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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Breweries We've Visited

Keeping with the theme of the week, I have another travel-related post for you today! On our Michigan vacation, we visited 2 new breweries. If you know Trent, you know he loves all different kinds of beer. He's a big craft beer fan, and likes to visit new breweries whenever we go on trips.

We have a couple of small brew-pubs here in our local area, but nothing we would consider something you would travel for. And we haven't been to a lot of breweries, but every once in a while we will stop at one on a trip, so I thought I would share some pics from those that we have been to, and also share a little bit of our experiences there if you're thinking about going to one of them yourself.

All of the breweries we've visited happen to be in the Midwest, including Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin. I'd recommend stopping at any of them if you're in the area.

3 Floyds Brewery - Munster, IN (July 2017)

3 Floyds was the first stop on our Michigan vacation a couple of weeks ago! It was just across the Indiana border, which is on the way to Michigan for us. Trent loves his craft beer, so he loved going to this brewery and spending some time here.

I enjoyed the brewery tour and the food, too. (Trent actually ate quail here! I didn't. Haha) I'm not a big beer fan, but I tried the Gumballhead with my meal, which wasn't too bad. It was a little too "hoppy" for me though, I think.

The tour was interesting, and it was cool to see the huge barrels they use, and the state of the art equipment they have. But my favorite part of the tour was the cool artwork on the walls. They truly have some of the most creative and unique artwork on their labels, and the owner apparently has a lot of connections with comic book artists, and even artists that work for Marvel, so their walls have plenty of artwork to look at.

Plan on waiting a while to get a table if you go on a Saturday though, which was when we were there! We did the tour while we waited which was nice, but the wait was an hour and a half from the time we got there. The food was great though, and the atmosphere was pretty cool in the pub / restaurant area.

Founders Brewery - Grand Rapids, MI (July 2017)

Founders was another stop on our Michigan vacation - one of the last stops, actually. It's another beer company that Trent's a big fan of. We stopped here on the way back to Illinois. It's located downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan.

They don't do tours everyday here, and we were here on a Wednesday afternoon, so there were no tours going on. We just ate dinner and hung out on the patio, which was nice! It was perfect weather.

Here I had the Watermelon Gose, which is a tart and kind of sour beer. I like fruity beers, so I decided to try it, and it was actually surprisingly good.

They also have a ton of seating inside as well, so you can go on a rainy or colder day, too! The inside atmosphere actually looked pretty cool, and there is a gift shop, that of course Trent had to spend some time in before we left. :)

Anheuser-Busch Brewery - St. Louis, MO (August 2010)

Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis was the first real brewery we ever went to...wayyy back in 2010. Unlike Founders and Three Floyds, Anheuser is a huge beer company who makes Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob, and tons of other brands. 

I'm sure they've changed quite a bit since when we were here 7 years ago, especially with the craft beer scene becoming more popular. I think they may have added more craft-style beer brands in recent years to stay relevant.

We took the whole brewery tour while we were here, and at the end, got to sample some beer straight from the brewery, which was cool. As my first brewery tour at 22 years old, it was a pretty memorable and fun experience. I recommend doing it at least once while in St. Louis.

New Glarus Brewing Co. - New Glarus, WI (July 2016)

We visited the New Glarus Brewery last year on our way back from Milwaukee. It was a little out of the way, but Trent had been wanting to check it out, so we took a little detour.

I'm really glad we decided to go, because it was one of the coolest breweries we've visited in my opinion.

New Glarus is a really cute Swiss-themed town, with some pretty countryside as well. They actually call themselves "America's Little Switzerland." The brewery is out in the country, but almost feels like a European villa.

We took a self-guided tour of the inside of the brewery, then we paid to sample a few different beers outside on the courtyard.

You can walk around the grounds, and take in the pretty scenery that the area has to offer. It's just a really nice place to spend an afternoon.

I don't mind New Glarus beer at all, the light beers anyway. Spotted Cow is a popular favorite, but you can only get their beer in Wisconsin. So, every time Trent or one of his friends visits, they always have to bring some Spotted Cow back!

Potosi Brewery - Potosi, WI (November 2014)

Potosi is a small town in south-west Wisconsin, just across the Iowa border. The brewery and National Beer Museum here are the main attractions that draw people to stop at the town.

We were up here in late fall a few years ago so decided to stop on our way back home. We went through the Brewery museum first, which was pretty interesting.

The museum has a lot of displays about the history of the beer industry, and the evolution of beer throughout the years, including models of cans and bottles throughout history.

After going through the brewery museum, we ate at the pub. I don't remember what beer I had, but I had some pretty good mac and cheese here. It was overall a pretty cool place to stop and visit for a couple of hours.

Miller-Coors Brewery - Milwaukee, WI (September 2011)

Finally, back in 2011, we were in Wisconsin for Labor Day weekend, and spent a day in Milwaukee. We stopped at the Miller-Coors Brewery hoping to take a tour, but they were actually closed for Labor Day. So, I don't recommend going on a holiday for this reason!

Even though they were closed, we still drove around and checked out the area. We got pictures by the "High Life Cruiser" bus in front of one of the buildings.

So, we didn't get to try their beer straight out of the brewery, but at least we could say we were there!  Maybe next time we're in the area we'll be able to do the tour. :)

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