Mountain Valley GC
Barnesville, PA (near Pottsville)
1968 David Gordon, w/ 1996 redesign and expansion to 27 holes by Ault Clark & Assoc.
Gold 6506, 70.6, 130
Blue 5845, 67.4, 122
Golf.com Review: Public, 27 holes, 4 stars by Golf Digest and named one of GD's Best Golfing Values
This facility offers three nine hole courses that are played in three eighteen hole combinations: Oak/Pine, Pine/Maple and Maple/Oak. The original eighteen holes opened in 1968, and the course was expanded in 1996 by architects Ault, Clark & Associates. The Oak is the oldest of the trio, featuring tight fairways and an extremely scenic layout. The Pine Course, with its mountainous terrain, opens up quite a bit, yet still provides a challenge. The Maple Course offers a happy medium between the two other courses and is highlighted by plenty of elevation change. The greens on all three courses are large and well-undulating.
Best Bar Nearby: The clubhouse has a nice wooden bar and a 2,000 square foot outdoor covered deck. Or, locals rave about the wings at Black Diamond Bar & Restaurant (327 S Lehigh Ave, Frackville), just be sure to eat 'em at the bar, 'cuz they tend to get soggy as take out.
Further Distractions: Take a tour of the oldest (and one of the last) thriving regional family-owned breweries in the country at the Yuengling Brewery in Pottsville (www.yuengling.com/tour.htm, 5th & Mahantongo Sts, 570-628-4890, M-F 10 & 1:30, Sat Apr-Dec only, 11, Noon, & 1, closed toe shoes required). It also happens to be Fat Guy's favorite beer. And yes, they give free samples.
Yuengling Beer: Taste the History
In 1829, Andrew Jackson was inaugurated as the 7th President of theUnited States, the light bulb was more than fifty years away from being invented, and David G. Yuengling established the Eagle Brewery in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. Over 180 years later, this brewery, later named D.G. Yuengling and Son, has become the nation’s most historic brewery.
As the nation’s fourth largest brewery (only behind Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors, and Pabst), it is amazing that it just recently expanded distribution into fourteen states. If you are keeping score at home, that is less than 30% of all the states. Ohioans, although the next door neighbor to Pennsylvania, had no choice but to make the trek to the Quaker State for Yuengling for years.
In mid-October that all changed with the expansion on their Mill Creek brewery that allowed for Ohio to be added as a Yuengling state. Unfortunately, southwestern Ohio, where I live, was supposed to rollout the beer on Halloween. But due to heavy consumption and popularity throughout the rest of the state, where the rollout occurred weeks prior, my local Cincinnati Yuengling beer distribution has been delayed. I blame the Browns. Those damn Browns. Of course, the Cincinnati Yuengling rollout is also corresponding with the Bengals versus Steelers weekend. Maybe Yuengling decided that since they would be in town for the game, they might as well save the gas money.
As with any small business, there are many up years and down years. But just two years after establishment, the Eagle Brewery burned to the ground. A new brewery was constructed, also in Pottsville and operations still continue to this day.
If you were in the business of beer or spirits in the 1920’s you had to deal with a little snag to the bottom line known as Prohibition. And what Yuengling did to last throughout this period is remarkable. They made near beers. The three different types included the “Yuengling Special,” “Yuengling Por-Tor,” and the “Yuengling Juvo.” The latter being a cereal beverage. They also constructed and opened a dairy across the street from the brewery. The dairy, which operated until 1985, sold ice cream and other dairy goods.
Upon the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, the brewery made a symbolic “Winner Beer” and shipped a truck load to President Franklin Roosevelt at the White House. Rumor has it that Roosevelt liked the beer so much, that he danced a gig. Okay, I made that part up.
Some other noteworthy notes: In 1976, to celebrate our country’s bicentennial, Yuengling is dedicated as America’s Oldest Brewery. Twenty years later, Yuengling discovers that they cannot match the demand of their product and made the decision to withdraw out of markets that are not in their local area.
Today D.G. Yuengling and Son is still a family owned and operated business. They brew seven different varieties of beer, and thankfully all of them are real beer. From the Traditional Lager to Lord Chesterfield Ale to their popular Yuengling Porter, the consumer, if you are lucky enough to live in one of the Yuengling states, has a great selection to choose from.
And the best part of all, I will be enjoying my first Yuengling very soon. Cheers!