Since I am visiting two breweries in New Jersey this weekend (Spellbound Brewing and Village Idiot Brewing Company), I decided to have a new feature here – brewery spotlights! These posts will be short musings of breweries and/or brewpubs that I have visited!
First up, one of my favorites, Dieu du Ciel! in Montréal, Canada. Dieu du Ciel! (loosely translated to God in the sky! or Oh my God!) is a small brewery based outside Montréal. The microbrewery is located in St. Jérôme (which I have never visited). However, Dieu du Ciel! runs a small brewpub in the Mile End area of Montréal. There it is – blurry picture!
While a small Montréal brewery, Dieu du Ciel! bottles, exports and is well recognized in the beer community and non-beer community, especially there for their Rosée de Hibiscus, which is an wheat beer made with Hibiscus flower (in my opinion not their best or most interesting work). Aside from the Hibiscus beer, most of Dieu du Ciel!’s beers are quite strong, with lots of 7% + stouts and IPAs on the menu. The quality is very good and I generally enjoy most of Dieu de Ciel!’s beers!
At the brewpub, Dieu du Ciel! offers about 15 or so of its beers on tap and a few wines by the glass. The menu is written on a chalkboard and frequently changes. When I was there last I had a rosée ice cider! Very interesting, and very Montréal! For beer, you can order a variety of sizes and some bar snacks are available. The brewpub itself is fairly small, but I have never had a problem finding a table. It’s a very casual atmosphere and a fun place to go with friends!
Like deciding where to eat in San Francisco, deciding where to drink is also a tough one! Here are some of Dan and my favorites! Cellarmaker and Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar were particularly enjoyable!
Cellarmaker Brewing Company – My favorite of our drinking stops! Cellarmaker is a small brewery (no bottles/cans) in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco that specializes in small batch, speciality brews. The Tenderloin area, which has just the most awesome name, is not the safest part of San Francisco, but the brewery was not in a bad area. Cellarmaker consists of a small tasting room with a large TV showcasing the seasonal sporting event – in our case baseball! They do not serve food, just pints and growlers of beer. When we visited, Cellarmaker served a number of strong, interesting beers, many of which took advantage of West Coast hops. We loved Cellarmaker and would recommend it to anyone in the San Francisco area who enjoys beer! Here are some pictures:
As you may have gathered, Dan and I are big craft beer fans, and I was super excited to read that Stockholm was quite the hot spot for craft beer. However, the reading I did before visiting did not portray the full extent of its popularity, including the popularity of American craft beer. Seriously, we found Brooklyn Brewery and Lagunita’s on tap almost everywhere. Brooklyn Brewery even opened a satellite brewery in Stockholm, Nya Carnegiebryggeriet.
It was pretty cool to see craft beer to popular in an unexpected place, and I think Stockholm deserves to be recognized as one of Europe’s big beer cities!
Here a few of my favorite craft beer spots in Stockholm! Not to be missed if you are craft beer fan!
Akkurat is an awesome craft beer bar located in the Södermalm neighborhood, not too far of a walk from Gamla Stan. Akkurat serves drinks and meals, and also frequently has live music (and then it is crowded!). We went here one evening for a few drinks. The beer list is crazy! There are several tap lines and a seemingly endless bottle list, including a number of aged American craft beers…at a hefty price! See the price of the Dogfish 2009 World Wide Stout and yes, I’m talking to you, Mr. DeFlece.
Its no secret that Dan and I love craft beer, and I try to visit at least one craft brewery everywhere we go! When researching Cape Town, I came across the Super Cool Beer Tour and obviously had to sign up! We were able to sign up online for the afternoon tour, between about 1 and 6, on a Friday afternoon, our last afternoon in Cape Town, and what a fun afternoon it was!
The afternoon started with a personal pick-up at our hotel by Louwrens, the head guy, who was super cool, like the tour = )
The tour started with a drive through town to Newlands Brewery, which is now a main stream brewery (read: non-craft) run by SABMiller. It makes common South African and international beers.
While not craft brewery, Newlands Brewery is still a cool spot to visit. There is a lot of history here and the grounds are quite the production. We walked around a bit and saw some old cars and then moved into the tasting room for a tasting of about six beers, which included a wide variety of the “big beers” produced at the brewery such as Castle, Flying Fish (a shandy-type beer) and Pilsner Urquell. After, we got to select a pint of our choice to enjoy in the lovely outdoor beer garden! I went with the Castle Stout!
If you have been following my blog (I hope you have!), you know that Dan and I stayed in San Telmo back in November while visiting Buenos Aires (“BA”).
I was very iffy in locking down our hotel neighborhood in BA. BA is huge and we were only there for a few days, so where we stayed would really impact our trip. Our requirements, per usual, were character, proximity to other sites/activities (or easy access to transportation), local restaurants, local bars, and safety. We narrowed our search to Palermo and San Telmo. San Telmo won out, and I am so glad that it did!
San Telmo is great. Its historic, hip, a little rough around the edges, charming…just what I wanted! I found it to be very safe, even at night, but worriers may disagree. San Telmo’s location is prime: 25 minutes to Microcentro, easy cabs 24 hours, 45 minute walk to Recoleta and lots of restaurants and bars within a couple blocks.
And, San Telmo has tons of cool graffiti (which I am usually not a fan of, but I liked it here…kind of like Bacon in Toronto. Anyone catch that one?).
And these cartoon statutes, which had people literally lining up to take pictures with them…
We stayed right in the heart of San Telmo at Patios de San Telmo, I really enjoyed this hotel, a nice change from the hostels we often frequent, and it was extremely reasonable! We were upgraded because our room was not ready when we arrived – so considerate. Our upgraded room consisted of a really comfortable bed, flat screen TV, closet with a safe, mini-fridge and WC. My only complaint is that the WC has a very light door. The hotel had a rooftop pool, 24-hour front desk coverage, lots of lounge space, and a cool desgin feel. See the hanging chairs and art installations below?
