travel – PorchDrinking.com
It’s been a few weeks now since we made a quick beercation to Chicago and Milwaukee. We thought about compiling all 17 breweries we visited into a single post but decided that wouldn’t be any fun for us to write or you to read. We considered highlighting our top five favorite breweries in each city but thought that would be too cliche.
Instead, in a moment of clever wit, we decided to feature three breweries in two posts each — the first brewery we visited, the funkiest brewery and our favorite brewery in each city. We hope you enjoy “Eff Chicago”!
When life gives you a handful of Boeing Max 8-shaped lemons, you make lemonade. Or when your flight for a quick weekend getaway is canceled, you jump on Skyscanner, put “everywhere” into the destination, and see what comes up for cheap. For me, this destination ended up being the Romanian capital of Bucharest, a city with a population of roughly three million that had its heyday in the ’20s and ’30s when it was hailed as the “Little Paris of the East.”
“We thought it was, like, ‘oh cool, that would be fun, but never-mind.’ And then after a while, I was like, ‘We need to take a break, and we want to do a collaboration, and why not?’” – Tim Jones
We recently caught up with brothers Tim and Jeremy Jones of Aegir Brewing Co. in Elk River, MN. The two had returned from a trip to Iceland that we unwittingly played a role in. Eager to hear their version of the story and the series of events leading up to the trip, we joined them in the taproom on a recent Saturday morning. Before we could ask them anything, though, they had a question of their own:
“You guys want a drink?” Jeremy offered.
I grew up in Minnesota but currently live in Chicago. This means that I often fly back to Minnesota for family occasions and holiday gatherings. The sub-hour long flight has just enough time for one round of drink service in the cabin. Typically, I opt for whiskey or plain water given the lack of craft beer offerings on most airlines. Now, that might all be changing. A few weeks ago, Minneapolis-based Fulton Brewing announced that Sun Country Airlines would be offering their Lonely Blonde Ale on flights for the first time alongside their current craft option, Surly Brewing’s Furious IPA. It’s an exciting move that shows airlines aren’t averse to the changing drinking demands of consumers. I spoke with a few airlines along with Fulton to get more info on how these partnerships work and what beer drinkers should expect on flights.
Do you plan your travel around beer? I do. In fact, I visited 100 breweries last year, and I plan on doing that every year.
In the past, when possible, I’ve always tried to include at least a few local brewery stops while on vacation. Four years ago I made a list of all the breweries I visited that year. Without knowing or even planning, I visited 99 different spots. The following years, I started to track more diligently, with the arbitrary goal of hitting 100 each year–that’s a lot of local beer. To be a little more precise, that’s 8.33 different spots each month, which may sound very do-able until you have a few hectic months and you hit zero new breweries.
It’s hard to believe it’s already been over two months since our summer 2018 Europe trip. It still feels like just a couple weeks ago we were walking the black sand beaches of Iceland, gazing out over the Cliffs of Moher and admiring in revered silence the beauty of Westminster Abbey. We talk about our trip all the time and are already dreaming up our next one. But I’m getting ahead of myself. There’s one more country and ale adventure story to tell…
For the past nine months, Katie and I have been adventuring our way through Minnesota’s craft beer community. With more than 150 breweries and brewpubs to visit — last we heard that number was actually upwards of 180 now — we’ve been busy and content with what’s right here in our own backyard. But sometimes a new adventure calls, and when an opportunity to visit breweries in Iceland, Ireland, London and Paris came calling — we answered.
In truth, no one came calling for us; we just happened to be heading to Europe on a sort of one-year anniversary/bucket list trip. Still, we took advantage of our time abroad to visit some new taprooms, make some new friends and drink some new beers.
Chicago has always been a weekend destination as people look to explore the city’s rich history, culture and of course, have a slice of deep dish pizza. It’s also now a place where craft beer fans can indulge in the wide array of breweries that the city offers. If anything, it might be overwhelming when trying to think of how to tackle all the breweries within the city limits. Spoiler alert—it would be virtually impossible to visit every single brewery in a weekend.
So if you’re coming to Chicago for a weekend, here’s a guide on how to get the most out of the Chicago craft beer scene in a limited amount of time. Understand that like I said above, it would be virtually impossible to do every brewery, so I had to leave some out. It’s nothing personal and you can alter this itinerary however you like. You’ll also notice that there are no suburban breweries on this list. I’ll be doing another itinerary in a couple of weeks that will focus on just suburban breweries—don’t worry guys, I didn’t forget about you!
We’re going to take you away from our usual Brewery Showcase feature to fill you in on a little secret, something just as good, if not better than your neighborhood brewery. If you want craft beer in Michigan, look no further than Fitzgerald’s Hotel & Restaurant.
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Ah, New York City. You’ve made it! Even if only for a weekend. As you read our guide, keep in mind that although we have enough recs to heavily stack your stay with activities, NYC is best enjoyed in small doses. Pace yourself to what feels doable, OR, do it BIG style.
PorchDrinking.com’s Hannah and Katelyn knocked it out of the park with their 2 days and 2 nights in Seattle article a couple of weeks ago. Most of the beers, breweries, and pubs they wrote about were exactly the ones …
Dear readers, sorry for briefly interrupting whatever fun activities you have planned this weekend to let you know about an opportunity to help a wonderful group of ladies who are just as passionate about beer as we are.
Admittedly, the Palmetto State has not always been the first place to come to mind when someone asked me where to find superb craft breweries. Prior to living here, I might have listed off California, Colorado, Oregon and New England. This is partly because the east coast, especially the southeast, has been slow to embrace the industry’s explosive expansion. I’ve lived in South Carolina since 2007, a time when there were merely 5 breweries in the state. Today, there are 21 breweries and 12 brewpubs. The state has really brought home the idea of being fashionably late. Approximately 57% of the current breweries were established in or after 2013. That is a huge explosion that has resulted in amazing beer and a sprawling community of craft brewers and enthusiasts.
The best meal I’ve ever eaten was at the Taj Hotel in New Delhi. It was sushi.
My Mom and I spent a month in India back in 2009, fulfilling a lifelong dream of hers to travel to the sub-continent. The hotel was lush in grandeur, with chandeliers hanging from the ceilings and ornate carpets covering the marble floors. The Taj was also home to a handful of excellent restaurants, one of them owned by famed Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto. The restaurant, cutely and aptly named Wasabi, was fairly small and on the bottom floor of the hotel, right behind one of the large, winding staircases. We were advised to go for lunch, as the mid-day sushi platter special was not to be missed. It was beyond incredible, and only cost us about $30. Amid the modern, funky decor from my perch at the small sushi bar, I experienced what I assume is the closest I will ever get to achieving Nirvana. Some days I dream of that wooden block laden with the freshest and most beatiful fish (how it was so fresh in the North of India? I thank technology and modern coolant methods!).