Suds & Grapes: Midwestern Craft Beer and Wine-cations

September 28, 2014 - garden totes

Beer and booze aren’t merely a drinks du jour of Sunday football parties and cheese-paired partner get-togethers — a adult beverages can be a basement of excellent tumble getaway, circuitously adequate to be affordable and so low on a travel-hassle scale.

Combine an overnight with educational tours of burgeoning Midwestern qualification breweries (that embody copiousness of sips) and sampling a predestine of internal grapes during wineries and tasting rooms. Add some of a many innovative food in a republic and overwhelming autumn view and we have a mini-vacation that’s beautiful on all levels.

Sipping closer to home

• Leave a automobile during home and take Metra into a city to suffer a JW Marriott Chicago’s Lagunitas Beercation package. It includes in-room acquire preference of Lagunitas qualification brews, nominal travel around Uber to and from a 300,000-square-foot Brewery and Tap Room, nominal debate and tasting of Lagunitas Chicago, Windy City Bon Beerage with a signature Lagunitas Mason jar and overnight cheuffer parking usually in box we wish to expostulate in. Package rates change and it’s accessible by Dec. 31.

• Consider a outing to a Beer Spirits Festival, on Nov. 1 during Grand Geneva Resort Spa. This year’s fest runs from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1. Tickets are $40 and accessible online during

• Chicago celeb chefs Stephanie Izard, Graham Elliot, Rick Tramonto and others star during 14th Annual Kohler Food Wine Experience, Oct. 23-26. Get tickets for a four-day weekend during or by job (800) 344-2838. A accumulation of Kohler Food Wine Experience hotel packages are accessible during The American Club or Inn on Woodlake with disdainful entrance to signature events and luminary chefs.

California and Washington State might have a many qualification breweries and wineries in a nation, though a circuitously burgs are respirating some booze and decoction exhale down a necks of a large boys with honeyed Midwestern liberality tossed into a barrel.


Northern Indiana, so tighten it’s many a suburb of Chicago, can gloat about some of a many renouned qualification breweries in a Midwest as good as a handful of wineries that element a revisit for drinkers of both persuasions — and all within 10 to 30 mins of any other, creation it economical, too. About a half dozen Northern Indiana counties are operative on a qualification brew, booze and distillery trail, though for now, these destinations will soppy your pipes and put a grin on your face. Indiana Dunes Country also offers Lake Michigan beaches to wander and soaring silt dunes to stand so we can work off some of a calories.

First stop has to be a extravagantly renouned Three Floyds Brewing Co., a hunker building set in an industrial park in Munster, Indiana. Free tours take place on Saturdays and signing adult for them is first-come, first-serve — usually check Facebook and a brewpub website about any cancellations and give your name during a doorway when we arrive.

The place throbs with complicated steel song and ubiquitous joviality with an atmosphere that captures a trope of a qualification drink enlightenment — young, alien and imaginative. You’ll know because there’s a line to get in after savoring a insanely artistic and tasty food chefs Pat Niebling and Scout Hughes spin out from Three Floyds’ kitchen.

The menu is a startling change of high-end creation and pub fare. Case in point, each Wednesday a pub receives scarcely 200 pounds of uninformed cheese curds from Wisconsin, that are dipped in a beat and afterwards ceremoniously sole out in a decoction pub.

On a other hand, we can also sequence an strange play of genuine ramen noodles lolling in a strong bacon and Parmesan gas that’s dotted with a poached egg, parched bacon, preserved radish, scallions and proud mustard seeds. Other standouts embody a masa blimp pressed with root-beer-braised brisket surrounded by Romanesco salsa and cilantro immature cream and Buffalo popcorn popped in steep fat and sprinkled with blue cheese and Tabasco powder and toasted celery seeds.

The grill beef jerky is a explanation for fans of dusty beef and it goes ideally with a moody of flagship, anniversary and pub-only qualification decoction like Zombie Dust, Gumball Head and Permanent Funeral. Stop during a kiosk to take home a case. Three Floyds is a must-visit stop in a Hoosier state.

Three Floyds Brewing Co.

9750 Indiana Parkway

Munster, IN 46321

(219) 922 4425

Valparaiso, already flushed with a egghead excitement, indie shops and eateries and clarity of probability that interfuse a college town, is fermenting utterly a qualification decoction scene, too. Call forward for a giveaway debate during Figure Eight Brewing that offers 6 year-round beers, 37 seasonals and a consistent dozen on daub as good as a tasty bottom beer.

Have a grilled cheese on bread done from a brewery’s possess spent grain, though do start with marinated bacon on a hang glassy in maple and black pepper. Locals like a brat braised in Figure Eight’s possess Raven Tor Stout and a signature mac ‘n’ cheese.

Figure Eight Brewing

150 Washington St., Valparaiso

(219) 477-2000

Other breweries in Valpo embody Ironwood (brewery and tasting room during 6 Roosevelt Road) and Four Fathers Brewing ( Sample some-more than 150 opposite mugs of wash from America’s best qualification brewers during Valpo Brewfest, an annual end-of-September event.

