Listen up yinz, TDY will be driving from Spokane, WA to Kalispell, MT next weekend and we need your recommendations on which breweries to check out along the way. We’ll be short on time so we need the best of the best.
Leave a comment and let us know what brews we just can’t pass up.
This past weekend a great friend of ours got married in Cleveland. This was a the perfect excuse to visit Great Lakes Brewing between wedding activities. This brewery is reason enough to make the trip up to the Mistake on the Lake.
The brewery was in a cool up and coming neighborhood. After finding street parking we walked around what we thought was the building for the brew pub. The parking attendant was nice enough to point out that we were walking around the brewery and the brew pub was across the street.
In the square across from the brew pub, a Saturday art market was taking place. I didn’t walk around the market because it was way tooo hot and the beer was calling. The brew pub looks like it used to be huge old house. They have outside seating which looked very relaxing and was packed. Inside there are two floors of seating. The bar downstairs looks like it was straight out of pre-prohibition brewery. Display cases throughout the brew pub housed classic beer stuff. They even had a can of a Pittsburgh Brewing product; Old Frothingslosh.
On to the food and beer now! The tap list seemed a little short for a brewery. They had 8 beers on tap and they all seemed to be the classic Great Lakes’. We were a little bummed out they didn’t have Lake Erie Monster on tap (it’s ok we had it at Smokin’ Joes in the Southside last night, another reason Pgh is better then C-land.) In general everyone really enjoyed their food and beer. Our table had a wide variety of food and beer. The sausage sampler was excellent. The horseradish mustard is wicked strong!! If you need to clear your sinuses have some of that stuff! The Eliot Ness went well with the sausage sample, I also hear the Edmund Fitzgerald Porter and Commodore PerryIPA were a nice pairing as well.
Lunch hit the spot. I had the brats with pierogies. The pierogies were homemade and the brats might have been too. The food tasted excellent. The Eliot Ness was a nice light pairing with the meal. It lightened up the spicy horseradish mustard. I was nervous to pair it with the IPA, because of the spicy mustard. It was a huge surprise to find the IPA matched up really well with this plate. The IPA didn’t add spice to the mustard it was able to cut through and let the hops hit the tongue. What else could you ask for; beer, hops and pierogies.
All in all the group had a great time. A lot of Eliot Ness, Commodore Perry and Dortmunder Gold went around the table. Good food, good beer and great company. The atmosphere in the pub allowed us to relax and be a little loud, ok a lot loud. The visit to the brewery and the wedding came to an end, and it was time to make like LeBron James and get the f@#* out of Cleveland.
Posted in Beer Reviews, Brewery Visits
Tagged brew pub, Brewery, Cleveland, Commodore Perry IPA, craft beer, Edmund Fitzgerlad Porter, Elliot Ness Amber Ale, Great Lakes Brewing, LeBron James, mistake on the lake, Old Frothingslosh, Pierogies, pittsburgh beer, Sausage
Pop quiz: The video below contains which of the following:
A. Wurst-wielding Germans
B. Beer-stuffed rodents
C. 55% alcohol beer
Answer: D: All of the above.
Somehow this would only make sense coming from Scotland. Check it out.
Brew Like a Monk by Stan Hieronymus
This book was a great read! The author is on search to answer several questions about Belgian style beers. Part I of the book follows the author from brewery to brewery in Belgium. Here he examines the history of Belgian brewing and the Trappists. He meets a lot of interesting monks, brewers and authors throughout his travels that help him answer his questions. Like Brother Antoine and Brewing Engineer Gumer Santos of Rochefort. The Trappist Breweries of Achel, Chimay, Orval, Rochefort, Westmalle and Westvleteren are highlighted in his travels.
Part II of the book begins with visits to American breweries that produce Belgian-inspired beers. The author does a nice job of comparing the brewing process and ingredients by both Belgian and American brewers, which particular attention to yeast and fermentation.
A few recipes are included at varies sections of the book. The author takes a nice approach to giving the reader all the information without imposing one absolutely correct way on how to brew Belgian beers. I would definitely recommend this read to anyone who is interested in learning more about Belgian beers and the history surrounding the Trappists. The travels in Part I really make you want to travel from monastery to monastery to sample the all the brews.
