Among the many things to accomplish before leaving State College, one that a beer taster should seek is to get their name on a plaque in one of the bars downtown. Zeno’s Pub offers this opportunity as a reward for savoring 80 different beers. To take the challenge, all you need is a dollar which gets you the famous Zeno’s passport. I’ve been here for almost seven years now, and decided on July 4th that it was time to start the quest.
The majority of pages in the passport list beers from the United States, Canada, England, Germany, and Belgium to name a few. There’s also a healthy list of beers from Pennsylvania breweries. A number of the beers throughout are common to most Pennsylvania bars (Molson, Guiness, and Yuengling for example), but the list is full of bottled surprises that – at least in this town – can only be purchase at Zeno’s.
Some of the beers on the list are seasonal, and may not make it back to the Zeno’s tap for some time as they are known for their selective and broad tap rotation. This won’t stop you from completing your 80 because the back of the passport has a few blank pages for tasty craft brews like Bell’s Expedition Stout and Dogfish Head’s Palo Santo.
Upon completion of the passport and getting your name on a plaque, you also get a Zeno’s tshirt. If you really want some name recognition, I’ve heard you can get your name on a red plaque by drinking 80 beers in 48 hours.
Since starting my passport, I’ve completed 16 out of 80 beers. Listed in approximate drinking order, they are:
- Dogfish Head Aprihop
- Newcastle Brown (bottled)
- Anchor Steam (bottled)
- Troeg’s Dreamweaver
- Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout (bottled)
- Yuengling Porter
- Victory Pils
- Samuel Smith Nut Brown (bottled)
- Troeg’s Rugged Trail
- Shiner Bock
- Dogfish Head Palo Santo
- Stone Smoked Porter
- Molson Canadian
- Chimay White
- Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA
- Red Hook’s ESB (bottled)
Any on the list above not specified as bottled was on draft. Stay tuned through the year as I continue down through Zeno’s beer selection. Any beer suggestions you have for my passport are welcome, so long as they are actually available at Zeno’s.