Dinner at Va Bene Caffe has become a tradition that we perform every time we visit Duluth, which is usually a couple of times a year. Towards the end of each meal the conversation leads to a discussion on where we will go for drinks afterwards. Only a pair of brewpubs remain that I’ve yet to visit but I’d heard about a spot across the Minnesota Wisconsin border that I had to try: Earth Rider Brewery. Continue Reading…
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.
Our bellies were full as we walked down Superior street with the early afternoon sun beating down on our heads. We’d just departed our favorite restaurant in Duluth, Va Bene Caffe, and now we were working up a thirst. After deftly avoiding some sidewalk construction our destination was before us. We peered into the open garage door across the exposed rail and got our first glimpse of Blacklist Artisan Ales.
One good thing about Facebook is that it recommends things that match your interests. It will also tell you about events your friends are interested in attending. Between that cross section, we typically get informed about a lot of beer related events. On an early July evening my wife informed me that she found an event on Facebook just across the river from us called Bluegrass & Beer. Like peanut butter and jelly, a match made in heaven. Later that week we were strolling down a path in the Caponi Art Park with the distant sounds of a fiddle dancing off the leaves.
After a late night of drinking, an early rise, and a heck of a long drive the destination on our GPS finally seemed attainable. As we transitioned into the hills of Tennessee and headed across the border to North Carolina the last episode of S-Town came to an end (absolutely fantastic). I had done some scouting and knew that we’d be crossing the Appalachian Trail. We were running late so we only had a short window of time to jump out of the car, stretch our legs, take a short walk on the trail, and enjoy the amazing weather. We had planned to meet our friends Nicole and Eric in Asheville to share a hotel for the night as well as hit up a pair of breweries. So we jumped back into the car and made an incredibly windy path through the mountains to our first stop: Burial Beer Co.
In late November we were settling into winter and trying to prepare for the months ahead. When our friends Megan and Mitch asked if we wanted to visit the newly opened Bald Man Brewing we jumped at the chance. After all, we needed another stamp for our Northern Ale Guide and our list was quickly dwindling.
In early November we decided to visit my wife’s brother in Mankato for some dinner and drinks. We’ve been nudging him towards beer, but it’d been hard to get him to drop his REDD’s Apple Ale. With an upcoming tripped planned to Munich we officially had a good enough reason to get him to take the dive once and for all. So on a Monday evening we grabbed a quick bite and jumped over to Mankato Brewery.
In early December my wife and I realized that a Groupon we’d purchased was about to expire. It was for a flight, two pints, and a growler, which was something we didn’t want to go to waste. So, on the last day of eligibility we made the trip into St. Paul to visit the relatively new Sidhe Brewing Company.