Why Drink Here: If you are in Slippery Rock, you are perhaps seeing some red-hot college wrestling. Perhaps you are protesting Mike Pence speaking at nearby Grove City College and have a thirst to quench while thinking about Mother being upset at her hubby for being away too long. Or you are shopping at the nearby outlet mall. Or you are near the I-79/I-80 interchange, both of which takes you far away from rural northwest Pennsylvania, but you need a stop. In my case, I was on my way back from the Pittsburgh airport.
The Beer: North Country Brewery is an entirely respectable brewery that any small town would be happy to have. I have had many of their beers over the last 6 years when spending time in rural Pennsylvania (I have perhaps 15 nights in my life left here, mercifully). I don’t know that I’ve ever had an outstanding North Country beer. I have however had many perfectly pleasant North Country beers, both at the brewery and at bars in Pennsylvania. This is simply a really solid operation. On this trip, I had the Uniball Brew U Tripel and the Paleo IPA. Neither were life changing. Both were perfectly quaffable.
The food: Also quite solid! As this has become a regular stop for me, I’ve sampled quite a bit of the food over time. Burgers, sandwiches, salads–all are perfectly fine, albeit oversized. I had the hummus plate on this occasion, which I like because it comes with apples as well as pita, and a merciful lack of carrots, which I don’t care for raw. You do have to ask what the hummus is on a given day. Sometimes, it is hazelnut or something, which for nut allergy people would be deeply distressing. But I’ve never been steered wrong.
Overall: For all the talk about exceptional and groundbreaking beer in this amazing brewing era, there’s a big place in the world for unexceptional but perfectly delicious beer, especially based in small towns without even other good dining options, never mind other beer options. Next time you are near the I-79/80 interchange, make this your lunch or dinner spot and enjoy some solid brews.