Adventures in Michigan

A little over a month ago, my cousin, Stephanie, sent me a message with a link to a site – imagine cycling and kayaking up in Traverse City… With breweries in between.

Mind. Blown.

Very quickly afterwards, we picked a date and it was planned.

This past weekend was my first time in Michigan. As we drove up north, I was reminded of Portland with the amount of trees we drove by – it was beautiful. Chris and I drove up most of the way and stopped in Big Rapids, a little over an hour away from Traverse. We arrived in the evening and after doing a quick Google search, found our dinner place only about 20 minutes away.

I’d say we definitely scored big at Reed City Brewing Company. We arrived, sat at the bar and quickly found out the bartenders were super cool and knowledgable. We got some pretty tasty pretzels and nachos (my favorite brewpub meal) as well as several of their brews. I ended up getting their Irish Red, PB Porter… and their Brown Ale (had to have #3 after trying a sample). All three were really good – the Red had some good malts behind it to bring out its flavor, the PB Porter held some delicious peanut butter behind it without being too heavy and their Brown was smooth and flavorful.

We made it back to the hotel for the night and headed off the next morning to Traverse City to be in town for our Kayak, Bike and Brew tour with Stephanie and her boyfriend, David.

We were able to get checked in and picked out our bikes. I knew this was the one for me. And a-way we went.

We rode about three miles alongside the lake and got to enjoy the ocean breeze on a very hot, 90 degree weather day. We arrived at our first stop – Right Brain Brewery.

The brewery had a really cool atmosphere with a lot of fun, nerdy references throughout – like a tie-fighter as well as Homer Simpson hanging from the ceiling. Chris and I ended up sharing a sampler tray – 6 different beers, 6 oz each. We ended up with the Thai Peanut – a brown ale with a slight peanut butter taste and a kick at the end (I loved it, Chris did not), Concrete Dinosaur – a IPA (Chris enjoyed it, and I let him have it (it was okay)), Northern Hawk Owl – a smooth red ale, CEO Stout – a yummy coffee stout, and Apple Pie Whole – a nice subtle fruit beer.

After 45 minutes, our tour guides came around and gathered us back outside. We got back on our bikes and rode onto the next one – The Filling Station.

I ended up getting their brown ale, which was pretty good, but Chris and Stephanie won at this brewery. My cousin got the Green Line, a delicious cider that wasn’t too sweet, and Chris got the Savannah Peach Kettle Sour… With a shot of red (raspberry). Wow. Nice and light for the hot day we were experiencing, but had that nice raspberry taste at the end of every sip.

Unfortunately I did not get any photos of our kayak. Chris and I ended up sharing a tandem kayak. We started off in Lake Michigan and made our way through a small waterway to the third brewery – Rare Bird.

After some time on the water and also probably because of the fact that it was the afternoon, we needed some food. Our tour guide suggested their nachos and cheese curds. We were all very happy we followed her advice. The food was amazing, and I throughly enjoyed my Chief’s Coconut Brown – a nice brown with a light coconut finish.

We finished our trip on the water back towards the beginning of our tour. Chris and I encountered our first, and only, tiff when we got stuck under a bridge with many pillars. We were able to get through it together though and finish at The Workshop Brewing Company.

We were able to cool off in the nice A/C as we sipped on their Bastard Rasp – a golden ale with a slight tart, fruity taste.

Traverse City, even in the heat, is beautiful. I hope to be able stick around in the city longer next time to enjoy more lake time as well as all the various cute shops.

After a quick dinner, we headed to our cabin for a very relaxing evening that included s’mores and a random encounter with two glowing eyes watching us in the dark. It’s easy to say our time outside came to a close then and there, where we finished with some game boards inside.

The next day, since we obviously didn’t have enough craft beer yet, we finished our trip together at New Holland Brewing Company in Holland, MI. I had the 8th Street Amber – an amber with a bit of an aztec zip at the end, and the Passion Blaster – a light, fruity beer that wasn’t too sweet. The food was great as well – if you go, get the pepperoni pinwheels. You will not regret it. And we got pretzels as well. Of course.

I feel super fortunate to have gotten to spend my all-too-short weekend together with these people. Until we see each other again!

