Monday, April 27, 2009

Between the Bluffs

The missus and I had a chance to attend the Between the Bluffs Beer, Wine and Cheese Festival in La Crosse with the McGs and some other friends. I gotta be honest, I can't say anything about the wine and little about the cheese as I didn't take the time to enjoy either. Beer was at center stage for us at this event and for most of the attendees, I think. Here are some observations from the weekend:

  • This event featured a booth serving homebrew from the local home brewing club, LAGERS (La Crosse Area Grain Enthusiasts & Related Specialites). I only had a chance to try two of the homebrews, but these two beers were two of the standouts from the beer fest and not just because they were homebrews. What a great idea and great way to promote the industry.
  • It was great seeing most of the Lift Bridge guys there and hanging out with them afterwards. Also, we had a chance to say "hi" to Chris from Furthermore. There weren't as many familiar faces as we are used to, but it was great seeing a few. Too bad we didn't have a chance for more chatter.
  • Bodega is a must-see beer bar in La Crosse worth checking out. They have a good beer selection and a cool lazy-susan-type cooler for beers. Plus its a comfy place to hang out.
  • Sconie liquor stores open on Sunday! Between the McGs and us, we spent almost $240 on beer at a liquor store on Sunday. Did you hear that, Minnesota, $240! I didn't think we'd have enough room in my sub-compact, but once we chopped Scott's legs off and tossed our luggage on the side of the road, the beer fit.
  • My god was it crowded! That's why I didn't try any wine or very little cheese. There were far too many people in the confined area of the fest.
  • There weren't many hard-to-find beers nor special offerings from most of the breweries (at least that I saw). Luckily, Lift Bridge had their oak-aged Harvestor, which gave us beer dorks a go-to treat.
  • We didn't get a chance to get to Pearl Street, which was disappointing. Shame on us for poor planning.


  1. I agree, there were way too many people there. I think they must have oversold the event. I went with some friends who have gone for a few years and they said it has never been nearly as crowded as this year. I also agree that the beers weren't as great as at the MN beer fests.

    And oh man, you didn't try Pearl St? I really loved their Hefeweisen, and their Dankenstein was also very tasty. I put all my chips in their bucket because of that Hefeweisen though.

    Did you get a chance to try the Nordic Creamery cheese? They were in the middle sorta under that overhang area. They use goat milk and it was super delicious.

  2. Luckily we picked up a bunch of Pearl Street on Sunday, so we didn't totally miss out. I don't think I had any Nordic Creamer (I'm not a goat cheese guy), but I did have one with cinnamon and pecans (that might have been Nordic). I picked up a couple of pounds of it, but my friends are holding it for me.

  3. I found the crowds to be a real downer. Had it been less crowded, I would have been able to try more cheese and some wine.

    I really liked the cheese from Nordic Creamery. I think that is the cheese you got, Mag.

    I wrote up my impressions here.