Tag Archives: cherry wheat

Fantasy Draft Friday

Standard

This post was inspired by Paige at Alcohol by Volume who recently curated a six-pack for the Four Firkins, a beer store here in the Twin Cities where you can find one of the widest selections. At the end of her fantasy draft post, after listing the six beers she selected, she asks the question:

And if you could chose six beers to represent yourself, what would you choose?

This really got me thinking… There was no way I could list six beers off the top of my head. I needed to give it more thought. I’m not sure that I could pick six beers that represented me. I would probably just end up picking six beers I like right now. And we all know that our tastes change.

For example, for me, 2012 was the year of the IPA. I was a hophead. But I sipped a lot less of those in 2013. I probably wouldn’t put one of those in my six-pack now.

Instead, I decided to create a six-pack of beers that represent this past year.

Fantasy Draft 2013

Indeed LSD Honey Ale (MN)

This beer doesn’t have great ratings over at Beer Advocate, but I love it. It’s an ale brewed with lavender, sunflower honey and dates – LSD. The lavender is evident, some may even think overpowering. But those people don’t like lavender. I do. It reminds me of Provence. And I’m a francophile. It’s a no-brainer.

~

018Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat (MA)

Ahhh… This is what summers are made of! Or at least the week or so we spend in Michigan in the summer. It just makes me happy. And while I am busy feeling like a kid again, I can take the afternoon and and sip one of these like an adult. Well, with a cherry on top bottom.

~

Southern Tier Pumking AleSouthern Tier Pumking Ale (NY)

In the fall, I almost get annoyed with all of the pumpkin-this and pumpkin-that all over the blogisphere. I just want everyone to stop the pumpkin-ing of everything already! But this year, I realized, that I really do like pumpkin-flavored foodstuffs, especially this beer. In 2012, it sold out so early everywhere that we only got to enjoy it once. But in 2013, we found Pumking at Stone Tap as early as August! Then, in fear that it would sell out soon, we sipped it every time we found it available including at Devil’s Advocate, Groveland Tap and The Lowry {long overdue Restaurant Impression coming next week!}

~

FultonFulton The Libertine Imperial Red Ale (MN)

I never thought I’d ever dig a red ale. And while I did discover it beforehand, we took our first trip to the Fulton Brewery in November. And while I love Fulton’s Worthy Adversary just as much, if not more, the Imperial Red Ale was a unique find for me. And the name is perfect for the beer. From their website:

A Declaration of Brewing Independence. A libertine is someone living free of society’s restraints. Similarly, The Libertine doesn’t constrain itself with preconceived notions of what a beer style should be. Loaded with malts that include the UK’s premium Maris Otter and Caramel 60, and topped off with Rye to impart a distinct reddish hue, the Libertine is a malt-dominated red ale like none you’ve ever had before. It boasts a rich, indulgent body without being overly sweet. Conventional classifications fail The Libertine, but who really wants to play by the rules anyway?”

~

photo 1O’So Night Train Oatmeal Porter (WI)

Since my husband and I praised this beer the first time my dad had us try it, he seemed to always make sure there was some of it on hand when we came into town. We can’t get it in Minnesota and even in Wisconsin, it can be hard to find. And every descriptor on that bottle works. So good. O’so good.

~

086Firestone Walker Velvet Merkin Bourbon Barrel Aged Oatmeal Stout (CA)

2013 whas the year of the Bourbon Barrel Beers for me. So which one to choose? I’ve been a fan of the bourbon barrel-aged brown ale from Wisconsin Tyranena’s Rocky’s Revenge for years from the first time I sipped it on a dock in Hayward, Wisconsin. I’ve even discovered and kicked back plenty of bottles and glasses of the smooth and lovely Dragon’s Milk Bourbon Barrel Stout from Michigan. On my birthday this past year, I almost passed up an Old Rasputin Imperial Stout, until I learned that the “XV” was aged in bourbon barrels! But the I selected the Firestone Walker Velvet Merkin as part of my six-pack because sipping it at the PUBlic House in Temecula was the start to our late afternoon / early evening of a wonderful craft brewery crawl where I came to love Bourbon Barrel Beers even more. I really hope our local breweries jump on this band wagon soon!

