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.
My wife and I had just finished our delicious dinner at Hai Hai and after feeling the euphoria from their Hanoi Sticky Rice, I didn’t want the night to end. We’d been to all the usual spots in Northeast Minneapolis and we were in the mood for something new. There was exactly one taproom that we hadn’t visited: Able Seedhouse + Brewery.
There are a couple of things that make road trips worthwhile. For example, exciting landscapes with varied terrain can make a long drive slip on by. The toll infested trip from Chicago to Cleveland is not one such journey. I can only play the alphabet game so many times before I start to get a bit stir crazy. However, there is one sure fire cure for a long boring drive and I think you can guess it. At the end of this road trip was The BottleHouse Brewing Company.
There was plenty of night remaining as we departed from Two Brothers Roundhouse. I’d asked Adrian to bring us to his favorite brewery in the area, one that reminded him the most of his time in Colorado. He explained that they weren’t spoiled for choice here in the outskirts of Chicago, but he had a place in mind. After squirreling around a nightmare of suburban boulevards we tucked into an industrial area and arrived at Solemn Oath Brewery.
During my childhood Germany was the home of beer. The mere mention of the country evoked visions of jolly bearded men in lederhosen clinking their overflowing steins and swaying back and forth to Bavarian folk music. It wasn’t just any beer either, I’d heard they had “dark” beer which, for the delicate palate of rural Minnesota, meant a truly undrinkable draught. I didn’t develop a taste for beer until we were planning our honeymoon in Europe. Our itinerary would bring us to Munich at the start of Oktoberfest, and preparation for that trip was the catalyst for the love of craft beer that would follow.
In January my wife and I were determined to visit our friends in Cleveland for a birthday party. That’s a significant drive, so we decided to make a pit stop in Chicago to visit my old friend and roommate Adrian. I slipped out of work around lunch, swung home to pick up Samantha, and texted my friend our estimated time of arrival. He was well prepared for our visit and had planned our night accordingly. The first stop was for food and beer at the Two Brothers Brewing Roundhouse.