Regional road trips are all the rage right now. Many folks feel most comfortable hopping in the car with their loved ones and exploring sights that are off the beaten path. Some of those sights may even be in your own backyard! For plenty of regional travel ideas, check-in every Wednesday for a Downstate Illinois Road Trip Roundup on themed topics showcasing several destinations across the southern portion of the state. Since today is National Beer Day, why not learn about some of the best places in our region to enjoy a tasty beverage or three!
Sip, sip, hooray! April 7th is National Beer Day! To celebrate this hopping holiday, we would like to share a few hot spots in Williamson County to grab a cold one. The 618 Tap House in Marion is a great place to spend a night out! They have 31 beers on draft, including a few locally brewed options. Taste test a few flavors with a flight of beer or ale on the patio while you enjoy their firepit and live weekend entertainment. For a few walkable options, head to Downtown Marion. Around the square you’ll find several bars that each offer their own unique experiences. Pookie’s Beer, Bocce, and Burgers is a fun, relaxed bar and grill with games, great food, and a large selection of beer on tap and in bottles. John Browns on the Square is a local staple that offers various types of locally and regionally brewed beer, as well as big name favorites. They also regularly host a number of excellent bands and musicians. Between these two bars, you’ll find Martini Joe’s, a classic pub offering cold drinks and great service. In Herrin, you’ll find a few bars that specialize in beer, live music, and good times. Teddy’s Sports Bar and Grill is known for great food and cold beer on game days! Gather a group of friends to watch your favorite teams or just pop in to enjoy dinner and drinks! Chevie’s Lounge is another Herrin staple for cold drinks, live music, and fun times. Stop in on Tuesdays to enjoy Taco Tuesday and drink specials! We invite you to enjoy your next brew in Williamson County!
There will be no shortage of beer on National Beer Day in Carbondale… or any day for that matter! “The Strip”, located along Illinois Avenue, is known for its local watering holes and vibrant nightlife scene. With several bars in walking distance from one another, it’s easy to share the love and make a day of it by bar hopping. These are just a few of the stops you should make! PK’s is a long standing local dive bar serving up great drink specials and live entertainment. A fun atmosphere including pool tables, foosball, and gaming machines; and open 365 days a year! The Cellar is another longstanding and favorite Carbondale bar known for their bloody mary’s and friendly service, bar games and digital jukebox. A brand new outdoor patio and upstairs bar was just added for more enjoyment! Hangar 9’s beer garden is a great hangout spot for craft beer and live music. Hangar 9 also offers karaoke, open-mic, and trivia nights. Tres Hombres offers a relaxed environment with Mexican eats and drink specials, plus live music and an expansive outdoor patio. Buckwater Brew Works & Whiskey House, located in the heart of downtown Carbondale serves a variety of craft, domestic and home brewed beers as well as liquors and other mixed spirits. To find National Beer Day drink specials be sure to check out individual business’ social media pages!
It’s always 5 o’clock somewhere in Southern Illinois! This April 7th, celebrate one of the world’s oldest prepared beverages on National Beer Day! Raise your mug at one of our favorite breweries, sip on a craft beer while enjoying rooftop views or pair your favorite beer with pizza and live music on a Friday night. Effing Brew Company is first on our list of must-stop destinations for beer-lovers. This local, family-owned and operated brewery offers old-world and handcrafted brews, as well as delicious pub-style fare. Pair the Granville Davis IPA with a house-made Beer Cheeseburger on a Pretzel Bun or try the Tuetonic Knight Belgian Wheat with the Fish and Chips Special. Enjoy outdoor seating, live music and great food and brews, of course! If you’re looking for ambience, simply look across the street to Village Wine + Spirits. This luxury, full-service bar offers the area’s largest and finest selection of premium wines, spirits and craft beers. Lounge in the Register Room and take in the talent on Open Mic Night or head upstairs to the rooftop and grab a table with a view of Downtown Effingham. Interested in appetizers, acoustic covers and the beautiful scenery of wide, open vineyards? Stop by Tuscan Hills Winery. Though wine is their specialty, don’t let that fool you. Whether you like it dark, pale, hoppy, bitter or smooth, Tuscan Hills has just what you’re craving… and delicious artisan pizzas to go with. Enjoy easy-listening from local musicians and don’t forget your four-legged friends… pets are welcome at Tuscan Hills, as well! Tap in to all that Effingham has to offer by visiting our website at www.visiteffinghamil.com or by calling 217.342.5310 to request our 2021 Visitors Guide.
