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Hard road ahead... - December 2012 Archives

travels with ender

need to finish florida... so part 2
Posted Sunday, December 30th, 2012 by ender

so i get out of universal after walking some of my ass off. Universal left me tired, but in a drinkin mood... so a shower later i was ready to go... Knightly closed at 10, Cask and larder closed at 12 and Redlight redlight closed at 2... so i had some time. Even tho it was 9pmish.

Knightly was only like 8 miles away... so that's butter as far as driving. Got over there with around 20 min to 10pm and took my 15 minutes of perusing as this overall was the most talked up of the beer spots... the outside facade was nice, which worried me, but it's an ugly store inside with a crapulent look to it... *no offense AR. And that gave me hope. Places that are neglected somewhat are more concerned about getting the beer out and getting more in and not what the visual presentation is like... a store that lives by reputation is the best of all worlds.

So i shop... and i find stuff i can live without till i find a collaboration beer between redlight redlight and saint somewhere... and i'm like shit, it's 10 bones, pull the trigger... have the moat water back at the spot in st. pete, but i can drink this and that tomorrow before the airport... i'm shoppin the store and i see a ton of "i've never seen that beer before beers" so i felt happy bout makin the drive out. Go to cash out and i say to the cashier whom i'm hoping is ar, but since i haven't met him... it's one of those things...

Hey there, you wouldn't happen to know if anyone at this store makes it on a site called thebeerspot and is named ar...

(real smooth)

That'd be me, says he... and i step aside after purchasing the bottle and let him ring the other patrons as the doors are getting ready to close, he looks at my purchase and says... tried a bottle of that yesterday and it needs time... asked over at st somewhere and they were like 6 months... and i think shit... i hafta find packing material in my travels now... But it's a good handshake conversation and had i had more time i'da gone a drinking with him and he'd have been the local with the good inside... prolly a good dude to drink with, but here nor there... Hungry... cask and larder.

So i go to cask and larder and turn into uncle buck... i'm the fatty who's just come in from out the rain to go and have some food just as they were flipping the first chair over to close early, so I say, what can still be made, waitress goes back to the kitchen and comes back... rattles off some stuff and then says pork shoulder and i'm like... sold. Shot the outside and then had a cannibal moment when the pork shoulder arrived... i was real fuckin hungry... and i ate that in about 12 minutes... caught the waitress staring and she commented "had you been on a desert island or something" and i'm like no... prison. (but i said it with a smile and a very just kidding grandeur so) after that...

the internet betrays me.

Was using locations on ba and rb as quick printouts for locations round orlando... it's an easy, i don't hafta check the internets kinda way i travel along with my gps.

Redlight redlight moved, not that far from where they were, but still...

(insert benny hill music while running around like a jackass for 20 min or so...)

Finally got around to looking up their homepage and bam... the bar was nice and the bartenders were interesting and the place has an antique shop feel to it that makes you instantly relax. I get talking to the bartenders which turns into talking with the owners which turned into a bottleshare meets we just had zwanze day and we're going to open a 08 zwanze, you want a few ounces... duh was the only response.

i had a couple beers that night, got to try the peanut butter porter from terrapin on draft... had a nice sour grand cru, couple other beers and then a lot of samples and rolled back to the hotel round 3ish and slept till i woke up needing to water myself... so shower and revival... and i was good.

The rest was another day at universal until 5 and the the roll back to the place i was staying... and finally seventh sun and dunedin bc and hob... but really just seventh sun as i got there at 10 and stayed until 3am... and then rolled home and flew out round 3pm...

No pics of 7th sun... but it's a small joint, good people great beer... I drank and talked shop with the brewers there. Felt homey... didn't want to leave but it was one of those... get there at 10 and don't glance at the clock till 3... oh shit... moments.

I like those moments.

anyway... on the way home from seventh sun between 3-4 i found a 24 hour wal mart and procured box and bubblewrap and stold the neighbors week old sunday paper, they musta been out of town. and packed up my stuff... then bed...

woke, fedexed... airported....

cigar city has a bar there... 22oz jose marti porter, super fresh... drank 3 and then got on the plane and slept all the way home.

