Sunday, May 29, 2011
Scott and I decided at the last minute to head east on I-94 to check out Dave's Brewfarm, a windmill powered brewery in rural Wisconsin. Best. Decision. Ever. We rarely take road trips unless we are headed to South Dakota to visit my family so this adventure was a nice change. Even though I-94 isn't that scenic, we did stop in Baldwin, "the Biggest Little Town in Wisconsin, for an A&W fix for Scott. We exited I-94 onto beautiful rolling hill road and saw a herd of cattle hanging out with no signs of a fence keeping them from leaving the farm. We spotted a deer in a field of yellow wildflowers and pulled over to take a photo. It is at this point I realized I packed up all of my camera gear but left both of my memory cards behind. iPhoneograpy to the rescue. However, I didn't even attempt to capture the deer and instead appreciated the moment. As if seeing a Doe in the middle of a gorgeous field wasn't enough, we were dazzled by a fawn crossing the road on its wobbly legs. After our brush with wildlife, we set out to reach our destination, 2470 Wilson St., Wilson, Wisconsin.
We were greeted by this lovely handmade brewery sign and the home/brewery of Dave Anderson and Pamela Dixon. Even though the sign pictured above clearly marks the brewery's location, since we were the first to arrive, we somehow thought we should go to the front door (which we later confirmed is their private residence). Fortunately, a couple of regulars, Val and her husband whose name I can't remember, saved us and showed us the ropes by leading us the proper entrance. Soon lots of people were showing up with grills and food to share. It's been a long time since I've experienced such an instant community, dynamic as the people were added. We met and talked with a wonderful retired couple from White Bear Lake - Don and Noreen, who taught Mathematics at Hamline University. I talked with the Bar Manager of Blue Nile which is on my list of places to visit since I haven't been there in a long time. We also talked with Gerry, co-owner of Lowertown Wine & Spirits in St. Paul, who is awesome and has a great sense of humor. Of course, the highlight was getting a chance to talk with Dave, who is both the boss of, and sole employee of, Dave's Brewfarm. He likes to experiment and has the formal training to make it work. His wife, Pam told us of his background working in all aspects of the beer industry and the work it took to create the brewfarm while we worked our way down the list of 8 beers on our flight:
1. Wheatless Wonder
2. Hibiscus Lager
3. Amalgam II
4. Rye Knot Saison
6. Columbus Single Hope Lager
8. Lupulo Noir
I had to take a break around beer five because even though I was only drinking about 4 oz per beer, they are strong beers and I wanted to truly appreciate each one.
I left feeling like I was now part of the Dave's Brewfarm family and I can't wait to return with my beer friends (and DSLR loaded with a memory card) in tow.
I attempted my first 365 photo project in 2011. I made it to Day 246.
The Nivens Family