Thursday, August 18, 2011

Great Taste Roadtrip 2011: Thursday, August 18.

The last day's stopping point was St. Joseph and Benton Harbor, two proud and quite different Michigan cities on opposite sides of the St. Joseph River. St. Joseph appears to have survived the 1900's and early Noughts with some degree of success, retaining its good Lake Michigan beaches and a semblance of a tax base, while Benton Harbor is enduring a series of disappointing reversals in terms of self-government and the economy.

Unfortunately, the potential solution to Benton Harbor's present difficulties seems centered on golf. As minted by the city fathers and corporate patron Whirlpool, the plan is bringing a championship caliber golf course and surrounding gentrified community built in part on ground confiscated (okay, "privatized") from Benton Harbor's lakefront park.

However, being from New Albany, I may be calling the kettle black.

In my view, Benton Harbor's biggest selling point is the presence of The Livery, which is the sort of place that defines the essence of the craft beer revolution. Former NABC brewmaster Jared Williamson originally made the connection with The Livery's Steve Berthel, and while Steve unfortunately couldn't be around last on the final day of the road trip, we ate, drank, and lugged growlers back to the hotel (and home).

Following is the story of NABC's connection with The Livery, as told in previous posts.

It's simple: Steve and Jared brew a collaborative batch, and then I drink beer with them.

Jared Williamson on "Michigan: Passion, Pints, and Pride."

Scenes from The Livery's 5th Anniversary Ale brew day (Part One).

Scenes from The Livery's 5th Anniversary Ale brew day (Part Two).

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