In a rustic rural outpost two miles from downtown Bloomsburg (home of Marley’s Brewery & Grille) just off Route 80′s Exit 236 lies TURKEY HILL BREWING COMPANY, a freestanding A-framed watering hole affiliated with The Inn at Turkey Hill and opened for business April 2011. Visited July 2012, this natural weathered wood stable “sitting atop the footprint of an English barn originally erected in 1839″ served a diverse range of brews and worthy food items to nearby Bloomsburg University students and a host of local dinnertime businessmen.
Entering through a brown-wooded side door entrance next to a small patio, Turkey Hill’s windowed brew tanks are set up across the hall from a ground level concrete-floored catacomb-like cafe where an acoustic singer entertained patrons seated at the rear bar or several stooled tables.
Upstairs, a small private lounge leads to an ample wood-furnished, tan-walled open space with horseshoe coat hangers and various farmhouse photos. The eight-seated bar is packed for the Fourth Of July as two TV’s show the Yankee game and pre-Olympics fodder. We sit at a nearby table and order food to go alongside brewer Donny Abraczinkas’ stylistically robust fare.
I ate the plentiful Shroomer Angus Burger (featuring mushrooms, roasted garlic, caramelized onions, provolone cheese on a Kaiser roll) while my wife chomped on the busy Mediterranean Pizza (gathering squash, feta cheese and mozzerella atop local grained dough).
Though popular Journeyman IPA was out, each of the six four-ounce samples on the wooden tray and both of the fruity summer seasonals served pint-size more than sufficed.
At the lighter end, tart lemony orange-fronted, dry hop-spiced Barn Dance Blonde and caramel-soured, orange-dessicated, fig-sugared, earthen-backed New Whirrled Vienna Lager retained mild hop bittering.
A brisk IPA-like woody fruited bittering punctuated Revelation Pale Ale, the clear favorite today. Its lacquered apple, grapefruit, pineapple, apricot, mango and kiwi fruiting regaled brusque juniper hop bitterness, maintaining tremendous body and character.
Belgian yeast-candied Oliver’s Twisted Belgian Pale Ale placed peppery dry-hop spicing against sticky anise, sugared fig and raw chocolate while English-styled Samuel Bloom Brown Ale tossed lightly-roasted hops beside walnut-charred bittering.
Dark ale hailers will appreciate Iron Street Porter, a coffee-roasted, chocolate-soured, black tea-deepened bitter with ashen hop char.
For dessert, soapy apricot-lacquered, peach-toned, wheat-crackered Urban Abbey Apricot Wheat took a backseat to easygoing lighter-bodied Raspberry Wheat (with its sweet and sour raspbery rasp climbing above the honeyed wheat spine as well as ancillary red apple, strawberry and cranberry dollops).
Sweet-toothed brethren should enjoy Brennan Porter-Stout Float (made with Brennan’s vanilla bean ice cream and chocolate sauce).