The Next Taste - Holiday Edition 2021

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“Summit of Mt. Jefferson in Oregon”


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210 W State St, Geneva, IL 60134 • (630) 232-7141 Locally owned and operatedfor more than 40years.


2219 Sycamore Rd. Dekalb, Il 60115 815-901-0270

The Treasure Shop 314 Franklin St. Geneva, IL60134


Fine Minerals - Crystals Jewelry - Art



Distributed by: Distillery Channel Media, LLC

Publisher/President Randy Weckerly Vice President Bob Aldrich Editor: Joanne Tallon National Sales Rob Ladd


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Shop Local and tell them Thank You, Publisher Notes: Here's a thought as the Season is upon us... "Give Thanks " for local entrepreneurs who have survived 2020-21. Shop local and get to know your home town heroes. Every community is blessed to have mindful caretakers and shop owners who sponsor sport teams , hire local and serve their communities. It's even fun taking someone with you to shop in a brick and mortar store. If you can, remember the owners who survived a world pandemic to be here for you during this Holiday Season. Let's give them a big Thank You and Merry Christmas. Cheers, Randy Weckerly Publisher

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TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S 12 18 28 31 34 52 57 63 72 113 114


Hidden Tequila Gems The Spirit of Living Its The Most Wonderful Time of the Year A Vintage Christmas

Majestic Wisconsin The Dixie Highway Get Your Craft Drink On Peanut Butter Whiskey Review Ellwood Steakhouse Barnett Vineyards From Pitts to the Peaks

Special Feature - A Photo Tour Daniel Sullivan's "Antarctic Adventure"

November 2021


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"Greece to Your Table"

captures the flavor and essence of direct to consumer "Bill's Olive Oil". You can meet Bill at Ellwood Steak and Fish House and hear his story of personally growing, harvesting, bottling and using his ..

"Best of the Best" - "Bill's Olive Oil"

Bill's Olive Oil can be purchased at Ellwood Steak and Fish House Dekalb, Illinois, or online at:

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630 W. State St. Geneva, IL 60134 331-248-0646

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Hidden Tequila Gems by Adam Fodor Photography: Andi Fodor Photography

Since Tequila is part of a “Denomination of

Many of them offer a free tour or they charge a minimal fee, so I won’t be sharing “price details” but instead the best contact option where you can inquire about availability and pricing if applicable.

Having a considerably lower production volume and as such a lot lower brand recognition for the average consumers, these producers typically don’t run tours every day all the time, but if you can afford to be somewhat flexible, you can have an off the beaten track, and truly authentic experience provided by craft distilleries.

Most distilleries host several brands however as a craft lover, you would likely want to support the local economy as much as possible, so below I listed brands that are actually owned by the families who also run the distilleries.

Origin”, one would need to travel to Guadalajara, Mexico to visit a tequila distillery. If you love craft spirits and happen to be in or around Guadalajara, then I hope you will find this article very useful.

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There are two major regions where you should travel to for the best experience The Tequila Valley and Los Altos. Tequila, Jalisco is a usual favorite and is the place that gets the attention of most tourists. If you think about it, just how cool it is to drink tequila in Tequila? The town is located just North-West of Guadalajara. You can get there by renting a car, taking a taxi or you can even take a bus from “Central Vieja” and just walk around in Tequila town to visit distilleries. For a Los Altos experience, most people end up in Arandas, Jalisco - a town with a lower profile, yet hosting some of the most amazing independent distilleries and offering a great cultural experience.

Renting a car is heavily recommended for the Los Altos Region as the local distilleries are a lot more spaced out and are usually located out of town. Craft Tequila distilleries in and around Tequila, Jalisco Tequila Cascahuín: Run by the Rosales family from the 1950’s they truly cover every different traditional method to produce tequila, even an earthen pit to make it “smoky” as mezcal. You can try a huge variety of traditional products here. Tequila Fortaleza: Run by the last descendants of the Sauza family super old school, huge supporters of the local economy and they run the coolest museum in town just off the main square in Tequila. (Museo Los Abuelos).

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Tequila Arette: Run by the Orendain family with a long history of tequila production within the family - Arette is a tequila you should try and a distillery you should visit.

Tour by Mickey Marentes: They are day trip specialists if you just want to do craft distillery visits for just a day or two from Guadalajara

Craft Tequila distilleries in and around Arandas, Jalisco

Better Call Pancho: He is “the guy” you want to hang out with as a personal tour guide if you want a fully customized and fun trip.

Tequila Tapatío: This brand is one of the oldest that has been in the hands of a single family - the Camarena family has been making Tapatío since 1937 spanning three generations. The biggest suppo::rters of the Bat friendly project. Tequila Viva México: The flagship house brand of the Vivanco family: and Sergio Cruz is all about being in balance with nature, being more than just organic. They play classical music to let the yeast (and the team) have a “relaxed” time during fermentation. Tequila G4/Terralta: Another gem from the Camarena family, G4/ Terralta is one of the most “engineered” tequila in the world, every step of its production carefully planned and adjusted for maximum taste efficiency like a sports car tuned for best performance. Tequila Siete Leguas This legendary tequila is named after Pancho Villa’s legendary horse. Being around since 1952, this tequila won’t disappoint any serious spirit/tequila fans. By visiting you can witness some of the oldest traditions of tequila making. If you need a tour guide in Jalisco to visit distilleries: Experience Agave: They do all sorts of tours from all-inclusive multi-day trips to day trips and custom tours.

If you can’t get to Jalisco, Mexico but would like to do a course online: International Tequila Academy (ITA) Not everyone has the opportunity to visit distilleries in Jalisco. However, if you are serious about tequila, ITA offer online courses at different levels in English.

15 s. 3rd St. Geneva, Il 60134 630-402-0444 1457 N Farwell Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53202 414-765-2350

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"The Spirit of Living" by Robert Mills Photos by Robert Mills

“Robert climbing 14,345’ Blanca Peak near Alamosa, Colorado”

Meet the Author Interview

Wake up”, my father shouted toward my

bedroom, “we have to get going so we can get to the top before the snow gets too deep.” It was early on a Saturday in mid-winter in Morganton, North Carolina, and I was in the second grade. Thus, began my mountaineering career, now spanning 65 years and counting. My father instilled in me a deep love of the outdoors and nature, taking me nearly every weekend to climb in the mountains of North Carolina. I have since climbed hundreds of inspiring peaks in North and South America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, including 56 of the 57 Ultra Prominent Peaks in the Continental U.S.

