Hi, all! Welcome to back to our new feature called PUB DATE where Estelle from Rather Be Reading, Andi from Andi’s ABCs, and Maggie from Just a Couple More Pages and I all team up to pair books + beers in harmony! Each week, one of us will features a beer and a book of our choice, each with a different theme for that month!
This month’s theme: Travel and Road Trips
This is SUCH a fun topic for me. One of my favorite things to do when we travel to a new place (or old familiar place… anywhere that’s not here) is to make sure I have a local beer. I love craft beers and I love trying new beverages and there’s just something about vacation that makes them taste that much better, ha! We’ve been to so many cool places in our travels and Shane and I love to visit new bars, breweries, and restaurants with great beers. I haven’t been anywhere recently (you caught me too soon! I’ll be in CT & NYC for visits and BEA in a month!) so I’m going to share some of my favorites from past travels!
From left to right: Lakefront brewery tour, a beer float at Milwaukee Brew Fest, beers with my sister at the taste of Milwaukee
My sister moved up to Milwaukee a few years ago so this gave me the opportunity to explore a city that I’d been to but hadn’t really gotten to know. Obviously with a baseball team called the Brewers, Milwaukee is damn proud of their beer scene. I’ve only explored a bit of it, but that’s also a good thing because there’s plenty left for me to experience! They’ve got several craft breweries as well as some major facilities like Miller-Coors — and the great news is that all of them offer brewery tours! They also have a beer festival each summer (which I’ve only been to once but it was a lot of fun!) and of course, the Taste of Milwaukee brings in lots of fantastic beers for you to try. There are also tons of bars, brew pubs, and even nanobreweries to try around the city!
Clockwise from upper left: Montana Brewing Company, Yellowstone Valley Brewing Company, Red Lodge Brewing Company, drinking Red Lodge beers at our friend’s wedding
I would not have thought of Billings as a beer city, but it really is! We visited three breweries while we were there.. and that was only a few days! They were all SO good too. I’m glad Billings is a decently small city (for being the biggest town in Montana) because we got to traipse around trying all of the breweries we could find! If you’re ever at the Montana Brewing Company and they have the strawberry wheat beer — OMG. You MUST try it. It was like a strawberry dreamsicle in a glass. So delicious.
FORT COLLINS, CO
Fort Collins is really starting to boom and they have got QUITE the beer selection too. New Belgium has essentially exploded and now you can get a Fat Tire just about anywhere. A few of their craft breweries around right down the street so we also got to try Fort Collins Brewing Company and Shane got to show me his favorite brewery/beer in the world, Odell Brewing Company (home of 90 Schilling, which is Shane’s favorite). I didn’t actually get to see New Belgium because it was closed on Mondays and that happened to be the day we were there, but hopefully I’ll get to see it next time!
NEW YORK, NY
From left to right: Beer flight at Draught 55, Brooklyn Brewery at BEA 2014!
Of course a city like New York has a great beer scene. I was only able to sample a few excellent craft beers while I was there but I also want to grab some more when I’m back out there in May! I get jealous when I see NYC resident & fellow Pub Date gal Estelle check in with all of her awesome craft beers on Untappd! It’s also easier to get such great beers in the city because it’s really a great place to set up a craft or microbrewery. There are actually MANY in Chicago as well but I’m not a city person so I’m rarely out that way to do a sampling of Chicago beers (though it is something I want to do soon)!
I had so much fun talking about beers I ALMOST forgot to talk about books! How silly of me! While the beers I love are spread out around the US, the travel books I love seem to mostly take place in Europe! That means I need some more road trip books, right!?
I’m sure no one is surprised that my favorites include Anna and the French Kiss, Meant to Be, Open Road Summer, and Just One Day. All instant favorites of mine, hands down. Is part of it because of travel? Well… it might be! But I think most of it is just those amazing authors creating wonderful stories and really bringing these places to life. I didn’t really care about Paris at all until I read Anna and Just One Day — honest to goodness — and now I want to go there just because of those books! (And it’d be neat, but you know.) I just love how I’m able to feel like I’m traveling to all of those places that the characters do without ever leaving my couch! Plane tickets to Europe ARE expensive, after all!
Thanks for joining us for another edition of Pub Date! Missed any posts? You can catch up at any time on my blog page for the Pub Date Feature!
- Farmhouse Vultures by Werk Force Brewing Company. Farmhouse Ale // 7.48% ABV. I SWORE I had this before but somehow I never checked it in on Untappd so I really don’t know! Anyway, this beer was super delicious. I always love the beers that Werk Force puts out. If you’re in the Chicago ‘burbs, check them out in Plainfield or check for their new line of bottles in some stores (and even in some restaurants)! They’re always delicious.
- Game of Thrones: Valar Morghulis by Brewery Ommegang. Dubbel // 8.00% ABV. I recently got back into watching Game of Thrones (I’m SEASONS behind but I read the books so it’s okay ;D) and I decided to finally pop open this beer that I bought when I was at World Market. It’s a dubbel which isn’t usually my style but it was really pretty good. I also loved the name. (And I’m a nerd and saved the bottle to put on my GoT shelf. It happened.)
** Beer styles and alcohol content from Beer Advocate **
** Drink responsibly **