A Bit Of A Disappointment And Drinking Local, A Podcast

*** SHOW NOTES ***

In case you were wondering there are 2 airports in Buffalo.

Buffalo Niagara International Airport – BUF
Niagara Falls International Airport – IAG

Choose the right airport when booking your rental car, just saying.

No one wants a brand new rental car, especially with six miles on it. When you turn it in, every single scratch and dent will be your fault.

Buffalo was amazing, the low was 59 and the high was possibly 85.

The Anchor Bar (2 Stars) – As a “wing guy” this was bucket list stop. The interior is wonderous, from Harley’s to license plates there was something to look at everywhere. I tried to order their Anchor Bar IPA, but they were out of it. I ordered 10 wings medium and when the plate arrived I was ready to experience the birthplace of wings, the mothership, the mecca…… I bit into the first wing and it was just “OK”, my heart and stomach sank. I looked at my dining partner and they had the same expression. Now I must add that our waitress was spot-on, friendly and checked in on us several times during our meal.

Hatchets And Hops – Drink beer and throw hatchets, what could possibly go wrong? Pressure Drop Brewing was holding a tap-take-over during our visit.

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (4 Stars) – The second time I’ve visited a Dinosaur location and this one was as good as the first. Again it was a combo plate, St. Louis Ribs, wings, mac-n-cheese coleslaw, and a slice of cornbread. The ribs were tender and as they say, “fell off the bone”. The wings were smoked to perfection and the mac-n-cheese was a good as Grandmas. The coleslaw was OK, but I didn’t go there to eat coleslaw. Great beer selection, including some local choices.

Food Truck Tuesdays at Larkin Square is the reason downtown is dead on Tuesday nights.

Big Ditch Brewing Company (4 stars) – Ended up here for lunch, and what caught my attention was the roll-up garage doors that created a wonderful this wonderful open-air experience. Since it was lunch I didn’t partake in the beer offerings…. I did later that day. My lunch was the Siracha Chicken Sandwich, a siracha honey coated chicken breast covered in cilantro sour cream, pickled red onions, and cucumbers. Sticky but tasty and satisfying.

Deep South Taco (3 Stars) – Walking distance from the hotel. Started with a  Hayburner by Big Ditch Brewing Company and coupled that with an order of Quesadillas – smoked cheddar, chihuahua cheese and queso fresca with pinto bean purée. Tasty and the guacamole was fresh and piled high. Also ordered chips and salsa and the salsa was a bit of a letdown. Friendly staff and a fully stocked bar.

Lafayette Brewing Co – They brew their beers on-site in a 15 barrel brewhouse located directly below the main bar in the basement. This bar is a total throwback, lots of wood and brass, I felt right at home.

I’m all for keeping things “local”. I prefer “local restaurants over franchises, farmers markets over the regional chains and I’ll throw back a local cold one over some mass-produced brew. The advantage of traveling is you get plenty of chances to #DrinkLocal, and if you let your friends know that you’ll have no shortage of opportunities to imbibe.

In the past five or six years, the craft beer movement has hit the mainstream. From magazines websites and apps it can be information overload.

We’ve already done a tour of Florida so let us expand the geography a bit

Alabama

Below the Radar Brewing Company – Huntsville, AL – It’s been several years since I’ve been here, but my last trip rocked. They offered 25+ beers on tap with a cooler full of bottles and cans.

Good People Brewing Company – Birmingham, AL – I find myself in Birmingham several times each quarter and if I can’t run by the brewery I’ll grab a few for #HotelBeer time. I’m a hipster so my go-to is their IPA, at 7.1% ABV it’ll grab your attention. They offer brewery tours $15 per person, includes a collectible glass and a pint.

Fairhope Brewing Company – Fairhope, AL – While I’ve never stopped by their production facility their beer is widely distributed all along the Alabama coast. I like their (Take The) Causeway IPA, at 8.2% ABV a few of these will help you to forget a rough day.

Georgia

SweetWater Brewing Company – Spending decades living in Atlanta I consider this my hometown brew. They have a standard offering of six brews but intertwine and additional dozen brews throughout the year. One of my secrets is that I’m a fly fisherman, and SweetWater has their Save Our Water project, designed to fund the protection of the Chattahoochee River, a river that I’ve fished for 20 plus years. My favorite is their IPA, 6.3% ABV and full of taste. Sold locally and they offer some great variety packs.

Terrapin – Based in Athens, GA, home of the University of Georgia. My Sister attended UGA, best six years of her life, she hates when I say that. They offer nine beers year round with seasonal as well as side projects along the way. My goto is Hopsecutioner IPA, notice a trend? At 7.3% ABV this one is a bit on the heavy side, but tasty if you stay with it. My favorite was their Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter, but unfortunately, it’s retired. Another one that’s sold locally and they also offer some great variety packs.

Jekyll Brewing – I was introduced to Jekyll in North Georgia after sending the day fishing Nacoochee Bend. Grab a bottle of Cooter Brown for a milder brown ale If you’re looking for adventure order a Hop Dang Diggity Southern IPA while eating at Mully’s Nacoochee Grill.

 

Tennessee

Yazoo Brewing Company – Widely distributed across Tennessee and Mississippi. My favorite is their Double IPA, only available on draft. Nine beers produced year round and then a seasonal offering every three months.

Rock Bottom – It’ll be easy to call foul on this being a local or craft beer. However, they do brew at each location and short of taking a growler home the only place to drink it as at their location. I’ve been to a few of their locations over the years, but my reintroduction came last year on a cold and wet afternoon in Nashville, TN. We started with a flight of, Irish Coffee Brown Ale, Desperado Dark Lager, The Roast Beast – Imperial Smoked Porter, Fire Chief Ale, Rye So Mild Man & Papa’s Pale Ale. We just so happened to find a seat during happy hour, which meant half price house beers and appetizers.

Drinking Local

North Carolina – The beer mecca of the South, with no shortage of breweries. In my opinion, Asheville is still the hub.

Asheville Brewing – My favorite, and not because there’s possibly a family member that works there. I’ve been known to grab their Shiva IPA 6%, ABV, by the case and you should too. If you’re not an IPA fan consider the Ninja Latte Coffee Porter 5.6% ABV.

Wicked Weed – Now owned by Anheuser-Busch, more on that later. Lieutenant Dank 6.5% ABV will never let you down. Dank seems to be a popular beer name. If you want something really off the grid order the Oaxacan 7.1% ABV. Described as Tequila Barrel-Aged Smoked Sour Ale with Grapefruit and Lime Zest this is something you won;t find at the local grocery store.

There you have it, safe travels and thanks for listening.

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