These so-called “Ultras” are not the highest

peaks above sea level, but the “biggest” mountains, measured from base to summit, the true measure of a mountain. People ask, “Doesn’t it get old, climbing all those peaks year after year? Don’t you eventually get, well, bored?” No! Every time I reach a summit, after hours, or days, of sometimes arduous climbing, and step up onto that highest point for many miles in all directions, and look out upon a vast landscape of nature, I get a deep thrill and experience a sense of connection with the universe and the grandeur of nature.

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It is always uplifting and spiritually satisfying.

This year, I soloed five of California’s 14,000-

foot peaks. I prefer to climb with partners, especially my son, and cherish the deep and rewarding conversations I have with my partners in tents, on trails, and by the campfire at night. But given how often I climb (being retired), and how busy many of my younger climbing partners are with careers and families, I often end up going it alone.

(by Garmin), also provides the latest weather forecasts.

I use my InReach to text love notes to my wife

while lying in my sleeping bag in my tent far into the wilderness. We sometimes chat into the night. I sign all the summit registers “Robert Loves Miriam”, upward now of 200 such summit signatures.

Today’s technology has made mountaineering

much safer. Devices the size of a cigarette lighter, which utilize satellites -- no cell coverage is needed -- and relay to rescuers your exact location, enable climbers to simply push a button to initiate an immediate helicopter rescue. My device, called an InReach

“Robert and Miriam in Dubrovnik, Croatia”

“Robert and wife, Miriam, with South Americaflying partners straddling the equator in Equator”

An experienced team invited me to join them climbing Mt. Cleveland, an Ultra in Glacier National Park. The route involves a 1.75 milelong horizontal ledge, less than 8 inches wide in places, known as “The Traverse of Death” because climbers who slip fall thousands of feet to the White Crow Glacier below. “What is the, er, plan for the Traverse?” I asked, hoping, given their immense experience, they had a way to make this safe.

“Climbing up the ice on Mt. Jefferson”

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“We have it all figured out!”, they said. “Whew!” I thought to myself, relieved. “How?” Long pause for effect. “Just don’t fall!” they shouted in unison, then broke into uncontrollable laughter at my expense. In their defense, they were extremely helpful and solicitous of me on the climb, even using their bare hands to brace my feet on the vertical sections. We made it.

After graduating from law school in San

Francisco I set up a law firm with two friends in a Gold Rush era building on San Francisco Bay. After several years, I took some career detours, first trying my hand at restoring derelict Victorian office and apartment buildings to their former glamour and splendor. I then had a run at operating a securities and investment firm which grew to 350 registered reps. There, I oversaw the financial planning for thousands of San Francisco Bay Area families. I also pioneered a new trading platform for secondary market limited partnership securities which became the largest in the world (not saying much, given how tiny THAT world was).

Eventually, I returned to my true love, law. Since my graduation from the University of

California at Berkeley, my passion had always been to use my law background to help people. To further this ambition, I set up a consumer class action law firm, which I operated for 30 years, and at its peak employed 17 lawyers. We represented employees, investors, consumers, and just regular folks who were the victims of fraud, corporate mistreatment, or malfeasance. To get our team to court hearings all over California, I got a pilot’s license and bought a pressurized 6-seat airplane.

(This was before we had awareness of the climate crisis.) I used the plane, a Piper Malibu Mirage, to fly to meet witnesses, clients, and attend hearings. I could get six lawyers to multiple hearings in court houses all over California, and back home in a single day. We all had a LOT more fun traveling this way, chattering to each other on our headsets while sharing our experiences coming and going.

I also used the plane to fly on all sorts of

adventures. My wife, Miriam, and I once joined three other couples, each in their own plane, on a 21,000-mile adventure around South America. We rendezvoused in Panama and then flew together in a little swarm, exploring and seeing the sights on guided tours, like in Quito, Ecuador, where we all posed together straddling the actual equator, with one foot in each hemisphere.

We worked our way down to Ushuaia,

Argentine, the southernmost city in the world, at the tip of Patagonia, then flew up the east coast, touring the great cities, including Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro. Next, we headed over the vast Amazon wilderness toward Manaus, Brazil. There we were caught up inside a dark, ferocious thunderstorm where marble-sized hail smashed against the plane with a deafening roar amidst blinding flashes of lightening. Brutal turbulence nearly flipped the plane upside down again and again. Just when I thought all was lost we were unceremoniously spit out of the side of a towering thunderhead into blinding sunlight. We flew on to Venezuela, where we visited Angel Falls, the highest in the world, then hopped up the Caribbean islands to Florida and home. What adventures we had!

“Dawn on the Summit of The Enclosure, a 13,285’ vertical peak adjacent to the Grand Teton in Wyoming”

“Lake Louise in Banff National Park, Canada”

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"Robert’s and fellow South America adventurers’ airplanes in front of the skyline of Santiago, Chile, with Mount Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Andes in the background”

Early on, I joined Angel Flight, a nationwide

organization of thousands of pilots who volunteer their time and aircraft to fly indigent patients for free from rural airports near their homes to airports near urban medical centers and back. Angel Flight flies over 5000 such missions a year, mostly for impoverished cancer patients. I flew Angel Flight missions for over 22 years, an extremely rewarding experience.

For a time, the US military would not fly

wounded soldiers from their military bases to their homes, so Angel Flight stepped in and flew these injured warriors back and forth to see their families. I joined that operation and once flew a marine stationed at Camp Pendleton, who had sustained a serious eye wound in Iraq, home to see his family in Saratoga, Wyoming.

My son, also in the military, went along and

the two young soldiers bonded immediately. As we approached the tiny Saratoga airport in the wilds of Wyoming, it was dark and had begun to snow. I turned on my landing lights and squinted into the darkness trying to see the unlit runway in the blizzard of snowflakes. Suddenly, the entire runway was flooded with light as dozens and dozens of cars parked alongside the runway all turned on their headlights at once.

