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When It Comes To Local Beef, These State College Restaurants Are A Cut Above

The bounty of our region’s farms and food producers is evident each summer, when outdoor farmer’s markets, seasonal dinners, and local food festivals happen almost daily. In the midst of winter, however, it might seem like everything is in hibernation.

That’s not the case at local dining establishments Otto’s Pub & Brewery and Barrel 21 Distillery, where nearly all the high-quality beef they serve is raised just twenty minutes down the road in Penns Valley, at A.V. Farms.

A. V. Farms is the latest iteration of the farming tradition that spans four generations of the Kunes family history. From their first apple orchard and Hereford cattle in the 1930s, to the herd of more than 200 cattle they have cultivated today, A.V. Farms’ connections with the Pennsylvania farmland run decades deep.

Otto’s has been serving this delicious local beef for almost a decade, and Barrel 21 since their opening. The cattle are raised with the highest standards of care in mind: the cows are left to roam the pastures freely; they are fed the spent grain from Otto’s Brewery, and hay that has been grown and harvested directly from A.V. Farms’ own fields. The cows are antibiotic-free and never treated with growth hormones. From the farm to the table, you know exactly what goes into the beef because everything from the cattle to their food sources has been sourced locally.

The chefs at Barrel 21 have catered the menu to highlight the beef, creating dishes that utilize every cut of meat – even the unusual ones like tongue and tail. While this might mean that some of these unique cuts are limited in availability, it is a more sustainable practice and requires both creativity and spontaneity on the part of the chefs, who need to use every part of the animal that is provided.

The next time you’re looking to enjoy local foods in the Centre region, consider a stop at Otto’s or Barrel 21. They have dedicated their kitchens as a place where locally-raised food can be prepared year-round, and the farmers work hard in our unpredictable PA weather to make sure that their cows are healthy and happy. You will taste the difference!

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