My husband is a beer man. When we set out on our Rt. 66 trip he decided to support the local breweries when possible. Sometimes when he would ask the bartender or server for a local beer, he would have to explain what he meant. It was obvious some of the people we encountered had not done much traveling.
We picked up Rt. 66 in Joliet, IL and headed south. The first couple of nights Bob drank his normal Miller Lite so the first true local beer he had was at the Cheeky Monkey Bar in Branson, MO. Yes the place was as fun as the name. We were met at the door with a shot of their signature drink by a friendly gal who asked us our names. What he drank is pictured below.
The next evening we were in Tulsa, OK, and there isn’t a picture for that night. Now that it is a few weeks later, we don’t remember why. The following evening we were in Elk City, OK, and he had OK Pils.
On into Texas we went. The Big Texan restaurant brew its own beer and they don’t sell it anyplace but there. People were buying “growlers” of their favorites. Bob drank the Texas Red Amber Ale and got to compliment the brew-master on its quality. Sometimes he took a picture of the menu too so he could remember what the names were later on. If you have a touch screen and can enlarge the menu, some of the names are a hoot. For instance: Whoop Your Donkey IPA. He isn’t an IPA guy, but the name is fun.
Don’t let the next glass fool you. It held Pepe Loco and he drank it in Albuquerque, NM. That evening we had the pleasure of chatting with and sharing the dance floor with some fun-loving Irish folk that were doing the Rt 66 trip on a huge bus.
The following evening we were in Holbrook, AZ, where we found the Corral Bar and Kilt Lifter Amber Ale. The band was four guys who looked almost as old as we are, and played our kind of music. We do an old-fashioned swing and their beat got our toes moving. It was the night we will remember as the most fun because of the people we talked to: Lou from England and Alvin, a full blood Navajo.
One of the most famous spots on Rt. 66 is “standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona. The corner name is insignificant, getting there is supreme. We had lunch, after the obligatory pictures were taken, at the Relic Road eatery where Bob had a Grand Canyon American Pilsner. Again, the menu is so we could remember the name. He also drank this beer at the Grand Canyon Pizza Pub.
The next afternoon found us on a train riding from Williams, AZ to the Grand Canyon south rim. The young lady that served the beer shown below attended the same high school I did in Wayland, NY, and graduated from a high school which was Bob’s high school football team arch rival. And at the beginning of the conversation she didn’t think we would recognize the name of the town she called home. It is indeed a small world when you get out there and explore it.
The night we spent on the South Rim we enjoyed the best prepared meal of the trip. We shared our table with a couple from California that we had been talking to throughout the day as the El Tovar Hotel frowned on just two people at a table that could seat four. Bob had a single malt scotch instead of beer as we helped Gail and Gene celebrate their anniversary and it was a couple of days before Bob’s birthday.
Back in Williams, AZ, via train, we had a light dinner in the hotel lounge while I wrote that day’s blog and Bob enjoyed the Railhead Amber Ale. Don’t think I let him drink alone. My drink of choice is Jack and Coke for those of you who want to know.
Our next stop was Las Vegas, Nevada, Sin City as it is casually called. In one of the restaurants of the Mirage Hotel we were disappointed with the quality of our meal, the service and the lack of any other local beer other than Sierra Nevada pictured below in the ultra thin, tall glass. We made up for it in the “free” drinks I drank while at the Craps table. Overall in my total craps play I am still $35.00 to the good, though I did leave $100.00 in Vegas. It might be good that I lost, I won’t want to play again so soon.
From Vegas we drove on to Barstow, CA., our least favorite city overall because of the number of street people. We would go back to have dinner at the Idle Spurs where we met Suzanne and Wayne. It was Bob’s birthday and Rachel, the bartender, brought him an ice cream sundae with a candle in it. Bob drank Red Trolley Ale while we ate our dinner at the bar.
In Palm Springs, having dinner at Shanghai Reds and then dancing to the blues band, Bob found his favorite beer on the whole trip. The 805 had the right taste and temperature to be refreshing as it was still 88 degrees when we walked back to our hotel room.
Staying another night in Palm Springs, we drove north to Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneer Town Palace, way up in the mountains, on recommendation from Jack and Bonnie Garner back in Rochester, NY. We were seated at a table with another couple, Mike and Jennifer, from Atlanta, GA. They pointed out the Budweiser they were served had a notation on the label that it had been totally produced by wind energy so I had to have one to promote the cause. Bob drank the Saint Archer. It was another 100 degree day in the Palm Springs area, so the ice cold beer was good no matter the name.
The next night found us in San Diego. We jay-walked across the street from our hotel to Mitch’s, a fresh seafood place. Bob said his swordfish was great, I was not satisfied with my poke (fresh raw tuna) because it came by itself in a small cup, and we both left unsatisfied. He said the Chronic Amber wasn’t bad.
We walked further west on the boardwalk and found Eppig Brewing where Rob, on the left, and Mike, on the right, poured Bob a Festbier and me a Prekend Kolsch. Now that was some good beer. Too bad Eppig doesn’t sell nationally. One could buy six-packs of their flavors from their cooler but alas we were about to leave the beautiful bay on an airplane. We expect to see Rob back in Rochester as he was raised in our fair city and will be here for a wedding in a couple of weeks.
Above, Festbier on the left and Kolsch on the right. They explained the different glass use, but we wouldn’t have minded if it had been in a Red Solo Cup. (Thanks Toby Keith)
Below is the final beer of the trip. Bob enjoyed it at the Fish Market restaurant on San Diego Bay where Jeff and J.V., the bartenders, made sure we had full drinks and liked our dinner.
We arrived home on Thursday evening, the 26th. On the 27th we went to one of our favorite live music haunts just a few miles from home. Bob had a Rohrbach Highland Lager, brewed in Rochester, to celebrate a safe, fun, educational trip.
This is not an advertisement for any of the beers listed. It is just what was available and wasn’t an IPA. We hope if you are a beer person, you have the opportunity to try some locally made beverages when you travel. Enjoy.