Goose Island Brewery - Chicago, IL

So, the Cubs just won Game 6, which means they are heading to the World Series! I just wanted to show Chicago some love and share a quick Chicago brewery visit with you! Goose Island is located at 1800 North Clybourn in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago. They have quite a large selection of beer on tap, so whatever your taste, you'll likely find something. I definitely found that the more expensive beers were way, way more worth ordering - so, go for one of their Belgian styles or something barrel aged, and you are in for a treat! Below, you will see their Cuban Sandwich and amazing Onion Rings! 

Look at those Onion Rings!

Have you ever eaten Poutine? I had not even heard of it before this, but our friends insisted we order one for the table. WOW, that gravy was for real! It's a Canadian dish that consists of fries, topped in gravy, cheese, and a fried egg! And, the roast meat on the dish tasted incredible, like the best beef stew I've ever had.

Poutine at Goose Island Brewery

Love the food and food pairing recipes they offer on their website - the photos and recipes are super unique. 

beer at Goose Island

And, the BBQ Sandwich was also good! 

BBQ sandwich at Goose Island In Chicago

Trail To Tavern - San Diego & Escondido // Breweries & Bottleshops (And What To Wear To A Brewery)

I know I am only scratching the surface of where to drink in and around the San Diego area, but we found some pretty incredible breweries, bottle shops, and other places that I am so excited to share with you! And, since Toad&Co. was kind enough to inspire me to write this post, I wanted to do a brewery + outfit pairing! Check out my absolute favorite Toad&Co. suggestions, below. 

We drove to California this past March, during our month in Arizona. We decided to visit my friends at HelloSociety Santa Monica, and then head to the San Diego/Escondido area. We only had about 5-6 days in California, but definitely made the most of it! 

We knew there was a plethora of good beer in the San Diego area, so we decided to stay as close  as we could, which would up being the Best Western in Escondido, CA. March Madness completely filled all of the hotels in the San Diego area, so Escondido was the closest and coolest place we could find at short notice. Funny enough, any time you mention "Escondido" to anyone in the area, they say, "You're going to visit Stone Brewing, right?". 

Below, you will learn about the 4 breweries we visited, Stone Brewing, Toolbox Brewing, Modern Times, and Council Brewing.

Stone Brewing

At Stone Brewing, we were astounded by the immense scale of the tap room. The ceiling must go 2-3 stories up, and there are live  plants and water features throughout the building. There is also a lovely outdoor area, where you can grab a drink and food with friends, or even let your kids run around in the gardens. 

This pace was almost hard to find, because it's in a business park area, around nothing but office buildings. Also, the sign is rather small, so park near the hiking trail, and follow the intoxicating scent of hops through the bamboo garden walkway into either the store, brewery, or tap room(s). 

Stone Brewing
Stone Brewing
Stone Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Stone Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Stone Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Stone Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Trail 2 Tavern - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Stone Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Stone Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Stone Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Stone Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Stone Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Stone Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Stone Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

And, if you don't wind up eating at Stone Brewing, we also ate at this incredibly wonderful restaurant called Spices Thai Cafe! 

Trail 2 Tavern - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Bottle Shops To Visit

Since I promised you a list of Bottle Shops to visit (a.k.a. places to get insanely good, rare, and unique beer), here they are!

- Bottlecraft, Servall Liquors, Best Damn Beer Shop, Bine & Vine, Chip's Liquor, Holiday Wine & Spirits, Clemm's Bottle Shop, Fletcher Bottle Shop, Oak & Craft, and SO MANY MORE!!!


Toolbox Brewing Company is one of the most unique and special breweries we have ever visited. Their tap handles were made of tools (reminiscent of the San Diego Skyline), and the overall design of the place reminded me of an extremely clean mechanic's shop with lots of great merchandise to bring home with you. We had such a nice conversation with the brewery owner/founder, and learned so much about the local beer scene. They are making an effort to use their own experimental recipes, and I loved the Bog Sauce! Definitely stop by and take a look at all of those beautiful barrels!

Toolbox Brewing Company - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Toolbox Brewing Company - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Toolbox Brewing Company - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Toolbox Brewing Company - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Toolbox Brewing Company - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Toolbox Brewing Company - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Toolbox Brewing Company - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Toolbox Brewing Company - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

At Modern Times Flavordome, located at  3000 Upas St. in San Diego, you will find some absolutely incredible beer and coffee! There is a second location as well. Their beer is superior to so many others, so if you are anywhere near this bar, please, please visit! If beer isn't your thing, you can always order a cold brew coffee, in a stemmed glass, like the one above, poured over ice.  

Modern Times
Modern Times

Lamp shades hang from the ceiling of the tap room. 

Modern Times

If you order a flight here, they serve it to you in the top of a wooden cigar box. 

