This article is sponsored by Chester County Economic Development Council.
It’s at this time of year that the grocery store dairy sections have to make room for a festive buddy: eggnog. At Kolb’s Farm Store in Spring City, what started as a customer-appreciation gift has become a much-loved tradition, to the tune of nearly 1,000 gallons yearly.
For those of you unacquainted with the family-owned and -operated dairy and the farm store, beyond milk from their 100+ cows, you can pick up an assortment of goodies from local purveyors. The extent of their offerings is too diverse to cover completely, but highlights include bread and pies from Lancaster County, coffee beans from West Chester’s Golden Valley Roasters, Nelson’s ice cream and seasonal speciality items. They also have a full-service deli and even some refrigerated prepared food items. For all of these reasons, Kolb’s Farm Store has been a staple of the community since 1975, and their customers couldn’t be happier.
But around the holidays, their homemade eggnog is a special draw. In their early years, the sweet concoction was gifted to customers in the days before Christmas and, not surprisingly, it was a big hit. Soon, their customer base grew (a great problem to have!) and it became too expensive to give the liquid gold away; however, their customers were more than happy to pay top dollar to get their fix.
I’m a firm believer that milk tastes exponentially better when you can see the cows that gave it to you, and Kolb’s eggnog holds true to that theory. Rich without being overly heavy or thick (it doesn’t coat the glass), Kolb’s nog has a wholesome sweetness and a hint of rum (a tiny amount is added for flavor) with flecks of nutmeg evident in the jug. The nog is made similarly to their other flavored milks, with the addition of an ice cream-base mix and proprietary blend of flavorings and spices. After all ingredients are well incorporated, the eggnog is pasteurized and homogenized and then jugged for sale. Acting on the suggestion of customers, this year they bottled it in “coffee-creamer size” pints in addition to quart and half-gallon sizes.
Although the Kolb family enjoys it straight from the jug, they know their customers enjoy spiking it with the traditional rum or special blends of multiple liqueurs. I myself sampled it with ginger brandy, and enjoyed the bold spices and kick from the alcohol—it was the perfect drink for a holiday party with friends.
While you’re picking up the eggnog for your holiday gathering, look for other seasonal treats like gingerbread yogurt-covered pretzels, mint chocolate cookie bites, chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons or even a last minute gift like a colorful hand-woven seagrass basket from Ghana. You’re always sure to leave Kolb’s with more than you knew you needed.
Photographs credited to Melissa Woodley