|The Gamble Mill
160 Dunlap St | Bellefonte, PA 16823
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The Gamble Mill is a historic grist mill in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. Built in 1894, the 3 ½-story brick building has had many names over the years including Lamb Mill, Thomas Mill, Wagner Mill, and Bellefonte Flouring Mill. The building includes two one-story brick additions, a stepped gable, and a full gabled attic. The current building replaced a mill built by William Lamb on the site in 1786 after it was destroyed by a fire in 1892. The mill was used for grinding grain until 1947.
Located in the Bellefonte Historic District about 15 minutes from downtown State College, The Gamble Mill was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. Gamble Mill Restaurant and Tavern has been operating since the mid-80s and offers both a fine-dining menu featuring classic American dishes and a casual Tavern menu offering pub-style food. Both menus currently include seasonal specialties as well as house favorites.
In 2008, Dave Fonash and Paul Kendeffy took over ownership of The Gamble Mill, and there has been a steady transformation of the restaurant ever since. A Microbrewery was added in 2010, led by Head Brewer and State College native Mike Smith. The brewing system is located downstairs, to the left when you enter the building. Additionally, the cozy tavern downstairs is in the midst of a renovation that began in February. The tavern should reopen in a few months.
About a year and a half ago, a new bar and dining room opened upstairs featuring light wooden floors, aged brick walls, and antique wooden beams for a truly rustic feel. The long bar seats about 20 people. The room also features a small stage, a unique feature in Bellefonte, where local artists perform on weekends. There are additional dining rooms located upstairs offering a comfortable, romantic spot to enjoy a date night.
The Gamble Mill is also planning a brewery expansion this year in order to begin bottling and regional distribution of their hand crafted brews. The owners hope to find space nearby in Bellefonte to house the expansion.
A chalkboard behind the bar lists the current offerings of brews made in house.
- HB 48 Session Ale – 4.5% ABV lightly hopped golden ale brewed with European Noble hops; named after the House Bill that allowed them to brew their own beer.
- Victorian Secret Raspberry Wheat – 5.25% ABV wheat beer finished with pureed raspberries; named after Bellefonte’s nickname – Victorian Secret.
- Bush House Brown Ale – 5.75% ABV brown ale with aromas of roasted malts and dark fruit and flavors of chocolate and oak; named in memory of the historic Bush House in Bellefonte.
- J. Rose Pale Ale – 5.0% ABV pale ale with aromas of citrus and rose from Cascade and Ahtanum hops balanced by a malty backbone; named after Jeremy Rose, an accomplished local jockey.
- Pig Iron IPA – 7.5% ABV west coast IPA brewed with Cascade, Columbus, Galena, Summit, and Zythos hops offering huge citrus aromas and flavors; named after the type of iron produced in this area.
- Monte Weizen – 5.5% ABV unfiltered German style wheat beer with hints of clove, lemon, and orange; named after one of the first pitchers to throw a curveball, Bellefonte native Monte Ward.
- DiNallo and James Coffee Stout – 7.4% ABV stout brewed with Natural Brazilian Coffee beans custom roasted by DiNallo and James Coffee.
- The Curtin Abbey Dubbel (Gamble Mill’s 300th Brew!) – 8.1% ABV unfiltered Abbey style dubbel with strong flavors of caramel and dark cherries; named after Governor Andrew Curtin, one of seven governors from Bellefonte.
- Big Pig Double IPA – 9.0% ABV double IPA hopped with Warrior, Chinook, Ahtanum, Citra, and Simcoe; flavors of fruit and citrus are balanced by a sweet, malty backbone.
All of the beers on tap at The Gamble Mill are delicious, true to style, and superbly made. My favorite Gamble Mill brew is definitely Pig Iron IPA. The west coast IPA is bursting with pine and grapefruit flavors. Super fresh and super clean. Another standout was the coffee stout, which was loaded with roasted coffee goodness.
Gamble Mill also offers a guest tap. The current offering is Good Intent’s Adam’s Apple Cider, an 8.0% ABV cider from Gettysburg, PA. There is also a full bar and an extensive, award-winning wine list.
Beers can be purchased to go in glass growlers, and a Brewers Club is available for frequent visitors. The benefits of the yearly membership include food discounts, invitations to exclusive brewery events, among other specials.
As of July 27, 2014, Gamble Mill is now open on Sundays from 11 to 3 for brunch. They no longer serve dinner on Sundays. Tuesdays feature Open Mic Night starting at 7, and Quizzo begins at 7:30 on Wednesdays. Thursdays are Burger Night at the Gamble Mill featuring $5 burgers and $3 pints from 5 to 9. Lunch is served Tuesday through Saturday beginning at 11:30.