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Craft Beer Tour 2022 – Grand Rapids Area

These photos were taken Tuesday, October 11, day seven of my Craft Beer Tour 2022. As I mentioned in the last article, we headed back towards Ruth’s home in Grand Rapids so that I could hit up a few breweries in the area before I headed back to California. We visited Railtown Brewing Company in Dutton, Broad Leaf Brewery + Spirits in Kentwood, and City Built Brewing in Grand Rapids.

We started off the day by driving south a ways to Dutton, where we visited Railtown Brewing Company, a brewpub that opened in December 2014.

They have a 7bbl system, which offered 15 beers, a hard seltzer, and a cider on the day of our visit, with a nice variety of styles available. Being a creature of habit, I went with their Citra Warrior IIPA, Hophikers Guide to the Galaxy, and Harvest Smash ’22 their wet hopped harvest ale. All were solid, but I have to give the nod to the Citra Warrior as my favorite. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2022 – ByGeorge Brewing and Rusted Spoke Brewing

These photos were taken Monday, October 10, day six of my Craft Beer Tour 2022. As I mentioned in the last article, my sister Ruth wanted to visit the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore so we set the GPS for Munising to check it out. We then visited ByGeorge Brewing (also in Munising) and Rusted Spoke Brewing in Mackinaw City.

While I figured that Pictured Rocks must be pretty photogenic, as we approached Munising I started having some concerns because virtually every billboard or sign that I saw mentioning Pictured Rocks seemed to include kayaks or boats; I was wondering how easy it was going to be to photograph this place from land. The GPS was not being very helpful either since dozens of places had “Pictured Rocks” in the name. Eventually we happened upon a helpful Park Service Ranger that told us we wanted to go to Miners Castle and gave us directions to get there. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2022 – Yoopers and the Great Lakes

These photos were taken Sunday, October 9, day five of my Craft Beer Tour 2022. Ruth wanted to visit the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, so we set the destination of Marquette and reserved a hotel room so we would be sure to have somewhere to stay. As a result, we ended up visiting Beards Brewery in Petoskey, Biere de Mac Brew Works in Mackinaw City, and Barrel + Beam in Marquette.

So, for those that do not know what a Yooper is, it is a self-given nickname given to the residents of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. If you look at a map, which I never did until two weeks later, you will notice that these next three breweries were about as “upper” as you can get on the Michigan Upper Peninsula. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2022 – Right Brain Brewery and Hop Lot Brewing

These photos were taken Friday and Saturday, October 7 and 8, days three and four of my Craft Beer Tour 2022. As I mentioned early on, my sister (Ruth) was in a major train accident back in June and was pretty jacked up, so Friday, before we did anything else, I had to take her to get more x-rays. After that we headed up to her cabin in Dublin. On Saturday we visited Right Brain Brewery in Traverse City and Hop Lot Brewing Company in Suttons Bay.

Ruth’s appointment was around noon, and she knew there was a craft beer bar fairly close to the medical center that I could hang out at while she did her thing. She sent me to HopCat, a craft beer bar with numerous locations, this one in Grand Rapids and only sold beer brewed in Michigan. Okay, that is not exactly true; they also sell a wide variety of food, and some hard seltzers. They had about 40 options available.

I have to admit, I was a little bummed that Ruth’s doctor visit only lasted an hour, because I could have had a great time there. I had just finished my Hoplicated Imperial Pale Ale from Odd Side Ales when I was trying to decide between the Bark Lord Imperial Stout from Transient Artisan Ales and a 2018 Founders CBS, when I got the message it was time to pick her up. Bark Lord was phenomenal, but my server offered me a small crowler of the Founders to-go, so that is what I took with me. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2022 – Newago and Coopersville

These photos were taken Thursday, October 6, day two of my Craft Beer Tour 2022. We started off the day looking for trees with leaves changing colors, then worked our way to Newaygo Brewing Company and hit up Coopersville Brewing Company on the way home.

So yeah, while the end goal was to visit new breweries, we did want to check out some of the fall beauty this part of the country offers this time of year, so my sister suggested we take back roads to the town of Newaygo. Unfortunately(?), the weather has been in the 70’s around here and that is not exactly conducive to causing leaves to change colors. Luckily, it got very cold Thursday night, so things should be popping soon. That being said, the first few photos are from Hardy Dam Pond and the Croton Dam. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2022 – The Mitten Brewing Co

These photos were taken Wednesday afternoon in Grand Rapids, Michigan as I started my annual craft beer tour. Wednesday found me at The Mitten Brewing Company, a microbrewery/pizzeria that opened in November 2012.

For over a year now, my sister Ruth and I have been planning a fall craft beer tour through the northeast as I have very little experience there and it would be cool to visit breweries and watch the leaves change colors. Unfortunately, my sister happened to be a participant in the Amtrak train derailment in Missouri this past June. To say she got jacked up in it would be an understatement (26 broken bones above the waist), but she wanted me to come visit, so we decided we would venture around the state for a week or so. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2021: Medford, OR

These photos were taken Thursday evening, September 30, day 16 of my Craft Beer Tour 2021, when I visited Medford, Oregon. My reasons for visiting Medford were pretty simple; I do not really enjoy driving in the dark when on these trips for the simple reason that I cannot see and appreciate the country I are driving through, this pretty much guaranteed I would be spending another night in Oregon. Since I had already visited Grants Pass in 2018 I decided that Medford would be my home for the night.

I don’t know if you have ever visited Medford, but it is not an easy town to navigate for a first time visitor; at least in my opinion.

As I have mentioned before, when I do these trips I pretty much fly by the seat of my pants, and Medford was a perfect example of that as I had zero clue where I would be staying and the name of one brewery that may, or may not, still be open according to rumors in Eugene. Since I really had no idea what else to put in my GPS, I aimed for Opposition Brewing Company. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2021: Eugene, OR

These photos were taken Thursday afternoon, September 30, day 16 of my Craft Beer Tour 2021, when I revisited Eugene, Oregon. This time I spent my time at Hop Valley Brewing Company and Manifest Beer Company. I had planned on leaving Oregon City on Wednesday, but my presence was an asset for my friends, so I hung out another day.

I set my sights for Eugene as I wanted to visit a friend I had not seen since my visit in 2018; our plans were to meet for lunch and a beer at Hop Valley Brewing. When I pulled into their parking lot I noticed a text message suggesting I would be doing this visit solo due to illness. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2021: Vancouver, WA

These photos were taken Tuesday, September 28, day 14 of my Craft Beer Tour 2021, when I visited Trap Door Brewing in Vancouver, Washington. Yes, you read that right, I am in Washington.

Hopefully you have been following along and recall that when we left off, I was planning to drive to Boise in the morning. Continue reading

Craft Beer Tour 2021: Yakima, WA

These photos were taken September 25, day 11 of my Craft Beer Tour 2021, and I must admit, I was looking forward to what this day would bring. Actually, I had a very good idea of what this day would bring because I was headed to Yakima, Washington; home of Bale Breaker Brewing Company, one of only two breweries I consider to be one of my destination breweries.

A destination brewery to me, is one that if I am within 200 miles of it, I must do all I can to get there. As I was staying a mere 193 miles from them, I don’t see that I had much of a choice in the matter. I knew I was going to find fresh hop beers there. Continue reading

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