When in Rome…

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Do as the Romans. Heard that often as a kid and knew that it meant you did not order Chinese food at a restaurant in Rome.  So too in Wisconsin, you’d order a beer and brat especially in my hometown, Sheboygan. And if you were visiting California? Well, then you’d visit vineyards and sip wines.  Hmmm, well maybe that was then, but there’s a new “now.”

            On our last two visits to California we hadn’t been to a single winery. Actually that’s not true.  We did go to one, but that was just to pick up a standing order of my daughter and son-in-law for some table wines.  However, breweries? Yeah. They seem to be popping up all over in the Yolo, Sonoma and Napa counties.  The counties loaded with the fields of grape vines and wineries.  

            So it was on our last visit, Thanksgiving 2018, as the “Camp Fire” 80 miles north died down and the air cleared of smoke from a rain that we spent a sunny day in Sacramento and lunched at the Sacrament Brewery.  Our table was on the lower level nestled next to the brewery paraphernalia—a long row of stainless steel vats.  A few minutes later a few young people were bustling around the vats, draining this one and checking valves on that one.  They were the owners of the brewery.

            Marv and I introduced ourselves to them and handed out our “Riding the Beer Trail” cards.  We told them our blog started in 2009 after our first “ride” to Oblio’s, Trail’s End and Jerry’s.  Presently we have had about 70,000 hits.  And we know it is read by people in 70 different countries.  Oshkosh issues 134 class A liquor licenses a year we told them feeling smug.  “Oshkosh, Wisconsin, has five micro breweries at last count.,” we bragged (and slightly exaggerated),  “Every city and town in the Fox Valley from Green Bay south to Fond du Lac has at least one.  Well, no, guess that Fondy doesn’t have one…yet.  But they will soon.”

            “Can I take your picture?” I asked.  “I’ll write up a blog post about your place.”

            Michael, my son-in-law, reminded me as we drove back to their home in Woodland that there are many other small breweries in the area. He mentioned The Blue Note in Woodland. Of course I had been there.  It’s not unusual to find students from UC Davis drinking a beer and studying their notes for their university classes.  

            And we had visited another one where they offered a flight of seventeen!! beers to sample.  A quick Google search says there are 17 craft breweries in Sacramento.  Wow! Maybe Wisconsin should annex Sacramento.  

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Frankie Mengeling

Frankie Mengeling taught English at Oshkosh North High School and Lourdes High School and was co-director of the Fox Valley Writing Project at UWO. She lives on the Oshkosh’s only hill, with her husband Marvin, son Tom and cat Katrina. The blog www.ridingthebeertrail.wordpress.com began in the summer of 2009 after the three couple beer trail began.

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