PS – I’ve started collecting brewery stickers! What do you do with your stickers?

“How Did You Two Meet” Part II

Continued from Part One

Now please remember, I had never run a race farther than 3.1 miles. The farthest at that point I had run was 6 miles. Now I was signed up for TWO marathons, back to back months.

Marathon training began late May. I was very thankful for St. Louis – there was plenty of various trails to run on to help keep the scenery fresh. Sometimes I was out running by the Clydesdales and other times I was out in the middle of nowhere surrounded by trees.

The miles started racking up and my Saturdays started getting very full of running in the morning and then chilling out the rest of the day afterwards.

September came and it was Sioux Falls Marathon time. You figure Sioux Falls, South Dakota, it’s up north… It’s September. It’s gotta be decent temperature wise, right?

The morning start started off well. It was cooler temperature wise before the sun came up. Beginner me figured, hey I can run a 4:00 hour marathon with the pace group! Keeping around a 9 minute pace wasn’t that big of a deal…

For the first half.

I began to realize I had ONLY run half of the race by mile 13 and started to feel the pace. I ended up dropping my speed a bit and watched the pace group run off without me.

Later in the run I was blessed with temperatures up in the high 70s and humidity to go along with it. I was dying from the heat and my overconfidence earlier in the race. I hated myself at mile 20 and found myself starting to walk.

“Don’t stop!”, a woman’s voice yelled from behind me. When she caught up, I recognized her as someone I had talked to at the beginning of the race. “Your legs are going to cramp up and you won’t be able to run again!”, she said as she slowed down for a minute to inform me of my terrible decision before continuing onwards. I thanked her and started running…

…Only to find out she knew what she was talking about. My legs were tired, and were NOW starting to cramp up from walking.

Why did I sign up for a full marathon again?

Eventually I was able to get back into running around mile 23 and started passing a few people up. I noticed even the heat had gotten to some much faster pacers, who were dragging behind their original goals.

I remember getting to mile 25 and seeing my mom who had come with me along with my grandparents at a turn and hearing them cheer for me. That gave me my 6th (or 7th? I can’t remember) wind to get me to the finish line.

God it felt so good to cross that finish line… And sitting down on a curb.

And then feeling terrible trying to get back up so we could get to the hotel.

Not so glorious post-race-photo.

I began regretting that evening signing up to do the full marathon in St. Louis. I remember talking to my mom about it, especially when I had the infamous ‘marathon walk’.

She gave me the sage advice of thinking about it for a few weeks before deciding. And so, I got back to reality the next week, slowly being able to walk normally again. The following week, I was able to get in a few miles here and there. Much slower than usual, but I could run again without hating myself.

A few weeks later, after a longer run here and there, I decided… Hey, what the heck. I’ll give it one more go.

So training boosted back up for my second marathon in three weeks. Thankfully I knew a few running coaches that were able to help me get back to where I needed to be safely.

At the end of October I ran the Rock n Roll St. Louis marathon, and I enjoyed it. I took the lessons I learned from Sioux Falls, listening to my body and not gunning for such a fast finish time. It was a much cooler day, weather wise, and I was able to enjoy running with the pace group I stuck with with no humidity.

I remember around mile 23-24 running into one of my runner coach friends, and him calling out to me, asking me how I felt.

“Great” I replied back to him.

“Good… Then go faster!” Coach Cary yelled back.

What? The pace group leaders also pushed me. At first, I thought they were all crazy… But I felt like I still had something in the tank.

So I pushed myself. And thanks to them I went from a 4:39 finish in Sioux Falls to a 4:12 in St. Louis (St. Louis also having way more hills).

Much happier post-race photo

And that’s when I fell in love with the marathon.

Since then I’ve done two more marathons: my own special 26th birthday marathon and the Springfield Marathon. Chris has been such a great cheerleader to me in both of those races, cheering me on from the sidelines to being there at the finish line to catch me when my knees buckle.

I’ve also fallen in love with racing. My competitive spirit thrives when I cross the start line and I want to beat my previous self time and time again. Sometimes I do… and sometimes I don’t.

But my love for running has never wavered and I hope to grow old with her.

