Friday, June 28, 2013

Founders: Bands, Bikes, and . . . Beer?

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After visiting New Holland and checking into our hotel, the second stop on our Anti-DLD Brew Tour was Founders Brewery in Grand Rapids, Michigan! Since we had gotten a fairly late start and had already made a stop for dinner, we didn’t get to Founders until fairly late. That evening they had a couple of bands playing, and it was pretty crowded inside.

I absolutely hate crowds, especially when I've been drinking. So I was in no mood to battle the crowds to the bar for beer. Though I had friends that were, so I was still able to taste what they were drinking! Unfortunately, the room was also quite loud due to the crowd and band, so I don’t think I ever learned what it was I drank :( I felt we didn't really get the full beer experience since it was so crowded, and I have no clue how many were on tap or how many I even tried. I guess the moral of the story is to come earlier in the day when it's not so crowded!

I also heard they weren't serving food, though they had some simple noms earlier in the day. I guess this isn't really a place for gourmands on a Saturday night!

In any case, we got to hear a couple of cool bands play. And we saw a pretty sweet guitar case:
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And since I wasn't drinking all that much into the evening, I was able to take a nice long bike ride on a pretty sweet bike trail north of Grand Rapids. It was actually fairly easy to get to from downtown GR, and once I got on there, the riding was pretty smooth. It was a paved trail, probably an old railroad line. Most portions were heavily wooded, so it was nice and shady, and cool. You definitely don't see this type of scenery in Chicago! Especially not on a trail that's easily bike-able! (Ok, there are trails that are easy to bike to, but then when you get to them, you have to turn around since you've already gone 20 miles!)
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Once I got back to the hotel, it was time to shower and check out. Definitely a fun segment of the trip, but I didn't feel like I got the most of the trip to the brewery! We got to listen to some nice bands, I sipped on some delicious beers my friends were drinking, and got a beautiful bike ride in for Half-Ironman training. But I didn't really get to taste the variety of beers I should have since I was AT the brewery! I get a bit too stressed out in crowds when there are drunk people around me, dropping their glass or elbowing me in the head (dangers of being short!) For next time, I'd like to get there earlier in the day, when they're serving food and you can sit and relax while drinking the beer. I think I'd enjoy the experience much better with less noise and fewer people!

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