Madison to Chippewa Falls

Trip Start Sep 23, 2012
Trip End Sep 30, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Wisconsin
Tuesday, September 25, 2012

We got up and 8:00 and were at Starbucks shortly after 8:30 for breakfast.  Derek had pumpkin bread and Larry and I had cream cheese pumpkin muffins.  Starbucks was directly across from the front of the State House.  We were in the Rotunda by 8:45 waiting for the 9:00 tour.  The Tour Guide was very knowledgeable about the building of the State House.  He explained where all of the stone was from: 6 foreign countries and several states in the US.  He said to build it today would cost over $2 billion.  We got to go into Governor Scott Walker's Conference Room, the most ornate in the Capitol.  It had a lot of Gold Leaf and was sumptuously furnished.  He took us to a hearing room, the Senate where we got to sit in the Senators' chairs.  We couldn't go into the Supreme Court because they were in session.  But we did get to go into the Assembly Hall where there are 99 Congress people.  We weren't allowed to sit in their chairs for some reason.  At the end of the tour, he told us how to get to the outdoor walkway around the base of the dome.  We had to go up 45 steps the last 11 of which were a spiral staircase.  When we got out it was like a terraqce, plenty wide to walk around.  We walked around twice.  The views were stunning.  When we got down it was 10:00 so we went to the hotel, checked out, collected the car from valet parking and were on the road by 10:15. 

We drove northwest and after a couple of hours we stopped to have a snack of cheese curds, crackers and the cookies we bought in New Glarus.  The cookies were delicious.  We arrived in Chippewa Falls about 1:30 and went to the Leinie Lodge where the tours started from.  We had made reservations which is recommended.  When we checked in they gave us bracelets like in a hospital that had the numbers 1-4 printed on them and a box after the four.  That is how they kept track of how many free samples we had. The 1-4 was our choice of anything on tap and the box was for Big Eddie, Baltic Porter.  I got a Berry Weiss for my first sample. We drank our samples as we walked around the store looking at all merchandise they had for sale. 

They called our tour right on time.  There were only about 14 or 15 of us.  Our tour guide was Spencer and he was very good.  He gave us a quick briefing and then we started across thebridge over the class A trout stream that connected to the brewery.  He told us all the history of the brewery and the Leinenkugel family who still operate the brewery even though Miller does most of the marketing and owns the brewery.  Miller does not try to tell them what beers to make or what recipes to use.  On the outside we could take pictures.  He showed us the silo where the raw grain goes in and the silo where the leftover hops and mash are stored until they go to a cattle operation as feed. They try to recycle as much as they can. They use the CO2 twice, once in the first part of the process and then again in the bottling process. Just before we went in he told us no pictures inside the building, no stealing of secrets. We rode the elevator to the fourth floor. In the olden days they used gravity to move the process from one place to another. We saw the Cereal Cooker (for corn) and the Mash process which was going on while we were there. We went down a level and saw more of the piping and we got to see a whole room of holding tanks. Next we went to the new bottling plant. Here we had to wear safety glasses to watch this process. They were working with cans while we were there. We watched the cans be put into the processor which pasteurized it. Our last stop was the warehouse where they story the beer for shipping which completely changes about every five days. At the end of the tour Spencer asked two trivia questions which Derek and I answered for key chains with foam lemons that said Leinenkugel on them. I gave mine to Larry. 

We went back to the Leinie Lodge for the rest of our free samples. I got Lemon Berry Shandy, a Honey Bear (half Honey Weiss and half Berry Weiss) and a Pink Lemonade (half Berry Weiss and half something else.  When my Big Eddie came I let Larry and Derek have it.  I didn't even taste it.  I liked the other flavors as they were fruity and sweet.  Then we finished shopping.  I got a shirt and a water bottle.  Larry got three shirts, a magnet and some honey.  Derek got two shirts, a liter mug, a pint glass cozy, a sample glass, a magnet and a big tin sign

We left shortly after four and headed for our B and B.  We drove north out of town and then east across Wissota Lake.  On the other side of the lake is Pleasant View B and B right on the lake.  Jeannine was here to let us in.  The whole house is the B and B and we are the only ones staying the night,  Our room is on the lower level with the kitchen and dining room.  Upstairs there are four more rooms, an atrium and den.  We can walk right out of our room into the back yard and from there down to the boat dock.  We walked around a bit before heading back to town for supper.  

We went to Loopy's for supper.  It was all the way on the other side of town.  We stopped to take a picture of Leinenkugel's from a park across the street from it. We also stopped in town at G and B Liquor Warehouse where we got Leinenkugel's Big Eddie's Imperial IPA.  Loopy's was a log building and seemed like a neighborhood bar.  It also advertised as a canoe livery and float trip down the Chippewa River.  For supper we had deep fried cheese curds for an appetizer.  Larry and Derek had Leinenkugel's Octoberfest to drink.  I stuck with water.  We all had the bratwurst sandwich with sauerkraut and waffle fries.  It was after sunset by the time we got back to the B and B.  Larry and Derek had Big Eddie's Imperial IPA out in the yard.  I stayed inside and started to type the blog but fell asleep sitting up in bed.  When Larry and Derek came in they woke me up.  Mike, Jeannine's husband, came and Larry and Derek talked to him about our tour.  He told them that they live next door to Jake Leinenkugel in Chippewa Falls.  Larry and Derek talked about our route to Stevens Point and Milwaukee tomorrow.  I finished the blog, did some reading and went to bed.
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Janet on

What another great trip for you, Linda! I think you are in training to become a tour guide - to most any place that is beautiful! Enjoy! See you next week!
Peace and beauty and wonder this day!

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