“How Did You Two Meet?” Part I

You know how sometimes people will ask you “How did you two meet?” when they first meet with your and your significant other? They’re expecting something romantic, cheesy, and fun.

My relationship with running kinda started off that way. It’s funny, when I was a child I hated P.E., and hated running even more. I loathed the time of year that we were forced to run a mile for the school’s state performance. Most of the time I sneakily walked when the coaches weren’t watching, but once and twice when I was caught and forced to run, I gasped for air as I watched my more athletic classmates run with ease at a much faster rate.

I was so thankful when high school was over and I was never forced to run a mile again.

Fast forward a few years later, 2010, when my mom approached me asking if I wanted to do a 5K. About that time I was also trying to get into better shape with diet and exercise. I knew I hated the mile and wasn’t sure I wanted to get back in the ring… But when I found out the race had a few food stops (donut holes, ice cream, etc), I decided why not. I could run and earn those sweet treats!

While training for my first race, I loved the treadmill. It forced me to run, but I could also control how fast I was going. There was no real training plan I followed – ran a bit, walked when I had to, then got back into running. I remember being so happy when I could finally get to run 5.5mph for 30 minutes without stopping or feeling like I was dying!

Race day I geared up and started running when the start gun shot was fired. Thankfully I had a family member that started running with me, which helped keep me motivated. I found out very early on in the race that eating during running was a very dumb idea and ate only one donut hole.

I was also not the best dressed, coming from a family that really didn’t run either. However that didn’t stop me from giving it my all. I finished with an official time of 31:00, averaging a 9:59 minute mile pace. I was dying at the end, and incredibly tired, but also super proud as well. I ran a whole 5K without stopping! High school me would not have believed it.

So, obviously the running bug bit me and I kept running, right?

Wrong. It was a great race, but I ended up sticking with the bicycle and gym.

It wasn’t until I finally got into college that I started running along with weight lifting after reading somewhere about how a bit of cardio would help keep me lean. I remember it was early Spring… 2012? I started back up with a mile or two here and there and ran around campus.

Slowly my mileage started racking up to 5 or 6 miles. Except for a turkey trot, I wasn’t really training for any races. It was all about staying fit.

It wasn’t until I graduated and moved into St. Louis in 2013 that things changed. I found FLEET FEET St. Louis, a running store that has group runs once a week with pizza and beer at the end. It was there I made runner friends and really began getting into the whole running thing. I even ended up working there as their Graphic Designer!

Snoopy back in his prime running days and myself

As a worker, I learned a WHOLE lot about running do’s and don’ts. I found out about running apparel, and how wearing the right things like synthetic material makes running a whole lot more comfortable. I learned about the different types running shoes; neutral and stability… And found out I was wearing the wrong shoe and needed to have some stability.

My new runner friends also started getting me interested in running races. I made the resolution to run the 2013 St Louis Rock and Roll Half Marathon.

Then a runner friend pushed me to run a full marathon. Why not? So I signed up for my first marathon in September.

Then in the beginning of April, the Boston Marathon bombing happened. I had gotten word that my uncle, who had been in the race, wasn’t far from where it had happened. That really got me going.

“Screw it”, I said at the next group run, “I’m running the St. Louis Rock n Roll Marathon for Boston.”

To be continued…

Keep Moving On

So a few months ago I made that blog post with several goals for myself this year.

Some of them stuck, others not so much. (Shocker.)

I am continuing to build my knowledge base in my career field. My skills with Javascript have improved from the beginning of this year, thanks to online courses and reading. Having a magazine subscription helps as well, and helps keep me up-to-date with what’s going on along with online blogs.

Drawing more = doodle here and there. Not perfect, but it keeps my creative brain going. I don’t want to burn myself out, so I’m okay with this.

I see so many other women doing so well with their reading resolution! Me… Not so much. I have been reading a lot of career related stuff, but outside of that, not so much. I do need to get on the bandwagon and finish the Mistborn series. Just have to get myself to sit down and make time.

Catching up on Kingdom Hearts is slowly happening. Currently stuck on a boss battle that after a few times every time I get on, I have to get away from the TV to avoid throwing the controller.

This year, so far, we’ve definitely been better about keeping things in town. Besides a few weeks ago, when we took my three-year-old niece out to a children’s museum, we’ve kept things in town.

