By Guest Blogger Templar Cory Strouse
Image by Templar Vinnie Dee
Many of us plan a vacation once, maybe twice a year...but how many chose a city, a brewery, a beer festival as a destination to enjoy what little time we get?
Well this past February I did just that. A promise I made many years ago finally came through. I promised a man, my beer Yoda, Jack Gordon that some day I would make it there. Finally I made true on my words.
On February 2nd I set out for Minneapolis, Minnesota for a 3 day Beercation. Ticket bought online for the annual Minnesota Beer Dabbler in mind.
Now I had many other plans than just the Dabbler, and Jack and Rob V. Coombs had me under their wing.
My first night, I was a deer in headlights, wanting so much to happen, excited, but reality set in, folks have to work, so we settled for a meet and greet in my hotel. Which by the way was probably the best time of the trip for me. I ordered the pizza, Jack and Rob showed up, we ate, we drank via a bottle share that would make any beer geek pass out from lack of fluid. Was a great first night. The game was afoot.
The next morning I partook in some #AMBC , and many #HMBC. Both my caretakers had to work till early afternoon so I explored several places my self. First stop, which I bugged Jack to death, was Surly. I have had several of their beers in the past and was only a few blocks from my hotel via the free shuttle. I was the first person there that morning, hey I am diligent.
I sat, I drank and I loved every minute. Not only do they have world class beers but the food is amazing as well. As a social person I hit up a young couple who sat next to me and we hit it off. They said I needed to go to Summit Brewing next. I informed my crew that I was heading that way. Thanks to Über I was off.
Side note: when wearing a major brewery shirt to a brewery during a tour, be ready to be hammered with questions and requests for free stuff.
After spending an hour or so, Jack, Rob and Bruce Olsen showed up after work. From here on the night gets a little blurry. But I do know Rob either was or volunteered as the DD, once again showing commitment to show me a good time, shout out to Rob V. Coombs for that night.
Soon we hit Hammerheart, 612, North Gate and well, I think a few more, I forget. But we knew the next day was going to be big so it was, for a lack of better terms, an early night.
Day 2. awoke to a continental breakfast and again a few morning #AMBC. The plan was set, as I explained to Jack, I needed to hit a beer store for a fix to take home. As the trooper he is, he knew what daddy needed. We hit his local store for me to partake AND IT WAS GLORIOUS!!!!
Imagine if you will a adult store filled with every alcohol known to mankind, well for me was the beers I could not get in Indiana.
So we were off, hand in hand, kipping like Dorothy , the tin man and the lion in the Wizard of Oz, through the store doors. Once inside I found beers that I have only heard about. Needless to say the Bulk of my budget was spent in said store, much to the chagrin of my wife when I told her how much and it was a lot, just sayin. Next we were off to pick up the rest of the gang.
We picked up Rob, and headed to C&G brewing central, Jacks house. There I met Rob and another member. We had a few beers when Jacks lovely wife, who drove us to the Dabbler, presented all of us with pretzel and sausage, yes sausage necklaces to snack on, What an amazing woman!
We are off, now. Imagine a Disneyworld for adults.the climax, the anticipation was so thick it resembled a stouts head. We checked in at a bar near the fair grounds. And jumped on board a bus that drove us, along with 50 others, to the event.
I have been to several beer festivals in my life, but nothing, I mean nothing prepared me for this Mecca. 300 breweries, over 500 beers. It was like Willy Wonka Wonderland of fermented goodness. Fun was had by all but the day was not over.
After many, many, many beers we had a ride home, once again. Jack had a buddy hook us up with a ride. But, even after this amazing day, I wanted to hit Dangerous Man on the way. So we did.
There, yes I spent alot again, lol, and brought home beer I cannot get here...
All in all I have Jack and Rob to thank for making this trip a success and one that I and going back to again.
This group has the most helpful, friendly people that they go out of their way to make a few days seem like a true vacation. For this trip I am eternally grateful to them.
So when you are planning your next trip this summer, plan on a trip to a brewery, a festival, you will not be disappointed. And hit up a local Templar...they can make a trip turn into a trip of a lifetime.