Friday, December 1, 2023


Rustic, whimsical destination brewhouse in historic downtown Slippery Rock, Pa.

By Julianne G. Crane

Jimmy and bro-in-law, Lou, entering the North Country Brewing Company in downtown Slippery Rock, Pa. (Julianne G. Crane)

If you are venturing through western Pennsylvania on an autumn camping trip, try to work in an RV Short Stop at the North Country Brewing Company in Slippery Rock, Pa.

Jimmy Smith chats with brew pub host.

This is not an adults-only brew pub.

Housed in an historic building, this rustic English-style family restaurant offers a full lunch and dinner menu of locally sourced ingredients. Everything is made fresh. On tap are usually a dozen handcrafted brews for the elders. And, the kids will love all the whimsical wood carvings and tons of old photographs.

Casual, comfortable environment.

Built in the early 1800s, the brewhouse resides in one of the most historic buildings in Slippery Rock.

Throughout the years, the building was a cabinet shop, a public inn, a tavern, a coffin manufacturer–and interestingly, the Butler County morgue.

The rustic beams from the 1835 barn remain in place in the brewery today.

The downtown neighborhood’s brick and rock sidewalks and old-fashioned, street lamps give a nostalgic feel to this quaint village.


Since Jodi and Bob McCafferty opened their establishment in 2005, it has featured more than 100 different types of beers from traditional ales to limited edition experimental brews.

Jimmy, an avid hunter, ordered a Buck Snout Stout — “Guaranteed to straighten your antlers and warm your doe.”  I went for the seasonal Late Night Pumpkin dusted with cinnamon, brown sugar and clove. Which was kind of like Starbuck’s Spicy Pumpkin Lattes. One is enough to last the season.

I’d recommend going for the six-beer flight. That way your party could sample a number of brews on tap before committing to a single 16 ounce draft.

Hilly terrain

One caution. The countryside around Slippery Rock is hilly, and most of the downtown streets are rather narrow.
Therefore if you are traveling in anything larger than a class B van, it is strongly advised that you park on the perimeter of the town and drive in with your tow vehicle.

Brewing vat room lit at night. (NCBC) 

Fortunately Slippery Rock “is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts,” according the the Visit Butler County website, and there are a couple of places to park your larger RVs. Check out the two nearby Pennsylvania state properties — Moraine State Park and Jennings Environmental Education Center.

To read more about the North Country Brew Pub’s haunted sister restaurant click on Harmony Inn.

If you go

Stainglass windows

North Country Brewing Company
141 South Main St.
Slippery Rock, PA 16057
(724) 794-BEER

Open daily
Monday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Friday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – Midnight
Sunday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Interstate 79 (north-south) and Interstate 80 (east-west) cross 12 miles (19 km) to the north. The closest access to I-79 is 4 miles (6 km) to the west on Pennsylvania Route 108. PA 258 (N. Main Street) leads northwest 7.7 miles (12.4 km) to I-79.

— Text and photos: Julianne G. Crane
To read more about the RV lifestyle, click on

Julianne G. Crane
Julianne G. Crane
Julianne G. Crane writes about the RVing and camping lifestyles for print and online sites. She was been hooked on RVing from her first rig in the mid-1980s. Between 2000-2008, she was a writer for The Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, Wash. One of her popular columns was Wheel Life about RVing in the Pacific Northwest. In 2008, Crane started publishing RV Wheel She and her husband, Jimmy Smith, keep a homebase in southern Oregon, while they continue to explore North America in their 21-foot 2021 Escape travel trailer. Over the years they have owned every type of RV except a big class A. “Our needs change and thankfully, there’s an RV out there that fits every lifestyle.”



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