The whole tiny town had turned out to

welcome their young warrior home. I taxied to a stop at the ramp in the now swirling blizzard as a wall of people ran toward the airplane. I quickly shut off the engine just we were engulfed by an enormous crowd of

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neighbors with flowers, balloons, and signs welcoming the young injured soldier. I opened the cabin door to flashing cameras, wild cheers and then long heartfelt hugs of the soldier from his family and friends. My son and I were guests of the town for dinner and lodging for the night.

There were many rewarding Angel Flights over

the years. The flights with small children with cancer were always moving, but sometimes heart-wrenching.

Miriam loves exotic foreign adventures, and we

have visited over 50 foreign countries together. She has an interest in people still living traditional lives outside the modern world, with no cell phones or motorcycles. We have had many fascinating and moving visits with such tribal people in extremely remote villages in Namibia and Myanmar. We have visited many others who utilize a few modern conveniences, but who still live largely outside the modern world in Cambodia, Bolivia, Bhutan, Ecuador, and Tanzania.

My wife and I have been involved in

volunteer activities serving our community, but none has been more enriching than mentoring two “Little Sisters” as part of Big Brothers Big Sisters, the nation’s oldest mentoring program. Our Little Sisters became cherished members of our family.

When Miriam was named Big Sister of the

Year for the U.S. in 2008, then President George Bush, long a champion of this program, invited her and her then Little Sister to the White House to celebrate with him. I tagged along, and we all had a heartwarming and inspiring Oval Office visit, including a private tour of the Rose Garden by the President. We are proud of the amazing persons our Little Sisters have become and look forward to many more years of sharing our lives and love with these inspiring young women.

Always an enthusiast of the history and lore of

San Francisco, I joined City Guides, a non-profit sponsored by the City of San Francisco, with 300 plus volunteer guides who lead over 60 different free walking tours, covering many fascinating aspects of this amazing City. See I lead several different walking tours and serve on the Management Board.

In response to climate change, my wife and I

installed rooftop solar panels which enables the sun to power our electric cars. I also serve on the Board of the Solar Rights Alliance, representing 1.2 million Californians with solar power, seeking to meet the challenges ahead by lobbying in Sacramento for renewable energy solutions.

“Summit of Mt. Jefferson in Oregon”

15 s. 3rd St. Geneva, Il 60134 630-402-0444 1457 N Farwell Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53202 414-765-2350

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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year… .. in Geneva, IL by Laura Rush

Holiday cheer fills the winter air as Geneva

prepares for its annual Christmas Walk, December 3 and Holiday House Tour, December 3-4.

On Friday and Saturday, five charming homes

shine in holiday splendor and open their doors to visitors for self-guided tours. The personality of each home will illuminate when local decorators and landscapers work with homeowners to create holiday magic. Our homes for 2021 include something for everyone. From a mid-century charmer to a custom beauty, all five homes are sure to please and leave you with festive decorating ideas.

A holiday tea and treat from The Olive Mill or

360° Flavor & Spice are included in your ticket price of $35. Homes can be visited all in one day or over two days, however each home can only be visited once and all are not within walking distance of each other. Proceeds from the house tour are used to transform downtown Geneva into holiday spectacular.

The homes may change each year, but Geneva

Chamber’s commitment, for almost 30 years, to present an exceptional house tour stays the same. Tickets can be bought over the phone at 630.232.6060, online at or visit the website for a list of local shops selling tickets. This event is very popular and may sell out.

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Friday evening, amongst the twinkling lights

and fresh greenery lined streets, chestnuts are roasting over open fires, carolers are filling the night air with seasonal favorites and a live nativity scene is taking place. Dazzling window displays brimming with gift ideas invite shoppers to stroll through shops as merchants serve traditional holiday refreshments setting the stage for the annual welcome to the holiday season, Geneva’s Christmas Walk.

The evening begins with the arrival of Santa

Lucia, the Swedish symbol of the season. The Courthouse lawn becomes aglow with the Great Tree and sparkling light show. Then the countdown begins as the young and young at heart wait with anticipation as Santa Claus arrives, memories and traditions are created in Geneva beginning at 6 pm on Third Street.

The next weekend, on December 11, we are

offering two festive events. Our Cocoa Crawl is a ticketed event that has you visiting businesses offering cocoa creations from 11 am-4 pm. And save some time to Carol on Campbell. Reserve your spot at one of three seating’s that day. Find the what, when and where at

Enjoy Geneva right up to the big day.


you are shopping, dining, playing or staying….let us show you what makes the holiday season in Geneva special, unique and unforgettable

Santa will then open his Geneva home at 10 S.

Third Street for visits from excited children until 9:30 pm that evening. Until December 19 you can bring your list to the jolly elf Saturday and Sundays from 10:30 am-3:30 pm. Reservations are necessary at

Plan some time to partake in a carriage ride

offered Saturday’s and Sunday’s from 10:30 am-1:30 pm through December 19. The rides begin and end at the corner of S. Third and James streets, travel down Third Street and swing back around to the Courthouse. Relax while enjoying the spirit of the holiday in downtown Geneva.


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A Vintage Christmas by Randy Weckerly

Geneva, IL State Street and 3rd Street in Geneva, Illinois is your stop this holiday season if you want to put your shopping anxieties and online moments behind you. It might be the year to shop local and give thanks to your hometown entrepreneurs who have made it through the pandemic and are now ready to serve you.

While talking with many of the store owners

in the past thirty days, I unexpectedly felt joyous that this could be a throwback moment to my childhood experiences. With container ships sitting offshore, it might be time we look for “local shopping moments” which could be a very real aspect of gift giving this year.

I am a self-diagnosed, self-confessed and

proud Baby Boomer, having grown up in the 1950’s during major cultural and technological developments. We had our phone installed in 1954, a new GE refrigerator the same year, and our first 13 inch black and white TV brought into the house, with one channel mind you,

and available programming for about five hours per day. We upgraded to a new grade school in the Fall of 1955 in Freeport, Illinois as the boomer and suburban expansion was in full force.

Why the history?