Every dual weeks a kitchen during Bulldog Brewing Co. ( in Whiting concocts a opposite sausage for a check of transport to accompany a revolution of 20 beers. Owned by a steelworker and full-time firefighter, a tiny brewpub is a gentle stop for a sandwich or pizza in a city famous for a annual Pierogi Festival.

Shoreline Brewery ( in Michigan City pulls a hoop on a dozen always on tap, including a World Beer Cup Award winning Beltaine Scottish Ale, and offers live song a integrate nights of a week. A 2014 leader of a best burger in LaPorte County for a lamb burger, Shoreline also has register of startling menu equipment like butternut squish bucatini and an reasonably disorderly and delicious image of poutine.

Crown Brewing ( in Crown Point offers a brewmaster-led debate on a initial Monday of a month for $5 that includes a potion and tastes of 5 or 6 on tap. Still bottling by hand, Crown Brewing sits behind a jail from that John Dillinger famously escaped.

Oenophiles contingency conduct to Anderson’s Vineyard Winery located on a century-old orchard. Vitner Carnell Mitchell done booze for 25 years as a hobby and in his 4 years during Anderson managed to dip adult 4 wins during a Indy International Wine Competition, besting entries from California, France, Germany and Italy.

When we stop in for a giveaway booze tasting (available year round), ask for a sip of Mitchell’s Port, a deeply flavored fortified booze that will comfortable your innards. There are also baked goods, fudge, locally done jams, cheese and sugar (from on-site hives) and winemaking reserve to receptacle home or usually squeeze a potion or bottle to suffer in a outside sculpture garden. The usually vineyard in Northwest Indiana, Anderson’s offers tours by October.

Anderson’s Vineyard Winery

430 E. U.S. 6, Valparaiso

(219) 464-4936

Another choice for booze enthusiasts is Butler Winery in Chesterton (, a tasting room/store for a Bloomington, Indiana, vineyard/winery. While in Chesterton, cruise a stop during Hunter’s Brewing (, a nanobrewery regulating a one-barrel complement for small-batch boutique brews.

Lodging is abundant in a 3 counties (Lake, Porter and LaPorte) and ranges from superb cottages during Inspiration Wood; BBs such as Songbird Prairie and Inn during Aberdeen; and surprising inns like Riley’s Railhouse, a provide for sight buffs. Indiana Dunes Tourism ( can assistance we select a ideal place to rest your eyes and belly.


Home to a hipsters elite cold one, Pabst Blue Ribbon, as good as a veteran sports group called a Brewers, Milwaukee is a wash collateral of a Midwest. Reflect on a city’s Public Market, idealist environmental progress, ancestral neighborhoods, dignified chefs, beautiful art museum and lakefront, and booze drinkers have copiousness to whirl about, too.

An upscale, surprising bottom for your food and libation getaway, The Iron Horse attracts business and convenience travelers as good as motorcycle enthusiasts with a loft-style bedrooms and uber manly dcor ( Among a dog-friendly property’s packages is a Brew City appendage package. It includes dual tickets for a debate of Milwaukee Brewing Co. and a tradition Milwaukee Brewing Co. potion and growler with a giveaway stuffing with a drink of your choice on hotel departure.

For reduction dear though nonetheless particular digs, cruise a Hilton Garden Inn Milwaukee Downtown (, that is housed in a Loyalty Building circa 1886, a National Historic Landmark. Every room and apartment boasts 14-foot ceilings, that we will certainly be eyeing after your bustling day with a property’s Lakefront Brewery Package. It includes an overnight stay in a ancestral hotel; an attainment present of dual bottles of Lakefront Brewery drink and beer-inspired treats; convey to and from Lakefront Brewery; dual tickets for a scheduled Lakefront Brewery tour, that includes a giveaway pint potion per ticket, debate of a Lakefront Brewery facilities, and 4 drink pours for your tour; and a breakfast smorgasboard for dual during a hotel eatery.

No matter where you’re snoozing in Brew City, a punch or a decoction during Milwaukee Public Market is a must. Peruse and sip wines from boutique wineries during a Wine Thief, indulge in abounding java pleasantness of internal roaster, Anodyne Coffee, or have them lift a hoop on any of 12 qualification beers on daub during Nehring’s Family Market.

Purchase Wisconsin-made sausage, cheese and chocolates and usually try to select during that kiosk you’ll line up: panini, pizza or truffle fries from Nehring’s or a play of chowder and a lobster hurl during St. Paul Fish Company are among a many choices.

For French cuisine in a storied environment unaware Lake Michigan, check out Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro ( Executive Chef Adam Siegal won a James Beard Award in 2008 for Best Chef Midwest. Head to Walker’s Point, a Wicker Park of Milwaukee, to debate a recently non-stop Central Standard Craft Distillery that is adjacent to Milwaukee Brewing Company. You can cocktail during a rustic, industrial-looking Central Distillery before or after cooking in a hip ‘hood; given it’s right subsequent to a brewery, it also serves beer.

