Monday, October 05, 2009

A TRIP TO GRANITE CITY BREWERY - MISHIWAKA, INDIANA

If you’ve been wondering how HBJ gets to all these exotic places in the United States to drink beer – Atlanta, Kansas, those types of places – well, let’s just say these trips are almost always “work-related”. Naturally, when there’s downtime from the 9-to-5 bump/grind, one needs a place to set his proverbial can down & a good beer to accompany the winding down of the workday.

Take my trip to Indiana the other day, for instance. My company makes an iPhone app (among many other things) that allows you to watch live Notre Dame college football (text IRISH to 43888 to get it now), and to promote it, I was in South Bend, IN on Saturday to work with a “street team” who were pumping it for us. I got to see Touchdown Jesus, I got to waltz across the campus in the rain, and I got to see the out-and-out fanaticism that accompanies college sports in this region of the country. The game wasn’t until 3:30pm, and even at 10am, the area around the stadium was packed with Fightin’ Irish partisans going nuts. I’m so over college football, to be honest (kids are half my age!), and so rather than watch what ended up being a fantastic game (ND beat my alma mater, the University of Washington, 37-30 in overtime). I hoofed it back to Chicago after our promotion was over. Ah – but first, a beer.

Looking around the area for something to eat, I found a MALL in a town just outside of South Bend called Mishiwaka, and in that mall was a place called GRANITE CITY FOOD & BREWERY. I reckoned that’d be just about right. I felt like maybe I’d heard of these guys somewhere. I now know why – it’s a massive restaurant chain in this part of the country, a la ROCK BOTTOM, BJ’S and the like. Hey, whatever. Given my nearly two-hour upcoming drive on the toll road back to Chicago, I figured I’d have just one, and there were no real compelling weirdo choices to go for – your basic pilsner, stout, amber, pale ale, etc. I asked the waitress if I could go “off-menu” and drink their brewer’s special imperial concoctions, and she happily & sweetly told me with a big smile, in that only-in-the-Midwest manner, “We have an Oktoberfest I just know you’re gonna looooove!”. So I ordered their DUKE OF WELLINGTON IPA instead, and proceeded to watch loud, intense college football action on 5 different big screens, baby.

GRANITE CITY DUKE OF WELLINGTON IPA was served in a 20-ounce glass (classy!), and is very dry and very, very basic. Light hopping and very obvious malty tastes. Chalky, you might even say – not particularly endearing. No citrus nor any pine – are you kidding me? Sort of a hoppy pale ale with too little hops and not enough flavor. 5/10. Let me tell you guys something, though – these cats make a killer thin-crust pizza, though, so next time you’re in Mishiwaka, grab one of those (half-price specials on Saturdays Noon-5!!) and skip this particular ale, OK?

3 comments:

Jez said...

Oh, Jay...you were in NW Indiana and didn't even let me know? Did you know you rolled right by Three Floyds? Not to mention you missed my "home stadium" of Shoreline Brewery in Michigan City. Not sure you'll get this way again, but next time let me know in advance and I could hook you up...

Jay said...

Jez, thanks for that. It seriously was an in-and-out trip. Arrived in South Bend at 10:30am, was on the road to Chicago by 2pm. Flew home yesterday. I also brought the family along, so this Granite City trip was about as beery as this particular visit was gonna get.

Jay said...

Jez, thanks for that. It seriously was an in-and-out trip. Arrived in South Bend at 10:30am, was on the road to Chicago by 2pm. Flew home yesterday. I also brought the family along, so this Granite City trip was about as beery as this particular visit was gonna get.