinks. Each of the menus consist of two facing pages which I really like. Too many selections to choose from usually means that the food is not fresh. And yet they have enough variety on the menu that they should be able to satisfy anyone’s hunger. My sister had a Philly-Cheese Chicken Sandwich which she said was really flavorful. I ordered the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich, which included their homemade Buffalo sauce and jalapeños. I loved the flavor and I didn’t think it had too much heat but I enjoy spicy food. We both had a side of fries which were cooked “Fair Style”. I prefer fries not cooked as dark but they were fresh and tasted good. And I was glad to see that they send sandwiches out with a pickle spear. Some places forget that traditional touch. We also ordered some chicken fingers and apple slices for my young nephew, which he seemed to like. I tasted his chicken and while it was plain tasting, it should be for a child’s pallet.
The drinks menu had beers on one side and wines and cocktails on the other. Their beer list consists of 5 year-round brews and seasonals. I asked for a flight of their year-rounds so I could sample them. I didn’t want try tasting too many or I would have ordered some of the seasonal samples as well. My sister ordered their non-alcoholic homemade Root Beer which was very good. .
The samples arrived on the flight in the following order: Liberty Blonde – a light tasting golden ale; Werkzaug Stadt – a slightly bitter German style Pilsner; Fresh Squeezed IPA – this had slight hints of citrus and was not a heavy bitter like some IPAs; Meadville Mock Top – a belgian style ale with strong hops flavor; Black Bear – a Porter with hints of chocolate and coffee and a smooth finish. All of them were good representatives of their style but I have to say I liked the Black Bear the best. I ordered a pint to go with my lunch and a growler to take with me. The growlers are the standard 1/2 gallon (which is normal in every state but Florida but that’s a topic for another blog).
If you should find yourself in this neck of the woods and need a good craft beer and good food then I recommend stopping by the TimberCreek Tap & Table. They are located on US 19 in front of the Meadville Cinemas. For more specific info about the brewery or the pub go to: http://www.timbercreektapandtable.com.