What To Do In San Telmo?
Feria de San Telmo – Feria de San Telmo is San Telmo’s famous Sunday market. It takes place every Sunday up and down La Defensa from about 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. If you’re in the area, you can’t miss it. I like markets, so I was excited to check this one out. It was drizzling, but the market still went on! Stand after stand selling every thing from cute handicrafts to “sell your own shit.” We got some good (and cheap) souvenirs, including a beautiful table-runner (picture below). If you’re not into the handicraft scene, the market also has music, food and general nonsense. A good place to kill an hour or two, but if it really doesn’t fit into your schedule, skip it!
San Telmo Market – If you miss the Feria De San Telmo on Sunday, check out the San Telmo market – open every day! San Telmo market is an old-school iron hall selling everything from fresh fruit to souvenirs to serious antiques. I enjoyed this more than the Feria de San Telmo. While the actual market building is a bit run down and crowded, I found it to be quite safe – with the biggest risk being a pick-pocket. However, some people seemed really concerned. For example, I heard one woman tourist (of course she was American) tell her tour guide that she was scared to take her wallet out to pay for a cup of coffee. Seriously, that happened. How embarassing. In any case, you should definitely check out this market, and don’t let people tell you its dangerous. Its not!
Speaking of paying for a cup of coffee, there is a great coffee shop in the San Telmo Market called Coffee Town. Its right in the middle of the market and has a second, side area with additional seating.
El Viejo Almacén – El Viejo Almacén is a tango show strictly for tourists. I usually try to avoid super touristy venues, but I did want to see a tango show and did not want to participate myself, so I choose this one based on online reviews. There are two options: dinner or no dinner. We opted for the no dinner at about $70 USD per person. Surprisingly, the show was truly good! The dancers were excellent and the venue was historic and quite intimate. Drinks flowed through the show, but the waiters make sure to tell you that tips are not included in the cost of the show.
Where to eat in San Telmo?
El Banco Rojo – Oh my goodness! My absolute FAVORITE restaurant in all of Argentina and home of the cover photo. Its own post to come. But in short, if you visit BA, you HAVE to eat here!
THE. BEST. EMPANADAS.EVER.
Muzarella – Another empanada shop right next to El Banco Rojo. A nice alternative if El Banco Rojo isn’t open or has a line.
La Brigada – One of BA’s famous old steakhouses, La Brigada is right in the heart of San Telmo, very close to the San Telmo Market and right around the corner from El Banco Rojo. BA has several old school steak houses, including La Brigada, El Desnivel (also in San Telmo), La Cabrera (which we also tried) and Don Julio. I decided on La Brigada mostly because of its awesome, old-school, green and white exterior. Who can say no to a green and white facade? The restaurant was very pretty inside and the service was great. We ate on a Sunday night and the place was pretty much empty, just us and a few other tourists. We ordered fried mozarella, steaks, dessert and a bottle of wine. While this place was more expensive than other restaurants in the area, it still pales in comparison to steak restaurants in the North East. All of the food was delicious and filling. Pace yourself.
Sr. Telmo Pizza – Sr. Telmo Pizza is a casual pizza shop right on Defensa in the middle of San Telmo. The food smells really good. If you walk by, you will have a hard time not going in! We stopped in for lunch and enjoyed pizza (you can ask them to split toppings down the middle even on the crazy ones), garlic fries, an order of their bread and a Submarino (warm frothy milk with a chocolate – very Argentinian and very delicious). The food and service were very good, but unfortunately I don’t like Argentinain pizza. Shame, because I was so looking forward do it! The crowd was a mix of locals and tourists.
Bars – There are a lot of fun and inexpensive bars in San Telmo, and it makes for a great place to go out, perhaps even do a bar crawl!
Bar El Federal is an old, historic bar/restaurant/coffee house. It serves coffee, light food and drinks. Due to its historic look (think wood, barrels, the famous seltzer bottles), this place is worth a stop even if you are not a drinker. Dan and I stopped here during happy hour and got an apertivo with picada (I think I am remembering that correctly…). The drink was strong, and the picada was awesome, and not many more pesos. The picada included about 10 little appetizers – it reminded me of a Moroccan salad. Yum! (Pictured above) This was also one of the only places we saw seltzer dispensers on the tables. This would be a good place to start or end your evening, as you can get coffee and food!
The Red Door
The Red Door is possibly my favorite bar in BA. It’s literally a red door. Yep, thats a picture of the door. It was right across the street from our hotel. You just walk into the shady looking door and go upstairs to this awesome bar. The bar was really fun, has a happy hour (with food) and had a good, local crowd (seemed like a lot of people stopped here after work). We liked it so much, we went back a second time. Definitely check it out. Crowd was very friendly.
Gibraltar & Company is San Telmo’s answer to a British Pub. Gibraltar had a decent selection of beers, although not many British beers, and a cheap happy hour (2 for 1)! We stopped in for a pre-dinner beer one evening. The crowd was largely foreigners and European sports played on the TVs. This is a good place to get your British fix and/or meet other English speaking travelers.
Breoghan: Cerveceria Artesanal
You know i love a craft brewery. And San Telmo has its own – Breoghan Cerveceria Artesanal! We stopped for a couple pints one night and their beers were pretty decent. They also have great names, like San Telmo’s Fire Red Ale.
This bar is only open at night during the week – heres the outside during the day:Again, pretty cool graffiti.
And that pretty much sums up my thoughts on San Telmo!
What are your favorite spots in San Telmo? Tell me in the comments!
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