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Puppy Mania!

Murphy Brown (the dog) has been a grand addition to my life. While she can be a little crazy at times, my boyfriend and I can’t imagine our lives without her.

This post is about the multiple events and places I’ve been apart of since Murphy has come into our lives. I love to keep her active because that gives me some down time and it gives her some much needed exercise. I often take her to dog parks. While I do feel uneasy about taking her, since people have warned me against aggressive dogs and diseases. However, I try to be as cautious as possible. Murphy is up to date on all of her shots, if any dog seems hostile towards her, I immediately scoop her up and take her away from the situation.
Murphy loves to run and while I can watch her gleefully for a few minutes, I can become bored easily. Hence why I love Washington Park in Over the Rhine. I go to Cincinnati quite often since I live so close, but Washington Park is great for dog lovers who have owners who are also beer lovers. Yappy Hour, as shown above, is one of my favorite events downtown. At Yappy Hour, dogs are provided with treats and free food while their owners can enjoy a cocktail.I like taking her there, picking up a beer and then heading towards the dog park section. Personally, I haven’t had a problem with aggressive dogs, but Murphy tends to be an instigator so that doesn’t exactly help matters. I believe Yappy Hour occurs every Thursday night in the summer.

Another event I went to was Paws and Pints at Listermann Brewing Company (As seen above). This event was adorable. There were paw print cookies, free samples of dog food, party hats and lots of happy friendly dogs. This also gave this happy owner a chance to drink some great beer while socializing Murphy. The event was held to celebrate national dog day and it was definitely a hoot!

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Also, here’s a random tidbit from me learning the hard way. It sounds silly but these dog wipes are amazing for getting out bathroom stains that your pet leaves. They’re cheap and effective and they’re great if your bringing your pup to a new place that involves carpeting!

Favorite dog parks in Cincinnati: A tie between Washington Park (But you have to pay for parking usually) or Otto Armleder Dog Park (Free parking and lots of room for dogs to play)

Favorite dog park in Northern Kentucky: Highland Hills Dog Park

 

 

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Red River Gorge in Stanton, Kentucky


Hey everyone! I had a weekend trip not too long ago to Red River Gorge, also known as The Gorge to most Kentuckians and Cincinnatians. Now, most who have heard of The Gorge, have unfortunately only heard about the accidents that happen there. Here’s the thing, if you go through safe trails, if you’re not drinking and if you’re not wandering around in the dark where you’ve camped by cliffs-you’re fine. If you’re not an expert climber, you might want to avoid difficult trails or doing anything tricky and have friends go with you, if you’re experienced I would still say HAVE A BUDDY to go with you. Accidents happen and while it can be dangerous if you’re cocky or lack caution, if you want to hike and see how beautiful nature can be, go to The Gorge. Enough of my ranting. Here’s some pictures!

Also, one of our friends created an IPA beer taste. Most, if not all, of the beers were local! We found out that it was hard to differentiate when all of the beers were IPA’s and we might switch it up on the type of beer next time but it was a lot of fun!

We had a blast, despite my asthma was giving me a hard time and I began to resemble a tomato more and more as the day went on, but it was amazing! We also went to breakfast at this adorable restaurant (See the pictures below) and had a feast of wonderful food. Overall it was an amazing weekend vacation to say the least!

My Lexington, Kentucky Adventure

Two weekends ago I headed to Lexington, Kentucky for the first time in over ten years. My sisters both went to the University of Kentucky, so I used to be a frequent visitor but I’m amazed how much has changed since my last visit!

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L’Escalade Fitness

I had an amazing time at this gym (This is a photo of my friend climbing, I stupidly forgot to have her take a picture of me climbing). The gym was gorgeous and I liked how the climbing routes were laid out. While I do like my local climbing gym, L’Escalade made climbing a lot easier with more decipherable routes. This was my first time doing top rope and while the walls were exceptionally high, I couldn’t deny how much fun I had. While my back and asthma failed me a few times, I almost climbed as high as my friend did in this picture. I did a little bit of bouldering as well but not much.

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West Sixth Brewery & Smithtown Seafood

I had the Lemongrass American Wheat beer when I made my first stop to West Sixth Brewery. I have heard so much about this brewery, I was completely excited when I saw the amazing selection of beers to choose from, and if we weren’t already heading to Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale I would’ve had more than one drink. I had the scallops from Smithtown and having the chance to eat these delectable scallops with the beer from West Sixth was like heaven. The scallops reminded me of the ones I had when I went to Pompano Joe’s in Destin, Florida two years ago. I loved everything about this place, especially since there’s good seafood attached to great brewery.

