Hidden away in the middle of nowhere... more specifically the mountains of central Pennsylvania, lies a burger joint unlike many others. Since 1977 Denny's Beer Barrel Pub has been a local favorite spot for burgers and brews. But this place isn't just your average burger and beer joint. To generate attention to their restaurant and their extensive menu, the pub began to introduce giant burgers to the public. It all started with a 2 pound cheeseburger challenge, including all the fixins and a homemade bun.
In 1998 Denny's really upped the ante and introduced their "Ye Olde 96er." A 6 pound burger full of all the toppings, including ketchup, mustard, relish, banana peppers, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and pickles. A young petite college student from New Jersy was the first to complete this massive burger. Since that time many more have tried and very few have succeded.
Denny's has been consistently raising the bar on massive burger making. Shortly after introducing the "Ye Olde 96er" they began work on their next masterpiece, the "Beer Barrel Belly Buster", a full 15 pounds of hamburger meant to consumed by 1 or 2 people, that is if you choose to accept this daunting challenge. They have also tried to claim the illustrious Guiness World record for largest burger. Unfortunately lots of other establishments have the same hopes, in order to put their place on the map.
Today you could waltz right into Denny's Beer Barrel Pub and attempt their many challenges. The 2 pound "Pub Challenger" and the 3 pound "Pub Super Challenger" are on the regular menu and are usually prepared within 30 minutes. To complete the challenge you are given a time restraint, 1 - 1 1/2 hours depending which challenge you choose, and you may only have one topping removed from the burger. Oh yeah! They also don't give you any utensils to help you tackle this monster. I have attempted the "Pub Challenger" on two seperate occasions and have failed miserably, which is cool with me, I just like to see the looks on the other patrons face when they haul that big burger out to my table.
The walls of the entry way into the pub are lined with polaroids of more succesful patrons from the past. Included are their respective times for finishing their challenge. Outstandingly their is a photo of a gentleman who attacked their 15 pound challenge, and devoured it in less than 10 minutes. Others on the wall include some celebrities who have visited and various Penn State football alumni who attempted to tackle the challenge, most were unsuccessful.
Denny's Beer Barrel Pub has been featured on numerous food and travel programs, and have been featured on Rachel Ray, as well as "The Colbert Report." Their menu includes an extensive amount of delicious food, including a variety of delicious chicken wings and they also have 21 beers on tap to help wash it all down.