So last Friday was my 29th birthday. In the past year, my homebrewing has taken off, I’ve integrated into the beer community, and actually starting aging beer. Oh, I think I started this blog as well. I guess that’s worth something. Speaking of things worth something, this craft beer business is friggin expensive. It’s a hobby. Similar if I had a cellar and stored wine. I know nothing about wine thankfully, except it’s what my wife drinks and it get’s her tipsy and sleepy, more of the latter.
Well, last Friday I spent a majority of my birthday driving up to Chicago (my only time this whole summer) to meet my college buddies and drive up to Lake Geneva, WI for my buddy Troc’s bachelor party. I snuck outta work right around lunchtime and headed up towards I-65 and dodged all of the Indiana state cops. For the first time ever, I avoided rush hour and left at 11:15am EST and arrived in Chicago at 3:00pm CST…damnit, Google maps was dead on accurate.
As soon as we crossed the Wisconsin border, we made a pitstop at the Brat Stop in Kenosha, WI. I equate this to getting a cocktail on the plane en route to Vegas. Brats and cheese baby! The six of us bellied up the the bar and ordered a beer in the Packer/Bear decorated bar. I went with a Tyranena Bitter Woman and New Glarus Spotted Cow was the choice of many others. The Brat stop has cheese in the shape of Brett Favre, football, Wisconsin, and many other things. I guess they were sold out in the Brett Favre camera phone penis cheese shapes. Luckily, they had an alright bottle selection as well. I snagged a bottle of New Glarus Raspberry Tart for Ashley and a 6er of Capitol Oktoberfest for myself. I also ate way too many “free” cheese curds than any patron should. I also didn’t go number two for the whole weekend because of said cheese curds.
Lake Geneva is a hotspot for Chicagoans. It’s their version of “up north”. Sconnies hate this. We checked into our hotel, which was nicely connected to a Sprecher pub and restaurant in which I only got the chance to have one beer in, a Hop Squared, which was pretty good all around. Except for a few sports bars, most establishes were nothing but domestics, but I had my fair share of New Glarus in most places. If it wasn’t a Spotted Cow I was drinking, it was a bourbon neat. Boy, did I look like a fancy pants drinking out of a snifter in Wisconsin in dive bars. On Saturday night, one older lady came up to me and asked me how old I was because I looked very sophisticated. Maybe it was the beard, maybe it was an older lady going after a younger man (I had my wedding ring on, I swear), or maybe she wondered what this tool was doing drinking out of a fancy glass.
Saturday we started golfing at 9am and with that came beer and cigars. Of the 3, I did my best at cigars, golf and beers fell behind. We finished up the night at 1:30 am. Good god, I am too old for this stuff. Needless to say, the drive back to Louisville the next day wasn’t good for numerous reasons.
1. I was hungover
2. What the cheese did to me
3. I would miss the Bears game and have to listen to it on the radio
4. 7.5 hours in the car is a long time
The bright side. I was able to stop in Binnys and 3 Floyds in Munster and pick up these…
Uinta Oak Jacked Imperial Pumpkin, Uinta Cockeyed Cooper Barrel Aged Barleywine, Ska Decadennt IIPA, Firestone Double Jack, Hoppin Frog DORIS the Destroyer, 3 Floyds Amon Amarth Ragnorak, 3 Floyds Moloko, and Firestone Parabola.
3 Floyds Alpha King, Half Acre Daisy Cutter, Onion Brewing Hop Slayer, and Ska Modus Hoperandi.
I did, quit possibly, have one of the most expensive and different beers I’ve tasted at 3 Floyds. It was called Spazzerack, a blend of Alpha King and Robert the Bruce in bourbon barrels with starflower anise and orange peels. It was very like drinking a bourbon. The anise smell is very strong and it had a weird bite to it as well. I don’t think I’d order another, but it was fun to try…at least once. Not my cup of tea, but a shout out to the bartender Pete for hooking me up with a free bottle of Amon Amarth Ragnorak.
I’ve been waiting for the day…NABC’s Thunderfoot is being released on October 1st! A one day only event… Check out Roger’s blog for the best updates. the bridge may be closed, but NABC is open!