KARL: We stopped by City Provisions in Ravenswood this week, taken in by the opportunity to drink a nanobrewed cherry dunkel weiss created in conjunction with the proprietor, Cleetus Friedman, and the folks at Flossmoor Brewing Company. We came in looking for beer. We left with the promise of future master-crafted “homebrewing” swirling through our heads.
Let’s start with the beer. Continue reading
The first post in this series can be found here.
It probably seems a little silly on the face of it to be spending a lot of time looking at trees and grass and an old barn and talking about the beer that’ll come out of this place eventually. But you probably haven’t drank John Niedermaier’s beer.
Yep, it’s a barn.
The cool thing to do in restaurants for some time has been the farm-to-table movement, and in Traverse City, former Right Brain brewer John Niedermaier is currently building one of the first farm-to-kettle breweries. It may seem like a reaction to a trend, but this particular plan has been in the works for oh, around 20 years or so.
Someday, all this will be beer. (Except that house back there.)
We’ve covered RBB before here and here, covered the licensing process for BTF for a post or two, and I had the opportunity to put together a quick blurb for an upcoming DraftMag article recently as well. Since I was goin to be in Northern Michigan for a few days, I thought I’d swing in and see what the place looks like. As you’ll see from many of the photos, there’s still plenty of work to do, but John and his crew was still gracious enough to give us a decent portion of his afternoon (and a beer or two).
Ten acres sounds like a lot of room to put a brewery on, but when you’ve got to plant crops, hops, trees, maintain a pond and repurpose multiple existing structures like a centuries-old barn and farmhouse, you find yourself running out of room sorta quickly. Despite being surrounded by residential properties and just minutes from a major shopping center, BTF really does feel miles away from everything. John told us that it’s one of the last remaining operating farms in the area, and if he didn’t grab the property it probably would have ended up being another housing development. (And who doesn’t need more of those around these days?)
So much buckwheat.
There’s bees in them thar boxes back there.
Image used with permission from Jeff Cagle.
KARL: Goose Island is reminding me more and more of that documentary about Wilco, because it’s like they are trying to break our hearts. The graphic our friend Jeff mocked up in the hours after the GI/A-B announcement in March is looking more and more prophetic, isn’t it?
I was sitting in a bar in Traverse City, Michigan Friday afternoon (as you may have noticed from the GDB twitter feed over the past few days) when the news broke that 312 was a-headin’ to the 315. Per the Trib, A-B announced that they were moving production of Goose Island’s 312 brew up to an A-B brewery in upstate New York. After an appropriate amount of time venting via social media, we’ve calmed down somewhat and have a weekend’s worth of perspective to add to this news item. Continue reading