Savage Garden Was Right On. Or Something Like That.

Anytime I need to see your face
I just close my eyes
And I am taken to a place where your crystal mind and
Magenta feelings take up shelter in the base of my spine
Sweet like a chicka cherry cola

(Savage Garden, “I Want You”)

A couple of weeks ago we went on a very exciting roadtrip. It was the “last hurrah” before school started on Monday and we wanted to do something fun. Last month we were trying to figure out just what that “something fun” would be, when I discovered this exciting news on the Sprecher Brewery website:

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Seriously? They are now producing Cherry Cola? My favorite flavor? We were SO THERE. And so was my sister. It would be a Fab Five Field Trip.

Jim grabbed his GPS, making sure that the settings were correct in order to avoid the same fiasco that happened to me the last time I headed up to Sprecher, and we were off.

The thirteen-year-old rode with Julesie (we would part ways after visiting the brewery because she had someplace else to stop before going home) and the sixteen-year-old asked if he could drive the three of us. He needs more highway experience so we were fine with it. Well, we had a minor fiasco involving him freaking out a bit and we ended up going through the former Hillside Strangler area instead of getting off one highway and onto another, causing us to have to go through a big, 25-minute ordeal of going way out of our way just to get back on our way.

But, bygones. We got there.

We’ve done the brewery tour a couple of times and it’s fun. The longest amount of time is spent in this area where you learn about the simple recipe Sprecher uses to make its beers.

PB040673 They actually follow the old German beer laws of Reinheitsgebot, which is a purity order stating that beer can only be made from hops, barley, and water. This mural is on the wall in the main part of the brewery; the owner had it painted there to remind him of the high-quality German beer that inspired him to start the company.

PB040675 Okay, enough about how they make their beer. After the informative tour, you go into a beergarden tasting area that makes you (okay, me) wish you were in Germany.

PB040676 The adults get a tasting glass and four beer taste tickets to trade in on any flavors of their choice. I, not being a beer drinker myself, always give two of mine to Jim and two to Julesie. (They don’t necessarily use them; really, it’s more like an “in case of emergency” kind of beer taste ticket situation.)

PB040683 The under-21 visitors (and those of us old ones who don’t drink beer) get to taste as much of their gourmet sodas they want. It’s soda heaven.

PB040679 Don’t be fooled; one of the glasses has soda in it. It’s mine.






PB040682 After tasting beer and soda for a while, we visited the store and loaded up with a couple of cases of our favorites before heading home. (EDITED: We also picked up the Mamma Mia’s Pizza Beer, which we used in the pizza dough last weekend!) All in all, as usual with the Fab Five activities, it was a fun day at the Brewery. And Julesie got this lovely photo of Jim and me, which was an added bonus.

By the way, the Cherry Cola was AMAZING. And I didn’t buy enough. Guess we’ll have to go back…


  • Mike

    Great, now another reason to visit Milwaukee. I used to visit the Olympia beer tour when I was up in Washington years ago.

  • Melisa

    Julesie: You obviously have impeccable taste.

    Melissa: Totally. Especially if Hope likes the occasional soda. You’ll love it!

    Angie: Hmm, I guess I want to tell you that I am addicted…to not drinking beer but being around it as much as possible! 🙂

    Mike: If you ever do make plans to leave the beautiful area where you are in order to cross the country just to go to Milwaukee (why? ha ha), I would also plan to go to the Miller Brewery tour while you’re there…and Miller Park…and…well, it’s alot of beer-related stuff up there. 🙂

  • Mags

    Oh that looks like such fun! And good, too. I love cherry cola as well. But I also like beer. So..pretty much I would have been in heaven.

    Glad you had fun!!

  • abritdifferent

    Looks like you all had a great time, except for the detour of course…

    I have some blog love for you on my site btw.

  • Sue

    Cutie Patootie picture of you and Jim! I would have definitely gone for the beer and a designated 16 yr old to drive me home!

  • Michelle

    Bummer, I was really hoping that you still had some left and that I could buy it off you somehow. There went that idea! How far IS this Sprecher place? I LOOOOOOVE cherries. And cherry juice. And I think maybe cherry soda.

    And I’m so sorry you had to unnecessarily go through the Hillside Strangler. That’s one thing I love about not having to work out in Lisle anymore.

    Cool roadtrip!

  • k a t i e

    I woke up yesterday morning singing that song, and was going to do a post about why it is I seem to sing random songs the second I awaken, and what significance that might have…

    weird, no?

    By the way….I detest Cherry Cola. But that place looked like a heap of fun!

  • Melisa

    Mags: Absolutely, you could have alternated beer and soda! 🙂 They even have a little rinsing sink so you can, well, rinse your glass or cup in between drinks.

    Sue: After the fiasco on the way up (as well as the rush we were in to get the 16 yo back to our area for a babysitting job) as well as my dislike for beer, I drove us home. But that IS one of the advantages of having a teen driver! If we were at a winery we would have definitely done that!

    Michelle: It was gone in a FLASH! You’ll have to go and get some. Julie and I were talking about contacting Binny’s (I assume you have one near you?) because they carry Sprecher Root Beer, Creme Soda, and Orange Soda: we think they should definitely add Cherry Cola! And Re: Hillside Strangler? Supposedly all that construction they did “fixed” it, but it’s still a pain in the butt…

    Katie: You detest Cherry Cola? That surprises the heck out of me. I totally had you pegged as a cherry cola fan. Hmm. Perplexing. 🙂