Brewery Day Drives, Craft Beer Travel, Travel, United States

New Ulm, Minnesota Day Trip – August Schell Brewery, Buffalo, and a Glockenspiel

As we ventured off the interstate from Minneapolis towards New Ulm, Minnesota, I was reminded about how vast and beautiful the United States of America truly is. The farmlands and prairies we passed on the hour-and-a-half drive were alive with greens of a thousand different hues. Our final destination for the day was August Schell Brewery in New Ulm, Minnesota. But first, we had a few other fun stops planned to learn…

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Brewery Day Drives, Craft Beer Travel, Travel, United States

Stillwater Day Tripping – Where to Find Craft Beer in Stillwater

One of the things that amazed me the most about Minneapolis, and Minnesota in general, is the amount of things to do there. Who knew you could easily spend a week’s vacation in a state that’s frozen a good portion of the year? When that snow melts though, the scenery is lush and the temperatures are pleasantly mild.     While I spent most of my time in Minneapolis at a travel…

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Eating, Food, Travel, United States

Mall of America Food Tour – Seriously? Seriously!

There aren’t many things that I hate more than malls and hotel food. Just the thought of walking through the claustrophobic, shiny corridors makes me clam up. And then there’s the lights and signage and digging through store racks for something that might look good on me. No thanks. I’ll do my shopping with StitchFix. And hotel food? Seriously? Why eat in your hotel when there’s an entire city to explore? Why…

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Craft Beer Travel, Taproom Talk, Travel, United States

Bang Brewing – Exploring St Paul’s Food and Craft Beer Scene with an Organic and Sustainable Lens

There’s a lot that can be said about Bang Brewing. They’re organic, minimalist, and housed in a grain silo. They’re the exact opposite of the over the top beers that seem to be catching headlines today. Yet, Bang Brewing is capturing all the attention they want in their hometown of St Paul, Minnesota. I stopped into Bang Brewing back in May after a whirlwind brewery tour of St Paul. I’d say it…

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Travel, United States

Old Edwards Inn and Spa in Highlands, North Carolina – Your Much Deserved Mountain Retreat

“A French wine is like a hard to get woman,” said Phillipe Brainos, Head Sommelier at Old Edwards Inn and Spa in Highlands, North Carolina. “You keep asking her out, and a thousand times she says no. But then, she finally says yes.”     Brainos love of nuanced, refined taste is the epitome of all that Old Edwards Inn and Spa stands for. From the moment you arrive – greeted with…

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Craft Beer Travel, Destination Beer Travel Guides, Europe, Travel

Belfast Beer Guide – More than just Guinness and Harp

I realize that a beer guide to Belfast might sound a wee ridiculous. It’s Northern Ireland, after all. Doesn’t beer flow like the rain falls from the sky? Isn’t there a pub on every corner? All very true statements. But this isn’t a pub guide to Belfast. This is a Belfast beer guide intended to highlight the city’s growing craft beer scene by directing readers towards the best restaurants, pubs, and beer…

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Brewery Reviews, Craft Beer Travel, Travel, United States

Surly Brewing – Great Beer, Even Better Food

February’s edition of Brewery Snapshot, featuring Surly Brewing, pauses coverage on Northern Ireland for a moment and foreshadows where The Wandering Gourmand plans to take readers next – to the Twin Cities. I was in Minneapolis last May for a travel writers’ conference. And, of course, no conference is just about the conference for me. It’s also about exploring the local craft beer and food scene any chance that I get.  …

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Craft Beer Travel, Europe, Food, Travel

Lough Erne Food Tour Review – My First Taste of Northern Ireland

I was tired. The kind of tired you only feel after a restless, overnight flight. The kind of tired where both your body and mind tell you that you should indeed be sleeping. But something presses you on. Adrenaline, maybe? The excitement of a new land? This is how I felt as I loaded onto the Erne Water Taxi for their Lough Erne Food Tour in the Fermanagh lake region of Northern…

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Craft Beer Travel, Europe, Travel

72 Hours in Belfast – Beer, Food, Politics, and Beauty

Day 1 – 72 Hours in Belfast 9:33 am – Not the Way to Welcome a Travel Writer As a travel writer, I don’t expect a lot from a host destination. I don’t expect them to slaughter the fatted calf, open a bottle of their rarest vintage, or offer up the village virgin. What I do expect is for them to let me into the damn country – which almost didn’t happen…

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Europe, Hotel Review, Travel

Gourmand Worthy Hotels – Lough Erne Resort in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland

As if you couldn’t tell from my previous hotel reviews, I like to be spoiled. Even in my beercation itineraries, I tend to recommend higher end hotels. Sometimes, my readers give me pushback. “I prefer Airbnb. Much cheaper.”     That’s true. However, when I travel, I want to be spoiled. I want the finest linens available to grace my skin, beds that I can sink into, and staff that bends over…

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