Replanting the Transplanted Chicagoan, Morgan Hill, CA

It's time again for this Transplanted Chicagoan to replant myself in a new location. I will soon be in Morgan Hill, CA, working at the company that makes the bikes below. This is what you'll see if you visit me at the office (hint, hint)...

Current designs, historic bikes, and projects of the future too.

Even funky old stuff too...

Like my previous employer, I've been around this brand since '92, at my first bike shop. I have some old product still at home, and some old pics of the first real MTB I ever owned.

(these gloves were the shit in the 90s)

1992 Stumpjumper M2, bought as a rigid bike and fork added later.


Heritage Tavern, Madison, WI

This post's tavern will be almost a 180-degree change from the previous post on Chief's Tavern. This is a very much an upscale tavern off the Capitol Square in downtown Madison. It's not a "local", unless you live in a condo nearby, I 'spose. In much the same way as Chief's though, I really enjoyed this place... of course, for different reasons, and maybe some not so different.

It's in the basement or ground floor of a stately brick building, but still gets sunlight through windows at street level...

Once you're in it's very cozy, warm, and inviting...

They have a large bar down one wall, small tables with chairs and a banquet opposite, then a whole other room for dining. It's pretty big for how quaint it looks from the outside. It's well-appointed and nicely decorated, up-to-date design and materials. You can also see into/watch the kitchen from one half of the restaurant, which is always kind of cool.

They have a very nice bar menu and drink menu. I was just in for a quick beer at happy hour.

The service felt a bit "Madison", which means the student bartenders and servers are either disinterested in being attentive or simply haven't been trained how to yet. Despite that, it's a really nice place and relaxing way to start the evening hours. I would go back in a heartbeat.

(That's the Winter Solstice on nitro from Boonville, CA - delicious and smooth)

Pop quiz - how many images or parts of a fox do you see in this post? I believe it's their logo/mascot. Kinda fun and definitely unique.


Quotes of the Day

“Give, even if you only have a little.”
“No one saves us but ourselves.”
- Buddha

Found here:


New Glarus Brewing Company, New Glarus, WI

I've been on a number of formal and informal brewery tours in my days, but hands-down, this one is right up there at the top, if not THE top brewery destinations. It's a fanciful mix of location, landscaping, buildings, people, and (huzzah!) beer.

You have to head a little bit outside Madison to get there, maybe 40 minutes drive or so. You will notice a small (original?) brewery of theirs in town on the north side, then see what basically feels like a castle rise out of a hill once back outside of town (heading further south).

You have to wind-up a back road to see the property and park in their main visitor parking lot. But, to their credit, they know that this place is a draw for the town and area and they have planned that this location is the place to host the visitors coming en masse. Basically, they can handle your carload of drunks.

Like many "small" businesses in WI, they have had to add onto their original buildings as they've grown, over time becoming a patchwork of buildings and architectural styles, some purely for function, some with a sense of design.

A big theme in this Swiss-themed town is the chalet style building... not to be ignored at NG either.

Once in beerland, you pretty much have four options (at least in winter) - take a self-guided tour, hit the gift shop, buy beer in their store, or slam some beers in the Tasting Room. I'm not sure the order really matters, 'cause you're gonna do it all, right?! 

We happened to go Gift Shop > Tour > Tasting Room > back to Gift Shop > then barely made it into the Store. Everything closes at 5pm on Saturdays, so give yourselves plenty of time (I'd say at least a couple hours if you like beer). Another popular routing option seemed to be Tasting Room (to grab a brew) > Tour > Gift Shop > Store. Sure, fine, go for it.

Now, unless you get on a formal Friday tour (led by a NG employee), you may not learn a ton about the beer making process, but what you still get on their "self-guided" tours is an incredible look at a brewery that makes a LOT of beer, but still feels relatively small and family-run.

It seemed as if nothing was off limits from your eyes at least:

(don't jump in that hatch... it may not bee full of beer) - We heard these copper kettles above (which are multiple stories tall and continue under the floor) were from a defunct brewery in Germany. NG arranged to buy them at scrap value from the German brewer and pay to have them shipped to the US - always recycling in beerland.

 We decided not to ascend these stairs as it felt a bit sacrilegious.

In brewing, for sure.

"Schla-meel, schla-mozzle...hassenfeffer..." - Who's with me?

They have a bit of an Awards Room tucked into the Tour, and deservedly so:

Amen! 'Merica!

We had a nice time in the tasting room, and like most things here, they have it dialed. You start at the cashier and pay for either a small-glass, 3-beer flight OR a single, full-sized beer glass. Both get you a free "coin" for a beer in the local area bars and souvenir glass (yes!). With the flight, you get a small wristband - it includes 3 little "chits" the bartenders remove with each round of tasting you have poured. Pretty slick. Plenty of people watching in the Tasting area too, lots going on.

Their cherry-flavored ale... crisp!

I will not divulge what I purchased in the gift shop (ahem!) and/or beer store after my flight, but you might get the beer-paraphernalia bug too if you go back into the stores. It's real easy to buy something... and the beer is only sold in WI (cans travel best).


(This would really complete your holiday ensemble, wouldn't it?)

And now the beers on sale in the store!!!

I was floored by the amounts and selections at this place - gifts, glasses, openers, steins, t-shirts, other clothing, and almost all beer varieties!!! It's also possible I was ever-so tipsy by this point too. Grab some brews to bring home and get out of Dodge.

If you haven't picked up on this yet - I would HIGHLY recommend this brewery as a destination stop, almost anywhere from IL, WI, or further out. It was a cool place, tasty beers, and tons to see and bring home (beer). From the Tasting Room's view into the parking lot, we witnessed a family bringing 8 cases of 12-pack, Spotted Cow bottles to their SUV on dollies. I mean, this shit is serious here, folks.

Finally, I think they also have a few areas to improve, but I sort of suspect these are already in the works in the coming months and just haven't been completed yet:
- Tasting Room - It needs more tables & chairs. Something to fill the space and make it look like a medieval Swiss beer hall, would be nice. It could also use some sound-deadening in the space to make it less cacophonous as well.
- Self-Guided Tours - NG, can you set-up signs for reading at each of the main process areas? In fact, is there an app yet for museum tour uploads? Can't we just listen to something on our cellphones as we walk around the spaces? Could be pretty rad.


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