The Funnel of Vermont Beer

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For those of you who follow my Instagram, (warning: shameless self promotion), which is my main social media of choice, you know that I get around. Not like a whore, but, well, kinda like a beer whore. On this last trip to Vermont I was invited via Instagram to the bar The Ruck in Troy, NY. Nick, the cicerone there, invited me to come check out the bar and have a beer. And what I though was going to be a casual 1 hr meeting turned into one of the best blind Instagram dates I have had in a long time! We happened to be driving back from Vermont (yes with a trunk full of Heady Topper I waited to long in line for) and decided to stop by. And what I found hidden in this forgotten town was a funnel of amazing beer from the Northeast at its gates.

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Driving up to The Ruck it pops up in the middle of a block of apartments and the open doors make it seem like a patio to a ground level apartment. Walking in I was struck by the austere rust belt look from the inside plastered with all my favorite brewery stickers. I asked for Nick at the bar and he then met me where we enjoyed quite a few beers in this college town beer cavern.

Nick is a great guy. Just an all around American lover of craft beer. He lights up when you talk to him about how going full time in the bar rescued him from the grave of his 9-5. And my oh my does he know his stuff. Passing the cicerone certification really bled through the conversation but not so much that it was inappropriate. Rather, his knowledge and experience of his passion and love complemented the conversation into the late hours of the night. And, thankfully, the will be soon doing beer education classes at The Ruck!

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Now the Ruck is an old vestige of the Rust Belt for sure. But buried within this old mining company building Nick is hard at work planning Homebrew competitions, organizing taps by genre, and educating the city Troy and beyond about the goodness of craft beer. You can be sure to find a healthy supply of local beer from the Northeast. The likes of which include but are not limited to Long Trail Brewery, Jacks Abbey Brewing, Main Beer Company, Switchback Brewing and many more. They are in fact the only brewery to have Switchback brewing on cask!

So when you drive to the Northeast, get up and get to Troy NY where you can enjoy the treasures of craft beer from Nick at The Ruck. Its well worth your time to stop in and enjoy the splendid variety they have there.

Until next time, pour proper my friends.

Plan a Trip to Plan 9 Alehouse

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Going to San Diego? Going on a Beercation? Planning on drinking great craft beer and being around better people? Plan on going to Plan 9 Alehouse. This little jewel is tucked in the hills of North County Escondido and hiding in the shadow of Stone Brewing down the street from The Lost Abbey. They carry on the tradition of the great craft beer of San Diego.

The owners of this bar know their beer. For example one of the owners, my friend Chad who manages the front end, worked at Stone Brewing for numerous years before he was approached about opening a new bar in downtown Escondido in North County San Diego county. And thus was educated by the best in the business on how to serve and drink craft beer.

With a modern appeal get ready to have beers slid down their 25+ concrete bar and into your hand. Then, now that you are tulip glass equipped for bouncing your tongue off of multicolored ecstasy, get ready for the best of southern California’s beers. Plan 9 regularly have taps from the best of Stone, The Bruery, Alpine Brewing, and many other classics of our current craft beer renaissance. Then engorge and gorge yourself on their Cali style food. The bourbon Siracha (can you hear the mariachi band?) wings are not to be missed and make you dream of more Californication in your life.

My favorite thing, and yes I’m biased because Chad is a dear friend, is the attitude that the bar has. The locals congregate only to be given nicknames and have their beers poured as they walk in the door while visitors are greeted and shown to their seats by a kindly server.

And did I mention they have Monty Python playing all night in the background?

Visit this place and make it soon and you will get Beer To The People!

But until next time, pour proper my friends…

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The Ever Bustling The Bruery

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Kid in a candy shop and sensory overload cannot even begin to describe my senses during my recent visit to The Bruery.

From the freeway exit, if you know what to look for their tower calls you from afar. Illuminating your desires and becoming a lighthouse of your desire. Then to walk in is to become accustomed to Southern California and the crampedness of Orange County, and also to its opulence.

One thing I love about my home state is its diversity. And this trait erupts at The Bruery. Upon entry we see Sons of Anarchy there, bro’s and their girlfriends, old and young, cool and nerd abound in this center of craft beer.

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