Monday, September 28, 2009

Accidentally Drunk in Madison

Adam and I planned a weekend trip to Madison to visit Adam's and my friends Matt and Carly, who, oh yeah, happen to live near the New Glarus Brewery. New Glarus makes Adam's favorite beer, Spotted Cow (henceforth just "Cow" the way the locals say it), and it's only sold in the state of Wisconsin. The beer is good--delicious, even--but the fact you have to cross state lines to get its sweet nectar must add to the allure.

We left Friday evening and drove through pounding rain the entire way. The lousy driving conditions only enhanced our appreciation for the brisk, dry fall day we had on Saturday. We started off by going downtown, where the capitol is, to sample the farmer's market. Delta's September Sky magazine featured Madison's farmer's market as one of the 10 Best in the World, so naturally I was curious. While it was good, not actually shopping for fresh food left me to be distracted by other things, such as singing Mennonites and ooooooh, pumpkins! Downtown Madison is truly charming. It reminded me of the town square in Gilmore Girls on just a slightly larger scale. People look colorful, friendly and happy.

Next, we drove out to the brewery. It was a bit of a drive, but we took scenic country roads that really impress upon you why Midwesterners feel so prideful. The countryside, especially now that the fall colors are beginning to pop, is gorgeous.

The brewery itself was a lot of fun--although the education on the self-guided tour was provided by a mulleted man in head-to-toe denim. Luckily for us our visit coincided with Oktoberfest (that's right-on the last weekend in September) so everything was particularly lively. We left with our souvenir pint glasses, which honestly made me more happy than the beer itself.

In New Glarus, the Oktoberfest was hosted in a small Swiss village that felt a little hokey in the Disney Epcot style. We enjoyed beer, polka, and cheese, and more beer. Then again, 3 Heffe Weisse later, I was down for the count the rest of the day. A tipsy afternoon can be one of the best ways to enjoy a Saturday but I didn't plan for Oktoberfest-level activities.

Oktoberfest montage.

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