Modern Times
what to wear

The best thing about Toad&Co clothing, is that it all looks incredibly polished, but is very, very comfortable! That is the exact sort of outfit I would recommend wearing to a brewery when it's nice and warm outside. Dresses are so versatile, and make sure you wear semi comfy shoes, because you never know where the day may take you when you're hunting for breweries to visit in the San Diego area! 

Palmira Dress

Palmira Dress

Rosemarie Dress

Rosemarie Dress

Cold Brew Coffee, below, available if you don't want to get a beer - so smart! 

Modern Times
Modern Times

Their tap list - I'm sure they've switched a few things up by this point :)

Modern Times

Mouth Watering Taps!

Modern Times

Several of the walls were completely covered in floppy discs! I guess their other location has a giant sticky note mural that features Michael Jackson + Bubbles. 

Modern Times
Modern Times

Their bar was made of stacks and stacks of VHS tapes! So freaking cool! Definitely check out Modern Times if you get a chance, it's such a fun place.

Modern Times

Council Brewing greeted us with a gigantic wall of barrels - a very good sign, meaning they take lots of time to age their beers, as well as make lots of sour beers (yum)!!

The bartender was super nice and helpful, and did a great job managing the requests of everyone in the space. This brewery provides wide open space, ample seating, and a very relaxed environment. We tried several sour fruit beers, under their Beatitude line, and loved absolutely everything we had. I wish we could find their beer in Illinois. 

Council Brewing
What To Wear

A brighter dress is also a great option for a brewery visit in California! I would also recommend bringing a sweater or denim jacket as well, because so many of these breweries had their doors open at night, letting fresh air into the space - such a wonderful thing!

Sama Sama Dress

Sama Sama Dress

Palmira Dress

Palmira Dress

Such good beer! I love their fruit-based beers best. 

Council Brewing
Council Brewing

Two of their special edition beers. 

Council Brewing
Council Brewing

A flight of as many beers as you want! I think their glasses are adorable. 

Council Brewing

Where the magic happens...

Council Brewing
Council Brewing

Note** More photos will be added very soon! Stay Tuned :) 

Trail To Tavern - Breweries, Bottle Shops, and Bars Near St. Petersburg and Tampa, FL

We just got back home from spending a bit of time in Florida. As you know, we love the craft beer scene, and we had heard a lot of good things about the breweries and beers originating in the Tampa area. St. Petersburg is nearby, and sees like the mecca of craft beer in the central gulf coast area of Florida. 

Toad&Co. reached out to me again about featuring this story on their blog, and helped me brainstorm about this post. Their mission, of being the first Trail To Tavern clothing company really inspired me! Check out another blogger's Trail To Tavern Story on the Toad&Co. blog, here

UPDATE: Check Out My Feature On The Toad&Co Blog Here

In this post, I will share some of the best places to find good beer and blaze an urban trail in central Florida! I will also show you some of the places to walk around before grabbing a beer in these wonderful places.

We drove across bridge the Howard Frankland Bridge, from Tampa to St. Petersburg on the quest for good beer! You get to see ocean on both sides of you the whole time! 

American Craft Beer Week was coming to an end, and the South Florida Craft Beer Week happened earlier in the year. 


Green Bench Brewing

1133 Baum Ave North, St. Petersburg, FL

Green Bench Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Good Beer In Florida

Green Bench Brewing is located in a hip area of St. Petersburg, FL. There are murals everywhere, good food, shops, and palm trees galore. The weather was HOT, but a cold beer made the warmth so much more enjoyable! 

Green Bench Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Green Bench Brewing is super dog friendly! We met this cute little German Shepard puppy, who was 3 months old!

Green Bench Brewing is super dog friendly! We met this cute little German Shepard puppy, who was 3 months old!

Green Bench Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

Green Bench really filled up after a bit. Both side their facility, as well as a huge crowd outside, I was so happy to see so many people enjoying good beer. 

Green Bench Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Green Bench Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
St. Petersburg, FL - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

Bodega 

Address

Bodega - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Bodega - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Bodega - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

We got a Cuban sandwich and a very healthy smoothie from Bodega. It was very good! So glad some locals we met at Green Bench told us to check this place out. 

Bodega - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Lily The Wandering Gypsy

Shep's Bottle & Keg - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

We really liked the amazing selection of bottles in Shep's. They had just about every Florida beer you would ever want, some great collaboration beers (where two breweries collaborate on a style/flavor), and one employee in particular, spent time showing us around, explaining a bit about the area, and knew a lot about beer in general.  She was very helpful, and seems like she would love to help just about anyone learn more about craft beer. 

