August 29th, 1999. After lunch at the Colony Inn, Jay Goodvin strolls over to the local brewery and has his fist pint of craft beer. It was my 21st birthday and the day I fell in love with microbreweries. The Millstream brew was the highlight of my day, back in ’99, and the highlight of many other Amana visits since. If you don’t have a coldy cracked open, now would be a proper time to do so. The Gallivant will not fault you for taking a moment away from blog reading.
Like most trips to the Amana Colonies, we helped ourselves to a great meal at the Ronneburg Restaurant. Many of the Amana restaurants feature “family style” dining. Order an entree and sit back as the salad course of Amana cottage cheese, pickled beets, homemade coleslaw, spinach dip, fresh German bread and butter fills up your table. Pass the bowls around and chow! Next are the entrees and all the bowls of mashed potatoes, steamed sauerkraut with caraway seeds, sweet corn and gravy-gravy-gravy! The entrees course is just a motor for eating the gravy. http://www.ronneburgrestaurant.com/
After a few pints of gravy, it was time for a few pints of beer. Millstream beer! The aroma of the brewery lures me in like a cartoon character floating in midair towards a freshly baked pie left on a windowsill. I like to order the flight and leave with my favorite 6’er every time. The always reliable Windmill Wheat and growler of the staff’s recommendation. This time, John’s White Ale. Named after the well known John’s Grocery Store in nearby Iowa City. The dudes working the taps could recommend a draw from the slow moving canal out back and I would happily slap down my cash and chug away. That’s how much I trust these guys! http://www.millstreambrewing.com/
I don’t care how hot it is! I’m drinking my beer outside! With the classic back-sweat forming on my shirt and the rim of my cap looking like it could use a wash at the end of the day, I finished my last drink in the Millstream beer garden and met with Chris the brewer! Busy guy, was getting ready for live music and a bachelorette party. Yes, I said that. The bachelorette’s were bellied up at the brewery. Chalk up another reason to love Iowa!
We came for the beer and ate a great meal. Par for the course. Now it’s time for a little shopping. Amana is blessed with an army of gift shops, boutiques, bakeries, toy stores, homemade candy, coffeehouses and showrooms of wine. But I recommend the meat. That means a trip to the Amana Meat Shop & Smokehouse! My all time favorite place to buy smoked meats!
The ladies working the counter genuinely love their jobs and you can tell. Their customer service is spot on and they know how to recommend the perfect addition to any of their meats. We picked up some smoked pork chops and a jar of horseradish jelly they said to glaze the chop with. The professionals have spoken and we took their orders! http://www.amanameatshop.com/
I think I’m going to like blogging about The Spirit(s) of Iowa for The Gallivant. The Millstream is a great experience and gives me all the reason I need to make a trip to the Amana Colonies. Now get after it! http://amanacolonies.com/
Thanks for visiting! -Team Goodvin