The memories are plentiful. We celebrated with large extended families in our hometown during the holidays, on both sides. Too many cousins to count, but the Weckerly’s insisted that everyone received a gift from everyone during our celebration on Christmas Day. We did take pillow cases to bring our treasures home.

A humble family, as I look back, but rich in love. As we gathered on Christmas Day, in a small “Leave it to Beaver” house, but full of family, turkey and dressing, collaborative aunts cooking and cleaning, while three uncles could be found taking a nap on one bed late in the afternoon after consuming way too much food and drink.

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I reflect on this time era, as we had no

shopping centers, no Amazon, no online, just our magnificent downtown full of neighbors, friends, and plentiful stores. I worked hard all year to save money for Christmas shopping as I grew older. As I shopped in Freeport, I remember going from Ringer Jewelers and visiting with Harold the owner when buying a special present for my mother. Harold was a joy and friend. Sol Levy’s Men’s Shop, E & W Clothing, and the Magic Shop for my brother. These store owners became family to most of the Freeport community.

Here’s my point. I visited with Freeport’s

owners from year to year as I grew up. I believed in Santa then, as I do now, but maybe more joyous in anticipation of Christmas Eve as a child then now. But the owners knew us. They knew our relatives and they knew our needs. They were the heart and souls of the Freeport Shopping Experience.

In the past couple of years in getting to know

the entrepreneurs of Geneva, Illinois, I realized in 2020-2021, Geneva is rich with a prideful and self-reliant group of business owners.

I also remember my first Christmas Holiday

experience in the 1980s bringing my young sons to Geneva for the caroling, hot chocolate, roasted chestnuts and looking at the lights walking through State and 3rd St. stores in Geneva as my sons grew older.

This year, I thought it might be interesting

to share with you some of insights I have learned about a few Geneva business owners. I realized I should share with you only their first names, the same as I know them. And when you visit their stores this year, just remember to use their first name, as they all are generally onsite as you shop or dine in Geneva this Holiday Season. These entrepreneurs would enjoy you just calling them by their first name as you drop by, in the same manner I experienced growing up in Freeport.

To give you some things I have learned along

the way here in Geneva:

Anthony of “Osteria Bigolaro”:

Anthony became a classically trained Chef at Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago, IL. At LCB he studied classic French cuisine and later had the opportunity to travel to Italy to study his favorite cuisine, Italian. When returning home, Anthony worked in local restaurants gaining experience. As years went on Anthony's love for authentic Italian cuisine grew and focusing on the craft of making handmade pastas. That is what led him to open “Osteria Bigolaro”. An osteria is a casual and inexpensive restaurant found in Italy and a bigolaro is a vintage pasta extruder that originated in northern Italy. It was the perfect name for Anthony's vision. “Osteria Bigolaro” will focus on the art of handcrafted pastas and homemade bread along with great wine.

Noe of “State Street Diner”:

A classic diner/ restaurant where the occasional hometown movie stars bring their family. A fixture in the Geneva fabric and only open until 2:00 PM each day, you will find daily specials on a chalk board in the center of the diner and a New York actor or actress sitting at the lunch counter on occasion. It actually happened to me, with Jenny McCarthey working on her show at the lunch counter as I was enjoying a bowl of soup.

Mike and Becky of “Stockholm Restaurant

and Brewery”: Two of the nicest people on the planet and both the Heart and Soul of their business and community. Fun Fact…Mike only drinks decaf coffee…maybe why he brews beer.

Krysta and Jeff of “Pug & Hound”:

Both are Vet-Techs and recently got married in the past 30 days. Passionate in their care and understanding of dogs and cats, they even offer home delivery. To find out what a Pet Apothecary is, was a bonus of my time spent visiting their store.

Dori of “Bell Jar Vintage”: Dori is a delight in getting to know. If you want to pick up the collectible you need for a gift or for yourself, this is the store. Let your imagination run wild, take your kids in to shop, and simply have a great visit with Dori. She is the consummate entrepreneur and has filled her shop with a love and knowledge of items from yesteryear. I believe this could be your highlight stop of the season.

Vasil of “Geneva Diner”:

If you have a moment, take time to talk with Vasil. His story in coming to America from Albania is one that will bring tears to one’s eyes. Family left behind or worse, begins his story of crossing the border to Greece and finding a way to America. His story I will leave for another time, but understand, his passion for being in the Geneva Community for over twenty years shines through his learned eyes. Take a moment to say Hi to Vasil, or “Bill” as most know him.

Chris of "Old Towne Pub and Eatery": Grace

under fire is how I experienced Chris's ability to handle guests, answer the phone, take reservations, online orders, talk with reps and clean tables. It's amazing watch one man get so much done with such style. Great food, warm and charming atmosphere and one of the hardest working men in the community. This is a must stop during the holidays to just a enjoy some great food.

This is just a short nugget of who I met along way. I hope to bring more of the stories from the riches

of Geneva’s shopping and dining district in future vignettes.

From downtown Chicago, Geneva is an easy 60minute Metra Ride which stops at the south end of 3rd Street. In the end, it is people who make your Holiday’s rich, albeit family, friends or business owners. I am joyous in a sense that shopping locally could be a blessing of riches in experience for many who venture to Geneva, Illinois this season. Cheers.

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MAJESTIC WISCONSIN GOLF by Art Stricklin "Meet The Author" Interview

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TThe Jack Nicklaus designed Bull at Pinehurst Farms in nearby Sheboygan, former U.S. Open site Erin Hills just northwest of Milwaukee, Sand Valley in the center part of the state and Lake Geneva in the south complete as strong a public golf lineup as any state in the golfing US of A.

“I never thought in my life that Wisconsin would become a prime golf destination, nationally and internationally,” said Scott Evans, Director of Golf and General Manager at The Bull. “It started with Herb Kohler at Whistling Straits. The Ryder Cup this week is just another opportunity to showcase great golf in this state.” Kohler, Wisconsin

Ryder Cup viewers were treated to three

days of stunning vistas by massive Lake Michigan as golf’s greatest players attempted to conquer one of its most scenic landscapes . But what may not have been as evident is that the Ryder Cup site, Straits Golf Course along with the other three courses at the Whistling Straits Resort, are wide open to the public the vast majority of the year.