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale

I went to the Woodford Reserve with my boyfriend last year and it was amazing, so I was jumping for joy when I heard that Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale was on the bourbon trail and my friends were able to go. The visit was only $10 and you were treated to an hour or so tour and four samples of your choosing. There were so many to choose from! I made the joke that it was like choosing between children (I didn’t say it was a funny one). I ended up choosing the Kentucky Bourbon Ale Stout, The Town Branch Bourbon, The Pearse Lyons Reserve and the Bluegrass Sundown. The Bluegrass Sundown was ammazzzinnggg. You do have to put some work into it, but I did take a video of the wonderful tour guide making it. Unfortunately, the video is a bit dark and you can hear my basically salivating the entire time because I keep saying yum. Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and friendly; it was nice to see someone who really loved her job giving a tour.We were also lucky because most of the equipment was only four weeks old! So we saw the latest and greatest alcohol making technology.

 

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Wine Bar & Bistro

I had a great time eating a wonderful chicken pasta with vegetables and an olive oil sauce and some white wine. Everything was amazing and they were great about going around my lactose allergy because the olive oil sauce wasn’t even on the menu. Definitely stop by if you’re in Lexington!

MadTree Winter Bonanza!

 

 

Hey guys! So my blog is going to have a lot of postings about beer this week and next week cause it’s Beerfest season baby! This post in particular, however, is about my favorite brewery, MadTree and their three year anniversary that happened over the weekend. Prepare yourself for rather blurry photos and me-gushing about how much I love this place, but how claustrophobic I felt once I was there.

MadTree is definitely my favorite brewery in Cincinnati. I do love all of my other Cincinnati breweries, but MadTree holds the key to my heart. I think it was one of the first craft beers I have ever had. I mean fricken Rubus Cacao is the beer of dreams and legends (Pictured on the wooden table above). My best friend and I look forward to Rubus now since our first sip last year at Beerfest. Rubus is a blend of chocolatey, raspberry goodness that makes any stout lover a fan immediately. I have to admit, I wasn’t AS big of a fan as the canned version, but when I had it on draft at MadTree on Saturday I practically cried. It was amazing.

Anyways, this post isn’t going to be completely about my devotion to MadTree stouts, it will be about the Winter Bonanza! First off, I had to park about a half a mile away from MadTree, it was packed. We took a shuttle bus over to the brewery where things were hopping… well not hopping because there were over a thousand people there, but you get my drift. There was wall to wall people. Beers that were set to be tapped at a certain hour were gone in minutes. I mean it was chaos. We also had a Bones Burger, which we waited an hour for. This sounds like a lot of complaining, I’m attempting to not sound that way. The burger was fantastic and the beer was delectable but I think MadTree didn’t expect the pandemonium they received. I know that they’re in the process of building a new MadTree in Oakley, which I’m eager for, so I will definitely cut them a break.

So if you’re bad with crowds, you might want to pass on the Winter Bonanza next year, but I highly recommend the brewery and the atmosphere MadTree presents in general. I have boasted about them a lot before, but they really are a sight to see, and drink to!

10 Things I’m Looking Forward To In 2016

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  1. Broad City season 3. It’s the little things. But no, really, I’m looking forward to it, Abbi and Ilana are my heros. I want to see Game of Thrones too but I’m still all bummed about one of my favorite characters dying.
  2. I’m kinda thanking my lucky stars that “Let It Go” from Frozen is not being played as much or referenced… However I did just ruin that by referencing it now. Crap.
  3. It’s an even year, which supposedly means good luck. Let’s see about that!
  4. The possibility of starting to exercise both at the gym and bouldering. Maybe now, I can be buff for the first time. Hey it could happen! I have a friend that’s getting a gym pass and my boyfriend has one so there ya go.
  5. I’m excited for Beerfest at the Duke Energy Center in Cincinnati. It’s one of my favorite events to go to each year. Last year I even interviewed a brewer and self defined beer snob, Kory Roaden. Craft bbbeerrrrrrr!
  6. I’m excited for the possibility of a vacation for next year. I’m not sure where I’ll go, but I see a beach in my future.
  7. I’m excited that I’ll see my bff next year. It’s been way too long, but he’ll back from Spain soon(ish)!
  8. I am excited to really get into books again. Since my library days are sadly over, it’s been a bit harder to find good books, but I’m going to make reading a priority again this year.
  9. Having better cooking/baking skills. I’m trying to expand my culinary skills and thanks to some Christmas presents this year I think I’ll be getting better!
  10. Starting out a new year. We can always pretend it’s a blank slate, right?

