A tattered flag is a symbol of sacrifices and dedication to a cause.
At Tattered flag brewery and still works they see that flag as a representation of ideals and character of the people who stand by the country’s flag and all it stands for.
Just like the service to the country, the brewery offers a service of dedication and commitment like no other.
Run and owned by veterans, this brewery offers a unique environment and atmosphere in Middeltown, PA.
The second I walked in the door I felt an overwhelming burst of patriotism. Everywhere my eyes landed I noticed American flags, quirky quotes, and medals/trophies; it was beautiful in its own way.
At the entrance you can buy all of your ‘swag from the flag’ and beers to go, not to mention the viewing balcony where you can pop your head into the brew room, which is clicking and clacking away, in real time, to produce delicious beer for your enjoyment.
When my husband told me that we would be going here on a Saturday evening, I worried that it may be too busy, or work would prevent us from getting there in time.
I was skeptical.
With my eyes taking their first glimpse of the bar area all of those previous worries vanished into the background, and I felt more welcome than I ever have in any other brew pub; the waiters and waitresses never missed a step, constantly chatting and getting to know you on a personal level that wasn’t just ‘business’.
With the car ride taking over 20 minutes, after a 12 hour day of work, I found myself going through all of the hanger emotions; hyper craziness, annoyance, misery, and finally that god awful silence.
My husband knows that when the silent hanger appears it’s not a good time, because up next is sheer chaos of tears and shaking (it’s a thing).
With no snacks on hand, and no bar nibbles, it was obvious that the first thing I’d do is order an appetizer, in a desperate frenzy, before my butt even had chance to sit in a seat.
Squeaky cheese was on its way immediately; I’d picked it from the menu long before in the car as we drove to the brewery.
Within minutes it arrived, seeming to glow almost angelic like as I watched it get closer and closer across the restaurant.
It was beautiful. Fried cheese curds had never looked so mouthwateringly good, and it was definitely my first time eating them with vodka sauce.
I didn’t care about burning my mouth, I didn’t care if anyone took one for themselves, I didn’t even care if I shared with the whole restaurant… all I wanted was those cheese curds in my face-hole right there and then.
I ordered a ‘Because I was Inverted (plum)’ beer to go with the appetizer; the name doesn’t give away many clues, but this fine beer is a 6.6% and is a lactose IPA – a first for me – and oh boy did it change my world.
First though, let me tell you about that squeaky cheese!
Never ever in all my years would I think of adding vodka sauce to fried cheese curds, which seems absurd because it’s the perfect pairing when you think about it.
We’re so used to getting marinara or traditional ‘dips’ because nobody ever bothers to change something that ‘works’ or to think outside of the box. It’s like that old saying ‘why change something already good’, but vodka sauce is now my all time favorite dip to have with deep fried cheese curds.
It works! In fact, it works so well that I will forever be repulsed with any other dip. The flavors from the creamy vodka sauce and the ooey gooey cheese are a match made in heaven; I couldn’t stop eating them, and literally managed almost the whole basket single hand-idly knowing full well that I had a main course on the way later, but not giving a single care.
My IPA was the most beautiful IPA I had seen to date; the lactose made it creamy to the eyes, and the carbonation so soft, but present that it made a really nice finish and good full mouth to the drink. The plum was so fruity and so flavorful that I’d go as far as saying it’s the best IPA I’ve had.
The plum wasn’t something I thought would work, or had ever experienced before in a beer, and I’ll admit that when I hear the word ‘lactose’ it kind of freaks me out and gives me visions of curdled milk.
However, that couldn’t be more wrong.
No curdled milk here and no ‘milky’ tastes; this drink is pure genius with a plum explosion.
My husband ordered the same lactose IPA drink, but the peach version…. It was also good, but lacked something that the plum delivered so beautifully in its light carbonation and fullness.
By the time we finished up with the evening my husband and I had both drank two lactose plum IPAs each.
Soon, my main dish was approaching fast; my husband ordered a brisket sandwich, and I the roasted pork poutine, we did not regret the decision.
What a beauty!
I stared at it, thanking the poutine gods, as I sniffed away eagerly at the delicious meaty gravy aroma floating up from the plate.
I watched my husband take his first bite of brisket and smiled as his face scrunched into a satisfactory ‘wow’.
He’d hit the brisket jackpot and I the poutine lottery.
Upon tasting his side of chips I could tell immediately that the bbq seasoning was homemade, as well as the chips; if I didn’t have a lot of food already I’d definitely be on the chip hunt during all of his bathroom visits – ha.
I pressed my fork into a blob of fries, cheese curd, and gravy, watching for a second as the perfectly cooked crispy French fry skin resisted, bending with the utensil, until eventually it gave in and my fork pushed down into its carby innards.
The curds had melted themselves in the mix, making the whole dish become one, and as my fork executed the ‘lift off’ like a steaming rocket from the basket I watched with wide greedy eyes as the cheese stretched it’s elastic self to the limits of cheesy bliss, before eventually snapping back down the basket like a snapped elastic.
Watching that cheese swing back and forth from the gravy covered French fry was pretty sexy in itself.
This was comfort food heaven; the green onions added an extra crunch, and I’d almost forgotten about the roast pork until I realized I could taste it in every bite.
They had cooked it for so long, and slow, that the pork was shredded naturally into the gravy, making it almost invisible until the flavor punched you right in the tastebuds.
This was some good poutine – not Canadian poutine level – but damn good poutine for PA.
At almost the halfway mark I reached my brick wall; I couldn’t physically fit another bite in, but I didn’t regret a single decision.
The food and the beer are beyond anything you could imagine when looking at this brewpub from the outside.
With our second beers in hand we enjoyed the rest of the evening with friends, and browsed the gift shop; returning with a case of pumpkin ale, a case of raspberry sour, and two shirts for our next day off.
I was sad to see that they didn’t have the lactose plum IPA in cans, but our waitress told us we could get a crowler, or a growler if we wanted to.
Immediately I went to the bar, only to be told that they where now out of the plum; I was devastated!
Holding the last half of my beer I now began to slow down, aware that I needed to make every single delicious sip last incase I never had the chance to taste it again.
Tattered flag had gone above and beyond any expectations I had prior to the visit; It’s a gem in the heart of Middletown that cannot, and SHOULD NOT, be missed.
Here’s a look at the menus if you’re considering a visit in the future.
As we closed up the night, and as my beer sadly disappeared in front of me, we decided to pay the tab.
As the waitress delivered the bill she asked if we had wanted crowlers or not.
I immediately sat bolt upright in my seat and smiled a Cheshire Cat smile.
‘Do they have the plum back on now?’ I asked excitedly.
The waitress said that she was sure they had more, and returned minutes later with two crowlers of the lactose plum IPA.
It was Christmas morning!
The bartender had even labeled the ‘inverted’ upside down for a touch of humor on both cans.
It was the perfect end to a fantastic night.
Tattered flag was without a doubt a great decision.
They also have their own still works on site and make their own gin, whiskey, vodka, tequila, rum, and moonshine!
From the service, to the food, to the amazing beers, this is a one stop shop for the perfect night out.
Thank you so much Tattered Flag, we salute you!
Until next time,
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