Mar 25, 2015

Things Discussed at the Brewhaus turns 21

It’s no surprise with so many life changes over the past year that my opportunities for participating in random drunken babble at my favorite local bar have diminished.  Still, occasionally, I find myself embroiled in some classic conversations. 

So, in recognition of my 21st, and first “legal drinking age,” edition of “Things Discussed at the Brewhaus,” here are 10 topics I recently discussed with fellow Brewhaus barflies that may help spur further talk at your next drunken gathering:

Mar 16, 2015

An engaging daytime pub crawl in Alton, Ill.

As my blog’s nine faithful followers may recall, The April and I got engaged in Grafton over Valentine’s Day weekend.  So, how did we celebrate my popping the question?  Day drinking … in nearby Alton, Ill. (Joint decisions like these make me think we were made for each other.)

To be completely honest, we had sort of planned to visit Alton that day anyway, but now we had a purpose.  And what better place to start than what’s arguably Alton’s most famous landmark, Fast Eddie’s Bon Air.  

Fast Eddie’s has been a fixture in Alton since as long as I can remember.  Its roots can be traced to when Anheuser Busch first opened a bar in the town in 1931.  But things really took off after the original “Fast Eddie” took over in the 1980s.  Having quadrupled in size since, today’s Fast Eddie’s is known for huge crowds, live music all the time and great, cheap grilled food (and huge peel-and-eat shrimp).  It has become so large, in fact, that many claim it to be the No.1 bar by volume served in the world. 

Needless to say that, especially considering The April’s aversion to large crowds, it pays to get to Fast Eddie’s early.  And so we did.  We were in line right as the opened the doors for business. 

Mar 4, 2015

A commoner drinks at Senger’s Tavern, Grafton, Ill.

Long before the wineries made the quaint river town of Grafton, Ill., a tourist spot, Grafton’s main tourist draw was its reputation for being a great place to spot bald eagles during their winter migration.  With that in mind, The April and I were more than a little surprised to find so many shops and businesses closed for the season during our recent visit over Valentine’s Day weekend. 

But you know what kind of business never closes for the winter?  The local small-town dive bar.  And in Grafton, the only watering hole that caters to locals year-round is Senger’s Tavern.

I recalled spotting Senger’s on our previous trip last fall, and when I mentioned it to my friends Susan and Terry Hupp, they gave it their official Hupp seal of approval, so I had a feeling we’d really enjoy blending in with the Grafton barflies.  I was not disappointed. 

A commoner dines at Baumgartner’s Cheese Store and Tavern, Monroe, Wis.

I wasn’t sure a place existed that could be the perfect representation of Wisconsin life, but then I traveled through Monroe, Wis., one week...