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.
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.