Thursday, March 10, 2016

A Visit to Rockford: Beer, River, Toys

Earlier this week, I took a quick trip north to Rockford to sample some beer and walk around a bit. It's only about a half-hour drive from Caledonia, though you do have to get through Grand Rapids, so it's a good idea to avoid busy traffic times.
My excuse for going to Rockford was sampling beer at the Rockford Brewing Company. Not that I need much of an excuse to sample beer, but there was a special deal on. Nice little pub right in downtown Rockford, with kind of a log-cabin feel to it - plenty of wooden furniture and decor. I got eight 5-oz samples for under twenty bucks, not bad for craft brews.
Some good stuff in there. I particularly liked the Sumatra Porter and Cernunnos Irish Ale. Both of those are dark and heavy, which is my favorite beer type. The rest were pretty good, too, although the Cask Ale was a bit watery and the Paradigm was way too bitter for my taste. I'm sure they're perfect for someone, though!
After 40 ounces of beer, it's not a great idea to drive straight home. (Even with the half-hour spent drinking water at the bar after the last drink.) So I spent some time walking about Rockford downtown. The Rogue River is literally right across the street from the bar, so I walked along there for a bit.
There were a bunch of fellows out fishing in the river. The last couple of days have been really nice weather, so I guess that prompted them all to come out with the fishing poles. Can't say I totally understand the appeal, but as long as they're having fun, more power to 'em.
Walked around the rest of the Rockford downtown for a while as well. Stopped by a fairly large toy store for a bit, Aunt Candy's Toy Company. All kinds of games and toys, including the pictured school bus. Kind of nice to see a small business in the toys and games industry. Guess they're far enough away from the big chains of the world to make a go of it.

I've only been through Rockford a few times in the past, mostly when there's a run going on. Kind of nice to just wander around without a huge crowd. Nice place to visit, especially for the beer!

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