|Happy Valley Brewing Company
137 Elmwood St | State College, PA 16801
(814) 234 4406
Ed, Happy Valley’s bravest pig, is the official mascot of State College and Happy Valley Brewing Company. Ed refused to tolerate Ordinance 9, dated February 28, 1897, which prohibited the running-at-large of horses, cattle, mules, hogs, sheep and goats within State College borough limits. Ed the Pig, featured in Happy Valley Brewing Company’s logo, refused to stay in his sty, and in fact escaped to Farmer Klinger’s barn where he roamed free for the rest of his natural life.
Located just outside Lemont, Happy Valley Brewing Company opened in Fall 2013. The brewpub is located in a large repurposed barn and former furniture store on Elmwood Street. Happy Valley is owned by Greg Somers and Scott Lucchesi (who also owns several other local establishments including the Phyrst, Champs Sports Grill, and the American Ale House). Brewmaster Josh Davies comes from Arcadia Ales.
The main floor features high ceilings with beer-themed murals and hanging wire sculptures where rustic meets industrial, featuring large wooden beams, leather, exposed ductwork, and large windows with striking red trim. The intimate sitting areas with perfectly mismatched furniture give a relaxed, casual feel to the impressive space.
The upstairs bar, which was imported from Atlanta, Georgia, has a more formal feel, but don’t worry because there are still plenty of flat screen televisions to catch the PSU game. In addition to serving the house-made beers, Happy Valley also has an impressive wine list and a full bar menu with cocktails and spirits.
There are stairs towards the back that lead to the lower floor. Be sure to walk slowly as the large windows offer a view of the 15 barrel brew system, which has a current capacity of approximately 1800-2000 barrels per year. The lower floor offers additional seating and a second bar. The downstairs space with lower ceilings is darker and offers more informal pub feel.
I sat at the upstairs bar, where I chatted with some tourists from Kansas, and enjoyed a sampler of my choice of six beers. The current offerings during my visit included:
Happy Valley Beers:
- Stratus – 4.7% ABV Loftbier, a one-of-a-kind beer with a mild flavor, light body, and smooth mouthfeel.
- Tailgater – 4.7% ABV Pale Ale with a bright, citrusy aroma, medium body and mouthfeel, and refreshing finish.
- Barnstormer – 6.2% ABV India Pale Ale with a robust hop aroma, solid malt backbone, and assertive hop bitterness.
- Nitwit – 4.8% ABV Belgian Wit brewed with Curacao orange peel and coriander; the perfect summer refresher.
- Craftsman – 5.2% ABV Brown Ale with a nutty toffee-like aroma and flavor and a lingering biscuity malt flavors.
- Phyrst Phamily Stout – 5% ABV Oatmeal Stout with notes of dark chocolate and roasted coffee and a creamy mouthfeel.
- HayDay – 4.8% ABV American Wheat Ale with bright citrus overtones.
- HopGoblin – 5.2% ABV Belgian IPA with a vibrant hop profile, complex malt flavor, and zesty Belgian yeast presence.
- Knuckleball – 5.1% ABV Session IPA with a bright citrusy hop aroma and the robust, intense flavor of hops you expect.
- Midnite Ryder – 5% ABV Black IPA with notes of roasted malt and savory rye; brewed with a double dose of Chinook hops.
- Orion – 9.4% ABV Belgian Tripel with complex flavors and pleasing efflorescence, yet little trace of the alcohol.
- Singletrack – 5.5% ABV Belgian Amber with authentic Belgian flavors in an approachable, everyday beer.
- Tsar Bomba – 10.2% ABV Russian Imperial Stout brewed with an imprudent amount of malted barley, hops, and love.
I enjoyed each beer I sampled, but Midnite Ryder was my favorite. The strong roasted malt flavors balanced nicely with the intensity of the hops, but it was the addition of the rye that took it to the next level for me.
Some new beers coming soon include Joe, a Java Porter brewed with locally roasted coffee from Café Lemont and LeMonster, and Imperial IPA with massive hop aroma and bitterness. Click here to see what’s currently on tap at Happy Valley.
Future potential expansion of the brewery could increase production to 4000 barrels per year. Happy Valley also hopes to start a barrel-aging program and to begin distributing beers to other outlets within the area in the future.
The food menu at Happy Valley includes Killer Apps like Short Rib Nachos and the Dairymaid Cheese Slate and Small Plates like BBQ’d Scallops and Beer-Braised Flanken Rib. I enjoyed The Mason Jar, which included house-pickled seasonal vegetables and Gemelli crackers.
Some unique salads on the menu include The Julius (Humble kale, farro, rye croutons, parmesan, with Ragner’s famous dressing) and the Pitch Fork Salad (batter-fried chicken, roasted corn, onion, grape tomato, pea shoots, greens, with buttermilk dressing).
Sandwich options include the Fried Oyster BLT (fried oysters, applewood-smoked bacon, Bibb lettuce, roma tomato, onion, and epazote aioli on a Kaiser roll) and the Barnyard Burger (8 oz steak burger, grilled onions, applewood-smoked bacon, cheddar, and bbq mayo on Texas toast).
Brewco Specialties are available after 4:00 PM, which include Wood-Fired Trout, Hillbilly’s Hatchet (bone-in, free range bison ribeye), Chop Shop (center-cut, wood-grilled French Berkshire pork chop), The Shed (Bone-in, seared short rib), NY Strip Steak, Mel’s Chicken, BrewCo Short Rib Ravioli, and Rigatoni with Eggplant Sauce. Check out the rest of Happy Valley’s food menu by clicking here.
Whether you’re in town for a visit or to catch a game, be sure to stop by Happy Valley Brewing Company. Enjoy a pint at the bar, a snack at a high top table, or a delicious meal in the dining room. Whatever you choose, you won’t regret it!