Browsing Tag

taproom

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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Brickfield Brewing

September 21, 2019

It’s a long drive to my sister’s cabin in Hayward. Our usual strategy is to break up the drive by visiting the Drive In in Taylor’s Falls. It’s nearly halfway but, more importantly, they have cheese curds. My sister says they stop at the location in Grantsburg on their way home. In August we put the town on our agenda. No food for us though, our trip was for craft beer at Brickfield Brewing.

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Birch’s on the Lake

September 17, 2019

I’m too young to understand the “supper club.” A concept interwoven into the fabric of the Midwest, these establishments have long sought their place in the modern era. By the time I was old enough to remember, these previously revered restaurants had become an odd blend of classy and kitsch. A vestige of the past. The craft beer industry is suited to blending the old and the new. Enter Birch’s on the Lake.

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Alluvial Brewing Company

August 31, 2019

One of my criteria for a great brewery is the taproom. Of course, the beer matters. Yet the taproom can make or break the experience. I begin by trawling any “best of” lists that I can find, collecting the breweries that appear multiple times and any others that jump out at me. Then I dig deeper. I dive into the pessimism of reddit, ask for recommendations from Instagram influencers, browse individual websites, and search through local tourism info. Once I have list of breweries – usually far too long for my needs – I search for them on Google Maps. Location is a factor, but the primary reason is to view photos. Google organizes these, and Vibe is my jam. While searching for Iowa breweries, there was one that cropped up that intrigued me but had few photos of the interior. My visit to Alluvial Brewing Company would now have purpose.

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Peace Tree Brewing Co. – Des Moines Branch

August 28, 2019

“Why won’t this thing take a good photo?” I asked my wife. I was trying to take a photograph of my flight board. “Everything is washed out, what’s going on?” I asked the universe. At this point I noticed a strange icon in my viewfinder. A quick Google search later and I hung my head, crestfallen. Deep in the menu there was a setting to lock the ISO, and ours was set to the max. ISO controls the sensitivity of the sensor, the higher the number the brighter the photo. The trade off is noise. “How long has this been on?” I wondered. It was difficult to tell looking at the camera screen, and I had to inspect each photo’s settings before confirming my greatest fear. Not a single photo from our last three breweries was usable. I fixed it for Peace Tree Brewing Co.

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