Monday, February 20, 2012

A Bock, an Ale, and a Country Lager

So I know I promised you a post about my Wisconsin weekend.  You may not remember, but I did.  And I am finally delivering.  Because I absolutely cannot pass up the opportunity to tell you about my favorite beer. 

The Farmer needed to use up some vacation time while they aren’t busy with planting or harvesting so he had a 5-day weekend.  I had the great sense to take off Friday and head up to DeForest on Thursday evening.  I have yet to discover a good way up to the Madison area that is involves no toll roads, is fairly direct and doesn’t have a lot of traffic or go through small towns.  In fact, I haven’t gone the same way twice yet.

By the time I arrived I.was.starving.  It was already almost 8:30 pm by the time we left for dinner!  We were both in the mood for pizza and after scoping out some picks on Yelp we decided on Pizza Brutta.  And it was a good choice indeed. 

We started off with a shared caprese salad.  The ingredients were so fresh!  Caprese is one of my favorite things. 

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We didn’t have to wait long at all for our pizza to come out of the brick oven.  I can’t even remember what pizza we ordered but I did watch them assemble it right at the counter.  Toppings included olives, fresh mozzerella, and basil.  The crust was nice and thin and also very flavorful.  The edges were a little bit crispy but the center was still soft.  It was delicious.

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We demolished this whole thing.  Totally worth it.  I would definitely eat there again!

I had a huge hankering for something sweet after dinner so we made a pit stop at Perkin’s.  The Farmer enjoyed a slice of caramel apple pie a la mode and I enjoyed a vanilla malt with good old malt flavoring.  I really enjoy that they give you your malt in a tall glass and then give you the extra in the metal tumbler. 

The rest of the evening involved lounging around and watching a few episodes of How I Met Your Mother on Netflix.  Pretty sure we were in a carb coma. 

Friday started off nice and late in the morning.  We needed to take advantage of our vacation day and sleep in!  Unfortunately we were woken up by the yells and laughter of children coming from the daycare in the apartment below the Farmer’s.  Don’t you think it is a little strange to have a daycare in a 2-bedroom apartment?  We sure think so. 

Our plans for the day were to head to New Glarus, Wisconsin, to visit my favorite brewery.  I thought the snow might derail our plans, but fear not, we made the trek anyway.

The brewery is open for free tours and after there are several brews available for sampling.  We wandered through the brewery and watched as kegs were filled were filled with beer.  The kegs were flipped upside down and right side up several times before there were placed on palates which I thought was interesting. 

The Farmer even spotted this little 30 liter pilot brewery.  He thinks he could buy one like this and keep it in his apartment.  I am not so sure if that is a great idea.  But it would probably mean more beer for me. 

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Then of course it was onto the sampling.  We each had three-3 oz. samples of beer.  The Farmer sampled the Moon Man which is a no coast pale ale.  He really enjoyed it, but I am not crazy about very hoppy beers. 

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I went with my favorite Fat Squirrel.  It is described as a nut brown ale and I enjoy the earthy flavor that the hazelnut gives it. 

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Both of those beers are regular year round brews for New Glarus Brewery, but the brews we tried next were specialty brews. 

Next I had the Back 40 Wisconsin Bock.  It was very smooth and actually reminded me a lot of Fat Squirrel. 

Next up, the Farmer sampled the Golden Ale.  I can’t remember a lot about this beer but I do remember that it came out of a bottle and it is one of their specialty brews.  And our server informed us that each bottle has a unique flavor.  What a unique brew!

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The Farmer sampled the Wisconsin Belgian Red next.  Which is sweetened with Wisconsin’s own Door County cherries.  It was okay at first but I’m not sure if I could handle the sweetness for a whole 12 oz. beer. 

I can’t even remember what I chose for my third sample, but it might have been Two Women, a classic country lager.  I honestly haven’t met a New Glarus beer that I’ve hated yet.  Which may be demonstrated a little more by the following picture.

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To be fair, most of that is not for me.  I only purchased two 6 packs.  One of various beers and one of Back 40.  I purchased a lot of beer for my friend Laura and her friend Jeremy.  You can only buy New Glarus beer in Wisconsin so I have to load up.  The brewery store also has different beers that are specialty and I can’t buy other places.

After loading up and weighing down the Farmer’s car with my beer purchases we headed back into town for some lunch.  With our beer sampling purchases we received a coupon for a free small beer at several restaurants in town.  We randomly chose Puempel’s Olde Tavern, mostly because it was the first one we found.  I tested out the Honey Bock and the Farmer chose the classic Spotted Cow. 

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Lunch of choice was bratwurst and chips for him and chili in a bread bowl for her.  They were out of everything else we wanted to order but we were both happy with our meals. 

On our way back to DeForest we stopped in Madison for one of my favorite activities—GROCERY SHOPPING!  Is it weird that I like it so much? Don’t answer that. 

Our dinner that night consisted of baked tilapia paired with some failed not-crunchy not-crispy sweet potato fries.  I still haven’t been able to perfect the crispy sweet potato fry.  I really want those crispy, salty fries you can get at a bar, but I don’t want to deep fry them in oil, I want to bake them.  Anyone have any solutions?

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