Liberty Craft House Sets Bar for On-Tap Perfection

By Cara Aungst

Hot on the Happy Valley scene after opening Valentine’s weekend, Liberty Craft House combines prohibition-era accoutrement with innovation to create a one-of-a-kind experience. With its repurposed plank woods floors, brick and locally-crafted wrought iron rails, it feels like a neighborhood pub from another time. In perfect paradox with this old time feel, their draft experience is so inventive and progressive that there are few like it in the world. Part of the Dante’s family of restaurants, it is infused with the quality of Dante’s expert sommeliers, beer directors, and cheese mongers.

The Draft Innovation
Their 47-tap draft system has been intricately designed to pour ale, lager, wine, soda, coffee and cocktails correctly (That’s right! Mixed cocktails and coffee from a faucet!). Each draft is displayed on HD screens above the bar with information on what is tapped, including a live image of what remains inside each keg. This includes Hand-Pumped Cask Ale, where the 3-faucet beer engine is tuned to pour the proper pint of ale just as it was in the late-1600s. It is hand-pumped from temperature-controlled casks that have been tapped with a wooden mallet and a cask-breather system that prevents oxygen from changing its flavor. They have 32 faucets of draft ales and lagers, and each line is custom-tuned to pour each beer style independently at the proper temperature and gas blend. Beer is their muse, and it shows – the 32 drafts and 3 cask ales back up a list of over 200 bottle selections, also served at just the right temperature and in the correct glass. There’s no need to put your hands on the glass to warm up your stout or barleywine here – every beer can be enjoyed exactly as the brewer intended.

Six faucets pour a rotating selection of red and white wine, each poured at its appropriate serving temperature. Cocktails are offered from three faucets, and can even be served carbonated and over four different types of ice for a completely unique flavor and texture experience. Even coffee is on tap. Craft-roasted at Standing Stone Coffee, it is cold-brewed and kegged, and then served through a system with precise nitrogen-based gas that results in a one-of-a-kind coffee. Old-fashioned artisan soda is made in house and offered in two taps.

The Food
The meticulous detail and ingenuity shows in their food as well—they team with local, sustainable and organic suppliers and meticulously choose every ingredient from small batch and artisan suppliers. This shows abundantly in artisan fromage and charcuterie with a rotating selection chosen by their two Murry’s Cheese U® educated cheese mongers Jennifer Zangrilli and J.P. Mills. Cured meats are cut using a manually-operated hand-spun Italian flywheel slicer. Flatbreads are baked at 842°f, soups are made fresh and sandwiches are made from bread that is fresh-baked every day with local grains.

If you’re not in jail, you should be here; if you’re in jail, break out! You’ll be rewarded with the best on-tap drink you’ve ever had. Liberty is open from 11 a.m til 2 a.m. at their location at 346 East College Avenue.

(814-954-4923; LibertyCraftHouse.com)

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