~

So there you have it, my friends, my fantasy draft for 2013. I’m not even sure if you can get all of these in Minnesota or where you live. But by now, you know that I love to travel. So the fact that some of these beers were tasted on vacation do represent me and where I’ve traveled in 2013, too.

What beer(s) represent(s) your 2013?

Cheers~
Carrie

Cherry Wheat!

Standard

Oh how we love sipping on a little Sam Adams Cherry Wheat on tap when we go back to Michigan in the summer! If you are lucky, they’ll put a maraschino cherry or two in the bottom of the glass, too.

018You are probably surprised that I’m drinking a mass-produced beer like Sam Adams. Additionally, it’s not local. And when I’m vacation, I do like to drink local beers. Still, we never find this glorious, glorious beer on tap in Minnesota. So that got us to thinking…

WHY IS THAT?

We find Cherry Wheat on tap many places where we dine in Mid-Michigan. Hmm…

Then, we picked up a six-pack of the to sip on while out on the lake later that week. And we read this on the bottle neck:

Cherry Wheat

So THAT’S why. Using Michigan cherries has to be the reason it is distributed widely in Michigan. Oh, if only, they’d send those kegs just a little bit further west to us… I often forget about buying it in the bottle at home. But tap is so much better anyway.

One of the places where I nearly always order a Cherry Wheat is at the Riverwalk in Gladwin. The Riverwalk is a bit of a higher-end restaurant for the town. And it’s also one of the few places in Gladwin that has an online presence and posts their menu.

One menu that surprised me this year was their Under 500 Calorie Menu!

Riverwalk under 500

While I do appreciate menus like this in any restaurant, I didn’t order from it the duration of the trip. I guess I was just in the mood for other items. And it seemed that the Riverwalk Salad that I loved so dearly in the past was no longer on the menu! {Cue sad face.} But I do like that there is a map of Michigan next to the items that are considered “Pure Michigan.”

Riverwalk

There were some new apps on the menu that intrigued us this year. As Rob is a fan of onion rings, he ordered the Onion Tower:

ONION RING TOWER $8.99 A tower of Beer Battered, Hand Cut Onion Rings served with Signature Sauce.

ONION RING TOWER – $8.99
A tower of Beer Battered, Hand Cut Onion Rings served with Signature Sauce

No, no no. Nine dollars for seven mediocre onion rings is even an abomination in Mpls-St. Paul, where prices tend to be higher. These should have been a TOWER or an The Best Onion Rings Ever. This wasn’t the case. No way would he ever order these again. But we did find an app that we loved:

PRETZEL POPPERS $6.99 Cheddar Cheese Stuffed Pretzel Bites served with Signature Sauce.

PRETZEL POPPERS – $6.99
Cheddar Cheese Stuffed Pretzel Bites served with Signature Sauce

These are genius! This is actually what they should be serving at baseball games {if they aren’t already}! That way, people aren’t trying to juggle their containers of pretzels with cheese sauce and their beers beer while making their way across laps to their seats. When we brought Rob’s parents back to the Riverwalk, we had to get them an order. The dipping sauce is really good, too, but unnecessary. These bites are perfection by themselves.

I’ve never ever seen Rob order potato soup in my life; but he did at lunch and loved it:

Whats the soup of the day joke SOUP DU JOUR CUP $2.99

SOUP DU JOUR (cup) – $2.99

“Soup du Jour” always reminds me of this clip from Dumb and Dumber:

Oh how hard it is to watch that after watching marathons of Newsroom starring Jeff Daniels!

