Beer Trip had a simple beginning. Dan was taking five days to drive up to his hometown in Wisconsin and was going to stop at breweries and brewpubs along the way. At the time he had a blog and posted his plans on there. A coworker, Tim, that he knew in passing read this blog and asked to go along with him. He said 'sure,' and he began plotting the route. Setting out in August of 2005 in the xB, the two had no idea what was about to begin. Tim was a complete novice to craft beer and knew little outside of BMC and the local favorite Boulevard. Dan was already well versed in the culture.
The first stop was in Ames, IA at Olde Main Brewing Company (http://www.oldemainbrewing.com/). Located in a classic midwest downtown setting the beer and food were great. From there it was up to Mankato, MN. The stop there was the now unfortunately closed Bandana Brewery. Located in what can best be described as an old VFW or American Legion hall-it even had a bingo board-they had the best special of any brew pub in many many brew pub visits since. All you can drink from 7-11 for $5. This may explain why they didn't last. Crazy night filled with karaoke and way too many beers. Too many to even remember if they were good or not. The hotel room was a welcome site...if I remember. $5 ALL YOU CAN DRINK!!!!
The morning came way too early. A very hungover Dan tossed the keys at Tim and said "You can drive." The next stop was St. Paul and Great Waters Brewing Co. (http://www.greatwatersbc.com/) located in downtown St. Paul (one of the coolest cities in America, in this bloggers opinion). If memory serves, only a couple beers were consumed by each. And no one named Dan spent half the time in the bathroom. Really. Was at the table the whole time. Luckily, those couple beers was all it took for the hair of the dog affect to work. By the time they left, both actually felt really good. From there it was on to Wisconsin Dells, WI and Moosejaw Pizza and Brewery (http://www.dellsmoosejaw.com/). It's in a log cabin style building in a tourist town. Although, the pizza and beers were both really good and not just another tourist trap. No crazy happenings yet. From there it was on to Mad City. The next entry will pick up there and the events surrounding the visit to Capital Brewery and the interaction with some people and why Madison is known as Mad City. In the meantime, there are very few pics from this first trip so here's a pic of the exit for what I assume is the best city in Iowa.