Gear

Craft Beer Gift Guide

November 26, 2019
Craft Beer Gifts

Most online gift lists are a joke – poorly researched cash grabs to farm affiliate sales from hapless gift givers. I appreciate heavily curated lists backed by real experience. That’s why I made a list of goods that I personally back since I’ve researched, purchased, and used everything on it. If you’re looking to buy a gift for the craft beer lover in your life, look no further.

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The Brewing Projekt

October 28, 2019

We had checked out. Our road trip took us through along the entire north shore of Lake Superior. Through Ontario, into the upper peninsula of Michigan, and then the heart of Wisconsin. We’d been going downhill the past couple of days, putting miles behind us in our quest to return home. Eau Claire was our final night and The Brewing Projekt was a “bucket list” brewery that we had to visit.

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Hereford & Hops Restaurant And Brewpub

October 21, 2019

I had little frame of reference for the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. My mind’s eye pictured rugged wilderness, small mining towns, and wild “yoopers” keeping vigil. What I saw was more akin to northern Minnesota and Wisconsin than I anticipated. While searching for a place to spend the final evening of our road trip my eyes rested on the city of Escanaba. Driving to the – possibly haunted – House of Ludington hotel was an echo into the past. One of those echoes was the Hereford & Hops Restaurant And Brewpub.

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Mackinaw Trail Brewing Company

October 17, 2019

There is no better pit stop than a craft brewery. We’d been driving for hours after departing Sault Ste. Marie and were about to touch Lake Michigan. After that, we’d plunge into the interior of Wisconsin. The stars aligned when we drove into Manistique, Michigan and spotted a small spit of land housing the Mackinaw Trail Brewing Company.

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OutSpoken Brewing

October 3, 2019

We were on the last leg of our road trip. We entered Canada near Thunder Bay, and we planned to exit into Michigan through Sault Ste. Marie. Ontario was magnificent and the Trans-Canada Highway was one of the best drives we’ve ever taken. Forest, rivers, lakes, cliffs, and hundreds of miles of smooth traffic-free highway. It wasn’t time to say goodbye; Ontario deserved one last night. We pulled up to OutSpoken Brewing to begin our farewell.

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Sleeping Giant Brewing Company

October 1, 2019

We love the north shore of Lake Superior. My wife and I both went to college in Duluth and several times a year we return for a recharge. We’ve been to every state park and also completed a thru-hike of the rugged Superior Hiking Trail. Earlier this year emergency car repairs derailed a trip to Europe. Instead, we shifted gears beyond Minnesota into Ontario. Our first night would be in Thunder Bay. That meant scheduling a stop at Sleeping Giant Brewing Company.

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Lupulin Brewing Company

September 26, 2019

I’ve written about craft beer for four years. That’s about as long as I’ve been drinking it. I don’t remember a lot of beers from the first couple of years. My palate wasn’t developed, most beers tasted similar, and I had a hard time differentiating good beer from bad. One of the pursuits we attempted in those early days was to complete the Northern Ale Guide. When there is a t-shirt at stake, I’ll do anything. I recall bouncing around the state on a cold December weekend trying to get the last few stamps in the book. There was one brewery that we visited that didn’t make much of an impression. This summer I wanted to see how my tastes have changed after four years in the hobby. On a drizzly summer afternoon I pulled into the parking lot of Lupulin Brewing Company to see what I had missed.

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Ashby Brewing Company

September 23, 2019

There is something intriguing about a small town brewery. It summons the past, a time when breweries dotted the country. When locals would gather in the park after Sunday mass and enjoy a refreshing mug of the area’s lager with friends and family. When I hear that a brewery has opened in a town with a population of less than 500, I can’t help myself. It’s even more appealing when they are only open for a handful of hours a week. Ashby Brewing Company is the latest nano-brewery to provoke a visit.

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