CLAYSBURG, Pa. — Blue Knob ski area is nestled in a state park of the same name. The Summit Lodge, is not particularly noteworthy in appearance, other than being at the top instead of the bottom of the slopes, but that’s part of the charm. The interior is actually a little refreshing in the sense that it isn’t trying to hard to look like an alpine ski lodge. The typical exposed wood beams are there and there are fireplaces, one of the gas powered, another one the good old fashioned kind. It is by the true fireplace that a pleasant bar is located. Though it claims to be a sports bar, it is only nominally so in the sense that there was television with sports on and a few posters. Seating included stools at the bar, a counter on the side wall and picnic tables in the main area. Overall, it was a nice set-up.
The first time through, we heard the draft list and decided, we’d try the Iron City Amber. We figured it was the closest to a local beer available and gave it a shot. It is tasty enough lager, a pretty color, smooth drinking and kind of refreshing. I’d even order it again. It tastes a lot better than the regular Iron City which was the flagship beer of Pittsburgh for generations. By the way, Iron City is now brewed in Labtrobe, Pa. in the former Rolling Rock Brewery. No telling where Rolling Rock is brewed now, I think Anheuser Busch offloaded it after acquiring it several years ago and moving brewing to Newark.
During our second stop in the Summit Lodge (which the highest bar in Pennsylvania, perhaps the whole mid-Atlantic) my friend ordered another IC Amber while I had a Yuengling Black and Tan. This time we sat on the benches near the real fireplace, putting our gloves on the hearth to warm them up a little. We really enjoyed that and I ordered some fires from the small cafeteria. They were just what I needed. I also saw they sold Sabrett hot dogs, but I didn’t feel like parting with $3.75 for one. We finished our drinks and went back out to slopes.
As darkness approached, my friend called it a day, while I stayed out for 3 more runs. He retired to the lodge, sitting even closer to the fire. I came back from the locker room to see him dozing by the fire. I added a few logs to the fire and tended to it with the old ski poles they had there —no one objected. It was a fine end to an exciting day on the slopes.
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