Seventh sun over cigar city but debs cantina along with seventh sun eclipses cigar city imo... just sayin...

Willards and redlight redlight are not to be overlooked.

Next trip is back for sfbeerweek and i have tickets for the winter beer fest in grand rapids.

Till the next one.


Some St. pete/tampa and some orlando florida action...
Posted Monday, December 24th, 2012 by ender

Been wanting to go down to Universal studios orlando for a while, and the enviormens of florida as their beer scene has been developing (as a lot of new scenes as of recently... beer revival as it were) yet again.

Got into tampa and staying in st. pete on a monday. This was a different kind of trip because i had a buddy who's rents had a condo and car and said things make trip cheaper, but with that comes the hustle and bustle of turning things down and getting things going, so an early flight in ran us ragged and shopping and naps to catch up, i only got to hit a few spots that first night...

Largo was my first of the targets... and like most weekday drinking, time constraints on closings and being open at all were challenging... beerworld of largo was my first and only stop that was closed when i got going there... their hours stated differently, but closed is closed.

Willards in largo on the other hand was a turn for the better... and i take into account that stripmall bars can be awesome as i have been to many, this one was on the ticker list. But it's interior spoke for itself.

40 taps, 10 local, 10 european, 20 american. And a bottle list that was good leaning on great due to them not really caring about mark up. Sang noir from Cascade was 25 bucks...

My first thought was i hate it when you walk into the first place of your many and think, fuck, is this going to be my favorite of the trip? Will i be judging every place forward with the views of this place and have a meh time?

Then i had a few beers and chilled the fuck out and it went well from there.

It's probably a 40 seat bar that snakes it's way around and down. Seats are comfy and there's darts. It's one of those dark bars that you want to curl up in and never leave. The serving sizes overall in florida allow for a 4oz or set sampler in most beer bars or that was my experience. Most places wanted you to try things out in smaller pours as not to waste on you if you don't like or some such.

I got to try cycle brewing's pale here, it was real floral and balanced, didn't realize this was the operation over at pegs cantina till later so that was just gravy. Got to try some more swamphead, tampa bay brewing, and other local offerings... (drank all 10 of the florida taps in 2 samplers and 2 pints) Everything was clean, which was nice and a surprise. With the weather (75 degrees on a monday, stayed that till thursday, rained a little, but that's about it) I worry bout that stuff, but it seems that most of these beers are in good distro hands... (locals chime in if i'm wrong)


After i pried myself out of willards, my ass didn't seem to want to leave the chair, but i accomplished it and moved to the next spot... barley mow. Reading about barley mow, they were one of those new kids that had just made it to a year and the locals liked what they were doing, but the tickers were unimpressed with their low alcohol standards, but the underlying was that the beer could be inconsistent at times (tickers are good for something if you know how to read between the disappointment) So with that...


It's a small place inside, has a beer garden, but crazy locals see 75 degrees and breezy as cold, so stupidity inside, i joined the throng. You can't get to know a place without sitting in it's natural envoirmens and barley mow had a brewing system that wasn't for show splayed around the bar. So with that I have questions... The bar's full when we come in so we're off at a side table. A quick sidecar to service for all you service haters. When there's one bartender and the bar is full and you're the only patrons outside the reach of the beer bar, be like dave and do the smart thing... Order 2 beers. One strong and one sessionable... I ordered barley mow's porter and they had a 7th sun belgian brown on tap... And as another sidecar, I usually avoid ordering beers from a brewery i had intended on visiting, but 7th sun is the three floyds of dunedin without the pretention or bad service, but that's later... just order a couple of beers so if you are forgotten about, you're sated with your beer pacifiers. I followed this rule of thumb as it's my experience, but the bartender surprised me and returned twice to check and chat. Barley mow is a brewery with 8 beers, 4 guests, and a full liquor bar. The bartender explained to me that they were trying to expand taplist and lessen the alcohol to give customers diversity "as it was a brewery" and that's where the focus was. That earned it all kindsa leeway with me... I asked about the brewing system, and i think it was a 3 bbl. They only brew twice a week but it gets trickier when it gets cold... had to snicker. Barley mow overall was a nice suprise and a really good willards sidecar. They're not must go's tho willards over barley mow if you hafta choose, but if you're in the st. pete area for beer, they're worth the stop on the way up to 7th sun.