Fun time with the niece

My niece and I after getting to touch a electrically charged ball. Can you tell we’re related?

This past weekend, we ended up racing the local, inaugural St. Patrick’s Day 2 mile race (after getting a 8 mile run in). It was a great time; fun and fast course, and got to see a lot of our runner friends finish. I finished second overall female with a time of 13:35. Next year I’ll have to give it a shot with fresh legs. Afterwards, we celebrated the Irish way; drinking beer with friends!

I’ve even gotten a membership to Orange Theory Fitness to help motivate me to actually cross train. More on this after a few more classes, but it’s helped keep me grounded AND, after two classes, I feel much stronger.

How have your goals stuck thus far in 2018?

Good Bye 2017, Hello 2018

2017 for us was our first full year of being married, and we had a lot of fun experiencing it together!

2017 Experiences

  • Traveling. A LOT. I didn’t get a ton accomplished outside of this, but bein
    g able to see parts of the US that I’ve never seen before was pretty much worth it. Denver, CO. Raleigh, NC… And got to get back out to Portland, OR and Seattle, WA. Sharing those fun adventures with Chris was a lot of fun.
  • Broke PRs. Running wise, 2018 was a rocket year. I PR’ed my 2M, 5K, 10K and 13.1M distances. 26.2M would have been a PR if my legs could have stayed healthy at the end. I’m happy to say I’m back at it with fresh legs.
  • Drank a lot of good craft beer. Along with traveling, I also got to visit a lot of local craft breweries along the way. A few of my favorites include:
    • Outlander (Seattle, WA): With so many different flavors to choose from, Outlander was definitely my favorite from our Northwest trip. Despite it’s small appearance from the outside, it has a lot to offer craft beer lovers. Meeting the man behind the scenes was pretty cool as well.
    • Bombshell Brewery (Holly Springs, NC): After arriving at the brewery, I had no idea what I was getting out of my 45 minute drive outside of Raleigh. I got to meet Ellen, one of the very few women craft beer owners in the country, and fan girl over her achievements. Their Oktoberfest and Lady in Red both were great; I wish I had of had more time to try more. If we ever make it back out to that part of the country, I will be sure to be back for more.
    • Heavy Riff Brewing/Center Ice Brewing (St Louis, MO): It’s a tie between these two for my favorite this year. Heavy Riff has some excellent dark brews, and Center Ice is fantastic, especially for being very new to the brewing scene. Both are off on their own, so you don’t get a ton of bar hoppers, making them both very easy to socialize and hang out at.

I try my best to not think of goals as resolutions, because let’s be honest.. Resolutions usually fall through in the first few months of the year. Instead, I’m trying to create a list of goals with dates/times tied to them for 2018.

2018 Goals

  • Web Design & Development Improvement. Lately I’ve felt like I’ve been on the “going with the flow” train with my work skills. I’ve been taking a few online classes here and there as well as getting to know CSS Grid, but feel like with frameworks like React.js becoming more and more popular, I’ve got some serious catching up to do. I’m going to update my Web Portfolio (and actually get a URL that doesn’t use my maiden name) and hopefully be able to catch back up to modern front-end web development times.
  • Draw More. To go along with design, I need to feel more comfortable drawing. I realize I’m never going to become a well known illustrator, but drawing more will help me create icons and my overall design skills improve. Plus drawing should be fun, not something I stress over.
  • Reading. Along with the Web Development magazine I just subscribed to, I need to get better about getting away from my cell phone and actually finish some books. I have to finish Mistborn: The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson, and then jump into Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Claire that I got for Christmas this year.
  • Catch Up on Kingdom Hearts Series. I’m nearing the end of Kingdom Hearts II, but need to complete the rest of KH2.5 and get through 2.8 before KHIII is released. Here’s to hoping we’ll at least get a release date on that one this year!

Not a ton of goals as you can see, but I also want to be able to focus on these three (or four if you count the silly one). For myself, in general, I need to be better about being okay about staying at home and getting things done rather than traveling every weekend. I’m sure my wallet would enjoy that as well.

Don’t get me wrong though, I’m still going to get out and have a good time every so often. We already have tickets to see Story of the Year in this weekend down in St. Louis, and a Gulf Shores, AL trip is in the works for May. And of course there will be new craft brews to try along the way.

