Sometimes when I travel for work, I go to cool interesting places like San Diego, Portland, Long Island or even international locations like Toronto and Sweden. Then there are times when I travel for work and go to less cool and interesting places like Artesia, NM. But fortunes tend to be good and even in the wilds of Artesia there are breweries to be found. Often… oh so often, I find myself in Brunswick, GA. Trips to Brunswick are great because I can drive there and because the work itself that I do there is fantastic, important, interesting, and cool. But Brunswick itself… well, it lacks a bit in the things-to-do category. Sure, there are beaches nearby. But, I’m working all day and I live in Orlando where I have access to beaches any time I want. In Brunswick itself, it all comes down to where to eat for the evening. And there aren’t even a lot of good options in that department. Finally, the greatest offense. No breweries. None. The single place I travel most to for work and I can’t get even go find breweries at night. Such a shame.
But… on my latest trip up there, I found something brand new. Something with beer. Something with hand-made pizza. Something with a new and unique presentation. Oh my. It just might be a brewery.
Eureka! For this trip I had the great expectation of being able to go out and get a descent beer or maybe a flight. What I got was so much more.
When you walk into Hop Soul Brewing you get a beer card and a glass. You put some amount of money on the card, say $5 or $10. You order a slide of handmade pizza and some wings (or whatever floats your particular boat).
And then you take yourself over to the “Beer Buffet” to figure out what you want to pour for yourself.
You choose which beer you want to drink. In my case I cannot possibly recommend the Chunky Monkey highly enough. Holy crap is that a good beer.
You then put your card in a special holder and pour however much you want of the beer. Beers tend to be in the 35 to 50 cents per ounce range. You can decide to make your own flight, pour a few half pints, commit to a full pint, or any combination of these things. You even get to operate one of those cool glass rinsing things.
I’ve seen models like this for wine before. But, let’s face it, wine is expensive and a $5 or $10 card in one of those places is going to get you an ounce of liquid at best. I’ll take self-serve beer over self-serve wine any day of the week. For that matter I’ll take any beer over any wine. But shouldn’t be entirely unexpected.
Often, when I visit a newly opened brewery, they might have a growler or crowler, but certainly won’t have any bottles of their own beer. And, as always, the prime directive is really to add more bottles to the collection. So I was even more please to find a cabinet with 2, reasonably priced bottles of their beer on the top right.
Now this place has everything. Not that I needed to, but I added on a crowler of the Chunky Monkey, just because it was so damn good.
Now if only my work brought me back to Brunswick, GA on a regular basis so I could visit this place more often. Oh wait… it does. I’m finally going to look forward to traveling here for reasons other than work!