And finally i'll add that, got going later in the evening and it was around 1 am, was up the same morning at 5 am for the flight so the night ended.

Day two, tuesday was the tampa day... Had a good cheap breakfast, hit the yuengling tour, (i'm a production brewer, cut me some slack) Cigar castle, green shift (comic and guitar store) Skatepark of tampa, Cigar city with a sidecar to the total wine and spirits and whole foods right by the cigar city. 8am to about 5 pm.

But first and foremost breakfast. Was eating on the cheap for most of the rest of the trip sans cask and larder, but i'm not as much as a foodie as most of the rest. Skyway Jack's was on my list for good diners and for campiness and quality, it didn't disappoint.


Yes that's humpty dumpty, yes there was a large 8 foot chicken there too... treat this place like a crappy looking liquor store. It's what's inside. Really solid breakfast and strong coffee, had blueberry pancakes and bacon. They went down like lead. You know it's quality when it's packed with blue hairs... and i got called hon or dear once or twice. Soon to be lost arts methinks.


It did help that this was about a mile from where i was staying...

Onto Yuengling.

I've been to pottsville before, so i'm essentially ticking this place off my list... tho it did have interesting facts and stuffs. Such as... really interesting filter transfer from the whirlpool to the fermenters. And that it used to be a Stroh's brewery, that in itself isn't interesting, but rehiring 90% of the workers to make beer at a facility that some had 20 years experience at... very cool on yuengling's part. You can bring in your own people, or you can choose to earn the trust of the former employees who had made a home at that brewery. These are few of my favorite things.


When i arrived there was an expansion in progress, which is always good. Means not enough being made, need more to push more and there's a want. Second brewhouse so i found out in the tour... Had a perky cute intern, couldn't answer half my questions, but the brewmaster was in the taproom and that was another hour of questions, tho he was the most reserved of the folks i played the brewers card with...


this made me smile. very important button.

The tour showed us the power of the macro facility in the hands of the craft brewer, and i do consider the yuenglings craft. They've sacrificed a lot to stay competitive. that's not to say i can't understand why they put corn in the ipa and porter, but i can agree to disagree on various points of brewing any day of the week. Tomato and the other spelling as you were.

With small points and a very funky 60's enviormens which they left intact, Yuengling was like any other tour where there are millions of barrels of beer made per year... Think they're rounding on 2 million.

Post tour, I wanted to get a sense of what bottle shops were like and had the two ticker beer lists for bottle shops at my disposal... 2 miles away was Cigar Castle. I didn't shoot pics inside the store but the website has decent shots of what to expect...

Twas a good shop. Only place i saw thomas hooker products, not as good as their hayday, but I wanted to revisit the imperial porter, tho not planning to ship things home unless i found things abundant then unmanagable... and with the trip to universal, it was unmanagable... but i drank this a poolside beer. satisfying. So i'm in the store, lurking around as i do with a new shop... solid aisle and a half of warm beer with 6ish doors of cold. As i'm checking out the owner of the store lets me know that there's a cigar bar with 50 taps of craft beer just upgraded from 22 taps. So i say i'm on vacation and as long as he's willing to pour me a beer, i'm willing to drink and pay for it.


I like the smell of some cigars, others not so much. This place wasn't offending to me and it was early so there was no overwhelming smoke smell. I asked about smoking laws in bars and the owner said florida wasn't under said rule yet... i said that was too bad, tho the nice part for establishments such as his is there being precedents for allowing bars of his ilk to remain and therefore cut a deeper nieche as far as smoking's concerned.


only had a couple of beers here, but funny enough while i was chatting with the owner, the goose rep and a few other beer guys came in to do ordering with the owner, so i got to talk shop with the goose rep and of course eddie/lindsey/sara came up. Those ohio kids are very well known.

