It was extremely easy getting from Three Floyd’s to Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery. We pulled into town, and found the brewpub right along the railroad tracks at the train station. The building was built in 1906 by the Illinois Central Railroad, and the first thing I noticed was that it is still an active train station.
The second thing I noticed was the Public Library– prominently seated off the traffic circle and advertising free WiFi and Coffee, I was drawn to visit.
While D stepped in for a beer, I enjoyed walking the floor of this library, which was built in 2004. The facilities were clean and welcoming. The coffee was served in a quiet corner with comfy chairs and a fireplace overlooking the outdoor seating area and garden. The technology center was self-service with advanced reservations for cardholders, and several catalog stations were placed throughout the facility. Signs clearly explained which service desk would serve which need, and where to find information. As a library tourist, I didn’t want to risk being labeled as “a weirdo wandering the stacks”, so I did not visit the children’s area upstairs, but I did admire the work tables with pop-up outlets for electricity and network connectivity, and I did sit at their outside cafe tables on the patio to assemble my mail.
I walked from the library to the post office, then into the park at the circle before returning to the brewpub / train station. The whole time I was thinking that Flossmoor would be a wonderful destination by train!
The brewery opened in 1996, and all staff are required to attend a month of “beer school”, so they do know their stuff. The seating made creative use of the place, which kept all the characteristics of a train station. The bar is long, and it was full of people watching television and enjoying beers / lunch. The wireless connectivity only worked on my Palm, so I couldn’t get any “work” done from the laptop. I was impressed by the ethnic diversity of the crowd. In my experience, brewpubs tend to be frequented by a very white crowd, but this place represented several other cultures, and primarily a black population. It was a nice change of scene, and I wondered if it was reflective of the community of Flossmoor or the proximity to public transit, allowing anyone from anywhere to access the facility.
As for the beers, I limited my intake to a 12 oz glass of the Gandy Dancer Honey Ale. This was made with rye wheat and three types of hops (which the bartender couldn’t identify for me), and a touch of orange blossom honey. It was a nice session beer for my little stop-over. D had the Leftorium, which was a Flander’s-style sour brown aged in French oak barrels (5% ABV). He also tried the Avant Garde(7% ABV) – a farmhouse beire-de-garde, which he unfortunately did not offer to share. He described it later as full bodied with a cherry malt taste, and used the word “fruitcake” to describe the mouthfeel (and I am a fan of a good fruitcake, so I was disappointed that he didn’t share the wealth!)
They had 11 bers on tap, but had just kicked the Imperial Dwarf IPA, so we didn’t get a chance to try that out.