Congratulations to Jon (who I only know by reputation through his parents, but since I like them, I’ll bet I’d like him!) – he’s been published and the topic is beer, and specifically wit beers available in the West Chester area.
A four-hour layover in Atlanta was made bearable by the addition of Sweetwater Draft House & Grill on Concourse B. The airport pub features several of Sweetwater Brewing Company’s beers – there were four on our visit : 420, IPA, Hummer and Blue.
We enjoyed the IPAs (served in 15-oz and 20-oz glasses at more than $6.00 each!) with the Portobello Mushroom Sandwich and the Big Kahuna Fish Sandwich. The IPA was well hopped with a very pleasant aroma. Much more than I expected at an airport eatery, and certainly superior to our other choices – Budweiser Brewhouse & Smoking Lounge or Sam Adams Brewhouse (which featured Ale, Lager, Winter Lager and Cherry Wheat.)
I don’t think I was awake for much of the drive from Des Moines, IA through Missouri, and woke up around Kansas City. We crossed in to Kansas and headed straight for the city of Lawrence, KS. Our friend Tim suggested we meet at Free State Brewing, which is located on the main street among a mixture of small family businesses that range from practical to funky, and higher-end stores I expect to see in fancy malls.
The building is a former trolley station, and retains many of the original features (if you go, look up!), but is well suited for a crowded restaurant with multiple choices for seating areas. Plenty of people also chose to move outside to the street patio (drinking only.) We sat in the front of the restaurant, near the crowded bar and under the balcony seating. The businesses in Lawrence, KS are all non-smoking, so we knew the air would be breathable from any table!
The Brew Kettle is home of The Ringnecked Brewing Company, as well as a B.O.P. (Brew on Premises) and a beer bar. It’s a simple location – concrete and steel, chalkboard beer list and patio that appears to be chairs pulled into a parking lot, but the surface does not describe the atmosphere inside or among the personnel / clientele relationships.
This place started out as a brewery and BOP, and expanded when they realized people wanted to eat before, during and/or after they were brewing, so a family-friendly beer bar emerged. 24 different beers were on tap, rotating as we sat there, and to my delight, sample platters are available (I’m NOT a sampler kind of girl, but sometimes you can’t have a pint of everything!
We each tried a sampler – D had the five Ringnecked items, and I had five supplied brews. There were plenty of locals (lunch-time and afternoon visitors, staff visiting after hours and ladies celebrating a birthday) and it looked like they had a nice menu (we just shared a stick of Mike’s Fresh Smokies.) Speaking of “smokies”, the place was completely non-smoking! Continue reading