Took down the thunderstuck coffee porter and a swamphead saison whilst here. The swamphead draft was much better than the bottle... but the bottle was good.


Good conversation closing, it was time to move on to the next loc, plus it's sorta great and sorta not when you hit a spot you expected to spend 5 minutes at and it turns into an hour and change.


Just as the pic says, it's a guitar store it's a comic store... it's two in one...

I enjoy these places as distractions, but also comic stores were the breweries of my childhood in the sense of, most comic stores are in eclectic or hard to find spots tucked away, and when you go into them it's like going into another world sometimes depending on the quality and randomness of the treasures you find. I usually make it a point to hit a good comic store and this was my one for the trip... and then i get shots like this...


had these diecast planes as a kid...

but it was a diggers paradise...


and there were guitars too.


as well as various antiques and other weird goods... but this is a beer blog.

oh wait next up is the skatepark of tampa...tho this says it all...


growing up and getting into photos started with a camcorder and well... what do you get when you've got a camcorder and stupid friends willing to hurt themselves jumping ramps and selfmadestuffs then getting up, spitting out some teeth and doing it again... a love of skating and dedication of skating as a sport even if just the videographer.





there's more to this photowise, but moving on... to cigar city...

So...tasting room


peek in the brewery.


sampler, with simple write what you want sheet. had 2 of these and a pint of the mild.


and... the zwickel lounge...


Now, of all the places i went... this had the most selection of styles, openest widest area, was clean, very good bartenders, was offered many samples of many beers, some 8-10 oz samples that didn't show up on my bill.

But i hafta say i was whelmed by it to sum it up. Not under, not over. Just whelmed. Maybe it was expectations, maybe it's the intimacy i've experienced at other places round the way... but just whelmed.

Upon entering said taproom doors... swag is on the right, many workshirts in large 3x sizes, dozen or so t shirts, some polos, decent selection for the female, really good swag. But none of the shirts did it for me.

on the left is what most bars need... a specific bar for drinking and getting growler fills... now this bar is not to be ignored, there are beers here that you can't get at the bar in the back... which is fun and annoying, cause like me if you see a ton of people bellied at the bar and then the back bar looks super chill and less crowded... you may miss some of the growler bar beers available so don't be a dave and overlook it. They had a really nice double chocolate stout at the growler filling bar which i may have had pints of had it been in back, but i had to settle for the 20 taps of fresh cc beer. (kicksrock)i sampled it on the way out, but 2oz was almost enough to pull me back for a snifter, but i was at the end of my day... sort of.

The main zwickel bar is tangerine orange, which works, but you feel like you're sitting in an orange... i'm an oxblood sort of guy and it's just my way... regardless. You get in and belly up to maybe a 20 seat bar, good seating around the way, and a swingdoor private room for tastings... meaning cc understands the word bottleshare. it's a big orange room and pretty zen... Had a good conversation toward the end of my second sampler... maybe that's why it just whelmed me.

I get in there and access. sampler 1  - Helles, cafe con leche, candy cane brown, zythos single hop pale. along with a pint of the mild... then sampler 2 - puppy's breath, black saison, hoppy wheat, roaring calypso ipa (another single hop) with a huge sample of the Ba big sound and tastes of the ciders and the green flash candela (spanish cedar aged barleywine)... So not a bad spread. Hit a taste of the double chocolate imperial on the way out as stated...

it's a good place, and it's exciting that they were/are the springboard off st. somewhere to bring a craft beer identity to florida... they have video camera monitors so you can sit at the bar and watch the brewery production... i'm glad we don't have that at... oh wait... nevermind.

A conversation came up about their stout and bottles and where to find it... and i got a guy who was just over at the whole foods and i asked if hed seen any moat water... moat water was 20th anniversary beer for the skatepark i had shots of above. and he says to me... "Looking for the marshall, not really bothered by much of their other beer..." Cigar city patron 0, Dave +1.

I finished my time up in the tasting room and went to find the whole foods... which is in the direction of I-4. So it's really close and convienent, as is a total wine and spirts (a chain liquor store that doesn't care about freshness or date codes) so buyer bewared.