Just spreading out the trips here and there… For balance.

I hope your 2018 goals go smoothly as well.

Goals for 2018

Inspired by my friend Brian, instead of naming some resolutions this year, I’m going to set a few goals that I can *hopefully* keep myself accountable for. So let’s dive right in!

Blog More. This is the main goal for this year. I keep telling myself I’m going to write a post for the blog, but have a bad habit of not falling through. This post is a great example! I’ve been meaning to write these goals down for two weeks and despite having ample time I just hadn’t done it. I’m going to keep this goal conservative and make just one post a month. If I do more than that great, but there will be at least one a month. And two in one month doesn’t cancel out the next month either.

No unfinished video games. The last few years I always seem to have a game or two on the shelf unopened when it comes to an end. Life does keep me pretty busy, but completing the 4-5 games I buy every year shouldn’t be hard. So the goal here is to complete the 3 games I currently have sitting on the shelf, plus any new ones I buy. The goal is to complete one game every two months. That might be cutting it close, but I think it will get me there.

House Renovations. In 2017, I managed to get the basement finished, and it’s worked out really well. Now we have two places to hang out and play games, which is nice when Alyssa’s friends come over. This year I want to re-do the upstairs bathroom (currently trapped in the 1960s) and the back and front porches. The bathroom is the bigger of the two projects so I’m going to start with that one first. I’m going to give myself until the end of May to complete it, and then spend the summer/fall working on the porches which really just need a fresh coat of paint.

Keep getting faster at running. I set a whole bunch of running personal records last year, and want to keep that going. I’m not doing another a marathon, as two years in a row is enough for me, so that one isn’t manageable but everything else is on the table. In particular I’d really like to take a few more minutes off my half marathon, which is probably also going to be the hardest. I managed a 1 hour and 59 minute finish last year and it was pretty tough. It also felt really good, so that should give me some serious motivation. I’m going to set my goal for the half at 1 hour and 55 minutes, but I’ll settle for anything under my current time.

That’s all the goals I’m going to set as that list should keep me occupied for most of 2018. They should also generate plenty of things for me to blog about! Exciting!

Here’s to a great year!

Pumpkin Season is Coming

If you know me, then you know Fall is my favorite season of the year. You also know pumpkin flavored anything is life. Here in August, I’m already getting excited by all of the upcoming pumpkin products being advertised!

Dunkin Donuts

I am seriously in love with Dunkin’s advertising this year. I love coffee, lattes AND donuts, and will most certainly be making stops to get my morning pumpkin fix in.

 

Beer

Yes, I am a sucker for pumpkin beer as well. My favorites: Big Muddy’s Pumpkin Smasher and O’Fallon’s Pumpkin Beer. I will never turn down a pumpkin beer though, so any challengers are welcome to try me to see if they can give either of those two a run for their money.

 

M&Ms

I know some people make a face when they see these. So far everything I’ve heard about the new candy is positive, so I’m honestly hopeful for M&M’s White Pumpkin Pie.

 

Cheerios

Because Pumpkin Spice is obviously a breakfast thing. Or late night snack thing. Chris found a box of these for me last year and they disappeared pretty quick. Cheerios hit the flavor on the head, so I’ll be keeping an eye out for these.

 

Recipes

 

I’ve been pinning crazy amounts of pumpkin recipes I’ve been wanting to try… Cookies, bars, and yes, even delicious waffles like the ones shown here by Nora from Savory Nothings. My marathon long runs are going to be fueled by delicious flavor.

 

Pie

Can’t forget about the amazing gem that started it all. Pumpkin Pie > all other pie


Bring it on, Fall.

Voltron: Season 3

Emily and I just finished the surprisingly short Season 3 of Voltron. It was about half the length of the last two seasons, which we didn’t know, so when we saw episode 7 was the season finale it caught us a little off guard. I thought I would jot down some quick thoughts while it’s still fresh in my mind. I’ll keep it as spoiler free as possible!

