Iron Hill’s awesome reputation doesn’t stop at amazing beer. The casual and distinctive restaurant that turns out New American cuisine and award-winning handcrafted ales and lagers, also pays attention to the biking scene. You might even say they do a little more than pay attention since Iron Hill is the race’s founder and title sponsor for the 8th Annual Twilight Criterium in West Chester. It’s no surprise that Kevin Finn, an avid bicyclist himself, has special offerings planned for this year’s event. The Iron Hill founder invites the crowd to make his restaurant their home base throughout the race, enjoying the action on live closed-circuit television, and of course, enjoying great food and house-brewed beers.
The race will take place on Saturday, July 7 beginning at 5 p.m. drawing professional racers and amateur enthusiasts alike for two days of cycling and craft beer in West Chester. Presented by the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce, a friendly children’s race will take place at 5 pm, followed by the Amateur Men’s Criterium (6 p.m.), the Elite Women’s Criterium (6:45 p.m.) and the Pro Men’s Criterium (7:45 p.m.); on Sunday, riders of all levels are encouraged to enjoy recreational bike tours through the countryside.
In addition to Iron Hill’s a la carte menu, the restaurant hosts a curbside “beer garden” where spectators can cheer on the competitors as they race by at speeds of up to 35 m.p.h while they loop the streets of West Chester to complete the 32 mile race. Draught beers, brewed on-site and available icy cold throughout the race, include such guest favorites as Iron Hill Raspberry Wheat, a refreshing choice for a sultry July evening, and Vienna Red Lager, crisp and bright and perfect for enjoying with a snack from Iron Hill’s kitchen such as Fish Soft Tacos with cornmeal-fried catfish, golden pineapple chutney, red cabbage-jalapeno slaw and cilantro aioli or Asian Lettuce Wraps with teriyaki chicken, sesame noodles, bean sprouts, cucumbers, carrots, and sesame-soy sauce.
During breaks in the on-course action, guests can observe the brewery through large plate-glass windows or indulge in a Pesto Chicken and Artichoke Pizza with caramelized onions, mild garlic-chile oil, pecorino romano and mozzarella or Blue Cheese Burger with truffled mushroom duxelle and gorgonzola. Guests who want to keep the party going after the Crit can pick up one of Iron Hill’s bottled reserve beers, such as Cannibal, a Belgian strong ale named for Eddy Merckx, known in the cycling world as “the Cannibal.”
Don’t miss this annual celebration of good food, great beer, and top notch athleticism. It’s the type of flavor and fun you can’t get anywhere else!