Summer of Beer

Nothing posted since June?!?! Really?!?! WOW. I think Facebook has stolen all of my leisure Internet attention, and a total web site redesign at work zapped my energy for writing on the web. Or maybe I can blame it on the budget (today Pennsylvania is on Day 62 without a budget –  one of two states in the country without a spending plan and there is no relief in sight.)

So, where have I been pubcrawlin’ all this time?

Our summer big-beer-trip – the start of which was my last blog posting – was with the destination Fargo, ND in mind. Why? So D could have a beer from his 50th state (for me, it was #49 – I still need Arkansas on my “drink a beer from” list; we both have a couple left on our “drink a beer in” states.) Did you know that ND only has one brewery, and sadly, it’s a Granite City?

We also got up to Winnipeg, after a bit of delay at the border (she wasn’t buying the backpacking, birdwatching, beer-traveling librarian story.) The goal there was to visit Half Pints Brewing, an excellent brewery run by one of our favorite brewers in Canada. We enjoyed that visit so much (yes, yes, I need to post about it alone!) and also a side-trip to Kings Head Pub for half-pints of Half Pints and great food (pakora with tamarind chutney, vegetable spring rolls served with plum dipping sauce, Scotch eggs with mango chutney and samosas with tamarind chutney.)

Our other big beer adventure this summer was Great Taste of the Mid-West in August. Eight people traveled for 5 days in a van called Mangina from Harrisburg, PA to Madison, WI and back. Chicago brought us down a bit with bad weather and deplorable traffic conditions, but the beer on our travels, and the glories of the destination made it all worth it! There were some CRAZY beers there. I need to find a way to retrospectively blog about this one…it was too awesome to be forgotten. We couldn’t have had six better beer-traveling companions!

Summer adventures in Philadelphia included the Royal Stumble with Ray and Cornelia (and a variety of great pubs and people fell into that weekend!), Christmas in July at Grey Lodge, and just last weekend, Founder’s Canadian Breakfast Stout and more at Teresa’s Next Door.

Back at home, I thoroughly enjoyed volunteering at the 2nd Annual Hops, Vines & Wines Festival  in Selinsgrove, PA. What a fabulous festival in my home area! I was glad to be there to help serve Iron Hill beers, and the next morning, pinch hit to sing the anthem at my parent’s church.

These are just the major summer adventures. I can’t even begin to dream up all of the minor ones right now. And soon it will be time for New York City Beer Week and Brewgrass. Oh boy…time to call on that second liver…

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