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-   -   Zeno's Pub - State College, PA (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f208/zenos-pub-state-college-pa-29807/)

RoaringBrewer 05-16-2007 05:50 PM

Zeno's Pub - State College, PA
 
So, a little history: I live in Harrisburg, PA, but often "live" in State College area for 6 months over the spring and summer performing an audit for a large SEC client in the area. State College has some good bottle shops I've been known to pick up mixed 6ers at and a microbrewery (Otto's) that is superb, however I think I may see the best beer bar in the area tonight for the first time. I eat out pretty much every night there, so I've exhausted my liking for about 50 of the restaurants in the area over the past several years. Anyway, I always had heard of Zeno's Pub, but just envisioned it as a college bar with small beer selection for the college budget. It's located under a pretty fancy little place called the Allen St. Grill that serves up only a fair beer selection (6-8 taps, 20 bottles), so I didn't expect this place to be the holy grail per se.

Anyway, upon doing some research apparently this place has abotu 30 taps of in-state micros, regionals, and imports. Further, they have "hundreds" of bottles of beers (micros, imports, etc.) and a special "around the world in 80 beers" program where you can get your name burnt upon their wall and get a special t-shirt if you finish the list.

I can't believe I've missed this place for so long, but I'll be picking up my "beer passport" tonight and hopefully knocking out all 80 by the end of summer. Shouldn't be a problem at all. Eat there once a week and drink 2-3, swing by for happy hour another night per week and drink 1-2, and by the time I leave in September I'll be on my way.

Anyone here ever been to this joint? I'll post back with my impressions, etc. but everything I've read on beeradvocate, etc. just raves of the selection and the knowledgable staff...

zoebisch01 05-16-2007 06:08 PM

I pass by Zeno's bottle shop on occassion. It is located off of College Ave. next to the Allen street grill. They can sell you anything found in the bottle at the bar for a little bit less money.

They do indeed have a very impressive selection and with the students away for the summer it should be very nice. They also have 'fests' where they do samplings with food for a pretty reasonable price. I haven't been, but some other guys have.

RoaringBrewer 05-16-2007 07:46 PM

zoe- how far is Zeno's from your home? You should swing down by sometime and hit it up with myself and my coworkers. Never been in the bottle shop, but I heard there is less selection than the bar (unless you just need to special request the ones you know they have downstairs)... who knows.

I did see they have "tasting" trios or something where they'll give you 4-6oz. of 3 different beers for $4 or something. Sounds like a good deal.

I'm all about doing the around the world in 80 beers though! There was a place that did the 100 beer club where I went to college (Bloom) but I just couldn't afford it while being a student. That's when I paid $9 for a case, as opposed to $9 for one bottle of Delirium Nocturnum or something...

zoebisch01 05-17-2007 12:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SilkkyBrew
zoe- how far is Zeno's from your home? You should swing down by sometime and hit it up with myself and my coworkers. Never been in the bottle shop, but I heard there is less selection than the bar (unless you just need to special request the ones you know they have downstairs)... who knows.

That might be cool. I work within walking distance acutally....making the time is a different story :D.

The bottle shop does indeed have a much smaller selection...but you can just walk in there and say "Can you get me a Westmalle Tripel" and they'll grab it for you (as long as it is in stock which %99 of the time it is). Or you can say "You guys carry the Cantillon Rose de Gambrinus?" and they'll say "how many you want?". :D

pjj2ba 05-17-2007 05:25 PM

I was there recently for their Belgian Beer tasting 2 weeks ago. The place is smallish and it was pretty crowded. My wife and I ended up sitting at the bar which ended up being less noisy and we could look at all of their regular beers in the coolers. They had 2 Kolsch, a Kristal wheat and an Alt we wanted to try (for brewing reference purposes). They weren't upstairs in their bottle shop, so I just ended up buying them from one of the bartenders. Not cheap! I payed the same price as if I had ordered them to drink there. I guess that makes sense when buying singles

zoebisch01 05-17-2007 06:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pjj2ba
I was there recently for their Belgian Beer tasting 2 weeks ago. The place is smallish and it was pretty crowded. My wife and I ended up sitting at the bar which ended up being less noisy and we could look at all of their regular beers in the coolers. They had 2 Kolsch, a Kristal wheat and an Alt we wanted to try (for brewing reference purposes). They weren't upstairs in their bottle shop, so I just ended up buying them from one of the bartenders. Not cheap! I payed the same price as if I had ordered them to drink there. I guess that makes sense when buying singles