Friday Favorites: Summer Edition

So some of these are’t necessarily things to do in the summer, but I have been busy trying to kick my bucket list this summer before my best friend leaves for Spain for ten months! Here are some of my favorite nights, meals and activities from my summer so far:

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One of my friends saw that the Residence Inn had a killer rooftop bar. On her birthday we decided to take advantage of this amazing view (the alcohol was also a large incentive). I had a Rooftop Lemonade, which was definitely sweet but also a little strong. When you go for these mixed cocktails, try to make sure you eat dinner first then drink. The view was spectacular, I was glad we went there on a sunny day and while it was crowded, it was worth the small breathing room we got because I was more interested in looking at my city anyway.

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After drinks at the Residence Inn my friend and I decided to spend her birthday dinner at the Yard House. While the Yardhouse is a chain restaurant, I must give them props. Every time I go there I have to get the lobster garlic noodles and a Fat Head Bumbleberry beer. The combination, while expensive, is simply delightful. Also, if you sit on the back patio (which we didn’t get a chance to but we did see it on our way out) you can see a dazzling view of the Roebling Bridge.

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Two of my good friends are moving to New York next week, and while these pictures aren’t of there going away party, we definitely partied. The bottom right picture was when we were at Neon’s in Over the Rhine. I have sung my praises about this bar many times (there’s puppies and a large Jenga set!), it’s going to be sad to not go there with our two friends. Neon’s is kind of a staple of our friendship, so it is a little sad that they’ll only be visiting from now on.

Anyways! After Neon’s we headed over to Horseshoe Casino for dinner. Ok, usually I am not one to write a post about my disappointment in a dish/restaurant, so all I’m going to say is, the night was fun but the food and service was lacking. I would recommend straying away from this place unless your looking to gamble or have some drinks.

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I was a little sleepy in this photo (and somehow paler than usual) but King’s Island is always a good time. Before this outing, we went to karaoke at Northside Tavern the night before. If you haven’t been to Northside, you are missing out! I was sad that they only have karaoke on Wednesdays and sometimes Thursdays, but it was still bearable because I was off the next day. Sorry guys, I’m not going to post my karaoke skills (or lack there of on here) but my friends were fantastic and we had a great time laughing, singing and rooting for each other.

King’s Island was a bit hard to deal with, due to the fact that we were drinking and singing the night before, but it was phenomenal as usual! Despite the dreary day we made a go of it, and because of the crappy weather, we practically walked on rides. Ok, so we did wait 30 min at least for each ride but that’s not bad for this amusement park, usually you wait much longer. My favorite is Diamondback, but The Banshee ride was definitely a thrill!

What have you enjoyed doing this summer?

Beer and Sushi

Hello everybody! I know that I typically write about beer, and usually it involves Cincinnati beer, well this time I’m writing about a brewery that’s located in Covington, Kentucky!

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This weekend I went to the Braxton Brewery and I was pleasantly surprised with some quite delicious beer. Granted, I only liked two beers on the list (I’m not a big IPA fan) but I really didn’t enjoy their Dead Blow, which is their tropical stout. I bought a growler of it a few days later and was a little disappointed because the version I had was run through their starter coffee, but the lady working there told me that the beer would be rather bitter if the growler contained the coffee they put it through. If you didn’t know already, or if you are new to this blog, there are three things that I cannot resist. Coffee, beer and sushi. So this was a wonderful weekend for me! I am in love with this beer. It was absolutely delicious. As pictured above, I did actually get a flight of beer so I could try the majority of their beers. Wow, only six bucks for a flight? That’s pretty awesome! I did end up liking their Storm beer as well, which is a golden cream ale (No I don’t know what golden cream ale means but it was tasty!), and it was rather charming. While I do love craft beer I will settle for a Blue Moon any day of the week. It’s the only beer that’s more commercialized that doesn’t taste like beer water to me. The Storm beer reminded me of a Blue Moon but it didn’t have that strong citrus flavor that Blue Moon has.

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After we went to Braxton, we headed down to Wabi Sabi, which is a sushi restaurant In Covington as well. If you like Cloud 9 or Ichiban Sushi (Located in Mt. Lookout in Ohio) then you’ll love this place. This restaurant is located on Madison Avenue and is now my go to sushi place in Northern Kentucky! While I really love Miyako, it’s kind of expensive to eat there unless you’re there on a Tuesday when it’s half price. Well Wabi Sabi follows the Ichiban and Cloud 9 menality by always having “half off” sushi. If you like authentic sushi, this probably isn’t the place for you, go to Jo An’s which is in Erlanger, Kentucky. I oddly enough, like the “fake” kind of sushi, the real stuff wasn’t my favorite. So try both places and see what works best for you. My favorite rolls at any sushi place are the shrimp tempura rolls, but try the shrimp crunch roll if you’re at Cloud 9!