Long story short, went to the total wine and spirits first, nada, whole foods still had it... score. So my shelf turds...


Aquired a few more, so box on the way home, but i drank the hooker so...

That ended the tampa part, but i ended up going to gulfport to Peg's cantina later that night...


Now realize that this is after a dip in a pool and watching the sun set and a shower and some food.

No shots of the inside as i got locked in a conversation with one of the brewers at peg's, kristina kirk. We nerded out for a while and i got to see the layout of pegs. I drank some pints and had more pints and a sample of the rarer dos beer and was captivated by this place... this is the charm i'm looking for.

Pegs is going for doing really good standard style beers that appeal to them and then their patrons.

They have the heavy alcohol beers, for the ticker circle, but it's not their focus. Creativity is their focus.

Kristina was originally over at cigar city doing packaging and learnt the craft angle of the beer game from cigar city... She has crazy nerdery and passion so it's one of those things conveyed in her talk that makes her walk so appealing... both ipa and pale are standalone at pegs. Really good standout beer.

I wanna see this place succeed like crazy. Like the brewers, attitude and beer. The only other place i can recommend an iota more is 7th sun.

if in the state, it's worth the drive down.

then the universal day... tiring...

but i still went out for beer at knightly and dinner at cask and larder and beers at redlight, redlight.

To be concluded.






Two new, two old and a show... michigan, july 2012 first trip.
Posted Wednesday, July 11th, 2012 by ender

I left later than i normally would cause pike 51 didn't open till 3 and i wanted to get there right around opening, normally it's off to the races at 5 or 6 am to get up there specially being central time and losing the hour, but accounting for that, stopped at pike 51 first in hudsonville...

Hudsonville is between holland and grand rapids. Unfortunately i went on a monday. Meaning both breweries which are in 200 yards of each other weren't open (white flame had it's doors open so i went in and chatted and tried the beer anyway... but it wasn't offically open so for means of travel purposes...) try and hit this on a tue - sat kinda situation.


Now pike 51 is part of a winery... so you're not looking for pike 51, you're looking for the winery, which contains pike 51.


Hudsonville is like any town you'll find NSEW of any major metropolis in michigan... very simple and local and easy going, more stop signs than stoplights if you know what i mean.


Nice AC, nice long bar, nice chatty young waitress. Had the ipa, imperial brown, wheat and "beer city" pale. All the beers were clean sans the pale. Pale was a bit buttery... really nice character on the wheat, very highly hopped so it had a fluffy but bitter finish... very nice. Nice clean little system... chatted with the brewer a bit and went back to look over his setup... saw the plastic kegs... told him to have his staff read the keg explosion article... he looked at me funny and all i could itterate was forwarned is forarmed.

That being that...moved on to grand rapids and martha's vineyard. Now to the locals, martha's is the spensive spot in town, but it's also the place where the bottles'll last the longest. And it's got a nice deli/cheese/specialty store wrapped around it's mostly cold selection of beer with a sidecar of a bakery attached next door, so you can get a fresh loaf of bread with the cheese or meat you just bought... or like me... big ass delicious cookies. From there...

Had to meet up with oc at harmony brewing...(really crappy pic of harmony)


Wanted to chat him up with some stuff i wanted to discuss and actually catch up with the human that is mike. That being said... i played the "dealers choice" card with the bartender and got their dubbel (*which was infected) and mike got the black ipa which was thin, but tasted fine... I ordered another beercity beer as it was on and that tasted fine, but the keg kicked after we got our pints, and they put on another beer city beer which tasted like creamed corn (a pale ale isn't supposed to taste like creamed corn)... So buyer beware at harmony... get samples of all the beers you're thinking about... the glassware is soapy too so, you may hafta ask them to re-rinse their glassware. Got breadsticks with cheese on them and they garnised it with soy sauce... didn't unnerstand that. Harmony is a mixed bag... i'll revisit it after another visit or two to grand rapids... see if they've upped their game. From there, grabbed a burger and garnish for the show...

