Anytime you have a metaphysical experience you should follow it up with a beer. Which is why, after running around and exploring the magical world of Meow Wolf, we took a walk around the corner to reflect on our experience and trade notes about all of the craziness. Our destination was one of several craft breweries in the area, and since one couple in our group was now pushing a stroller we chose the closest: Second Street Brewery’s Rufina Taproom.
When I was looking for breweries in Albuquerque there were two names that kept cropping up. On our way to Santa Fe it just so happened we needed somewhere to eat lunch. What better place than a brewpub? For those two reasons it was an easy decision to stop at the Bosque Brewing Co. Public House.
Bellies full and spirits high the group turned and asked what the next brewery was on my list. It was our last night in Albuquerque and we only had a couple of hours to kill before the taprooms would close. There was one spot that stood heads and shoulders above the others as far as the taproom experience. That brewery: Bow & Arrow Brewing Co.
We had just spent the afternoon at the ABQ BioPark and were looking for a spot to relax before dinner. The previous night we got a hot tip to go to El Pinto and I knew from my pre-tip research that there was a brewery near there in West Side Albuquerque. Without hesitation we piled into the rental car and set course for Boxing Bear Brewing Company, dreaming of craft beer and rested feet.
With only a couple of hours to spare before we had to pickup our friends from the airport, my wife’s friend Lisa turned and asked me what was next on the agenda. There were a couple of breweries that the entire group wanted to visit based on the list I sent them previously, so I had to pick one that wasn’t on it. Luckily only one mile down the road Dialogue Brewing awaited.
I do a ton of research before traveling to a new place, and these days a fair chunk of that research is devoted to breweries. When we decided to visit New Mexico and I learned that we were flying into Albuquerque, my first thought was Breaking Bad. What I’d soon discover is that there is a relatively robust craft beer scene in the city, and I ended up with far too many breweries on my list for the two days we’d be in town. We had a full afternoon to visit a pair of breweries but we needed to stay near the airport so that we could pick up another couple that was arriving that evening. With the sun high and our throats dry we set out for Marble Brewery.
Chippewa Falls on a cold winter’s night leaves you with only a few options. That’s why we’d found ourselves on a brisk walk along the Chippewa River. Our plans were to end the night at a local bas, a wish we would grant for someone’s 60th birthday. But before a local dive, we wanted a trendier option. We would soon spot the blue and yellow signs of the Chippewa River Distillery & Brewster Bros. Brewing Co.
My father in-law isn’t a big craft beer drinker. He suffers through the endless breweries trips that the family likes to take fairly regularly, and only he has recently found a couple of beer styles that he can be familiar with. There is one craft beer that you can consistently find in his fridge, which led us to take a road trip for his birthday. That drive took us over the border into Wisconsin and ended at the Leinie Lodge, the birthplace of Honey Weiss, and the home of Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company.
There are a handful of breweries that open and I earmark as a must visit. In February of 2017 one brewery joined the ranks of many other Minneapolis brewers, and it stood out from the others. Early reports were favorable, but I like to let places condition a bit before I visit. More than a year later, my father mentioned that if I were to make the trip to Utepils Brewing, he would want to join. So we went.
I’m fortunate enough to work in an area where a craft brewery is no more than ten minutes away. Many are even closer. Even though we’re spoiled for choice, we usually end up at the brewery or bar that’s closest to the office. However, when a new brewery opens we generally jump at the chance to visit before we settle back into our old ways. On a particular winter afternoon I was thirsty for some natural light, and made the suggestion to my coworkers that we venture a couple of minutes further to BlackStack Brewing.