WARNING - this is a NON-COASTER trip report! However, it does contain beer - read at your own risk (or reward)! This may actually turn out to be Greg's favorite TR ever.....
October 30th turned out to be an interesting day.
I woke up, and shortly afterward a neighbor came by and asked if I would take some photos of the ~50 old tractors plowing a field nearby, all at the same time. They were kicking up a lot of dust, and that made for some great photos.
After a delicious BBQ lunch at the "plow day", I tagged along with a couple of friends, heading to Peoria, Illinois, to Rhodells Brewery: http://www.rhodells.com/
Not only does Rhodells have great beer that they have brewed on tap, but you can also pay to brew a 15-gallon batch of the beer of your choice.
We chose a stout, and began the process, with the help of one of the staff, by measuring out grain, malt extract, and hops according to their recipe. The grain was placed in fabric bags and then lowered into the steam-heated vessel. Later we added malt extract and hops at certain times.
Of course, all the while we were enjoying some great beers on tap. All those that I had could not be seen through - that's my kind of beer!
After brewing, the place ferments the batch, and then you go back and bottle it at a later date, in our case, mid-December.
When we were done, we headed to the Irish Pub next door for dinner and another beer. Thankfully I was not driving, and I could enjoy as much good beer as I desired.
The photos may tell the story better than I can. Enjoy. -Mike