STATE COLLEGE, PENNSYLVANIA
A humble neighborhood joint “inspired by passion for knowledge, skill and small-batch artisan goods,” LIBERTY CRAFT HOUSE is the crown jewel of Penn State’s campus. Tucked into College Avenue across from the main campus in a red brick building, its small front deck with community tables and chairs welcomes patrons to the bustling pub.
Liberty’s 20-seat bar contains over forty draughts, three cask handles and countless bottled-canned craft beers (some of which are one-of-a-kind hard-to-finds) as well as terrific handmade cocktails. Multiple TV’s attract sports fans to the beer-centric bar.
Dining tables crowd the front and left side while the rear open kitchen serves upscale fare. On my June ’17 sojourn with wife and youngest son, the busy Chefs Salad, juicy Crab Cake Sandwich and goat-cheesed Fig and Bruschetta Pizza kept us happy. These dishes went well with a few previously untried beverages (two proprietary cocktails, one hefe, one witbier, one tripel, one strong ale, one coffee ale and a neutral nitro coffee drink).
In a frozen copper goblet, Liberty’s Kentucky Mule bettered a whiskey sour with its lime-juiced ginger spicing, peppery heat and sweet bourbon over tiny ice cubes. Even better, their Moscow Mule brought clean vodka watering to lime-juiced ginger spicing, mild peppery heat, sweet lemonade sugaring and evergreen freshness.
Though Liberty’s collaborative Rothrock Nitro Coffee seemed flat and watery, its light-roast coffee beaning will please softer thirsts.
Reviewed in the Beer Index are Sly Fox Doppelbock Hefeweizen, Bell’s Poolside Ale (a witbier with tart Montmorency cherries), Yards Brewbik’s Cube Tripel, Southern Tier Pittsburgh Left Blonde Coffee and Weyerbacher 22 Anniversary Ale (with vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and orange peel).
Part of the Dante’s Restaurant chain, Liberty Craft House is a natural destination location while perusing PSU.