Fiona appled at the fred meijer gardens... (awesome venue, bring your own food and bottled non alcohol drinks... craft element with arcadia draft and bottles, and stone bottles) After that... pooled... then founders nightcapped with their beer city beer and a porter. Dark rich and sexy NEVER lets me down.


Got up late... fucked around a bit. Breakfasted at Marie Catrib's...

Caramelized Bananas, Cream Cheese & Peanut Butter Stuffed French Toast...on raisin bread...

as sexy as it sounds. Wanted to save the Black forest ham & swiss cheese for the next time. So after that... and my back acting funny... it was either shorts and a long ride home, odd side and a less of a long ride home... or bells and a shorter ride... went with bells.

Bells had on a 15th anniversary brewers guild dryhopped pale... went with that and a porter... grabbed the horseradish cheddar and porter mustard with the pretzel sticks as something to chew on while i drank... and i forget how large the apps are there. They are 4 man for sure. Tried samples of the smoked vienna lager, bourbon barrel amber (2nd use barrels) and dagger stout (dry hopped stout, similar to nightstalker, but sharper on the hop bite) So really solid choices to have there... shoulda drank outside... but it's hard not to be in an inside mood when you're at the eccentric cafe... and for those that don't know what i mean... the walls are covered with various masks and art and stuff... and the newly rehabed cafe side and stage side and overall rehab is just awesome to take in. So i went over to the store and no bottles of interest besides the average, tho the cooler was quite sparse... not a lot of beer in there...


They did have some new glassware... gots me a new coffee mug. Couldn't pass it up.

After that it was the road home until about mile 22 to the border in indiana, when i got a text from my brother in law about some fancy new 100% brett hoo ha they had at floyds... so...

I went to three floyds. Sitting down and knowing the bartenders is awesome. So i bottled up. They have a new cash register area for swag and bottles away from the bar... it's near the left side of the bar thru a new arch way that has it's own door and stuff... you'll see it when you go there noting it's a new addon. so i bought the battle priest and a apocolypse cow for good measure and drank a few at the floyds. the bartenders wouldn't let me pay for my beer so i passed off some cans of vivant to them for good karma. (and not beer advocate karma...)

and then home and napping with muscle relaxers cause my back was funny. till the next time which is in two days with that sexy beast, thewimperpoo as we take the STL by storm.

so till the next time.



iowa, a suprisingly good 4 letter word.
Posted Friday, June 29th, 2012 by ender

So this trip was a work trip, but got a few spots in here and there. Epic fail on my part, left my camera on kitchen table.

So am wednesday... head for iowa city via i88 to 80... there's a bunch of roadside americana, my original stop was going to be a small 10 foot replica of the berlin wall, but the lack of camera hindered such things... so i went with the classic... the wall drug of iowa, the largest truck stop known as the i-80... it's the truck stop that they kept adding onto and boasts 800 parking spots for semi's... it's super cheese, but it's required.

My breakfast spot in iowa city was already known, but for those of you that haven't been to the bluebird in iowa city... she's a classy old girl with generations under her belt... tasty breakfast had and convienently right across the street from john's grocery...

John's grocery is the spot in town to get stuff... dating myself, it used to be the spot back in the 90's and 80's to get rare botted crap that you'd hafta dig for... if you've been there in the last decade, the spot where they had the beer is now wine and the beer is farther back in the store where prolly was a store room, but is now the beer spot, with a really nice walk in cooler with a good single selection. It's fallen off from my early memories of it, but it still holds it own as a good beer store, some gems found in there, but it's a freakin 100 outside so i didn't wanna travel with beer till i had to...

From there i spaced that a few other spots didn't open till later in the evening, so onto millstream in amana. Tho i saw a best buy and had the impulse to buy a camera, i didn't cause it wouldn't be charged... so salty dave in full effect.

