Each month, two guys from Burd’s, Paul and Jacob, grab a couple of beers at two other local breweries to celebrate the great brewing of the Central PA region.
Spring in Central PA is often full of contrasts. One day, the weather will be a wintry mix and the next day it’s warm enough to cruise around in shorts. When it came to the two breweries we recently visited in Mechanicsburg, the contrast was just as stark as springtime in our region. But one thing that Lovedraft’s and Mellow Mink Brewing share is great beer in a fun atmosphere.
The best way to describe the atmosphere of Lovedraft’s in Mechanicsburg is if movie director Tim Burton opened a brewery. With skeletons, coffins and creepy creatures throughout the space along with a pool table and arcade games, its playful spookiness is still aimed at adults. In fact, only people 21 and older are allowed inside. To get in the spirit, Paul got his fortune told by Mr. Love Drafts, an old school, glass-encased mechanical fortune teller near the entrance. (It told him to be “less self-conscious.”) After getting that bit of insight, Paul tried to be more confident and we hit the bar for some beers.
Atmosphere & Space
The space is large with a black and white aesthetic. But it’s not boring or depressing; there’s a lot of cool stuff to look at. Graffiti style art on the walls, gothic fixtures, multiple TVs, games and a stage area for performances are great complements for drinking beer. Jacob spent some time walking around the space with his beer, checking out all the different features of the interior. The names of beer offerings and food options also reflect the same vibe.
Service & Hospitality
Lovedraft’s is known for their no-nonsense houserules, such as “The bartender is always right” and “Don’t be a d*ck.” While one could be put off by this, Jacob believes it’s a welcome change for service industry folk who get the brunt of rudeness. We also found that as long as you come with an open mind and a sense of courtesy, you’ll be welcomed into the fold and treated warmly, fairly, and respectfully.
The smokehouse food was great. Paul had the Jonah Hex Brisket Tacos; Jacob had the Porky’s Revenge pork belly burnt ends tacos. Both hit the spot and we’d definitely get both of our meals again.
In a dark themed place, Paul went light with the Morning After Pilsner, ABV of 6.6%%. He thought it had a good, light body and went down smoothly. Jacob couldn’t help but love the Lost Dimensions Belgian-style IPA, ABV of 7%, which brimmed with tropical fruits and that funky yeast character he seeks out.
Before we left, we did do something dark—we had samples of the You Shuck Oatmeal Oyster Stout (8.2% ABV). It was awesome! With rich body and ever so slight briny finish, we would’ve had full pints if we didn’t have to hit our next stop. But we’ll be back again for more beers and fortune telling. In the meantime, we set off for the five-minute drive down the Carlisle Pike to Mellow Mink Brewing.
Atmosphere & Space
We couldn’t have picked a place that is such a flipside of Lovedraft’s. Mellow Mink Brewing is full of light, with a contemporary flair. With framed mirrors, a granite bartop, polished silver flight trays, Mellow Mink glows with warmth. From the sight of barrels stacked against the wall, one would (rightfully) assume some funky, aged character to shine in some of their beers.
Service & Hospitality
Our bartender, Cheyenne, was attentive and knowledgeable. She’s been with Mellow Mink for four years and her expertise behind the bar shows it. Our flights of beer came quickly, reflections shining on their sliver trays, a perfect round of pours!
There isn’t a food program at Mellow Mink other than snacks, but within the strip mall there are plenty of eating options like Vietnamese, Indian and Mediterranean. Five Guys Burgers is literally just up the block.
From stouts to sours, Mellow Mink has a wide-range of beer styles to enjoy. Paul really liked the Dry-Hop Keller Pils that is lightly hopped with Saaz hops with a 5% ABV. It had a slightly malty and pleasing aftertaste. Jacob fell head over heels for their Strawberry Shortcake Blonde Ale! With the ale’s amble nose of that lucisious red berry and it’s pleasingly malty finish, it was just like eating the dessert.
Dark or light isn’t just a choice of styles of beer; it can describe what kind of fun atmosphere you want to drink a beer in. No matter what you choose, you’ll have a blast at Lovedraft’s and Mellow Mink!