Posted in Beer in Europe, Beer Reviews, Beer Styles, Home Brewing, Uncategorized
Tagged Achel, Beer, Belgian Beers, Brew Like a Monk, Chimay, Orval, Rochefort, Stan Hieronymus, Trappist, Westmalle, Westvleteren
TDY was out and about on another BYOB night. This time the genre was thai and the restaurant was the Thai Cuisine in Bloomfield. I will be the first to admit, we didn’t do our homework ahead of time. We picked up 6 random beers we never had before. The trend was to stay mostly light with low bitterness, but a dark and fruity beer made it to dinner to mix it up a little.
Thanks to Packs and Dogs on Mt. Washington for having a nice selection of beers to choose from for dinner. The six beers for dinner were: Erie Derailed Black Cherry Ale, Fort Collins Chocolate Stout, Heavy Seas Small Craft Warning Uber Pils, Blue Point Brewing Toasted Lager, Blue Point Brewing Hoptical Illusion and Southampton Keller Pils. Also a big thanks to our kind waiter at Thai Cuisine who offered to refrigerate the rest of our six pack as enjoy the first few beers.
For starters we had the Angle Wing, it’s a Thai stuffed chicken wing with sweet spicy sauce. I really want to know how this was prepared, because it’s mind boggling!! The Blue Point Toasted Lager (aka amber ale) was decent, the sweet spicy sauce was able to cut through the slightly malty amber ale. The Chocolate Stout was a little too heavy and overpowered the Angle Wing and sauce.
For the main course I had the Bird’s Nest with chicken at 6 on the spice scale. The Bird Nest was crispy egg noodles, broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, onions, bamboo shoots and house special sauce. The sauce was great! Garlic was the main flavor with some spice to it. Again the Toasted Lager went well with this meal, even though I only had a few sips left. The Heavy Seas Small Craft Warning Uber Pils provided an interesting twist. The Saaz hops gave the garlic sauce another dimension of spice.
Mark enjoyed one of the specials Thai Cuisine was offering that day. It was a fried rice dish of sorts, made with fresh basil and coconut milk and finished off with chicken and shrimp. Turned out to be a good choice as Mark spent more time stuffing his face with rice than focusing on the brews, which is not uncommon to any meal.
The Erie Derailer was not a good selection for this meal. It was too fruity and too heavily contrasted the spice in the meal. It is, however, a good solid beer for those who enjoy a sweet, cherry flavored beer on a hot summer’s day.
Last Visit : June 11, 2010
Visiting the town of Battle Creek, best known as the home of Kellogg’s famous cereal brands, is a bit like taking a step back in time to enjoy a slice of true Americana. Sarah and I happend to be visiting during the town’s cereal festival and so ran into a fairly crowded area. Right in the middle of this typical Midwestern town is the Arcadia Brewing Co. which brews in the traditional styles of England and Scotland. The taproom and restaurant are adjacent to the brewery so there are some good views of the bottling line from the bar. However, this location is in a warehouse so that the restaurant can get pretty loud. This place reminds more of a very typical brewpub with a full restaurant menu.
The Cereal City Bitter was the $2 pint special. The bitter is nice and light with just that right touch of bitterness to make it a refreshing summer beer. Sarah ordered the Whitsun wheat which has a great aroma and a crisp initial taste but ends with a yeasty aftertaste and a slight touch of hay (present in many american wheat beers.) I did get to try the Hopmouth Double IPA which has a nice aroma of Cascade possibly mixed with some U.S. Fuggles. This is a great addition to the Arcadia family which already makes a very good IPA. The double IPA does carry some residual sweetness which some may not find complementary to the malt bill, but I think this is an interesting take on a typical IPA.
I have to give the Arcadia folks some credit for staying true to their beer. The bar does not serve any outside brews or liquor and wine drinkers have only three options (Red, White, and Sangria). This is a refreshing view as I have seen far too many brewpubs that pander to the masses by offering at least one of the mass produced U.S. light lagers. Also a really cool feature for the men’s restrooms, there’s a chalkboard above the urinals to share your thoughts!
Arcadia is worth a visit if you happen to be near Battle Creek. There’s plenty other things to see and do in the area and many other breweries to visit too. You can make a weekend just by visiting the many local breweries in the Southern Michigan area.
Cereal City Bitter
Hopmouth Double IPA
Rapunzel Light Wheat
Sky High Rye
***Brewery Visits are a biweekly post about our favorite tours and taprooms all over the U.S.. Check back to see where we are going next!