Where Great Food and a Great Drink Become a Love Affair

Håkan stayed in Litchfield just three days, three amazing days. Rosie picked us up at the airport and drove us home to Litchfield, where we sat down in the garden to talk until the mosquitoes got the better of us. He and I had spent ten hours travelling, eleven hours just waiting and we had been awake for twenty-six hours. Yes, we were a little tired. It was all well worth it though and the memories of that journey will undoubtedly remain with us forever.

I had a little bucket-list for the three days Håkan would be here. I wanted to him to see the beautiful, Lake Ripley and the pelicans that frequent its shimmering surface. Then of course there was the bronze statue of Chief Little Crow in Hutchinson. For me at least, there is something awe inspiring about that statue and the Crow River that lazily meanders along until dropping into a seething mass. I wanted him to taste the ribs at Peter’s on Lake Ripley, the wings at Buffalo Wild Wings and of course, a walleye sandwich. More importantly though, I wanted to take him to one of my favorite places.

Now, going back along I wrote about a wonderful place in Cold Springs called, The Great Blue Heron. It’s the kind of place that leaves you wanting to come back for more. I just had to take Håkan there for something to eat and of course…drink. You see, Cold Springs can probably boast the best food and the best beer for miles around and what better place to tuck into a crispy, beer-battered walleye sandwich.

Now, you can’t go to The Great Blue Heron without trying out the beers they serve there. I have never been a huge drinker, although I love a good beer on a hot, sunny day or with a great meal. We seated ourselves and waited for the menus to arrive. The place has such a relaxing atmosphere and the people who work there go out of there ways to make you feel at home. Håkan and I began with a ‘Bitter Neighbor Black IPA’. The beer has a unique taste and a bold malt and hop aroma. If you haven’t tried a Bitter Neighbor Black IPA, you simply must add it to you bucket list.

It seemed like the perfect opportunity to eat a walleye sandwich. To that, we drank a ‘Lost Trout,’ brown ale. Lost Trout is slightly sweet with a good balance of chocolate and coffee. It’s not excessively hoppy and it has a slight hint of grape. It’s probably my all-time favorite beer and one that will always keep me coming back for more.

The idea of eating a fish sandwich seems a little strange to me. Or at least, it did. On the other hand, the English are not really known for their culinary skills. Coming from a country where beans on toast is considered a good meal, I should know better. I ate my first walleye sandwich back in 2011 and thoroughly enjoyed it. At The Great Blue Heron however, they have added a slight twist to the batter. They have added beer and not just any old beer; they have added beer from the Third Street Brew House. It’s a combination made in heaven.

We were lucky enough to be given a guided tour of the Third Street Brew House just last Wednesday. And let me tell you, if you enjoy a good beer and would like to know just how much work goes into creating you favorite, you really should take this tour. When you sit in a bar and order your favorite beer, do you ever wonder how the beer-making process takes place? I have. We spent a good hour there, following the process and learning about how everything is put together. We are talking about a state-of-the-art brewing facility, exceptional water and a ‘Dream Team’ of world-class brewers. You have no idea how much work has gone into creating these extraordinarily crafted beers. We even got to sit down afterwards and taste the nectar of the gods once more at their own little bar.

Enjoying our tour @ Third Street Brew House

Nic,Håkan, Gavin & Rosie

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