My biggest take away was that the story wasn’t quite as good as the last two seasons. It was interesting enough to keep my attention, but didn’t draw me in like before. While I found it really hard to stop watching before, this time it didn’t take much convincing. The story was a little slow the entire season, and felt a bit to predictable at times. It did have a couple good “didn’t see that coming” moments, and added some backstory though. I can also give it a slight pass based on the fact it feels like it was setting up for a much bigger story in Season 4 which is only a couple months away. Hopefully it pays off!

I mentioned it above, and one of my favorite things this season was the back story and the throw backs to previous seasons. They did a great job explaining some the history of Voltron and the first paladins, and tying it to the present. It was definitely one of the better episodes. There were also a few “I HAD COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN ABOUT THAT!” moments when recalling past events, which was a nice touch.

***This next paragraph gets into some spoiler-ish moments***

The part I was most disappointed with was the Shiro story line. It’s obvious from the beginning that he is not actually dead, and when they do finally bring him back, it happens way too fast in my opinion. He is reunited with the team in the same episode he appears in, and then goes back to being his old self in the next. They hint that there is a nefarious plan behind it all (and that’s why he was able to escape so easily), so much like the rest of the season, I’m betting this gets better in the next season.

It sure seems like I’ve been ragging on this season an awful lot, but overall, it still felt like the Voltron I have come to enjoy over the last two seasons. I just wish the story had been more exciting and other things had been flushed out better. I suppose that’s what happens when you only get seven episodes though. I’m still very much looking forward to Season 4 and watching Voltron and the paladins kick some more butt!

Marathon Training: Balancing Training, Strength Training and Life

The past four weeks I’ve been training for the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. Not only has it been crazy hot a few weeks with heat indexes above 100°F, I’ve been spending about 6 hours a week out running. While I know this time will only increase with my previous marathon training experiences, it’s still a bit daunting how much time it takes from your week.

And then there’s strength training. I am 100% behind strength training and have definitely found after adding that to my regular running regime, I have been injury-free AND my running pace has increased.

Generally my gym time has been 45-60 minutes twice a week. Now try to add 2 hours to that 6 or more hours a week and you can see where things begin to become a bit more tricky.

Let’s be honest. Most of us have lives outside of keeping physically fit.

So the past few weeks I’ve been trying to figure out how to balance everything. Where I’ve been able to get all of my run workouts in (mostly during the early morning, when it’s bearable outside), I’ve been able to fit in maybe one day worth of strength training… And that hasn’t even been at the gym. That was in my basement. On a yoga mat.

After listening to Another Mother Runner’s podcast about Strength Training, I am happy to report this is more than okay. It doesn’t even need to be super long!

I’ve been able to fit the following workouts in around 30 minutes and have been able to go on throughout my day/future workouts without being sore. All of these moves are also basic, so you don’t have to worry about injuring your body with one wrong movement. I do recommend making sure you are doing the exercises correctly however to make sure you don’t hurt yourself.

Simple Strength Training Workout
18-20 reps (repetitions), go through cycle 3 three times

  • Lunges
  • Step-Ups (I use stairs or a sturdy chair)
  • Squats
  • Planks (I add in Side Planks to work everything)
  • Push-Ups
  • Side-Lying Clams

Each of these workouts work parts of your body that are used while running. I find that even my arms help pull me through those large hills. My goal is to up my weekly strength workouts to two days a week, but one time a week is a must to keep my body on point. I’m also only currently using my body-weight, but hope to get some weights to use to add resistance.

Drinking my way through the Pacific Northwest

As Emily has mentioned in some other posts, we went to Portland/Seattle a few weeks ago to visit her brother and his family. We did a lot of fun things while we there, and in between them, we enjoyed one of the other things the area is known for: great beer! We didn’t over do it by any means, but we both were very “beer’d out” by the end of the week. We love good beer, so you know it was a good amount when we opt to skip the final brewery Nick and Kim were going to take us to. We decided we should put all that drinking to good use and note all the ones we had for each day, and pick out our favorites! (All scores are out of 5)

DAY ONE

Sprinkles (Everybody’s Brewing) – 3.75
Covfefe (Thunder Island Brewing Co) – 3.5
NW Red (Ancestry Brewing Co) – 3.00
Scaler Single Hop (Backwoods Brewing Co) – 3.75
Kumite (StormBreaker Brewing) – 4.00
Space Cake (Clown Shoes) – 4.5

Small note about this first day – we had a sampler so five of the six beers were just tasters. We didn’t drink as much as it appears!

