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.
Taking an Uber in a town you’re not familiar with, at a location you’ve never been, can be a troubling experience. It’s how we found ourselves around the block from our hotel room watching our driver blow right by our hotel. We spent the next five minutes discussing how Jill’s Uber rating was going to go down before we finally got his attention! A short time later, we were pulling into the final destination of our trip, the nearby Coppertail Brewing Co.
After our first brewery of the day, we found ourselves a bit ahead of schedule. I was determined to get my money’s worth for the rental car which meant that it wasn’t quite time to head up to Tampa. Falling back on my pre-trip research, I knew that there was a brewery on our way north. It was without hesitation that we piled into the car and headed for our next stop: Big Top Brewing Company.
It was our last day in Florida and thoughts of the weather back home began to creep back into my mind. We had decided to take a drive down to Sarasota, and after a stroll along the sunny Lido Key beach we took to shady St. Armand’s Circle for window shopping and a light lunch. With checks paid and hunger sated we ventured to the mainland toward our first drinking destination of the day: Calusa Brewing.
We’d made the drive out to North Sarasota to poke into Drum Circle Distilling and have a taste of their Siesta Key Rum, but it wasn’t enough for my mother-in-law. She was looking for more, and asked if I knew whether there were any breweries in the area. It just so happened that I’d done my research on the off chance we could make a second stop. So we jumped into the rental and blasted off to nearby JDub’s Brewing Company.
The first few days of our vacation on Anna Maria Island were sun filled and hot. Temperatures peaked out in the mid 80s. I can only get so much sun before I need to retreat into the shade. On another sunny Monday afternoon I was looking for one place in particular that might help with the heat. The perfect shade would come in the form of the large air conditioned taproom of the Good Liquid Brewing Co.
It’s fairly clear that beer and gluten go hand in hand. When you’re looking to meet up with an old college friend who has celiac disease you tend not to think of visiting a brewery, even if you are a beer blogger. Where there is a will there is a way, which is why I searched out the one notable exception that can be found around the Twin Cities: Burning Brothers Brewing.
Where I work, we’ve got a lot of craft beer lovers. There’s also a heavy emphasis on happy hour. That hour typically stretches into two or three and ends at a St. Paul brewery. When my coworker Carly announced that she would be leaving the company for a new opportunity, there was one place she’d been wanting to go for quite awhile. Never hesitant to try a new place, we quickly scheduled a trip to Barrel Theory Beer Company.