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America's Oldest Brewery, Knoebels and Union Canal

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Part 1: Ok howdy everyone, I'm splitting this trip report into 3 parts because its a holiday weekend and I'm busy, you're busy, everyones busy. Last week me and the girlfriend wanted to get away from home for at least a little bit before the holiday. This lead to me booking a trip in central PA for some time away. The weekend has gone smoothly and everything has panned out accordingly. First up on our trip was Yuengling Brewery.


For those not familiar with Yuengling Brewery it is the oldest brewery in the United States, founded in 1829. I suggest for lovers of beer, history, or if you're just a plain ole fan of interesting stuff, to stop here The facilities are beautiful with a gift shop and museum and the actually brewery across the street. The tours are free and run around 90 minutes. The most amazing part is the brewery itself, it has remained mostly unchanged for the better part of its 187 year history. The tour leads you into the mountain in which they dugout in 1830 to keep the beer fresh and cold, all the way up to the bottling center (which is an amazing site). Finally the tour ends with (you guessed it) free samples at the bar they have in the gift shop. I suggest anyone headed towards Pottsville PA to make a pit stop there.


Entrance to the gift shop/museum.


Some of the original barrels used to store beer since the breweries opening. These are the last 3 left.


A sit tank which is used to ferment the beers. This one is from the 1800's as well. (It is not currently in use)


As you can see we are deep in the cave, this is where they used to store the corpses of dead miner's they hired to dig into the mountain. (This was actually an access point for workers to check on the beer at one point and no there aren't any stored corpses down there....That we know of.


This is R-2D7 a grain mashing machine. (I just made that name up) Peep the cool artwork in the background, They had different artists in different time periods to do them. The one on the right is a man smiling after Prohibition ended. (It could also be me on Friday nights)


Behold, the bottling room. The little beer elves running the place were hiding in this photo.



One of the places I feel most comfortable in life, the bar.


It not officially a tour until you gorge the free samples. Thats all for this part of the trip report folks. I know you're all dying to see what you clicked on the thread for (Knoebels). It should be up by tonight or Tomorrow. Stay tuned!


"Since 1829."

Edited by Jcoaster
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Part 2: After Yuengling Brewery we grabbed some lunch in town, checked into the hotel and then shot over to Knoebels. It was a beautiful night and the park was mostly dead so it made for 3 1/2 hours of solid riding. Can't get over how great of a park Knoebels is. There is really nothing else like it. We purchased wristbands for unlimited riding and gorged ourselves on some delicious food. So yea, it was a damn fine night. Here are some major points of the night:


- First time I ever rode the chairlift here (I know) but it was provided some top notch views and is now a must ride every time.


- After riding Impulse last year, I will reiterate that it is a solid addition. Not the best, but certainly not disappointing. It packs a punch in that small layout.


- Flying Turns is a blast, its a very unique experience and a must ride every time I visit.


- Phoenix is still God. That is all. The airtime is literally stuff of legend. I kept asking myself if it was real the entire time.


- Black Diamond is hilariously bad.


- Twister is a lateral beast, it often gets overshadowed by Phoenix (we know why) but it is aj awesome ride in its own right.


- We rode the train that takes you back behind Twister. It was really great and gave you some unique angles of Twister you don't normally see. There was also some deer hanging out in between the tracks.


Now on to the photos.


The Promised Land.


Impulse from the road leading into Knoebels.


Caught a train mid-loop, no big deal.


Impulse from the chairlift (crafty I know) (But not really)


This view brought a few tears to my eyes.


Rollercoaster Tycoon anyone?


My horrible attempt at getting a train on Flying Turns entering the station.


They're about to embark on the Flying of the Turns.


Some potato pancakes and corn on the cob. Sorry, I totally forgot to take the picture before I took a chunk out of that corn like an alligator.


Hilariously bad. When it ended me and my girlfriend looked at each other and said, "What the hell just happened?'


The myth, the legend, the god.


I got a picture of some re-tracking from the station. Im guessing this is GCI's work? Anyway it was incredibly smooth.



The very controversial air gates.


They're antique cars here are awesome. I'd love one just to drive around my neighborhood.


I don't know if anyone has come across this when at the park, but it is so badass. It plays itself.


Twister has one of the most bizarre beginnings to a rollercoaster out there, but it just adds to the experience.


