Saturday adventuring

My Saturday started early with a 5:30am meet-up at the trail head with a couple of running friends. We headed onto the horse trails in the darkness for the first of a few loops around the park. I managed 17 miles which was right in the range for what my training plan called for. I felt really good throughout the run, and as my taper kicks into full swing, I’m getting anxious to get the big race going.

After recovering, and a shower, the wife and I decided to head out for a visit to some taprooms that I had never been to. Our first stop was all the way over in Somerset, WI at Oliphant Brewing. I’ve heard nothing but great things about this out-of-the-way destination, and was excited to sample their wares. I ordered up a flight of six of their beers and started tasting, while a cheesy old Jackie Chan movie played on the big TV in the corner. Most of Oliphant’s beers are named from movie references; either titles or famous lines. This added a fun flair to the whole experience as I sampled my way through beers like Party on Garth and Mothra vs. Mothra.

I enjoyed everything that I tasted, and some of them were quite unique with additives like ginger root and lime. The quality was also spot-on with no flaws and the beers tasting like they were described. Despite liking everything I drank, I would have a hard time driving all the way over to there on a regular basis. It’s a long drive from the NW suburbs, though I can see how this would be a great hang-out for people on the east side of the cities.

After Oliphant we made our way to lunch. My wife has spent some time in Europe and has commented that she hasn’t had schnitzel in a long time. I was going to take her to Glokenspiel a few months ago, only to hear that it closed down. So, for lunch today we hit Gasthaus Bavarian Hunter in Stillwater. There, we got to have some pretty decent German food, in a setting that totally made my wife reminisce about her time in Austria.

We decided on one more stop on our way back through town at Big Wood Brewery in White Bear Lake. I’ve had some of their beers at other restaurants, so I was familiar with some of my flight. I did get to try at least three beers that I had never had before, and out of my flight of 6 beers, five of them were quite good. The amber ale was unfortunately a dud for me, as whatever hop combination they used to give it a ‘fig’ flavor just didn’t work.

The Big Wood taproom was nice and cozy, with a cabin feel, and it seemed like a great neighborhood place to meet up with friends. Again, because of the distance, I doubt I’ll be out there very often, but it’s great to see other areas of the cities (besides NE Minneapolis) get some quality beer, in a great taproom setting.

We then headed home to continue our marathon of the second season of Daredevil. It was a great day to spend with the wife, and have some small adventures with great beer and food. It’s wonderful to see the Twin Cities beer community evolve and really be a great place where you can enjoy tasty brews.

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