As you can tell by the ratings, my favorite of the day was the Space Cake. It’s an Imperial IPA with an ABV of 9%, so it will catch up to you quickly if you’re not careful. It’s got a good malty taste with a bit of hop to it, and a nice mild bite at the end. The west coast style of IPA is definitely different, and this was a great introduction.

DAY TWO

Inversion IPA (Deschutes Brewery) – 3.75

I didn’t realize until I was looking back that I only had one beer this day. This was actually because we had planned to go to a Bar/Arcade that night, but we were all fairly beat after spending the day downtown and just ordered a pizza and crashed at home instead.

I don’t think I’ve ever had a Deschutes beer that has disappointed me, and the Inversion IPA was no exception. It is a hoppy IPA with a floral taste to it, and is also quite smooth. It went really well with grilled cheese and tomato soup I had to eat. I easily could have had two or three, but had to much walking to do to warrant it.

DAY THREE

I’m just going to preface this with that fact that this was the day we visited Seattle and signed up to go on a Road Dog brewery tour. There is a lot of beers listed here but keep in my mind many of them were samples (although some were larger than what I would consider a “normal” sample size). The brewery tour was awesome by the way, and I would highly recommend it to anyone in the area. Sufficed to say, a good time was had by all.

Supergoose IPA (Hale’s Ales) – 4
Night Troll Porter (Hale’s Ales) – 3.5
Hale’s Cream Ale (Hale’s Ales) – 3
El Jefe Weizen Ale (Hale’s Ales) – 3.75
Pale American Ale (Hale’s Ales) – 3.5
Holy Basil Pale (Outlander Brewery) – 3
Tiramisu Brown (Outlander Brewery) – 4.25
Ancho Amber (Outlander Brewery) – 3.5
Imperial Peanut Butter Stout (Outlander Brewery) – 4
The Sister Imperial IPA (Fremont Brewing) – 4
Proletariat Porter (Fremont Brewing) – 3.75
Keys. Phone. Wallet. (Cloudburst Brewing) – 4.25
Trickster (Black Raven Brewing) – 3.75

I would have to say that the Tiramisu Brown was the winner of the day followed closely by Keys. Phone. Wallet. The Tiramisu was so smooth and easy to drink it was ridiculous. It had some great spice to it as well. I’ve never had real Tiramisu so I couldn’t tell you if it tasted similar, but if it did, I really need to try some.

DAY FOUR

Long Ball Ale (BridgePort Brewing Co.) – 3.5

After drinking so much the day before we decided to take the day off of drinking, and just had one at the Hillsboro Hops baseball game we went to. It was light and crisp, which was perfect to drink while sitting in the stands under the warm sun. It was my first MiLB game, and it was a blast (even though the Hops lost).

DAY FIVE

Pallet Jack IPA (Barley Brown’s Beer) – 4.5
3-way IPA (Fort George Brewery) – 3.5
Supplication (Russian River Brewing ) – 4
Reggie’s Red (Lucky Labrador Brewing) – 3.5
Chris’s Going Away IPA (Lucky Labrador Brewing) – 3.5

I’m going to go against my initial rankings, and have to say my favorite beer of the day was the Supplication. That beer has stuck with me all these weeks later. It’s a sour beer, with a serious bite to it, but it is delicious. It was also one of the more expensive beers I had, although I didn’t know that at the time. It was worth every penny.

I also couldn’t resist getting the “Chris’s Going Away IPA” when I saw it. It was the next to last day of vacation after all! It was a fairly standard IPA, that I’d have again if it I saw it.

And so, we’ve come to end of the drinking adventure. We were in Portland for another day, but took it off of drinking again, as the night before was pretty crazy. I was going to end this with picking my favorite beer overall, but there were so many good ones, that I think I’ll just stick with the daily rankings, and suggest if you like good beer you give those a try. We did a lot more than just drink, which you can read in Emily’s other posts, so it wasn’t just about the beer, but it definitely added to the fun. We had a great time in Portland and Seattle, and are very much looking forward to going back!