For those wondering, Twister has yet to install air gates. Also Girl on the front right with a stellar reaction to the ride.


I shall leave you with some Knoebels ambience. Part 3 soon to follow.

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Great report so far! Knoebels and Beer is an ideal combination.


Agreed, as home brewers I'm surprised the Yuengling Brewery had evaded us for this long. Really worth the stop and only a 40 minute drive from Knoebels.


Its incredible how great Phoenix is. One of few rides where I'm more out of the seat than in it.

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Airgates at Phoenix? What's next, a PLC for the Flyers? Kidding of course.


The carousel organs are honestly one of my favorite parts about Knoebels! They had 6 on displays (all functional, of course) on my visit last year and were all in really impressive shape. Glad you had a good time!

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The carousal organs were incredible. The park itself has a very "EverGreen Gardens" Rollercoaster Tycoon feel to it.


we were there a couple of years back during the Carousel Organ festival. . .there were tons of them thruout the park, and was quite fun (but crowded)

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I've been talking about doing the Yeungling tour for years and still haven't made it.


Ah man, you should get there ASAP. Its totally worth it you won't be disappointed.


The coasters keep getting in the way! Maybe next time I travel with my brother-in-law

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^ I agree. While I am not a big fan of Yuengling beer, the brewery tour is the coolest one that I have ever done to date. I also seem to remember trying one of their samples that was actually pretty tasty, but they said that they only sell it in that part of PA. But do you think that I could remember which one it was??

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^ I agree. While I am not a big fan of Yuengling beer, the brewery tour is the coolest one that I have ever done to date. I also seem to remember trying one of their samples that was actually pretty tasty, but they said that they only sell it in that part of PA. But do you think that I could remember which one it was??


It was very cool and informative as well. The samples were the Porter, Lager, Light, Chesterfield, Black and Tan and Premium.

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Part 3: The final part of this trip is the bike trail we rode Saturday morning. The trail is called "Union Canal Historic Trail." The trail runs along the Schuylkill River. The canal aimed to connect Philadelphia with the Susquehanna River. The canal was first proposed in 1690 by William Penn for commercial purposes. At the time Pennsylvania had an intense commercial shipping rivalry with Baltimore so the canal would help traders and goods from Philidelphia reach the Chesapeake Bay more easily.


The construction of the canal started in 1792 and was not completed until 1828. A little less than 60 years later the canal was closed due to railroads making the transport of goods way easier, rendering the canal obsolete. There are many small villages with old landmark buildings along the trail you can stop at to visit. The county does a really great drop of preserving the history here and it provides a beautiful trail to run, walk and bike along. We biked a good 20 miles and it got quite rigorous at some points with the hilly terrain.


Now that I bored you to death with historical information (Sorry I can't escape it. I have a degree is history and its what I do for a living as a history teacher) here are some pictures from the trail.


Our starting and ending point of the trip was Blue Marsh Lake which provided some nice scenic views.


One of the old Canal locks. A canal lock is a device used for raising and lowering boats, ships and other watercraft between stretches of water of different levels on river and canal waterways.


The Schuylkill River that the trail runs along.


Some of the old houses that were around before and during construction of the canal.


A small man made waterfall that helps regulate the flow of water. Across the top is a bridge that provides some great views.


I shall leave you with the best panoramic shot I could get of one of the small villages. I hope you enjoyed the report, till next time people.

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It's nice to see reports of life outside of theme parks from time to time. Interesting stuff here, nice job!


*Packs bags for six straight days of just theme parks next week*


It is hard trying to plan trips not based around going to parks I must agree, but I've learned to balance things out perfectly. I'm huge history buff so planning trips at parks near historical spots etc is always a huge plus. Also planning trips that includes is a nice zoo is great too. Cause who doesn't enjoy a nice zoo.

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So cool you posted canal pictures. I've always been fascinated by the whole canal system. One of my fave places as a kid was the drive in Cleveland along Canal Road and seeing the old Locks and canal. Thanks from a history nut here.


Pretty amazing right? And no problem from one history buff to another.

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Memory lane time, My aunt and Uncle took me for a drive along the canal, stopped for a frozen Custard and drove along the canal at sunset in an old convertible Corvair auto. Good times.


This one actually had many snack stands located in the old buildings to purchase food like ice cream etc.

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