Very Interesting Places…
Aha, eureka, a tour to see/hear about/taste one of Noel’s favorite things, Sprecher Root Beer!
Bruce called the company, and found that they offer several tours per day for a small per-person fee. So we left Burlington with the car air-conditioner blasting, in the middle of a torrential thunderstorm, for north Milwaukee. The trip took nearly an hour and twenty minutes.
Sprecher has moved from the industrial complex near the landmark Rockwell clock tower to a one-story building confronting a residential neighborhood in Glendale. It was, according to our tour guide, once an elevator factory. (They must have had quite a basement to test their product, or a trans-dimensional tower!) We arrived early. That was good, because parking was at a premium. The small lot holds 12-15 visitor’s cars; otherwise, street parking is available. One vehicle left just as we got there, and Bruce pulled in.
We soon found out that the company doesn’t run on Greenwich Mean Time, but instead follows Sprecher time: our watches, compared with the clock on the wall, showed the tour started six minutes late. A blond young man who appeared to be in his twenties finally loped into the room carrying a glass mug half full of water, and encouraged “You guys” should gather near the double door leading to the brewing area. Us guys formed a full tour: there were between 30-40 grown-ups and children following him. I half expected the guide to pull out an instrument and begin playing like a Pied Piper as we trailed him into the next room.
Several large tanks sat on the concrete floor of the brewing area, with pipes connecting them both overhead and under foot. We were warned to watch our steps. There were fewer vats than I expected. Except for the group, only one man was in the room, caretaking whatever filled the fermenting vat at the moment. It was also somewhat noisy. Our guide had to yell his spiel, and often partook of his water. He passed around mugs of malted barley and pelleted hops so we could feel and smell them. Some brave individuals even tasted them. Not very flavorful at this stage. They needed some encouragement.
One can spend a very pleasant afternoon at Sprecher. This was both fun and informative. If you haven't tried it yet, I’d say it’s one of Milwaukee’s Very Interesting Places.
Friday, July 19, 2013
Monday, July 1, 2013
2 large sweet apples, skin on, coarsely chopped (Fuji, Delicious, jonadel, Gala, etc.)
3 ribs celery, strings removed, chopped
1/4 cup Chardonnay (Barefoot, Tisdale, Liberty Creek)
1/2 cup walnut pieces (more or less to taste)
2 heaping teaspoons plain yoghurt
1 teaspoon good lite raspberry vinaigrette (I used Kraft this time, which is a bit sweeter than I'd intended: I've also used Penzey's Spices Raspberry Enlightenment along with a bit of red wine vinegar and brown sugar)
Put apples in a bowl. Add Chardonnay and toss until all pieces are coated so they won't discolor. Add celery and walnuts. Stir. Add yoghurt. Stir thoroughly. Add raspberry vinaigrette, and make certain you don't overdo it (you want the raspberry taste to come after the apples and walnuts, just a hint of a bloom in the back of the mouth). Chill for several hours, and serve. Serves four. Yummms all around!