Anyway, there was a special one day and it sounded like it’d hit the spot:

Caesar

Buffalo Chicken Caesar Pizza

This pizza/flatbread {they may have called it a flatbread} was near perfect. The cucumbers, tomatoes, Parmesan cheese with the Caesar dressing and hot sauce just made a great combination. The crust was good, too. The only downfall about this pizza is that reheating is difficult with that romaine lettuce. But is there really a way around that? If you have never had anything like this, I’d highly suggest you attempt to make a version. Biz, do you want to give it a go?! I think it’d be up your alley!

And of course, the Pretzel Burger that won my heart over during last year’s visit is always a satisfying option at the Riverwalk.

Jumping back to the title of this post, I’d say that in some ways Cherry Wheat = Summer for me. Maybe because I’m only drink it on vacation… 😉

Is there a beer or beverage that = summer for you?

What is your favorite one-bite food?

Cheers!~
Carrie

Castaways – Bay City, MI

Standard

This Restaurant Impression post is purely selfish.

You see, when we go back to Bay City, Michigan, and back to Castaways {which is inevitable!}, I want to know what to order! I have no pictures of mouth-watering delights to share with you. So you are gonna have to go old school and picture them yourself, just like you are reading a book.

Still, that may be difficult. I don’t have a ton of notes. So this post will probably lack the descriptive words necessary to conjure up a visual in your imagination. I really need to remember to write down my thoughts on dining in a restaurant within hours of eating there, or at least the next day. {Note to self.}

On this visit to Castaways, I was in a burger kind of mood. I’m very rarely in such a mood; but when I am, the burger I order has to be a really good one. It has to be worth it. 

So how did I know that Castaways had good burgers?

I didn’t.

However, while walking from the bar to the tables where our group was sitting, I passed by a plate of cheesy bread being delivered to a table. It sold me. However, I did see a plate of cheesy bread delivered to a nearby table. It sold me. I’m not sure why I was in a let’s-eat-unhealthy-because-we-are-on-vacation-mood.

Oh yeah. I just ran 3+ miles that morning in 95+ weather and humidity so high that it sucked the air right out of my chest.

Now I didn’t know what to do…

Cheesy bread?

Burger?

Decisions. Decisions. In the end, I don’t know how I did it, but I talked Rob into splitting both with me! I figured that if the burger wasn’t great, the cheesy bread just HAD to be!

The Cheese Bread came out first and was just as expected – globbed with melted golden brown cheese. Yes, it satisfied, but the order was huge and we knew we had to slow down for the next “course”. We tried to offer it up to others, but many people were waiting for their pizza to arrive – also popular at Castaways.

The burger we ordered was the Island Burger. It sounds exotic, like it might have pineapple on it or something. But it was really just your basic burger.

~

Island Burger

Topped with bacon, sautéed onions, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, mustard, ketchup, mayo and both Swiss and American Cheese. – $6.95

~

But this burger was excellent! We ordered it medium rare as we always do and it was cooked to perfection. It was juicy and flavorful. Because I have neither pictures nor detailed notes, I can’t tell you ’bout the bun nor the fries. Just that we loved this burger. We were pleasantly surprised. When we go back to Bay City, when that burger mood strikes, this is where I’ll be getting one!

Rob ordered a mixed drink from their menu, but wasn’t too impressed. So he followed my lead and switched over to Cherry Wheat. I knew by now that we weren’t going to find Cherry Wheat on tap at home, so I had to take advantage!

The service here is more impressive than we generally give them credit. Castaways is our group’s go-to joint post golf-tournament. We usually have 20 or so people coming and going in our group at any given time. We usually set up one or two long tables together. People order at different times and some go in and out to play volleyball. And somehow the servers remember what you were drinking, who ordered what and which people get which bills. While I’m sure there are bound to be screw-ups of some sort at any establishment among this confusion, the staff just seems to always know what they are doing and doesn’t seem flustered. They make sure to keep the drinks flowing. You are never waiting for very long!

So, there you have it – my vague record of what we last ate at Castaways. Next year, I won’t be asking Rob, “Did I like the tuna melt here?” Instead, I will know exactly what to order.

Where do you like to go when you are in a burger mood?

Cheers~
Carrie