In fact, day trippers and hotel guests were

teeing it up at the Straits course just a few days after the American team wiped out the European squad on the same location.

But the public golf buffet in the Badger

state isn’t solely limited to Whistling Straits. In fact, almost every major golf area in the state is open to visitors statewide, nationwide and internationally.

“For seven months of the year, Wisconsin golf is heaven on earth,” added Wisconsin golf publisher Glen Tuck.

The par 72 Bull is the only Jack Nicklaus

course in Wisconsin and this thickly wooded design, just miles from the Ryder Cup location, is the true Nicklaus tough test with tight fairways, sloping greens and enough water to challenge the best golfers. New local owners have greatly added to prime conditions. “Jack certainly didn’t hold anything back here,” said one recent Ryder Cup visitor.

For a state roughly the size of noted golf

hotbeds England and Scotland, Wisconsin has done a remarkably good job of producing special public golf resorts for its brief, but spectacular golf season, running from late April to late October, possibly mid-November or Thanksgiving

Whistling Straights Kohler, WI

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First came the Whistling Straits Resort, the

Herb Kohler owned, four-course property and five-star American Club lodging which hosted the Ryder Cup players. Then Erin Hills Golf Resort, the site of the 2017 US Open, The Bull, the many courses at Lake Geneva, but the latest addition, the Sand Valley Resort in Central Wisconsin might be the closest to the Scottish Idea.

Because when the Scots invented golf more

than 500 years ago, the idea was to get outside with your mates, practice your aim and direction for upcoming archery drills and just see how many swigs of Whiskey you could get from the bottle you brought with you. (18, if you believe the legend of how they came up with the number of holes in a complete round).

Well, the earliest of Scots would indeed enjoy

the new Sand Valley Resort in the Central Wisconsin sandy wilderness.

Because if asked to describe this new 36-hole

facility, with a 17 hole par 3 course, lodging and food, and you weren’t allow to use the word “sand”, of which there is plenty, the word would be “fun”.

Well, the earliest of Scots would indeed enjoy

the new Sand Valley Resort in the Central Wisconsin sandy wilderness.

Because if asked to describe this new 36-hole

facility, with a 17 hole par 3 course, lodging and food, and you weren’t allow to use the word “sand”, of which there is plenty, the word would be “fun”.

Fun to play, fun to challenge, fun to be with

friends and fun to discover developer Mike Keiser has not lost his magic golf resort touch which has made Bandon Dunes and Cabot Links on both the Pacific and Atlantic Coasts respectively and equally fun and will have the same effect on his new Caribbean product

Sand Valley is a drivable par 4, pitch and putt,

on-course Kielbasa sausage eating, Wisconsin brewed beer (Spotted Cow) drinking fun, for amateur and serious golfers and all who love getting together with friends, family and associates.

Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore, true lovers of

fun links golf, opened the first course, Sand Valley, in May of 2017 and it was quickly named best new public course in the U.S. by Golf Digest Magazine. The 17-hole Sand Box Par 3 course, another fun short game tribute also designed by Crenshaw and Coore came next, then Scotsman architect David McLay Kidd opened the Mammoth Dunes course at the resort.

It’s always a matter of personal opinion on

which of the two courses at any resort is the best. Both use the same hilly, sandy landscape here, but the original Sand Valley boasts faster greens, more settled into the surroundings, but judging on the fun factor only, Mammoth Dunes is the clear early winner. The New Lido course at Sand Valley scheduled to open in late 2022 is another early fun factor.

The par 73 Sand Valley course boasts wide

sloping greens forcing players to aim totally away from the hole at times to be able to roll it back into close position of the pin placement.

Whistling Straights Kohler, WI

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There is little on course water on either of the

two courses, but wide expanses of sand to hit over and wide canyon gaps on several of the par 3s, notably the par 3 16th at Mammoth Dunes.

The course name itself comes from several of

the greens which look like wooly Mammoth Elephants were buried beneath. Perhaps bad for the single figure purist looking to win golf’s national championship, but perfect for a friendly foursome looking for maximum enjoyment.

The hole you’ll go home

talking about here is the par 4 14th which tees off from a huge vista overlooking the entire property and slopes greatly downhill with the green protected by large mounds on the right side of the putting surface.

At only 318 yards from the very back tees

and considerably shorter for most golfers, it sets up to be drivable for many players and gives you a rare chance of putting for eagle. On these sloping greens, good luck, but still a fun and potentially confidence-building experience.

Sand Valley is par 72, but with a unique 35-37

combination including 5 par 3s and 5 par 5s. The fascinating way Coore and Crenshaw put the varied sandy holes together in the natural surroundings are most interesting to play.

The Sand Box Par 3 is a 17 hole short hole

challenge with most of the holes less than 100 yards and only 3-4 clubs maximum needed. In fact, the resort offers small quiver golf bags to each guest, just large enough to carry your clubs and a sleeve of balls for your Sand Box round. Oh, and why 17 holes rather than 18? Just to be fun and different. There’s that word again

The unique on-course drink station is

contained in a huge metal canoe, which looks like it has served duty in a summer camp before, completely filled with ice and loaded with all kinds of beverages and snacks.

Back at the wooden planked clubhouse, there

is lots more local food and drink, including the Wisconsin Walleye, the massive Sand Valley Burger and homemade ice cream sandwiches, with flat screen TVs everywhere you look to watch golfers who likely aren’t having as much fun as you are right now.

Many golfers still consider the original

upscale golf destination in the Badger State among the best, and professional golfers and golf organizations may agree as Whistling Straits has already hosted 3 PGA Championships, along with a U.S. Senior Open, a U.S. Women’s Open, plus the Ryder Cup.

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The Straits Course, designed by Pete Dye,

juts dramatically out into Lake Michigan and has served as the grand stage for previous and future highlighted golf events. “The buzz around the Ryder Cup alone beats anything we have ever seen,” said a Whistling Straits spokesman. “We’ve seen both a pent-up demand from last year’s pandemic and the increase we usually see from championship events being held here.”

The par 72 course rambles and rolls all over

the shoreline with hardily a flat lie anywhere and more than 100 bunkers of all shapes and sizes. An experienced caddy, of which there are plenty, or a very sharp eye are needed to come home from here without buying extra golf balls.

