Sunday 2nd of August 2009 01:14:37 PM link
I attended the _American Breweriana Association_'s annual meeting in Dubuque, IA. in June 2008. I've been a member of ABA since 1990. But this was only the second annual meeting I have attended. The reasons for attending this year were numerous. I had a sufficient number of breweriana artifacts which I was seeking to trade or sell; Dubuque is an area in which I have never been; (The Dubuque Star Brewery was an occasional participant to our annual beer tasting at the United Soccer Boosters' Convention. Unfortunately, I could not help save it, and it went out of business in 1997.) the rebuilt 1987 Chevrolet Sprint needed a 'road test' to see if it could handle a long motor jaunt; and most significantly, this was the opening weekend for the _*National Brewery Museum*_™ in Potosi, WI; which is where ABA's members' breweriana collections shall be displayed.
[There was also a matter of the American Homebrewers' Association's national homebrew conference that weekend in Cincinnati, OH. But since there just might have been a standing warrant for my arrest in Cincinnati, I opted to not venture there.]
The Potosi brewpub is attached to not only the National Brewery Museum; but, in a fascinating adaptation for grant money which otherwise would have gone unallocated, the Potosi Brwg. Co. Transportation Museum. The Transportation Museum portion of the facility has no admission fee. (The National Brewery Museum's admission is $8.50.) It consists of displays of how Potosi beers were distributed through the midwest, throughout its history [1852 - 1972].
The National Brewery Museum is impressive today. As it receives more ABA members' collections, it will become phenomenal. You really should get here one of these days.
As you enter the atrium of the building; the Transportation Museum is to your right, the National Brewery Museum is directly forward, and to your left is the Potosi brewpub. It will have four standard beers and one rotating seasonal beer.
The brewpub is reclaiming the history of the former brewery. Breweries reclaimed their heritage after 13 years of Prohibition, so I'll be magnanimous and allow it to resume after a 36-year suspension. The physical bar itself is notable. It was designed by Terry Trumm, and constructed by Gary David ("Gary David Woodworks"). The venue has a dbs system with _some_ sports channels, including Comcast SportsNet Chicago. Food is also available. But we had something catered in at the Museum dedication dinner, so I didn't eat anything here.
"Good Old Potosi" - This is the premium beer which was the old(er) brewery's best seller. It has been upgraded to what I call a 'bridge' beer: i.e.; along the lines of a J. W. Dundee's Honey Brown or (to be true to Wisconsin) a Leinenkugel's Creamy Dark. It is an amber lager, a 'session beer', in which the malt and hops are kept in hand. Smooth, nice, tasty, refreshing.
Potosi Pure Malt Cave Ale - Here is a beer you wouldn't expect to find in rural Wisconsin. It is an English Bitter. The (all-)malt is more pronounced, and there is a slight biscuit tang in the aftertaste. I enjoyed this.
Snake Hollow I.P.A. - I love malty beers; but this hoppy brew was actually my favorite of all of the Potosi brews. I almost did not have this because I was worried the hops would be too overwhelming. They aren't. If you've had a Three Floyds Alpha King, it is along that line, but the hops Potosi uses have a lower bittering factor. It adds hops to the kettle with more frequency during its brewing, which is how it boosts the hop flavor, which predominates. It is a medium gold color.
The other two beers were not ready yet. Any time a brewpub feels it should not put on a beer because it has not lagered enough; I understand that completely (and I compliment it for not rushing something on _just because it would sell_). One will be its regular "Holiday" Bock, and its first seasonal - an unfiltered wheat beer.
Transit options: Somebody else is going to have to drive you here and back. Oddly enough, Potosi is _this close_ to a still active railroad corridor. But it is a freight railroad corridor. This corridor is probably what kept it alive through the 1960s, as it provided an inexpensive and swift delivery route to Minneapolis, Milwaukee, St. Louis, & Chicago. (The house beer for Armanetti Liquor Stores, some of which still remain, was brewed at Potosi.)
The State of Illinois has selected the Canadian National (nee Illinois Central) corridor between Chicago and East Dubuque, IL. as the route on which passenger railroad service shall resume, if and when funding is ever provided. (Tracks are extant.) Even if this is restored, it would get you only to East Dubuque (or Dubuque - if Iowa pays to have it cross the Mississippi). You would still need another carrier to get you the 17 miles to Potosi. There aren't any hotels or motels in Potosi, either. You will wind up staying in Dubuque or Tennyson, WI.
Selection: 4 |
Atmosphere: 4.5 |
Service: 4 |