Get a tasting moody for $10: vodka is 100 percent rye ensuing in an roughly honeyed flavor; solitaire is done with a half dozen botanicals like lavender, coriander and juniper berries; and white whiskey is done from oats. Food trucks lift adult on a weekends and if we need a shot of caffeine, travel around a dilemma to Anodyne Coffee.

The fiercely informal Milwaukee Brewing Company ( offers a 90-minute debate with a comedic edge, though it will get as technical as tourists enterprise by seeking questions, drink in hand. You get a representation on check-in and after a tour; design to ambience some of MKE’s year-round brews, anniversary offerings and a integrate of surprises. Be certain to try one or both from a “Herb In Legend” series, Hop Freak and Ogii, dual lovely collaborations with Milwaukee’s possess Rishi Tea.

Ten bucks gets we a tour, MKE Brewing pint glass, copiousness of drink and a token for some-more beer. MKE’s initial drink was crafted in 1997 during a time when Milwaukee was a still a yellow, fizzy drink city and currently a brewery is intensely immature — go to a website if you’re meddlesome in how it smartly reduces a resources compulsory to furnish beer.

A few blocks away, booze aficionados might wish to pencil in a stop during Indulgence Chocolatiers ( for confections interconnected with wine, qualification drink and cheese as we watch chocolatiers work in a kitchen.

When it’s time to pierce a limbs again, wander down Brady Street (, suggestive of Old Town Chicago or Haight Ashberry circa 1968 and 9 blocks using from Lake Michigan to a Milwaukee River. It’s filled with indie shops (a Dart Mart Juggling Emporium anyone?), cafes and bars and a smashing family-owned Italian grocer, Glorioso’s. Seven flavors of handmade Italian sausage and 700 cheeses are usually a commencement of this, yes, stately breakwater for food lovers.

Like many qualification brewers, a Klisch brothers started home brewing in their kitchens as a hobby. Some 27 years later, Lakefront Brewery’s Lakefront Eastside Dark was named a second best lager in a universe by The New York Times. Seven bucks will get we a debate (voted No. 4 Top Brewery Tour in America by Trip Advisor), a crater and 4 tokens to representation beer. Hang out in a radiant new drink gymnasium to representation some-more brew, nosh on Friday fish fry, sausage or cheese board, Bavarian beer-hall-style pretzels and Wisconsin favorites like drink cheese soup, house-made curds or an oozing grilled cheese. Read all about it during

Wrap adult your energetic stay in Milwaukee during G Groppi Food Market ( in a Bay View neighborhood. Standing given a late 1800s, Groppi’s booze bar has turn a sharp-witted hangout and famous for gigantic Panini. Of course, there’s also a critical preference of beer, by a bottle or case.

Monroe/New Glarus

You possibly usually enjoyed or totally missed a 100th anniversary of Green County Cheese Days in Monroe, Wisconsin (the subsequent one is in 2016), however, a revisit to a farm-rich area is a feast for eaters and drinkers any time of a year.

Begin in Monroe, during a National Historic Cheesemaking Center that also doubles as a Green County Welcome Center. Cheesemakers and guides lead daily tours by Oct. 31. A five-minute expostulate and you’re during a doors of Minhas Brewery (), housed in a building that’s been crafting drink given 1845. Brewery tours take place each day, cost $10 and a swag is fab. Along with a 60-minute tour, we get a present container including 4 qualification beers, one soda and one logoed tasting glass.

Browse a on-site drink memorabilia museum featuring growlers from all over a planet, promotion artifacts and fondle cars, trucks and trains. Walk opposite a travel to a new Minhas Micro Distillery ( where you’ll learn how to make Moonshine, what accurately is White Whiskey and how to conform a Moscow Mule or a James Bond-worthy martini. A debate is $10 and includes spirits sampling, a potion to take home and a bottle of one of Minhas’ products. Stroll a Monroe block where we can get a punch to eat and buy cheese during Baumgartner’s Cheese Store Tavern, given 1931 and Wisconsin’s oldest cheese store — go ahead, try a Limburger for that a emporium is known.

It’s an easy 20-minute expostulate to New Glarus where we can accidentally self-tour a discriminating New Glarus Brewing Company ( perched on a hilltop and charity scenic views of a rolling panorama and village. In a tasting room, representation a brewery’s renouned brands like Spotted Cow and Moon Man as good as anniversary brews. A tasting is $3.50 for 3 3-ounce samples or a pint for $6.

Hole adult during a neat Chalet Landhaus Inn (, a Swiss-inspired hotel and restaurant, stairs from a old-fashioned town’s shops with a Sugar River State Bike Trail usually out a behind door. A excellent culmination before we vocalise home is one or some-more authentic specialties like fondue or Raclette, prepared by Swiss innate cook Roland Frst during a New Glarus Hotel Restaurant (

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