Category Archives: Pearson

Breweries 7

SOLO AT THE BEAN….Bee Line to Chicago, still hot but anxious to return to the Windy city…but not for the wind.  After a lovely walk around Millennium park we opted to take the long and slow way up Lake Shore drive towards Evanston into the bucolic Chicagoland suburbs.  Surrounded by beautiful homes, fancy cars, boutique restaurants, prep schools, yoga shops and six dollar a gallon gas, we found a brewery.  Now I’m not going to give the name of the establishment (or name of the town as they are synonymous) because the beer was bad and given the BMWs and Barbour jackets passing by, one gets the sense that this kit beer tasting nano-brewery is riding the craft beer wave.  The gorgeous smartly decorated bar, lacked authenticity in its obvious attempt to draw a specific clientele, the one that carries gold and black credit cards, the one that doesn’t wear socks in their penny loafers, one that is so pathetically nouveau riche they are unable to recognize a beer from a ginger ale.  Without finishing our glasses of slop we paid the check and split, but tipped our hats to the moxy of a business owner who can get away with charging top dollar for a shitty product. Continue reading »

Breweries 6

Downtown Kalamazoo

Downtown Kalamazoo

.....continued - We reluctantly left Detroit on Monday, September 9th.  It was humid and rainy, but by the time we reached Kalamazoo there was a blazing sun beating down on us.  We walked the quaint, quasi cosmopolitan city in the early evening and while Julie captured a gorgeous sunset the humidity thickened the air considerably.  Kalamazoo was not just a point on the map, it was west and we were headed west, but most importantly Kalamazoo is home to the Bells Brewery.
Outdoor Oktober, Julie had their lovely Heffe offering, I didn't take it's picture.

Outdoor Oktober, Julie had their lovely Heffe offering, I didn't take it's picture.

Lounging on the Bells outdoor patio, too excited to have my first Oktober beer to worry about the lake of sweat forming on me in places no man wants moisture, I was relaxed and ready for a beer.  The Marzen came and was good.  Of course it had the proper aroma, was malty without fruit, down the center as far as bitterness, however not as classic Bavarian a Marzen as I’m accustomed to, feeling like an American Amber dressed as a Marzen.  I often like when breweries take something classic and delicately spin it to fit their aesthetic, doesn’t always work, but for Bells it does. Continue reading »

Breweries 5

Following an enjoyable labor-day weekend we left western New York and continued along Lake Erie.
The King in Cleveland.

The King in Cleveland.

After stopping in Cleveland for a sunset beer, “the king of beers” we spent the night on highway 90 outside of Elyria, Ohio.  Without a particular destination in mind, we heard the city of Detroit calling to us and set our compass. Being Julia’s birthday “season” I found a brewery that crafted Belgian’s named Dragonmead, which as luck would have it, was close to our hotel. By the way, Detroit and the surrounding metro area is an awesome city, zombie land, abandoned, condemned, forgotten but beautiful in it's dystopian, post-apocalyptic Cormack McCarthy charm, which feels like a theme for the cities we travel to these days. Continue reading »

Breweries 4

Breweries 4 Ellicottville Brewing Company. Ellicottville, New York, is in the southern tier of western New York State, nestled in the Allegany Mountains.  Julie and I were married in a house outside of the small ski town and of course spent quite a bit of time at the brewery during our wedding weekend.  Having returned to Ellicottville a few times since, we’ve witnessed the brewery’s expansion.  EBC has outgrown the rustic ski town bar with a brew house in the back, to a large restaurant and even larger brewery operation.  This time we sat at a very modern and chic outdoor bar.  Continue reading »

Breweries 3

Taps, Niagara Falls, Canada. As one of the first breweries we visited, Taps in an important milestone in my beer tasting adventures. During our honeymoon in Niagara Falls we found Taps brewery in a converted garage not far from the picturesque town of Niagara-on-the-Lake.  At the time they had only a couple of beers, we bought a six-pack of the now retired “Premium Ale,” which was excellent.  Fast forward a few years and we’re in the new and expanded Taps brew house and restaurant in downtown Niagara Falls, Canada.  Continue reading »

Breweries 2

AUGUST: Lake Placid Pub & Brewery, Lake Placid, NY.  I like the small town of Lake Placid, New York, awesome skiing, cycling, hiking, amazing views of the high peaks and of course the Lake Placid Pub & Brewery.  Every time I stop there my first order is the Ubu Ale, a robust 7% English Ale.  That intense copper color and fine foamy head is exactly what I’m looking for in a beer after a day in the mountains.  Next to wash across my eager palate was their other English style brew, the 46'er Pale Ale.  Having thoroughly enjoyed the beer in England, I’ll often opt for any English Style beer on the offerings and the Ubu and 46er are excellent reminders of those proper pints.  Honorable mention is due to their well crafted and alluring Hefeweizen for it’s delicate floral yeast taste and light bitterness bite.  Overall, I like Lake Placid Pub & Brewery a lot and will always save a special spot in my belly for the Ubu. Continue reading »

Breweries, Volume 1

Through our traveling we've been fortunate to visit many breweries, some craft great beer and others are great hangs.  Here is an account of the more memorable experiences we've had! Before we get to the brewery list, my friend and home brew genius Michael Chapman is busy crafting truly world-class beers.  No doubt some day he'll man a proper brew house, but until such time he has been very generous with me, sharing bombers and growlers of his remarkable beer.  Recent highlights were his very elegant Agave Belgian Dark and a brew he calls the Low-Low, which is an easy drinking beer.  His coconut stout was perfection and the IPA he brewed on demand for his brother, my brother, and me was as good as any of the robust American IPAs.  (I must offer this quick side note, all of his brews have been outstanding, I'm not sure there is a limit to his willingness to experiment and learn more about beer craft!) Continue reading »

Spots

Here are a list of most of the cities and towns we visited from October 7th to November 13th Lewiston - Buffalo - Pittsburgh - Columbus - Indianapolis - St. Louis - Columbia - Kansas City - Manhattan - Konza - Abilene - Denver - Boulder - Littleton - Castle Rock - Colorado Springs - Pueblo - Taos - Dixon - Santa Fe - Albuquerque - To'Hajiilee - Grants - El Malpais  - Continental Divide - Gallup - Two Guns - Sedona - Flagstaff - Coconino & Kaibab - Tusayan - Grand Canyon - Seligman - Kingman - Las Vegas - Mojave - Joshua Tree - 29 Palms - Yucca - Los Angeles Continue reading »