Looking back on it, we were a bit crazy to brave the elements to drive to Amherst, Wisconsin at the end of January. There was very little visibility with tons of ice on the road. Somehow we struggled through a three hour drive to arrive at our hotel to be battered by -10 degree temperatures and brutal gusting wind. It all gets better from here though.
Every year Central Waters is known for throwing one amazing party with tons of limited release beer for sale and on tap with the added perk of their heavenly bourbon barrel aged anniversary Stout being up for sale as well. This year required that you pre-purchase a ticket to secure your allotment of six bottles of this amazing brew.
After a brief pit stop at our hotel room to share a few beers and warm up, we hopped on the free shuttle bus that took us to the brewery. There was barely a line to get in and the front bar area wasn't all that crowded with amazing beers like their barrel aged sour beer, Exodus, along with the tasty Peruvian Morning (no infection noticed) and Bourbon Barrel Barleywine all on tap. I went for some Exodus and was not disappointed. We mingled for a bit and then headed for the line to purchase our 16th Anniversary beers to get that out of the way and back to the party. That's where things went a bit wrong.
We ended up waiting a total of two hours to purchase our beer in some pretty chilly temperatures. It seems the main holdup was that only two workers were at the front of the line handling sales. A few runs to get beer for the whole group made the whole wait not so bad. From that point forward I can't say enough good things about the party. There was a huge space with many pouring stations for all sorts of unique beers. We got to sample a Belgian with wild yeast that was impressive along with getting a preview pour of the 16th anniversary beer we had just bought bottles of. There was a real laid back friendly vibe going on with a bluegrass band playing to a wide open brewery floor. Looks like they have room to keep expanding!
All in all I'd give this trip about a four out of five rating and would definitely go again. It seems like they are aware of the issues from this year and are working to fix them soon. Now if only we could get some Peruvian Morning four packs in at our distributor here in Minnesota...
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