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Apr 22, 2011

Yuengling, America’s Oldest Brewery

Adventures of Jared:
The first weekend in April, I made a trip to Pottsville, Pennsylvania for a rockin’ bachelor party weekend. My buddy, Scott, is getting married at the end of May, so the Best Man, I’ll call him Awesome planned a wild and crazy weekend in Pottsville, PA. Now, you’re all probably wondering what the heck is in Pottsville, PA. I’ll give you couple of hints: It’s not Las Vegas (duh), it’s not Atlantic City (remember we went to PA), it’s the D.G. Yuengling and & Sons original Yuengling Brewery! Wooo everyone get excited! This weekend wasn’t anything close to the Hangover, so get your minds out of the gutter, my PTTR’s (Pretty Tasty Things readers); it was just a fun weekend touring, learning, and definitely drinking our fair share of guess what? Yuengling Beer. Now don’t expect much from this walk through (like specific dates and descriptions of what you see; I went on this tour several weeks ago, and I’m lazy…I didn’t write anything down…we’re going off the memory my parents gave me…YIKES!)

The Original Brewery built in 1829. This site still makes the tasty Yuengling beverages, but at a reduced volume. They recently built a ginormous manufacturing center near Pottsville, PA.

Our tour guide, Sharon, mentioned that when the original Yuengling settled in Pottsville, his goal was to build a brewery. For some reason, he decided to build it 8 inches away from the only other building in Pottsville, a Catholic Church. The exact reason, I don’t remember, but I think it has something to do with Pottsville mainly being an Irish settlement. Yuengling is from Germany. Maybe there was some bad blood there?……..wait, I just remembered why they chose this sight. There is a natural spring in the hillside beyond the brewery. To make beer, you need water. Don’t forget that.

See I told you it was America’s Oldest Brewery. The sign says so.

The tour starts here.

Down in the underground dwellings of the brewery, we listen to our tour guide, Sharon, tell the story of speak of “I once caught a fish this big”…haha.

Actually, she was talking about the the original keg filling process. The items in the crates are made of cork. Back in the day, they plugged the kegs with these. Everyone on the tour got one as a free souvenir.

Original wooden kegs on the left and futuristic metal kegs on the right.

Since they made beer prior to refrigeration, the Yuenglings had to find land with caves. The caves would allow for a cool, constant temperature year round. Also, I think the real reason they chose this area was due to the natural spring.

This brick wall was constructed by the federal government during prohibition (1920 – 1933, look how smart I am). I think it cut off the natural spring preventing any beer from being made.

Old and rusty ladders that led to a couple of areas. I think the natural spring and maybe the manufacturing floor.

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Mar 11, 2011

Mercado de San Miguel

If you ever find yourself in Madrid, there is one place you have to visit if you are an ultimate foodie. The Mercado de San Miguel is the place to get a feel for Spanish cuisine. It’s a very hip indoor farmers market with over 30 vendors selling oh-so-tasty tapas, sandwiches, croquettes, seafood, jamón, sushi, sangria, beer & wine and so much more. We stumbled upon the market on our second day just after we ate our lunch nearby. I was so disappointed that we didn’t get a chance to taste any food that day so we returned the following day and went crazy. We drank ourselves silly and had very happy and full stomachs.

As soon as you walk into the market, it’s packed with locals and tourists, tasting and drinking. The covered market, over 100 years old, is a beautiful piece of art recently refurbished with glass walls and iron details. Great ambiance, friendly faces and fresh food. I loved this place.

Man, people in Spain do love their jamón ibérico. They eat it anytime of the day, with pretty much anything. Jamón ibérico is type of cured ham made only in Spain. It’s the finest type of ham cured for, I think, 36 months. It’s sliced thinly and enjoyed by all.

Fresh pasta and beans galore placed in beautiful handmade sacks.

Here’s Jared enjoying a cerveza at the taco shop, probably his 3rd cup! He does loves his beer.

I had a very tiny tiny sample of their helado (ice cream). It was too small! I had a scoop of their chocolate while Jared had their mint chocolate. Yum!

When we returned the second day, we went crazy. We felt like kids in a candy story. We maybe spent 25 euros, but it was certainly worth it. What a wonderful experience to walk around and try things we’ve never tried before. We sampled five different croquettes, which totally trumps my potato corquettes I had at my wedding. We selected some cheese and meat tapas we thought were delicious. To top it off, we ended our tasting with the best chocolate mousse dessert ever. Hands down, food in Madrid was something else.

Top photo credit:

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Feb 23, 2011

Cafe con leche in Espana

Café con leche sounds so much better than the American translation, coffee with milk, doesn’t it? While Jared and I were in honeymooning in Spain for eight nights, we literally had café con leche every day and it was glorious. I don’t know, there’s just something about how they make their café con leche that I am obsessed with. The one to one ratio of espresso to scalded milk made us feel alive every morning and even re-energized us mid-day. What I wouldn’t do just to go back to Spain and spend 2 euros for a cup. You know we loved it so much when looking back at our 2,000+ photos we saw a photo of every café con leche we had for every day we were in Spain.

Day 1: The very first day we arrived, we wanted to sample authentic Spain cuisine so literally steps away from our hotel near the La Catedral de Barcelona was a restaurant called El Cafe D’en Victor. There we experienced our very first café con leche accompanied with delicious tapas. We never looked back.

Day 2: Barcelona—In the midst of the ongoing strikes, we found comfort in enjoying a cup before **** hit the fan. Literally.

Day 3: Barcelona—After touring Barcelona all day, we got off the bus and found ourselves seated at a very local restaurant where no one spoke English. All we said was “Manchego, croquetas and cafe con leche” and we were happy.

Day 4: In Sevilla, our favorite city, we spent 2 amazing nights. We wish we had stayed longer! Our hotel, Hotel Casa 1800, was absolutely beautiful located right in the heart of the city. They offered tea time and all the café con leche you could drink! I say, free café con leche is the best café con leche.

Day 5: Sevilla—This café was situated along a fairly busy “calle” in Sevilla where people just sat outside, ate, drank and laughed with friends. It was amazing.

Day 6: Madrid—What a complete change from the beautiful weather in Sevilla. What were we thinking having a café con leche outside in the freezing cold? Unfortunately, the café con leche wasn’t able to warm us up!

Day 7: Madrid—Our hotel was off the beaten path so we had to take the metro to get into town, but before we began our journey we found a cute café with the nicest Asian owners who made a darn good café con leche.

Day 8: Madrid—My most memorable café con leche was in Madrid at the cutest little eatery I’d ever seen. I forget the name of it, but the café con leche was presented in a small drinking bowl. It was beautiful. Who knew a cup of café con leche would look as pretty as its’ taste.

Stay tuned for the next post next week’s post where I show you how to make your own café con leche here in the States and at the comfort of your own home, plus a giveaway!

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