As I continued my journey along the Cumberland Valley Beer Trail our pizza lunch was beginning to be just a distant memory, so my group head to downtown Carlisle to the Market Cross Pub and Brewery.
This English style pub has been around for nearly 25 years, and was voted “Simply the Best Local Pub” 4 years in a row from 2014 to 2017. However it didn’t start brewing its own hand crafted beers until 2002. They brought a 10bbl brewing system over from England, and use it to produce 12-14 styles a year with 3 or 4 on tap at a time. In addition to their own craft beer, they also offer a variety of local, regional, and national craft beers, as well as some imports.
In addition to a comprehensive selection of beer, they also have a very impressive food menu with classic pub fare, assorted sandwiches, burgers, and a number of dinner selections such as crab stuffed salmon, prime rib, rack of lamb, and New York Strip. I ordered the New York Strip, and began sampling beer.
They had 3 of their own craft beers on tap, so I started with the Pub Daddy Pale Ale. It had a light amber color and an aroma that reminded me of pines and evergreens. There was a good balance between the hop bitterness and roast malt flavor with notes of evergreen and caramel malt.
The English Red Ale had a deep red color and thick dense head. It had a very malty, slightly sweet bready aroma and flavor.
The Dublin Your Luck Irish Stout was my favorite. The head wasn’t very thick, but it lasted. It had a nice chocolate and coffee smell, and a dark, malty flavor, rich, faintly sweet, with a hint of bitter chocolate.
After finishing my delicious steak and another round of beer, we headed out to our next stop, Burd’s Nest Brewing.
Just a couple of block away from Market Cross, the Burd’s Nest was very open and welcoming. They had 4 of their craft beers on tap, and food being prepared and served by local eatery Spoons Cafe’s off-site location inside the brewery.
One of the brewery’s owner’s, Dave Hamilton, was still there when we arrived, and was more than happy to talk about the brewery in which he obviously took great pride. They have seven 10 bbl fermenters, which double as serving tanks, and a control system which allows them to set temperatures, and transfer beer from on tank to another at the touch of a button. And while co-owner Josh Hood is responsible for most of the brewing, Dave, an avid home brewer, is not afraid to step in and brew, or just clean tanks when needed.
Their Cold Infused Citra Pale Ale had a slightly cloudy golden hue, a grapefruit/citrus aroma, and a fruity profile with a light caramel malt character.
This place had a very relaxed and comfortable atmosphere and a staff that was friendly and fairly knowledgeable. This would be a great place to sit and relax with friends any day of the week, but they are only open Thursday through Saturday.
Next stop, Molly Pitcher Brewing.