Went over to amana, and it's very bizarre... the town itself is nothing but excess cut from the same architecture firm with a few discrepencies... wine shops, and antique shops and fudge shops and the like with the brewery at the end of the two blocks and around the corner. it's really a great looking place from the outside and the inside captures a nice german looking, tho slightly elementary school look, brewery with a 25 barrel system... what looks to be two big fermenters and a buncha brites downstairs. Another bizarre thing is they send the beer downstairs then send it back upstairs for bottling... it's just against the laws of brewing imo, but that's just me being me. They had their standards and seasonal... raspberry tripel, which is what i had... boozy and lollipop sweet. I've had millstreams other beers before, i like the john's generation white. But again for me, the contrast of the awesome exterior and the old ass interior... is balanced by the windowed brewing area and windowed cellar area. So it's not a must stop less you're in iowa city going to cedar rapids.

I really liked benz beverage depot... and not just for the ac and walk in cooler.

Wasn't expecting to see pretty things, beer valley or a small handful of others. No loons. But seeing that kind of improvement in a place people considered a beer wasteland less than 2 years ago is impressive. It also helped they had just got love child in from boulevard.

The store itself is like a mom and pop binny's with the ikea steel frame shelving for beer along the back wall. As said cooler section that seems to be half and half craft to macro. it's 25 percent beer, 25 percent spirits, and 40 percent wine with a nice specialty foods section and a small cheese counter/deli. It almost wants to have a tasting room, but iowa prolly prohibits said stuffs. All that said... it had the mom and pop feel to it... I liked it and recommend it.

After that, hotel, hooked up with the sales contacts, and rolled to parlor city.

Again, wasn't expecting a craft beer bar with 50+ taps... 5 dominated by bells, 4 by boulevard, 5 by goose, 4 by founders, three by toppling goliath.. and a handful of other small places with a few choices for a less eclectic palate. It was a good takeover by goose... bought lotsa folks beers. BCS, big johnand vanilla and coffee were in attendance, along with juliet, sofie, lolita, marisol... But what blew my mind was the beers... all the beers were available by the pint. a pint of bcs coffee... yeah... that's usually the beginning of the end for me. It was a good takeover to say the least... stayed from 4-11 or so... night ended with a guy i ran into a whiskeyfest, who started buying shots of templeton. Sipping the templeton for 3ish fingers was quite enjoyable... Sparked me to buy some templeton rye...

But sleep then pool then continental breakfast at the hampton later, I was ready to roll... hit benz for more love child and other bottles as i'd rather travel with them shortly... So off i go... and it's a 100 again so... hit the hyvee in davenport and for the reviews it gets... meh. it's got a single selection... but nothing to write home about... moved on to the davenport breweries which were homebrew plus... to be concluded.. wanna save and have people hovering.


Day 3 and trip home
Posted Tuesday, June 12th, 2012 by ender


got up late again... 9:30 or so... pooled, cause i could. and got going... i turnt off the gps on the ride home and guessed my way toward my hotel, giving me a good time to wander... i really do recommend taking a couple hours to wander whether on foot or not... passed a lot of interesting photo stuff and a large abandoned structure which i ducked into for a half hour or so and then got back on the road to beer and caves and brewery stuff.

got some hot chocolate and then got going and shot up some local graf. found my way over by the farmers market which if you're there on a saturday or sunday, is rival to the STL's farmers market or cleveland oh's market... no alligator like in the stl... but still whatcha gonna do... really roundabouting and finding stuff along the way. i ran across some more graf which led me to this house...


yeah that's a crate of animal bones... normally at this point in the story, the stupid teenagers would try to confront the houseowners or some such... i got the hell up on out of there. it had "never heard from again" written all over it.

needing some mental relief i went to electric fetus... a renowned record store from my past... first trip to minneapolis was the basement cleaning sale at the 12 year mark of this stores 25 years open. Back in the old days when life was simple and girls got past the looks when you could spin vinyl.. got some solesides best of cd's for 5.99 and new premier... with a public enemy best of cause i was in the mood to roll to pe.