Among the most dramatic holes are those

that come closest to the massive great lake, eight in all. Perhaps the best is the par 3 17th hole at the Straits Course, 249 yards from the back tees with a massive drop off all along the left side of the hole. The site of Jordan Spieth’s famous hillside Ruder Cup recovery shot.

Included at the facility is the Irish Course

where sheep serve as unpaid greenskeepers along with the River Course, with plenty of water as its name would imply and the Meadow Course, part of the Blackwolf Run facility, the site of a past Women’s US Open.

Of course, all courses end in the luminous

American Club which has 241 rooms and suites in a peaceful garden setting with old

photos of life among the original Kohler Plumbing headquarters which is adjacent to these grounds.

Less than an hour west of the state’s largest

city, Milwaukee, you’ll find Erin Hills Golf Resort, where Brooks Koepka captured golf’s national championship. It offers a tremendous 18 hole challenge with wide fairways, hilly terrain, walking only, and stellar on-site lodging with a huge fire pit to celebrate your good fortune.

There is a massive putting green between the

first tee and the on-site wooden lodge. An outdoor café overlooks the sweeping landscape and caps the perfect golfing day. Further south, there is an often overlooked , but outstanding collection of courses around the massive lake of the same name. In total there are more than a dozen courses, both public and private courses in Lake Geneva, but like in most of Wisconsin, public layouts rule the day.

Geneva National offers three outstanding

public golf layouts. There is the par 72 Arnold Palmer designed course, annually ranked as one of the top 10 in Wisconsin. The riskreward Gary Player course, par 72, the only one designed by the Black Knight in Wisconsin, and the Lee Trevino designed layout, with most holes designed for Trevino’s signature right to left fade. “We have such a great variety of public courses here, we really have something for every golfer,” said Geneva National’s Neal Stineman. “We get a lot of repeat visitors and newcomers as well.”

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Geneva National Lake Geneva, WI

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Geneva National Lake Geneva, WI

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Grand Geneva Lake Geneva, WI

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The Grand Geneva resort began life as a

storied Playboy Club and hosted all the top entertainers of the day. Today the renamed resort boasts of the golfing green grass variety. The par 72 Brute course more than lives up to its name as the Robert Bruce Harris design has more than 65 bunkers and putting greens of more than 8,0000 square feet with tees which go back 7,000 yards. The huge water ponds on holes 9 and 18 can sink any promising round.

The Highlands course was totally

redesigned by noted architect Robert Cupp in 1996 as a tight shotmakers course at par 71. Majestic Oaks at Lake Lawn Resort is one of the oldest courses in Lake Geneva, and features some outstanding lake views, especially along the signature par 5, 12th hole with plenty of namesake oaks to redirect any wayward shot.

The smoky outdoor grill after 18 holes

and the outdoor dining is enough to reward any golfer.Of course, if all this daytime golf makes you hungry (and thirsty as well), one of the best nighttime dining spots is the Geneva Chop House at Grand Geneva with hand-selected steaks, wagyu beef and plenty of drinks to celebrate, if not commiserate, your recent round.

The Lake Geneva website brags the area

has more golf courses than you have vacation days to experience them. The same could be true for all of Wisconsin. But choose wisely on the never ending Badger State public golf buffet which never seems to end.

On Wisconsin is not just the fight song

for the largest state university, but an open invitation to experience all the great public golf here.

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Have a Grape Holiday from The Next Taste Team

Love, Dining Travel, Sports and All the Good Things in Life

Tune In Every Week Found on iHeart, Spotify, or your favorite podcast channel

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Featured Destinations

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Trails Staff Picks

Photo by Daniel Sullivan

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The Dixie Highway Trail by Amy Kamp

Chicago has long been known for its

booming craft beer scene, with powerhouse breweries such as Revolution, Lagunitas and Half Acre making their mark, but take a short trip to the southwest suburbs and you’ll find some captivating independent breweries situated along a historic highway.

The Dixie Highway was originally planned

in 1914 as a route to connect the Midwest with the Southern United States. Built as part of the National Auto Trail, construction lasted from 1915 to 1929.

The Dixie Highway was a system of paved

roads that connected towns rather than a single highway that we are used to seeing today. The western portion of the Dixie Highway started in Chicago and ended in Miami, Florida.

In Illinois, Dixie Highway is also known as

Route 1. Signs for the historic highway are posted along the route - some faded and worn, others bright and new. It was this simple sign that inspired the first completion prize for the Dixie Highway Brewery Trail.

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The trail was the brainchild of Alan

The goal of the trail was to get craft beer

Cromwell, co-owner of Blue Island Beer Company, which sits directly next to Dixie Highway. He thought that it would be a great idea to form a bond between the independent breweries that were on or near Dixie Highway and invite people to come experience the wide variety of craft beers available on the south-side.

lovers out of their comfort zones to go visit other local independent breweries, so Kamp created a passport. Trailblazers bring the passport to each of the participating breweries and get it stamped and dated with a minimum purchase of one beer. Participants are encouraged to take their time at each brewery and have six months to complete the trail.

Spare time to work on it was always out of

At the last brewery visited, trailblazers have

reach, but as luck would have it, another brewery on the Dixie Highway hired someone that had previously worked on an Indiana beer trail. Cromwell and Amy Kamp, GM of Evil Horse Brewing Company in Crete, teamed up to make the trail a reality.

their choice of one of three prizes, including a sign, a coaster and a bottle opener. To date, more than 800 people have completed the trail.

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The Dixie Highway Brewery Trail launched

spring of 2019 and consisted of eight independent craft breweries reaching from the Beverly neighborhood in south Chicago to the far south suburb of Crete. Since then, one brewery went out of business and a craft distillery (with plans to brew their own beer in the future) joined the trail.

Just a few blocks south of Horse Thief

Hollow is Open Outcry Brewing Company, which features an amazing rooftop beer garden and delicious Neopolitan-style pizza. Head brewer Wil Turner, formerly of Goose Island and Revolution, is using his talent and experience to make exceptional beers at Open Outcry. Blue Island Beer Company is the next brewery to the south. Located in the historic district on Olde Western Avenue, BIBCo has a lively music scene to complement the great selection of classic beers, craft sodas and cask-conditioned ales they offer.

