I know it’s been a LONG, LONG, LONG time since I last put a blog up. For the past month or so, I’ve been preparing to move on to a new stage in my life dubbed Grad School; once summer comes around, I’ll begin attending Indiana University in Bloomington, IN.
Because of this, I definitely will not be able to blog as often as I once was. If you want to follow me and my adventures, however, you can find me on Twitter or Instagram with the handle @dasBierSpiel. Since I still have about a month left, I’m going to try and blog about beer as much as possible!
So, without further ado, here are the details on my trip to Bloomington that I took April 10th – 14th.
My journey began with a 10 hour drive from North Carolina that went through Tennessee and Kentucky on into Indiana. On the whole it wasn’t a bad drive, but it took a little longer than expected (and by “a little” I mean 2 hours). I was amazed at the endless rolling hills and green grass on our route, but disappointed with the lack of KFCs in Kentucky. – After getting back to NC, one of my little bros and I looked up how many KFCs are in KY…apparently there are only 23 compared to our 76 here in NC, and they have to be 2 stories tall! –
The first night I stayed in Bloomington, I ate at a bar near the IU campus called Nick’s. It’s a cool little joint with a college vibe (as to be expected) and a good selection of beer. On this night, I drank the Wheat Ale from Upland Brewing Co., a local brewery which I’d visit in the upcoming days. The Wheat Ale was clean, crisp, citrusy; great for a spring or summer evening. It paired quite well with my sausage, pepperoni, and onion stromboli (which was more of a sub, really). After filling the tummy, my crew and I went on a stroll through IU’s campus, which is gorgeous at night!
The next morning, I began my journey to find an apartment. What began as 1 appointment with Woodbridge turned into 6 or 7, a marathon of exhaustion and discovery which led to me finding my first “dream” home. Where did I end up, you ask? The Dillon. It’s fabulous. Check it out here.
Not long after my home finding journey, I headed to Upland Brewing Co. Let me tell you one thing: they DO NOT mess around with flights (or as they call them, beer samplers). For one, they give you the choice of 7 beers (5 flagship and 2 seasonals), each 6 oz. pours. How often do you get 42 oz. of beer from a flight? I can count on one hand how many times I’ve been given such a generous amount of beer for under $10! Out of the ones that I tried, I particularly enjoyed the Wheat Ale, Helios Pale Ale, Vinyl Tap Rye Pale Ale, Campside Session IPA, and the Hopstrike IPA (which was a collaboration brew). I wasn’t a big fan of Bad Elmer’s Porter, the Easy Chair Amber Ale, or the Dragonfly IPA, but to each his own! Overall the brewery/brewpub had a relaxed vibe, chill atmosphere, EXCELLENT chips and salsa, and most importantly…great beer (:
Later that night, we hit up an Italian joint called Grazie. To switch things up drink-wise, I ordered a Special Coke, which contained bourbon, lemon bitters, maraschino liqueur, amarena cherries, and Coke. While it was good, they went a tad too heavy on the bourbon and ice cubes, which eventually diluted it into watered-down bourbon – thankfully, they brought me some Coke to round out the flavours a little bit. The spaghetti and meatballs that came after ordered were delicious…as was the dessert, which was a Butter Licks. This sweet, buttery drink contained Baileys, butterscotch schnapps, coffee, and housemade whipped cream! Yum. Certainly a delectable way to end the day.
Sunday the 12th was a pretty chill day. After doing the architectural tour on the IU campus, we drove out to Oliver Winery right outside Bloomington. Oliver is hands down one of the most aesthetically pleasing wineries I’ve visited, both in terms of interior design and landscape architecture. Their entrance is a garden with stone statues reminiscent of Stonehenge, and there’s a waterfall that gently cascades right beside the door to the tasting room. Inside, there’s plenty of wine and mead (yes, mead!!!) and an oval-shaped table in the middle where tasting is conducted. Oliver Winery’s wine is very tasty, and I do believe that out of the ones I tried, there wasn’t one I didn’t like! The strawberry mead was amazing (and very affordable as well!). To round out the day, we took a walk at a local park and ordered pizza from Mother Bear’s…this is DEFINITELY the BEST PIZZA I have EVER had EVER!
Monday and Tuesday were very heavy days. To make a long story short, I met a lot of faculty and staff from my area of study (Central Eurasian Studies, or CEUS – pronounced like Seuss in Dr. Seuss – ), took another tour of the campus, went to a CEUS pizza party and met fellow students, and generally had a good time. I can’t wait to go back and begin my journey in the summer with my Hungarian intensive class!
Well, that sums up my trip to Bloomington! I’m glad I was able to explore the town and the university, and can’t wait to go back. Even though I’ve only been there once, it really does feel like a place I can call my new home.
Hope you all have a good day, and I’ll see you next post!
PS: I’d like to dedicate this post to my mom, who has supported me throughout school and encouraged me to go and do whatever it is I dreamt of doing, no matter how dangerous or ridiculous it sounded. She’s inspired me to work hard and dive into what I want to do with passion, whether it be academics or simply hobbies. I’ll make you proud, mom! Just wait.