What are your favorite places to drink beer or eat sushi?

Top Ten Reasons Why Summering in NKY and Cincinnati is the Best!

Hey everybody! These are just some of the reasons why I love living so close to Cincinnati.

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1.  The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden is one of the best zoos in the country. I recently went to the Tunes and Blooms event that is held on every Thursday in April. Tunes and Blooms allows everyone to enter the zoo free of charge. There’s also live music playing and other vendors giving away free items and teaching children how to do things like compost in your backyard and such. It’s great for kids, but be aware that the place is packed even more so than usual. The zoo in general though, is awesome. You can have a beer, eat a slice of Larosa’s pizza and take in the amazing view of both exotic animals and flowers.

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2. You have to go to a Cincinnati Reds game at least once each year. Even if you hate baseball, the atmosphere is completely delightful. Beer, peanuts, junk food, a good view and some community comradery. Go to one baseball game. Have a beer (Which they have a lot of craft beer now, and cute places like Bootleggers) and relax. Just try it!

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3. Party in the Park has been an event that happens on every Wednesday in the summer since 1976! It’s an excuse to celebrate hump day with a beer, some live music and some local food. It usually draws a big crowd and it provides a nice view of the river.

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4. I freak out when I know Taste of Cincinnati is just around the corner. This is basically a foodie’s paradise. I fricken love all of the different food, beer and entertainment (Yes, I do notice that I write a lot about beer, food and live music). It’s kind of incredible when you know that there’s no possible way you can eat something from every food vendor. It would be physically impossible, and that’s kind of beautiful. Good food, good entertainment and good company. If you go on a Friday or Saturday, you might not be able to move around if you’re short like me. If you don’t mind crowds, then I’d highly recommend it!

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5. This park is little… I know, I know, I’m not that punny. Yes, you can pretend slap me over the computer now. I swear no more puns… probably. I passed Lytle Park on the way to Reds game one day and I just had to stop and take a picture. It looks gorgeous. While my allergies hate spring/summer, I can’t help but admire the scenery.

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6. Schneider’s Sweet Shop sells these magnificant treats called Ice Balls on day after Easter. I look forward to this ever Easter. I know that summer isn’t too far away if I can get a Tiger’s Blood snow cone filled with vanilla ice cream from Schneider’s. It’s amazing. I know what you’re going to say. Ice cream and a snow cone? Trust me, you will like it.

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7. I went to the drag strip in Cleves, Ohio (This event is comically referred to as Friday Night Lightz) a weekend or two ago with my boyfriend and a few of his friends. It was fun! I mean watching cars race each other, being with friends, drinking beer and being outside, what more could you ask for? I definitely wouldn’t have gone there on my own (Since I had no idea it existed), but I really did like learning about the different cars and trying to figure out which car would beat out the other. It was something new and different and I would definitely go back.

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8. I stopped by 21 C Museum Hotel Cincinnati for the first time and had a great time on their roof! The view was killer and the alcohol (While a bit pricey for this girl the popsicle with alcohol was a nice touch) was tasty. Honestly this is why you want to be in Cincinnati. Partying on a roof overlooking the city? It’s bound to be a good time.

9. I love roller coasters. I get a little more shaken from them than I used to, but I still enjoy the thrill of a good loop or hill. Diamondback and The Banshee are easily the best rides (In my opinion) to go on, but there are lots of fun coasters and if you don’t like their blueberry ice cream, than I cannot count you as a friend.Seriously, what’s wrong with you?

10. This hasn’t happened yet, but I’m beyond thrilled about it anyway. They’re having a Beerfest at Washington Park! I’ve been to the Fountain Square one, and I wasn’t as impressed but I am beyond happy with their location this year. Anything at Washington Park is fun but this is beyond amazing!

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Honorable Mention: Most of the time Bunbury Music Festival is pretty cool, this year was decent. I liked the 2013 year the best but don’t worry I’m writing that post this week!

Thursday Favorites: Cincinnati Edition

Hey everybody! Sorry for the lack of blogging. Work has been a bit crazy and I’ve been more busy outside of work as well. Can I slightly exaggerate and say that I was doing blog research this whole time? Well, let’s go with that! Today I will be talking about a few of my favorite things I’ve done while I wasn’t blogging. While I do realize I talk about Cincinnati a lot, this time I will be reflecting about food, beer and desserts I enjoy all around the Cincinnati area!

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Hello Honey

Hello Honey is one of my favorite ice cream places that I’ve never talked about on this blog. It’s adorable, it’s local and they put toasted marshmallows on ice cream guys! They change their flavors from time to time but I really enjoy the seasonal additions. I personally enjoy the salted caramel ice cream. This beauty is located downtown on Vine.