Shep's - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Shep's Bottle & Keg - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Shep's Beer - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Shep's - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

Salvador Dali Museum

1 Dali Blvd, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Dali Museum - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

Although we just checked out the exterior of this building, it was stunning! It would basically cost $50 for two people to visit, $10 for parking, and $20 each person to get in. You can still enjoy the restaurant or interact with a couple of outdoor exhibits. We did enjoy the incredible architecture and outdoor art installations at this venue, though. The museum was right across from a marina, and the whole area was beautiful, covered in palm trees and vibrant landscaping. 

Dali Museum - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Dali Museum - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

Jug & Bottle Bottle Shop 

Seminole Heights Neighborhood, Tampa, FL

Seminole Heights - Tampa, FL

Jug & Bottle Dept. had a stunning selection of beer and wine. You an even grab a beer on draught, and shop while you sip. They also had a good assortment of snacks and a few grocery items. Definitely stop by this place on your way to a friend's house if you need something to bring! 

Jug & Bottle Dept.  - located at  6203 N Florida Ave -   Tampa, FL 33604

Jug & Bottle Dept. - located at 6203 N Florida Ave - Tampa, FL 33604

Vintage Bottle Openers at  Jug & Bottle Dept.   - located at   6203 N Florida Ave -   Tampa, FL 33604

Vintage Bottle Openers at Jug & Bottle Dept. - located at 6203 N Florida Ave - Tampa, FL 33604


Independent Bar & Cafe

Seminole Heights Neighborhood, Tampa, FL

Independent Bar - Seminole Heights

While at Jug & Bottle, we talked to some of the nicest employees of theirs. They explained the FL craft beer scene to us, and recommended that we grab a bit to eat at Independent Bar & Cafe. We grabbed one of the best drinks I have ever, ever had - the Brewski Slim Pickens Make Mama Proud Passionfruit Sour. My, oh my, this was so refreshing in the intense heat and humidity of the Tampa area. I guess this is pretty hard to find, so you will have to visit Independent Bar & Cafe to get it. 

They were also hosting a Founder's Tap Takeover, and people were definitely there for the beer. There was a cute outdoor seating area, that actually had giant outdoor air conditioners, providing everyone who wanted to sit outside with a fresh cool breeze. 

I definitely recommend this place! 

Independent Bar - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Independent Bar & Cafe - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Independent Bar - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

Cycle Brewing

534 Central Ave - Saint Petersburg, FL

Cycle Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

I absolutely loved the neighborhood around this brewery, and they have very limited bottle releases (meaning they only bottle a limited number of beers per year, and there is a limit on the number of bottle each person can buy). 

They serve only their beers, and you have to actually go there to try them. 

I loved grabbing a beer here and then exploring the few blocks in one direction, from the front of the brewery. 

It really seems like the people who frequent this brewery know a lot about beer and all seemed very happy to be there! You can definitely grab a drink here before or after dinner, and enjoy the many, many restaurants within just a few blocks of Cycle Brewing. 

Cycle Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Cycle Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Cycle Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Cycle Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

St Pete Hyppo (Gourmet Ice Pops)
627 Central Ave
Saint Petersburg, Fl 33701


The Cider Press Cafe

601 Central Ave.
St Petersburg, Florida 33701 

Cider Press Cafe - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

I didn't eat here, but the food and drinks looked SO good! Everyone thee seemed to be enjoying a cute stemmed glass of cider and fresh meals. 

Cider Press Cafe - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

Bodega - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. - Gilbert, AZ

Lily The Wandering Gypsy

Arizona Wilderness was one of the places we had really been looking forward to. They have pretty rare beers, and even though mine was expensive (unexpectedly $10! oops!!), it was very good! The Rim Country Framboise Noir (5.5% ABV) - Sour Red aged in French oak w/ wild foraged blackberries from the Mogollon Rim! YUM!

Bobby's beer was only $3, so they DO have a good range of prices. We got lucky, it was Taco Tuesday, so we got Pork Tacos, which were very juicy, dripping in fact. They had a good spice to them, and I definitely needed some food at this point!

Lily The Wandering Gypsy

"WE ARE GILBERT’S FIRST BREWERY!

For years we've dreamed of bringing together our two loves: The beautiful and diverse state of Arizona together with hand crafted, artisanal ales. While backpacking the wondrous depths of Arizona we forged ideas that would one day become Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. Well, here we are! We will continue our endeavor into the remote beauties of both the Arizona Wilderness and Craft Beer.

Our belief is that beer is more than a beverage to guzzle on Sundays, just another beverage at the party, or cheap yellow fizzy stuff dad drank while wearing his dirty flannel shirts. Beer is culture and we have a true PASSION for this amazing beverage! Check out our food menu, as it was created to pair quite nicely with our fine ales. C’mon in and see what we are up to next!"

Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Lily The Wandering Gypsy
 
Lily The Wandering Gypsy

Papago Brewing Co. - Scottsdale, AZ

Another stop on our quest for craft beer was Papago Brewing Co. 

LWG

We drove a little ways to get to this place, but it was really nice. We almost couldn't find it, because it was one of the few businesses still operating in this strip mall. Nonetheless, I am really happy we went! The food was decent too, not a huge menu but the Nachos with pork added were good, the Caprese Salad was fresh, and the Thai Chicken Wrap was great! 

Their food was a nice addition to the amazing beer selection! And, it is a bottle shop where you can have the bartender open any bottle in the cooler and drink it on sight! They also had quite a few beers on draught, including their own beers, 30 taps with various, rotating selections. I took a pick your 6 pack home. 

Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Lily The Wandering Gypsy

We tried the Transatlantic Kriek beer from New Belgium / Lips Of Faith. It was amazing!!! Love the tart cherry flavor and the beautiful red color of this beer. 

Lily The Wandering Gypsy

THE BEER

"We feature 30 beers on tap. And every time a keg runs out, a different one takes its place. You will never see the same lineup twice. We also offer over 500 different bottled beers to drink on site or to take home. We love beers from all over the world, and you can choose from a wide selection of Belgian, German, and English beers from our coolers and on tap. But our pride and our specialty is kick-ass American craft beer. We love to drink local, and we love to offer the best of the best from microbreweries around the country."

The Thai Chicken Wrap, Potato Salad, and a Pickle. 

The Thai Chicken Wrap, Potato Salad, and a Pickle. 

Lily The Wandering Gypsy

The nachos were also good. we added pork to them, and there were all sorts of good toppings. 

Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Lily The Wandering Gypsy

About This Beer: "In a never-ending quest to create new beers and defy category, New Belgium Brewing and Old Beersel of Belgium have partnered to create TRANSATLANTIQUE KRIEK, a spontaneously fermented lambic ale made with sour cherries. The 2016 edition of Transatlantique Kriek began life in the oaken vessels of Gert Christiaens’ Oud Beersel, a 130-year-old Belgian lambic brewery. After time spent aging in wood, Oud Beersel’s lambic was blended with tart cherries and shipped across the Atlantic to New Belgium. In concert with Oud Beersel’s cherry lambic, or kriek, we blended in a portion of our own sour Felix from our foeder forest, and created a golden brew to mix in, and round out, the engaging beer. The intense cherry nose leads to a pleasing tart, sweet flash across the palate. Crisp and effervescent, Transatlantique Kriek is a trip worth taking."

LWG
Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Lily The Wandering Gypsy

I thought it was really neat that families gathered here either before or after their kids' baseball games. I saw lots of families in Papago. 

5DB_0056 100.jpg
Lily The Wandering Gypsy

Scratch Brewing + 4 Hands Brewery + Side Project Cellar

Well, we have headed west again, and this time we explored a few great places along the way. After we finished packing up the car, we headed to Scratch Brewing in Ava, IL. Next, we went to 4 Hands Brewery in St. Louis, followed by Side Project Cellar in the Maplewood part of STL. 

Scratch Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

We generally just choose one or two types of beer to try, but this time we decided to try a flight of everything they had! I liked most of the beers they had this week, but they are always changing their menu. 

Scratch Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Scratch Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

The place is pretty dog friendly too! Cabbie loved hanging out in the sunshine with us, and the weather was amazing this day! 

Scratch Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Scratch Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Scratch Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

The hand made, rustic wood-fired pizza is also amazing. This one had STL made sausage, mozzarella cheese, and something that tasted like buttery garlic. YUM!!!!

Scratch Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

OFF TO ST. LOUIS...

4 Hands is another great brewery in the midwest. I had the Boysenberry Saison (which did not taste overly Belgian, luckily). I like the vibe of this place, even though it's sometimes kind of hard to get a beer. It was Saturday, though, and with the weather being that gorgeous, I knew there would be a good crowd. 

4 Hands Brewery - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
4 Hands Brewery - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

We also got the meatballs, which were also pretty good. We really liked one of the sauces, and we definitely needed a little something else in our stomaches, since the pizza from Scratch had been consumed hours before :) 

4 Hands Brewery - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

They also give tours of their facilities, which they keep shiny clean. You can see the whole brewing area behind the bar, it's pretty cool! 

4 Hands Brewery - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
4 Hands Brewery - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

SIDE PROJECT CELLAR 

We have been wanting to check this place out for a while, and were so glad we did! This place was decorated extremely well, had a great atmosphere, and had a ton of rare beers. The prices were definitely up there, but we both got a foueder beer made by them, which was amazing. Wish I could have gotten more photos in this place, but it was a bit too dark inside for that. It really added so much to the awesome ambiance, though. Until next time!! 

Side Project Cellar - Lily The Wandering Gypsy