The GetKnit Rails and Ales Pub Crawl
On Saturday, September 22nd, I enjoyed my first Rails and Ales experience thanks to the fine folks over at GetKnit Events. I know that I am late to the party when it comes to these wonderful pub crawl events and it was time to see what all the buzz was about. There are some logistics that run pretty smoothly for the event.
First, I checked in to the Target Field Station to get my map, 2 free beer tokens, and a t-shirt. The map tells you what beers are on special at which places, a very nice thing to know. The 2 free beer tokens are a nice touch to get some pints in you. The t-shirt allows you to visually spot other revelers when you are out and about. It also makes it so you can get your special priced beers all day long. To me, the best part about this whole day was that the map is easy to read and tremendously helped come up with a plan.
Seeing that Modist is right by Target Field, I head over there in the hopes of making my first beer of the day a GABF-winning First Call. However, the sad panda made an appearance when I realize that they are closed for a private event. My first beer bummer of the day. Luckily, I can head down the green line to meet up with some people at Bang Brewing and brewery hop in one of my favorite areas of the city, the Midway area.
I always joke with people that I am never at Bang Brewing during the 20 minutes per day that they are open. They are open more than that, but not by much. So, I am happy to finally visit this brewery. I order a half pour of the dark ale with coffee. I have to say that it was not the right beer to start with. I wanted the coffee presence of the beer, but not all the astringency that came with it. I like dark ales because when the hops and dark malts are balanced, the bitterness and roast are pleasing. Unfortunately, this is not the case for this beer.
Fear not, Bang Brewing shares a parking lot with Urban Growler, a much more familiar entity to me. I go in and saddle up with a Cowbell Cream Ale, which is fantastic as always. The patio at Urban Growler is a wonderful reason to check them out on a day like today when the sun is shining. I am checking my Rails & Ales map and it looks like the next stop is going to be Dual Citizen Brewing Company. I prepare for a bit of a hike, but I am happy to realize that there is a horse-drawn wagon in the parking lot that is free that will get me to University! Once the wagon is packed, we start heading towards the main drag.
Dual Citizen opened just before the Super Bowl last year and I know that they have been creating a nice name for themselves since they opened. Max, their Head Brewer, knows how to brew some quality beer and he has plenty of options on tap today. I start off with a Pelham Pilsner. Knowing I have a big day ahead, I err on the side of sessionable. I chat with Max a bit and he gives me a taste of his pale ale run through a hop randall of Chinook hops. So wonderful and an epic homage to West Coast hops! Of course, it doesn’t surprise me at all that Max could brew a great pale ale given his experience from the Oregon and Colorado brewing scene. After another glass of pale ale, it is off to BlackStack.
As the Dayquil is starting to wear off, I realize that this will probably be my last stop of the day. The event only goes til 6pm and it is a little after 4. BlackStack is crowded, but I still find a spot at the bar. I try the Keller Bier, something that I have not had from this haven for hoppy beers. It drinks really crisp and clean. Lower in ABV while not sacrificing anything in the flavor department. I am happy to meet up with a coworker to talk beer and office gossip. His group is off to squeeze in one last stop before they Uber back to the burbs.
I am ready to call it a day. Satiated with beer and having met a few new beer friends, I give the GetKnit Rails and Ales my 2 enthusiastic thumbs up. A smooth-running event that had no kinks or shortfalls in my opinion. I know that they also do other events and you should make sure you follow them on social media so you don’t miss anything else that they do.
Next Time. . .
I did enjoy striking out on my own for this because it freed me up to really meet new people. The one regret I had is that I didn’t start right away. I could not pull myself away from the live stream of the Great Amercian Beer Festival awards show in time to start out right at 11. That would have allowed me to get to one or two more places. I am happy that I did a good job of pacing myself because I was not overserved. I think that sticking with an area and making that your focus allows for the best way to really enjoy this event, despite the fact that you can hit up more than 20 different places if you wanted to.
So, keep your eyes out for next year’s Rails and Ales Event. For $35.00, it is well worth it and if the weather is as fabulous as it was for the 2018 Rails and Ales Event, you are definitely going to love it! Prost!