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MadTree Brewery

Those who know me, know that I love local breweries, especially MadTree. I’ve only been to this brewery once or twice before but when I headed out there last weekend I was reminded why this place rules. The brewery is massive and they’re always trying out new beers, I liked Suncrest because it reminded me of a smoother version of a Blue Moon. Since it’s getting warmer outside there is cornhole and the patio is the place to be! Not to mention it’s pet friendly and you can buy some cute t-shirts! This brewery is located on Kennedy Avenue, so it’s a bit of a drive for some, but it’s worth it (And yes the guys in that photo were completely photobombing us and it was hilarious to see it after the picture was taken).

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Eli’s BBQ

So I had heard about Eli’s for awhile now, but now I’m officially obsessed. This place is fricken fantastic! Not only is your food cheap, it’s mouth wateringly delicious. The mash potatoes melt in your mouth, the pulled pork makes you take huge bites instead of small bites and it’s a bring your own beer location. BYOB! My boyfriend actually took me to this place on on one of our first dates. It was a bit cold then so we didn’t get a chance to eat outside, but since then I’ve gone back and enjoyed some pulled pork on a picnic bench with some MadTree actually. I wish that Eli’s was in a more convenient location (It’s on Riverside Drive), but other than that it’s amazing.

Honorable Mention:

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Sprout Market & Eatery

I put Sprout Market & Eatery, which is located in the Mount Adams area,  as an honorable mention because while I really enjoyed my meal, I am a hungry girl. The portions, which I should know by now are going to be small for scallops, were too small for me. I left Sprout rather hungry because there wasn’t a whole lot of food there to eat. My friend and I really enjoyed our meals but it felt more like lunch options and less like dinner options. I would highly recommend this eatery for lunch though!

I’m always looking for some new places to review, so please, give me your suggestions! What do you like to do in Cincinnati?

Friday Favorites: Beer and Coffee Themed

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Hello everyone, today I’m trying a new post. I tend to try a lot of new things, mainly it’s coffee and beer, but hey I like what I like. I love coffee. However, I’m not as hardcore as some coffee fans because I don’t drink it black. I like my coffee with a little bit of sugar. That being said, I also like when my coffee has a lot of sugar and cream because it’s fricken delightful and it makes me insanely happy and hyper.

If you live in Northern Kentucky you are subjected usually to fast food chain coffee. I do drink fast food chain coffee, but I also really enjoy local coffee. My favorite Northern Kentucky coffee used to only be limited to Reality Tuesday. Reality Tuesday, is a coffee shop located in Parks Hills and is rather close to Notre Dame Academy. I love this place, and have bragged about them before, but I now have a new coffee place by my house and I’m beyond excited! Carabello Coffee is now my favorite coffee joint in the area. I of course will always have a soft spot for Reality Tuesday, but there’s something to be said about a coffee place that’s only a few minutes away from your home and gives you a caramel treat with your coffee.

Carabello Coffee (Picture is located at the top right) serves a myriad of drinks and cute candies. This place is adorable and it’s small enough to feel like your own little oasis. I believe that the drink I took a picture of was a white chocolate raspberry mocha, and it was impeccable. I might have eaten the caramel candy before I had a chance to take a picture of it, but I assure you of it’s yumminess as well. The staff was friendly and welcoming, and the space was decorated (The last time I went unfortunately was Valentine’s Day) and cozy. I highly recommend this coffee place for anyone in the area (See the menu in the picture below)

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If you have read my past posts, you will know that I have a slight obsession with Coffee Emporium. Before Carabello, it was my favorite coffee joint. Now it’s my favorite coffee house in Cincinnati though. Coffee Emporium sells their coffee beans (See top left photo), and sells a variety of flavors. I have tried their pumpkin pie coffee, which I love and now I’m trying Mackinac Island Fudge. I’m a die-hard pumpkin fan, so I do love that kind a bit more than Mackinac Island Fudge, but the fudge coffee is great for an intense caffeine buzz. I mean that stuff is strong. If you need a pick me up in the morning, this is the coffee for you!

Also, last but not least. It wouldn’t be a real post without me bragging about a new beer I’ve tried. You’ve guessed it, it’s MadTree (Pictured below). I am in love with Rubus Cacao (Notice the raspberry pattern). It’s a little hard to find but it was my beer of choice at Beerfest. If you’re not a stout fan, or a lover of coffee, this might not be your cup of tea. However, if you love dessert beers or love raspberries, you must try this beer.

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What are some of your local favorites?

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