The best thing about National Beer Day in ILLINOISouth is that we have SEVERAL craft breweries where you can enjoy a cold one. The Southern Illinois Beer Trail cuts through our region, and 10 of the 18 stops along the trail lie in ILLINOISouth! We’ll start with Excel Brewing in Breese, which is a great mix of the latest brewing products and equipment, with an old school feel. With a lineup featuring everything from lagers to stouts and IPAs, it’s easy to leave Excel with more than one six-pack in tow. A quick 28 miles west of Excel you’ll find Peel Brewing Company in O’Fallon. Their Blood Orange Wheat is a great summer beer, along with the Double Take Blonde; and if you’re feeling adventurous, Peel has a handful of Beer Cocktails to try. 4204 Main Street Brewing in Belleville is well-known for their Pecan Brown as well as the Blueberry Blonde Juele. Just a short six-mile drive northeast will take you to Millpond Brewing and Incubator in Millstadt. Millpond is the newest brewery on the Southern Illinois Beer Trail, having just opened in the summer of 2019. Millpond usually has around a dozen brews on tap, everything from stouts and ales, to a saison and pilsners are all professionally brewed by owner Bryan Schubert. The unique thing about Millpond though, is that they allow homebrewers to brew their recipes there and offer it for sale to the public. A mere thirteen miles south from Millstadt lies Stubborn German Brewing Company in Waterloo. Here, it’s Oktoberfest all year long – as they always have their signature Oktoberfest brew “Stubbornfest” on tap no matter the month. There’s also a fantastic selection of light, dark, hoppy, wheat and fruit beers to sample. Flights are available, and if you’re really into Stubborn German’s brews – you can try all 16! Just down the street from Stubborn German lies Hopskeller Brewing Company, and Hopskeller has something for just about anyone, from beer to cocktails and even sangria. The flagship beer at Hopskeller is the Raspberry Ale – which is a crowd favorite that isn’t too sweet. If you’d like to try more than one, there are flights available to purchase as well. Fourteen miles southeast of Waterloo on Route 3, you’ll come upon Red Bud which is home to Lieferbrau Brewery. This is one of the more impressive venues on the route, as the building was built in 1888 and has since been beautifully restored and renovated. The outdoor beer garden at Lieferbrau is the perfect place to spend an hour sipping one of their 12 varieties of beer, including their Double Crop Cream Ale – a fan favorite. Not a far drive southeast of Red Bud, you’ll find White Rooster Farmhouse Brewery in Sparta. Here you can enjoy one of several unique brews – some of which are collaborations with other breweries. One of their more unique offerings is a Belgian dark ale brewed with cinnamon and raisin bread! The last two breweries to mention are St. Nicholas Brewing Company in Du Quoin, and the St. Nicholas Landmark in Chester. If you’re feeling a little hungry, this is one of the better stops on the trail for in-house food, with some of the best BBQ nachos you’ll have. In terms of beer, St. Nicholas offers four flagship brews as well as nine other seasonal beers throughout the year. Small-batch beers are also an option, depending on availability.
A “Beery” important FYI: New Beers Eve is celebrated April 6th, the day before National Beer Day! Raise a cool, delightful glass of beer to celebrate National Beer Day April 7th at one of several of Mt. Vernon’s finest establishments. Double Overtime Grill proudly features several choices of sports T.V. action, a majestic bar and plenty of room to spread out and enjoy a cold one. Have some craft & domestic beer, tasty snacks and game worthy eats. Double Overtime Grill is located in the Double Tree Hotel in Mt. Vernon, Il. We like Mike’s Seasonal choice from 4204 Main! Don’t pass by the camaraderie of The Frosty Mug, at 1113 Salem Rd. In Mt. Vernon. A hometown original, The Frosty offers an outdoor beer garden and exceptional restaurant with live outdoor music, weather permitting. Catch the game on one of the large tv’s while you enjoy a mug of your favorite brew. Try Matt’s Hawg Wings or a Horseshoe that was voted best south of Springfield! Our downtown experience, Rare Chop House offers the epitome of excellence in extensive brands and fineries, for beer lovers’ tastes. Fine dining as well as fine offerings of beverages and entrees, sure to be a classy, socially remembered evening. Don’t forget to make a reservation as space in the bar and restaurant are limited. Newly renovated with a new owner, Dee Bee’s is located at 9th & Jordan just around the corner from Rare Chop House. Live music, big screen tv’s, a beer garden, weekly specials and more give you a great place to hang out and unwind while enjoying your beverage of choice. Even though August 7th is a few months away, mark your calendars now to get tickets for the 2nd Annual Mt. Vernon Homebrewers Festival on July 1st, where you can enjoy many varieties of homebrewed beer, enjoy live music and enticing eats on South 9th Street in Mt. Vernon. Did you know? Beer is the world’s most widely consumed alcoholic beverage. Following water and tea, it is the third most popular drink overall. Beer also makes a dandy onion ring batter, as a scrumptious addition to your beverage as you enjoy all Mt. Vernon has to offer! Cheers to you from the Enjoy Mt. Vernon Crew!
MURPHYSBORO may be known as Illinois’ BBQ capital, but the area also has a booming craft beer movement. On Saturday April 17, join Big Muddy Brewing from Noon– 4pm. for local brews and BBQ at Big Muddy Backyard Brews & BBQ event. The afternoon will include a beer tasting glass, food & BBQ from Murphysboro’s very own 17Street BBQ, Pat’s BBQ, and Kilby’s & Hamp’s BBQ. There will be beer tastings from over 20 local & regional breweries (Including new & special releases). A portion of the proceeds will go to St Francis Care Animal Shelter.