Fall Foodie Road Trip #1: Apples, good beer and a real mill

This time of year, with the leaves doing their pretty thing, I just want to jump into the car on a crisp, fall day and hit the road. For me, any travel is usually centered on food. If we are going to New York City, first I plan the meals, and build the rest of the day around that—“We’ll have dim sum in Chinatown around 10, go to 2nd Ave Deli for a late lunch, then get dinner at that southern Indian place on 27th. What do you want to do in-between to kill time until cocktail hour?” I make no excuses. And friends who travel with me have never complained. They always eat well.

So here are some places I would hit in Bucks County on a pretty fall Saturday. Take your pick and build your own Fall Foodie Road Trip.

Castle Valley Mill. photo credit Lynne Goldman

Castle Valley Mill in Doylestown is hosting “Colonial Days at Castle Valley Mill” every weekend in October. There are tours of this restored working flour mill, early American skills and technology demonstrations, boating on the mill pond, civil war soldiers, a country store, and fresh baked breads made from their own stone ground flour. Do NOT miss this opportunity to see the only working flour mill in Bucks County. It is fascinating. And their flour is amazing and available for purchase. Hours: Saturdays, 10 am – 5 pm, Sundays 12 – 5 pm. Click for flyer. Read more about this wonderful mill in our previous post, A Bucks County mill is reborn.

Apples, apples, apples. Take your pick (no pun intended). Bucks has some great local apples. In Solebury, visit Manoff Market Gardens and Solebury Orchards, both within minutes of each other. Manoff’s has an incredible variety of apples, including some heirlooms. And you can sample any of the apples, and get advice from Amy Manoff on which is best for cooking, baking or just plain munching. At Solebury Orchards, you can also pick your own apples. Don’t forget to buy some of Solebury’s cider, or their cider donuts, which will probably not make it home, having been totally consumed in the car. Keep an eye on their websites for the latest harvest updates.

Cider donuts from Solebury Orchards

Next stop, Tabora Farm & Orchards in Hilltown/Chalfont, is just minutes off Route 313, north of Doylestown. Owners Caleb and Patricia Torrice not only offer apples grown in their orchards here in Bucks County, but they also bring in special apples grown at their family’s farm in Upstate New York. Their market also boasts a fabulous bakery, deli and all kinds of delicacies.

Tabora Farms apples on tree

After grabbing some apples and baked goods at Tabora’s, head back to Route 313, make a left and go west on Route 313 up past Dublin. Then turn right onto Route 113 and head to Penn-Vermont Farm on 831 Rolling Hills Road, in Bedminster, just off Route 113. More wonderful apples, and pumpkins, and all kinds of seasonal fruits and vegetables. [Great berries in the spring, too]. See their Facebook page for hours.

See our previous post, Apples are here! for details on all the apple farms in Bucks.

By about now, you might be feeling a little thirsty. Not to worry. You are only minutes away from two breweries and a distillery. Stop by Free Will Brewing Company in Perkasie to taste some of their exceptional beer, brewed right on-site. Brewmaster John Stemler and manager Dominic Capece founded Free Will Brewing Company in 2010, and opened to the public in January of 2012. The tasting room is open Monday through Friday from 4 – 8 pm, Saturdays 12 – 8 pm and Sundays 11 am – 6 pm, with tours on Saturdays at 1 pm and 3 pm.

BC Brewery taps & growler; photo credit Lynne Goldman

Don’t stop now. You are too close to Bucks’ newest brewery, Bucks County Brewery, and their neighbor, Bucks’ newest distillery, Hewn Spirits, in Pipersville. In a non-descript industrial office park, you’ll find their tasting rooms. On Friday nights they host “Food Truck Friday” with great food and local music.

Brewmaster and owner Andrew Knechtel may be the “new kid on the block” among our local breweries, but he has been receiving some serious critical attention from the bustling Philadelphia beer scene. Read more about Bucks County Brewery here, including their hours and location.

Red Barn Rye

Under the same roof resides Hewn Spirits, currently producing rum, rye, and moonshine, with single malt whisky and bourbon in the barrels. Owner and distiller Sean Tracy is using his deep inventory of old hardwoods (from Bucks County barns he has restored) to influence the whisky in its secondary aging. Definitely interesting and fun. Read our previous post about Hewn Spirits here.

By this time, I assume you will be a little tired, but happy and satiated. Safe travels and happy Fall!

Coming up on Bucks County Taste, more Fall Foodie Road Trips, including the “Meat Tour.” Stay tuned.

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