Anchoring the trail to the north is Horse

Thief Hollow, whose name is inspired by the history of the local area, where in the 1850s bandits hid stolen horses that were being brought to market in Chicago. The awardwinning brewery also houses a restaurant that focuses on locally sourced ingredients and makes dishes with a Southern flair.

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Located just west of Dixie Highway is

In addition to serving amazing cocktails made

Flossmoor Station Restaurant and Brewery, the oldest brewery in the southwest suburbs. Housed in a rustic turn-of-the-century train station, Flossmoor Station has a lot of charm and a history of winning awards for its beer. On the eastern leg of the trail is Rabid Brewing in Homewood, Thornton Distilling in Thornton and One Trick Pony in Lansing.

with their craft spirits, Thornton Distilling also has a great selection of craft beer.

Rabid Brewing has a darkly mystical vibe and

The southernmost brewery on the trail is

their beer is inspired by a myriad of ancient traditions. Their industrial taproom features not only spirited beers and delightful seltzers, but bold pieces of artwork featuring mythical creatures.

The only distillery on the trail, Thornton

Distilling resides in the oldest standing brewery in Illinois, dating back to 1857. During Prohibition, the building became the largest bootlegging operation in Chicagoland under the control of Al Capone.

One Trick Pony is located in an industrial area

and has a great outdoor space with a firepit and room to relax. They have a large offering of beer styles and live music most weekends. Theyare currently in the process of moving to a larger space.

Evil Horse Brewing Company. Located in a historic building dating back to 1911, Evil Horse crafts traditional styles of beer made with the finest ingredients. A newly created gallery on the second floor features a rotating selection of local artwork.

If you find yourself near the southside of

Chicago, make sure to stop in and visit one (or more!) of the Dixie Highway Brewery Trail partners. With this eclectic variety of breweries, there’s something for everyone!

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Get Your Craft Drink On... in Central Oregon by Heidi Howard Bend Beer Enthusiast/Columnist/Beer Judge

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Central Oregon is bursting at the seams

with a variety of craft beverages. I’ve curated a list of must tries, however this is in no way an inclusive or complete list because this is not a novel! Let’s start in North Central Oregon and work our way to Bend. Madras

As you roll into Madras, stop by New

Basin Distilling. The tour is informative and quite entertaining. Tasting their spirits, your palette will quickly realize the passion that goes into their craft.

My favorite thus far is “Strongest”. At 133.4

proof, it is not for the faint of heart, however it is incredibly smooth with a satisfying bite. Also, of mention, Mecca Grade malts is concocted in Madras. Visiting their site is on my beer bucket list.

Redmond There are so many choices in

Redmond. You’ll want to spend some time here for sure. Porter Brewing is off the beaten path a bit, but worth finding for their authentic English cask beers. Prior to Porter, I was indifferent to cask beers. Porter made me a fan. They do cask beer right! Wild Ride Brewing is always a crowd pleaser with their amazing patio and beer style varieties. Tarty to the Party is a sour (obviously) series. Most recently I had their raspberry and lemon variety. It was delicious and refreshing. The color was beautiful. Another Wild Ride staple is Nut Crusher, their peanut butter porter. It’s my personal favorite peanut butter beer.

Next up is Kobold Brewing / The Vault

taphouse. Really cool place with another great patio.

The owner/brewer was a local home-

brewer before opening his brewery. Lots of great beer to choose from,and Kobold makes some great craft seltzer as well. There is a level of creativity in these beers that I thoroughly enjoy, including their use of unique ingredients like the lulo fruit (a tropical fruit that’s not quite mango in flavor). If you are looking for variety, stop at Rimrock tap house. With 52 taps, you are bound to find something delicious. Grab some locally crafted Pork Chili Verdi from the food truck Hock and Jowel to go along with your craft beverage.


Between Redmond and Bend, you will find some great ciders. Tumalo Cider has some unique ciders in their taproom. I had a hazelnut cider a few years ago and it really knocked my socks off. Across the street is a food truck lot with several beers on tap and fantastic food. Also, in Tumalo is Bend Cider. I’ve not yet visited their tap room, but you can pick up their ciders locally and they are quite tasty!

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Bend Now to Bend. Bend has been dubbed

“Beer Town USA” (as well as “Dog Town USA” and “Bike Town USA”). Bend is also my home. There is just too much to cover so here are a handful of my favorites.

Oregon Spirits Distillery is a must. The

best absinth I’ve ever had. My mouth is literally watering thinking about it. They can serve it tableside with a cold-water dispenser and sugar cube (of course).

CRUX Fermentation Project makes so many great beers, from Tough Love (a Banished series imperial stout) to The Velvet Underpants (a hazy IPA) you simply can’t go wrong. Crux does not know the meaning of less than perfect beer.

The brewery’s sunsets are phenomenal.

White Water Taphouse is my “Cheers”. It’s a beer geek’s paradise. There are 30 taps that include wine, locally crafted cold brew, ciders and beer (of course).


atmosphere is awesome and inviting. You want to stay and relax with friends, maybe play a couple of games. Boss Rambler Beer Club is known for crushable beers. They are delish.

Their taproom is so bright and very

different than any other in Bend. Really freakin’ good beer.

I wish I had 800 more words. Since I don’t

here is a list of honorable mentions.

Madras: Madras Brewing; Bend: Spider City

Brewing, Bevel Brewing, Boneyard Beer,

Deschutes Brewery, the original downtown

pub (has pub exclusives) as well as their production brewery. Be sure to take that tour! Head a little farther south to Sunriver Brewing, or you can visit their Bend location. Porter (the cask beer place I mentioned earlier) also has a Bend location called “The Cellar” where you can pair your cask beer with a delicious, traditional hand pie!

There you go! You have your work cut out for

you! Stay hydrated! Cheers!

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"Peanut Butter Whiskey Review" Jeff Schwartz

Whiskey Consultant & Barrel Geek

The earliest food I can remember ever

enjoying was peanut butter. I used to drive Mom crazy. She’d make me various sandwiches and I’d sometimes come home with them uneaten. Egg salad, bologna, turkey, whatever… but peanut butter and jelly sandwich was a guaranteed hit and, in my opinion, da bomb.

