Beer Trip – Founders and 3Floyds

Last Saturday night, I’d gone to bed in a bit of a bad mood. This happens to the best of us, and typically a night’s sleep takes care of that. At least for me. So, it’s noteworthy when I wake up the next day still in a bad mood. In fact, aside from last Sunday, I can’t remember a time when a solid night’s sleep hasn’t given me a cheerier disposition.

Bill, being awesome, is well-attuned to this sort of thing. He also specifically committed to adventures with me back on our wedding day. So, he did the only reasonable thing he could do. He proposed we go have a beer at Founders Brewing.

For reference, here’s the route from roughly where we live to Founders Brewing:

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Important to note? We don’t own a car.

This sort of thing doesn’t stop Bill. It nearly stopped me, but I married a man with a plan (at least occasionally), and a total charmer at that. I mean, look at this face. Doesn’t this look like the face of a charmer with a plan? Probably an insane and awesome plan?

I think we left at noon. We stopped for lunch at Sonic in some tiny town in one of those three states. I’d forgotten to eat breakfast (a not uncommon occurrence, especially while in A MOOD). So as we were driving and debating what to do for lunch, a big billboard told us of a Sonic in the area. Sonic is a place from my childhood, so we had to stop and get cherry-limeades. Bill knows me. He’s also smart enough to use memories like that to get some food into me.

We drove. A lot. We talked, but not as much as normal. He may be a charmer with a plan, but he’s wise enough to sense the rare occasions when I don’t want to talk.

We stopped somewhere to buy him a Red Bull. He’d skipped coffee. In the convenience store, we bought a TRIPLE-CHOCOLATE “sharing size” Snickers, some white cheddar popcorn and a Mountain Dew “Kickstart”. You probably don’t know it, but Bill has a compulsive need to try any new caffeinated/energy drink that he sees. He decreed it vile.

He laughed and told me he loved me a thousand times as I sang along with a song I’d forgotten I knew and danced badly in the aisles of the store. He made sure we stayed through the whole song.

I took the wheel after that. Drove us the rest of the way to Founders. I’m not the best driver, and not owning a car is making me rustier by the day, so getting some practice in matters. He called his mother and I thought about things while listening to Bill’s side of the conversation.

Founders was packed. We found ourselves incredibly glad we’d checked to make sure it wasn’t a release day before heading up there. We chose to sit outside under the heaters. There was a woman in a Pikachu cape she’d made herself behind us. I tried their “Spite” beer, which would have suited my morning’s mood, but I was in a much better mood. Also, it was really too spicy for me to have a full glass, as it’s brewed with two kinds of peppers, one being habeñero. I ended up with a glass of their lovely oatmeal stout on nitro. The bartender bought me that round for having spontaneously driven up from Chicago. Bill and I got some cheesy bread and we discussed life. Eventually, I grabbed a kölsch for me and a “Main Guy Mango” beer for him. We both found the mango beer shockingly sweet. We discussed life & my icy toes. He got me my camera bag, so I could take cool photos. We sat quietly and listened to the jazz band off and on. We threw $5 into the tip jar they came out and passed.

The sun set, and we wandered inside. I bought some beer to go, the book Tasting Beer and they gave me some stickers. We left. Too cold without the sun outside and not enough space inside. Also, we’d gotten our beer.

Bill drove us home from there. He thought I’d fallen asleep a couple of times, but I was just lost in thought. It’s a fair question. I often fall asleep in a dark car, and I am rarely not in a conversation if I’m awake. I just didn’t have anything to say. We talked a little bit about life and where we wanted it to go. Somehow, cars at night are our best place for this kind of conversation.

Around 9:00 pm, we were nearing Munster, IN. Bill convinced me that we might as well try 3Floyds Brewing and have dinner. I discovered that food there is absolutely amazing, but the beers are more hit or miss for me.

I missed my sister. She and her husband would absolutely love 3Floyds. The music, the beers, the decor. There is nothing about that place that wouldn’t suit them down to their toes.

Bill talked to an employee while I was in the bathroom. Apparently there are many from Chicago who decree 3Floyds a major trek and half expect accolades upon arrival. Given it’s only about 45 minutes away, it’s a little hard to take this seriously. Of course, Bill and I are from New Mexico, where 45 minutes away is occasionally “the nearest grocery store”. But then, the employee scoffed at it too, so maybe that’s just a little bit of a silly a thing to want props for.

We got home at a surprisingly reasonable time and unloaded my beer. Then we headed off to bed. I was in a much better mood, and my thoughts were a lot clearer. The next day, my computer looked like a beer geek’s computer.

Even when it comes to beer, sometimes it’s not about the destination, but the journey.

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