The first shoot of a new season always ends up being one of favorite memories from the year. In season 1, it was The Bent Fork (our first complete shoot ever), and in season 2, it was Brewtus Brewing Company.
It also had the distinction of being the first shoot where we spent the entire day (well, at least two of us) in complete costume, with bow-ties, suspenders, a fedora, and everything we could wear to fit the Prohibition-era theme.
And man, was it a fun day. Brewtus alone is one of the best breweries in Mercer County and all of western Pennsylvania, but putting it right in the middle of a downtown event like the Waterfire Festival (and an awesome band inside, The Vindys, who were nice enough to give us an interview and provide some of the best tracks we used in an episode to date) only helped make it more of a must-visit place.
All four of the owners gave us complete access to the building, even offering a tour of the more historic parts of the place people don’t usually know about (did you know there’s a fallout bunker in the basement?).
And then after the tour, it was time to eat. Many of the places we feature in episodes, we have been to before, so we already knew they could deliver some amazing beers. As stated in the car ride there, I was locked in to the Whisper Sister (my favorite stout of all-time), but with that out of rotation, the Harlem Sunset did just fine.
Mike, a Yuengling-only drinker when the series began, went all Jeepers Creepers, their pumpkin-flavored fall seasonal, while Greg tried some of everything, from IPAs to their lighter beers, like the Haymaker and Fruit Sheba.
But where the creativity really came out was with Jason in the kitchen. The man knows how to make some crazy stuff, and have it work perfectly with the beers he brews all year round.
And that menu starts and ends in many cases with the burgers. Few things go better with a beer than a giant burger loaded with toppings. The hangover burger, in particular, was another favorite of the FU Crew (surprisingly enough, no one was hungover while eating), complete with beer cheese, drunken onions, and a giant side of fries that should absolutely be dunked in a side of their reaper mayo for that extra spicy kick.
There may actually be such a thing as too much creativity though: While Mike and Dan enjoyed their burgers, Greg showcased their “Build your own” feature for baked potatoes, and what he made was an abomination. A baked potato with chocolate, gouda cheese, bacon, maple syrup, honestly, I don’t even remember the eight or nine things he loaded onto this monstrosity of a side dish, and the world may never get to know the exact lineup. All we know is the guys in the kitchen making it were disgusted, and so were we.B
We actually visited a second time after the Waterfire festival, closer to Halloween, and tried another much more appropriate dish with some creativity. We were told in passing about a Halloween-themed burger, with crushed doritos, some super hot pepper relish, and more on it, and that was just as good as everything else we had tried there.
We’ve also been back since the episode aired, multiple times. It was one of our go-to spots whenever we wanted a good time out, which is why it was genuinely sad to pass along the word to each other at the beginning of August, when they posted on Facebook that the establishment was closed permanently.
We all hope that you got a chance to see how special Brewtus was while they were still open, and we hope all is well with every member of that outstanding family that owned and operated one of the best spots in Mercer County.
There’s no replacing everything that Brewtus offered to the community, and here’s hoping they will be able to be back in business someday.
Check out the full episode here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxG2BXP1yvc&t=3s
- Dan Kitchen