Like my previous One Tanked Trip, this month’s visit was to an establishment tucked away in the most unlikely of places. Just south of Youngstown is the city of Boardman. Nearly hidden in a sea of chain restaurants sits Vintage Estates Wine and Beer, a craft beer heaven known as the best kept secret in town. I stumbled across this little gem, earlier this year after Boardman’s annual beer festival, The Big Tap In, and have been dying to return ever since. Containing over 900 craft beers and 1000 wines, Vintage Estates is one of those rare stops that bring a smile to the face of both craft beer and wine aficionados alike. Delightful owners Phill & Sandy Reda (who are the brains behind both The Big Tap In and last month’s octoBREWfest) keep customers on their feet thanks to a rotating wine bar and 24 beers on draft for your salivating taste buds. Vintage Estates is broken down into three sections; the wine store, the beer store and the lounge. While a dozen beers are on hand to whet your whistle in the lounge, the beer store also hosts the five dollar pint and growler bar with another handful of brews to spread the love. If none of the draft beers tickle your fancy, no worry, Vintage also offers a selection of both beers fresh from multiple fridges or even a plethora of beer straight from the room temperature shelves. Bring a beer back to the bar and a friendly Vintage Estates associate can bust it right open and pour it in the appropriate glass. Before digging into any grub, I decided to pick up a brew immediately when I arrived. Phill Reda, owner of Vintage Estate recommended Two Brothers Brewing Company’s Atom Smasher (7.7%), which was on draft in the lounge, so I decided to take his word for it. While the buzz on the interweb was that the beer was a bit underwhelming, I found it to be pretty damn refreshing. Aged in oak foudres to add complexity, this much-criticized Oktoberfest brew is just the opposite, in my opinion, and was a tasty surprise to the evening. Aside from being known for their wine and craft beer selection, Vintage Estate’s makes one hell of a flatbread. Though the dozen or so other choices were enticing, I decided on the more traditional style white pizza and ordered up “The Coach” flatbread. Topped with roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts and garlic with a fusion of asiago, provolone, mozzarella, and fresh Romano cheese, this was a sensational addition to my beer-filled evening. One of several things that makes Vintage Estates stand out from the rest is its mead bar. Yes, mead as in old time Viking style shit. The mead I sampled was Honey Sun Iqhilika’s African Transkei Gold Coffee (12%), a pure and rich mead infused with the rarest of African coffee from the wild coast of South Africa. If this doesn’t quite sound up to your speed, fear not, Vintage Estates offers an array of meads to taste for a insanely cheap price. From their stellar fridge full of brews I delicately chose Brouwerji De Dolle Brouwers’ Oerbier, a Belgian strong dark ale that is the stuff of legends. Kicking in at 9% ABV, Oerbier is truly a unique beer chock-full of dark fruit flavors that stay with you throughout this pleasurable drinking experience. I also snatched a pint of Southern Tier’s Hop Sun Summer Wheat Beer (5.1% ABV) from the draft. Hop Sun is a tasty session ale containing flavors of wheat, barley and hops with a hint of lemon and sweet malts. As usual, I picked up a few beers on my way out to satisfy my beer drinking needs from the luxury of my home. Both a beer and wine store and a bar, Vintage Estates is a must visit location for those looking for something special. Wondering when is the best time to make a trek to Vintage Estates? You could stop by on Thursday evening to catch some local talent during open mic night or maybe swing by on Sunday, when Vintage Estates is actually open ‘til 9pm. Craft beer and delicious grub – what more can you ask for?