Friends forging a course together through the unexpected

Northwoods Get-Away Recap June 17, 2015

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 6:44 pm
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This past weekend Matt and I packed up my Escape, for our second get-away to the northwoods of Wisconsin. Our agenda was quite simple: a little work and have a lot of fun.

Work consisted of mowing the lawn, finish staining a lower portion of a new kitchen cabinet and cleaning. The fun part included exploring a new brew pub, going to our favorite breakfast place and visiting a well known Wisconsin brewery.

The new place we’re happy to add to our favorites list is Aqualand Ale House in Boulder Junction. The brew pub boasts their own four specialty beers as well as a nice mix of craft beer from the Midwest. Matt and I both ordered flights and a few appetizers. Their homebrews and food were delicious. My favorite brew was a cream ale, which we ended up getting a grumbler of to take home. We had a great time talking to the bartenders and are already planning to visit them again in a few weeks.


Flight sampler at Aqualand

If we’re only up for a few days or a week, we always make sure to enjoy a breakfast at Cafe Holiday located in Hazlehurst. My parents discovered this gem a few years ago and it has become a family staple. Matt always orders a full biscuits and gravy breakfast meal served with two eggs. And for me, it’s the stuffed cranberry-apple french toast with a side of hashbrowns extra crispy. My mouth is already watering from writing about it.

Our last favorite stop took place on the drive home. Often we’ll stop in on the way up or down in the little Swiss town of New Glarus, Wisconsin, home to New Glarus Brewery. Once we arrived at the brewery, Matt literally jumped out and headed straight for the beer depot to see if any of the recent brown sours were still available. Luck was on his side because they were! With our haul secured we ventured out to enjoy a Belgian Red straight from the tap on the patio with Porter. Best rest stop ever.

Porter hanging out on the patio at New Glarus Brewery

Porter hanging out on the patio at New Glarus Brewery

We’ll be back up north in another few weeks for much of the same. A little work and a lot of fun. I think that’s going to be my new motto for the summer.


Checking out St. Charles and Geneva June 10, 2015

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 8:04 pm
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On Saturday Matt and I headed west to Geneva for a night out and to meet up with my cousin. We started off our evening at Stockholm’s brewery located right in downtown Geneva. We had no trouble finding street parking nearby the restaurant. Once we arrived at Stockholm’s we were immediately greeted and asked where we wanted to sit. Matt and I both agreed to enjoy our meal out on the back patio.

Our meal started off with the scallop appetizer and a beer sampler. The appetizer was great, a hint of lemon, light greens and deliciously cooked scallops. The beer did not live up to the same standards sadly. For our main meals Matt ordered a beef tenderloin salad piled high with blue cheese, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries. He was in heaven. I ordered the shrimp taco platter. My plate was filled edge to edge with rice, sour cream, pico de gallo salsa, lettuce, sliced avocado and of course three shrimp tacos. All in all our dinner was great but we wouldn’t go back for the beer. As soon as we finished our meal we met up with my cousin and headed out for our next stop.

We got back in the car and headed north to Saint Charles. Our destinations was the House Pub located right behind the Arcadia Theatre. My cousin warned us that their beer selection was massive and hand-written on a huge chalkboard wall behind in the bar. And she was not kidding. All of us spent about 5 minutes going through the menu trying to decide what we wanted. With our orders of good beer in hand, we grabbed a table and settled in for the evening. Just after the Hawk’s game ended a live jazz band started playing. They had a fun funky sound but it was very loud. A little after 10:30 we all called it quits because we were losing our voices trying to talk over the music.

All in all a nice little visit out to the western suburbs. We both really enjoyed Geneva and St. Charles so I foresee a few more outings this summer. If anyone has any other recommendations let me know!


Greenbush Brewery September 19, 2012

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 5:44 pm
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Whenever Matt and I go on vacations we usually end up at a brewery. Sometimes it’s at the beginning of a trip, like when we went to New Glarus on our way up to visit my parents. Other times it’s in the middle of a trip, like when we went to South Shore Brewery in northern Wisconsin. And then there are just day trips where we’ll go to Goose Island, Two Brothers, Revolution or Haymarket. Hey, sometimes you just need a beer. Well, to be more specific, a craft beer that tastes amazing. Oh, and at the last four places I mentioned, the food is also equally spectacular.

My dear friend Lei recently raved about a brewery called Greenbush in Sawyer, Michigan. Confirmed by a few other close hop-head friends, Greenbush was one that apparently we needed to check out. Greenbush is conveniently situated on exit 12 in Michigan right off of 94. The brewery has the similar mantra of many craft breweries, seeking to create unique beer not available on the mass market. Greenbush had peaked our interest and just our luck we had a trip to Michigan quickly approaching.

This past weekend Matt and I took a getaway weekend in St. Joseph, Michigan. On our way up, can you guess where we stopped? Greenbush’s tap room is in a unique building in hometown Americana “downtown” Sawyer. If you blink you might miss downtown, but hopefully if you are keeping your eye out for the word brewery you’ll find it. The building shares an interesting past history. Previous tenants include auto shop, laundromat, and plumbing shop. And if that’s not enough, a train derailed and plowed into it once as well.

But we can get back to the beer. Here’s the rundown of what we sampled:

  • Dunegras – IPA
  • Distorter – a stout/porter
  • Anger – black IPA
  • Momento Mori – Octoberfest
  • Sunspot – hefewiezen
  • Unicorn Killer – pumpkin ale
  • Brother Benjamin – imperial IPA

Our beer sampler

My personal favorites included the Unicorn Killer, Sunspot and Momento Mori. The Unicorn Killer was by far one of the most delicious pumpkin beers I’ve had. Even compared to Punkin’ by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, and Pumpking by the Southern Tier Brewing Company. It’s like drinking liquid pumpkin pie, it’s wonderful and probably half the calories!

Accompanying our beers we ordered homemade kettle chips with a homemade bacon and blue-cheese dip paired with dates stuffed with feta featuring a balsamic glaze. We pretty much licked both plates clean. There are definitely a few other items I wouldn’t mind trying when we go back like the pulled pork sandwich.

Lei totally did a great job recommending Greenbush. The beer and food are both tasty. The location and building are unique and unexpected. The staff is friendly and will walk you through anything, from how to create a flight to helping you create your own six pack. All I can say is I’m going to Michigan in three weeks and I might have to make my own beer order, plus Matt’s!


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