Yeah you pay the bar price if you take out one. But you just go around the corner to the bottle shop and ask for it by name. It should be roughly $1 less or maybe more there. At least that is what the one lady told me.

pjj2ba 05-17-2007 07:23 PM

Quote:

But you just go around the corner to the bottle shop and ask for it by name. It should be roughly $1 less or maybe more there. At least that is what the one lady told me.
This was first time I'd tried to buy singles. We did go upstairs first, and the lady said to go downstairs and ask there. She was young and apparently not that familiar with the routine. I dealt with I think the senior baretender in the bar and asked about paying for it upstairs, and he said, I could just pay there. Now if I were buying a sixer of something I'd have hoped for a discount. I usually only buy singles when I go out of state, but they had some beers in the styles I want to brew for the pig roast so I only bought singles for research purposes.

I was talking with my wife on the way into work this morning that I've been drinking homebrew almost exclusively lately and needed to try some more of the newer craft beers out there to better familiarize myself with what is available out there. She said, "yes, you do need to try more different beers" Ya gotta love that! We might be headed to one of the Stoudt's beerfests this summer (besides the local beer expo that I'VE NEVER BEEN TO)

zoebisch01 05-17-2007 08:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pjj2ba
She said, "yes, you do need to try more different beers" Ya gotta love that! We might be headed to one of the Stoudt's beerfests this summer (besides the local beer expo that I'VE NEVER BEEN TO)

I have heard their Oktoberfest is really good. I am pretty sure it is Stoudt's anyways.

RoaringBrewer 05-17-2007 08:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pjj2ba
This was first time I'd tried to buy singles. We did go upstairs first, and the lady said to go downstairs and ask there. She was young and apparently not that familiar with the routine. I dealt with I think the senior baretender in the bar and asked about paying for it upstairs, and he said, I could just pay there. Now if I were buying a sixer of something I'd have hoped for a discount. I usually only buy singles when I go out of state, but they had some beers in the styles I want to brew for the pig roast so I only bought singles for research purposes.

I was talking with my wife on the way into work this morning that I've been drinking homebrew almost exclusively lately and needed to try some more of the newer craft beers out there to better familiarize myself with what is available out there. She said, "yes, you do need to try more different beers" Ya gotta love that! We might be headed to one of the Stoudt's beerfests this summer (besides the local beer expo that I'VE NEVER BEEN TO)

Hey man, I got tickets already for the evening session of the expo. You know what session you are going to?

RoaringBrewer 05-17-2007 09:00 PM

Anyway, Zeno's turned out to be a pretty cool place. I believe it may get cooler next week though. Being sr. week all the bar tours were going on, so you had obnoxious crowds of 20+ coming in at one time, drinking on blue moon or yuengling, and then leaving before the next crowd. Either way it was loud, crowded, and not much time to interact with any bartenders or talk beer with any of the locals (older guys hanging out, etc. in spite of the bar tours). Anyway, I got my "passport" and there are about 150 beers on there. Do either of you know if you only need to drink 80 to get on the wall/tshirt or do you need to do all 150? It says around the world in 80 beers, so i'm thinking you just get to choose your 80 or something...

In any case, 30+ taps including 3 handpump/cask type and definitely about 150-200 bottles. I know a lot of beers and they have stuff I'd never heard of before. Not necessarily on the passport, but in the coolers. I am looking forward to conquering 80 beers there. Only 78 to go. Hahaha.

It was crowded so I didn't ask for anything too crazy. Just drank a dogfish india brown (which happens to be my favorite DFH offering) and a hopdevil from the handpump (my favorite victory beer). Looking forward to doing some more 'rare' imports/belgians next time when its hopefully quieter and less full.

Even with the tours going on, this bar was much less full than the rathskellar or other non "beer-bar" type bars. You know, those BMC type bars. I found the Passport particularly humorous in that it said something to the nature of, "Your guide to suds, other than BUD, MILLER, COORS..."

Cool place. Will return. Didn't see anyway to get food their last night though, so just ate upstairs at the corner room and walked down afterwards.


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