From there i went to intermedia arts and the egg and i for a quick breakfast... rolling around and doing nothing is time consuming and i had an hour and change before the tour... so the egg and i worked quite well... i'll hit al's for sure next time as i need to... it's been the breakfast that's gotten away the last two trips.

now for the warning of the trip... avoid the herkimer... it's beers are infected, they are not good. They do have a nice mural on the side of the place. and it's worth looking at... instead... walk across the street to muddy waters.

muddy waters had a lot of things going on, but a decent summer taplist (very common in this town) and a comfy bar with simple to eclectic food choices made it the bar of my trip... i only had one beer but came back after the summit tour. I really like the place and will return. It's partly the neighborhood as well... the artsy neighborhood along with the thrown together trying for a white collar look with a blue collar feel makes it kinda balanced as that's kinda the way i am... except for the white collar look.

And it was one of those times where i took my time and had to race across town to summit cause i was relaxing too much in the bar. :)

Summit's tucked back in an industrial section. The property story that they tell in the beginning is interesting... Gas company owned the land... the earth had to be taken for treatment meaning burned to get all the gas out, the land was brought back and was sold to summit for a dollar... summit is privately held and 22 percent owned by employees, there's a feeling of pride.

When you work in a place like i do and then you go to a place that was built for the purpose of brewing, you always fall into a lapizdaisical funk and awe of, i wish we had, and that's so smart, and it's so great, and what the hell. One thing that caught my eye was a parts washing station that was like a dishwasher, but stainless, and could handle caustic. insta boner. A what the hell was their filtered heat exchanger... not the most efficient use of that... but drains and the like and well placed co2 and oxygen tanks and stuff... and you kinda get jealous of other things... anyway... similar to goose, yet not.

The brass they use and the yeasts they use... that's summit. it's their way.

The oldschool control off the brewhouse was strange, lots of manual knobs and switches. For a place that size... they had comp control... it was a bit odd.

The new brewers series was tasty... the dunkelweiss was good. wasn't crazy bout the saga, everyone's trying to be new zealandy lately. even goose.

It's nice to see a comparitive place to goose... small places are fun, but i do like to see that... they didn't have a wort receiver, but that's prolly not far away as they expand.

after the tour, more random, and back to muddy waters for more beers and food. I liked being there... it's a good spot.

Pints drain and wandering happens and i make my way back for the caves tour...This is the first time in a long time i haven't treated a vacation like a list to check off and just started relaxing...

The caves tour isn't what i'm expecting, it's more beer related than i knew, man made caves that got turnt into a prohibition speakeasy... murders and the like in the caves. It's pretty entertaining... i expected hokey or accidental caves, but manmade caves are pretty cool.

After that i'm meandering back... getting pallet fatigue me thinks. But i head toward stub and herbs as my last spot for the day and drink and eat during the last hour of happy hour. Beers are good and the place is nice, stub and herbs is the old man's college bar... It's got a broken in feel with that great box bar they have... Don't much care for that gameroom they have... could be much better used, but hey, different strokes.

After that i go hit the comic store and then head over to the area near the downtown with the exploded mill building and the bridge thing... there are better names for that and i could reference them, but i wanna get this down... may add the detail later.

So i shoot around there for a while and then head back toward france 44... to do my evening bottleshopping for the ride back... after bunsfest and jeff's trunk o surly, most folks were like meh on the beer and surprisingly heavy hitters matt and don had made recent trips to the area so... really... most people were good.

Got some brynhildr's gift, going to drink one this week... so if you're up for drinkin and chicago local and have some time hit me with a mail... minnesota farmhouse juniper ale... kinda looking forward. I also picked up a bottle of elder brett from epic. Looking forward to that.

So the night ended early and I pooled again, and again, cause i could... and settled in for a good sleep. crashed about 10 woke around 5 am... time to bounce.

The ride home ain't bad and i was making good time... so around 20 miles from baraboo, i was like, wonder what dr. evermore's up to... (atlas obscura is world wide and roadsideamerica is better but)

Stopped for about 2 hours and shot my camera dry...

then it was the easy ride home... with a stop in madison for lunch at the old fashioned, again cause i was on vacation.

and that's all folks... till the next trip which looks to be the stl with wingman wimperpoo.

that's going to be brewery intensive because it's a slingshot trip...leave on saturday morning, drive home sunday evening.