First off, happy birthday to Beer Geek! Hope you’re enjoying your special day.
Since today is “Beer Tuesday” and Beer Geek’s birthday, it seems appropriate to discuss all the yummy beer we’ve consumed during this trip to Wisconsin and Minnesota. On our way to St.Paul for my race, we stopped in Menomonie, WI at Das Bierhaus.
As one might guess, this brewpub featured the German style of brewing, as well as yummy German food. It was a small mom and pop restaurant with really good German beers. Definitely worth the stop!
They had a particularly extensive cask conditioned beer list. Cask beers are conditioned in the “cask”, where they develop a lesser CO2 carbonation. They taste “flatter” than keg beers and are served at a warmer temperature. The first time I had a cask conditioned beer, I was not impressed, but I have developed a liking for it over time. I had two different ones at Great Waters (Old Centurian and GW House ale) and they were both excellent. After our stop at Great Waters, we stopped at Candyland, which was an old fashioned candy store and bought way too much chocolate and candy. (And I wonder why my race sucked on Saturday, LOL).
After the race on Saturday, we headed down the Great River Road to La Crosse and the Pearl Street Brewery
. Again, we found some really good beers. We weren’t able to get a tour of the brewery (but really, we’ve been to so many, I bet Jones could GIVE a tour), but we did get to taste whatever we wanted.
We, of course, tried them all, which is why I don’t exactly remember what I had. ;o) We did have a full pint of Mamma’s Milk, which was an excellent milk stout. I could have sat and drunk that all night, but the boys decided they’d had enough hanging out in breweries and it was time to hit the pool. Mamma’s Milk wasn’t available in bottles, so we left with a six pack of “That’s What I’m Talkin’ ‘Bout” organic rolled oat stout. I didn’t try that one until a couple of days later, but it was awesome (after I let it warm up a bit).
On Sunday, we headed south again to hit a few important things: a ferry ride, Beer Geek’s 1000th county, some Indian Mounds, and another brewpub (does his nickname make sense yet? LOL).
Unfortunately, during that day’s adventure, I opened the passenger’s window on the van. I had forgotten that the motor was screwed up and the window would not go back up. I got to spend the remainder of the day with the “wind blown” look and my parents ended up driving 2.5 hours each way to bring us their Prius and take the van back to their garage, where, of course, the window went back up. Sigh.
We did manage to hit Old Man River Brewpub
for dinner, where the food and beer was good, but the restaurant was WAY overwhelmed. We waited almost an hour for our food (nothing elaborate, just burgers) with really hungry, cranky kids, so my memory of the beers is a bit tainted by my not so enjoyable time.
Today, to celebrate Beer Geek’s birthday, he and I went to Ale Asylum
for lunch. They had five beers on tap and they were all quite good. They were not particularly adventurous beers, but rather just really good examples of the styles. I ended up having a pint of their porter and really enjoyed it (along with an excellent pizza with four different types of mushroom and so much garlic that I’m sure I’ll smell it when I run tomorrow.)
So, we managed to hit four brewpubs and one brewery in about four days. This is not a record for us (we hit way more when we visited Oregon and Washington for a week back in the pre-kids days), but it was quite an enjoyable adventure. Thankfully, most places offer samplers of their beers, so we could taste them all and stay sober. ;o)
And a quick running note since this is a running blog: today dad and I ran an awesome four miles. The weather is cool, dry, and windy, so we planned for a speedy run and succeeded – 8:45, 8:20, 8:27, 8:09. Mom keeps telling me not to kill my dad, but he was pushing me the whole way and I was the one out of steam at the end. Now if only we could have a run like that at an actual race…