Wandering around a liquor store earlier this

butter whiskey. It was an accidental discovery. I was at a birthday party for a cousin of Mrs. Whiskeyfellow. They had Skrewball there. I had seen Skrewball but never tasted it because, well, it was flavored whiskey. But I took a sip, and then fell in love. I bought a bottle the very next day.

year, I found a shooter of Revel Stoke Peanut Butter Whisky (spelled that way because it is [cough, cough] Canadian). Back in Denver a little over a month ago, I found another shooter by 99 Brand that was peanut butter flavored. Then, when visiting a local distillery called Stable Rock in Jefferson, Wisconsin, I saw its peanut butter whiskey that was formerly an 80° MGP single barrel pick. Not needing another peanut butter whiskey but wanting to support a local distiller, I grabbed a bottle. It was $35.00.

Yeah, I know, what kind of serious

Here I am, with five bottles of peanut butter

About two years ago I discovered peanut

whiskey drinker falls in love with peanut butter whiskey? Here I am, raising my hand high!

Skrewball was expensive as far as

flavored whiskeys go. Most of them seem to be under an Andy Jackson in cost, yet here was Skrewball setting me back over $25.00! So, I went to try something less expensive and found Sheep Dog. That one was about $18.00 or so, and I took a bottle of it home. It wasn’t nearly as good as the Skrewball, but I still liked it. Mrs. Whiskeyfellow thought it was awful (and she likes Skrewball).,

whiskey, all from different sources, and the idea struck me: Why don’t I have a peanut butter whiskey showdown? To be completely fair, I had to do this one blind. I asked Mrs. Whiskeyfellow to pour them each into a glass, out of my sight, and note which whiskey went in which glass. She then brought the glasses out to me and asked me to taste them, rank them, and then guess which was which before she’d reveal the results. Since I’d never tasted three of the five, this was relatively fair.

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I figured there would be no issues picking at least one of them out, because one of them, 99 Brand,was 99°, the rest were all 70° (and, yes, I realize that under 80° it isn’t whiskey). Which came out on top? The only way to know for sure is to #DrinkCurious. Contender One - Neat in a Fort Lauderdale Whisky Society Glencairn glass Appearance: Pale gold, it formed a thin rim with slow, thin legs. Nose: Aromas of peanut butter and vanilla cream hit my nostrils, and when I took the vapor into my mouth, the peanut butter was there but muted. Palate: The mouthfeel was thick and heavy. On the palate was creamy peanut butter.

Finish: I found the finish to be sweet and spicy, it left my palate with a slight tingle, and was medium in length. • My Guess: Stable Rock • Actually: 99 Brand • My Rank: 3 of 5 Contender Two – Neat in a Distiller™ Glencairn glass Appearance: It was almost the same pale gold as the first contender. The legs were thin and fast. Nose: Peanut butter was there but was difficult to pick out. I smelled more vanilla than peanut butter. When I took the aroma into my mouth, there was nothing. Palate: A light, thin mouthfeel offered just peanut butter on the palate. Finish: Very long and peppery, it offered nothing in terms of peanut butter. • My Guess: 99 Brand • Actually: Sheep Dog • My Rank: 2 of 5

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Contender Three – Neat in a Port Askaig Glencairn glass Appearance: This whiskey appeared golden in the glass. It had a thin rim and fat, quick legs. Nose: Cinnamon and toasted oak were the flavors I found, it was, shockingly, lacking any semblance of peanut butter. I found nothing when I attempted to draw the vapor into my mouth. Palate: Thick and chewy, the palate featured both peanut butter and burnt toast. Finish: I found the finish to be very long with peanut butter and something spicy. • • •

My Guess: Sheep Dog Actually: Revel Stoke My Rank: 5 of 5

Contender Four – Neat in a Binny’s Glencairn glass Appearance: Darker gold by many shades over the three previous contenders, it formed a thicker rim with slow, sticky legs. Nose: The aroma of freshly-ground peanuts was evident. I also experienced vanilla. As I took the air into my mouth, it was all peanut butter. Palate: The mouthfeel was thick and creamy, and the palate was peanut butter and cinnamon. Finish: Medium-to-long in length, the finish was freshly made peanut butter. • • •

My Guess: Skrewball Actually: Skrewball My Rank: 1 of 5

Contender Five – Neat in an Old Forester Glencairn glass Appearance: This was the darkest of the five, and could easily be described as caramel. It formed a medium rim which created fat, slower legs. Nose: I could swear I smelled peanuts in the shell. When I took the aroma into my mouth, I tasted peanuts. Palate: The mouthfeel was thin and watery. While the nose smelled of peanuts in the shell, the palate was the opposite, with the flavor of shelled peanuts. Finish: Medium in length, there were remnants of both spice and grain. • • •

My Guess: Revel Stoke Actually: Stable Rock My Rank: 4 of 5

Final Thoughts: The Skrewball, strangely, was obvious, and it had been several months since I've dipped into it. But I remember how impressed I was the first time I drank it, and how each time I've come back it has been equally tasty. In this blind tasting, it wasn't even close - it was Skrewball against four other whiskeys.

I should have been able to pick out the Sheep Dog because I've had it (and reviewed it) before. I thought I remembered it having more peanut butter to it. No dice, I got that one wrong. I had a rough time picking out the Revel Stoke because, as I stated earlier, it was the only one that was Canadian. I figured it would have the most added coloring and perhaps the weakest of flavors. The 99 Brand I felt would have the warmest mouthfeel and finish because of the higher proof. But I've also never had anything from that brand to use as a weather bell. With its MGP base, I never expected the Stable Rock to wind up near the bottom. I assumed that the sweet and spicy peppery finish would be the rye whiskey. Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs that you do so responsibly. Cheers!

317 W. State, Geneva, IL 60134 630-402-0597

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Midwest's Premier Steak and Fish House

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Northern Illinois' "Number 1 Steakhouse" New York …Chicago…San Francisco are known for upscale dining destinations enjoyed during special trips, a great weekend or simply out celebrating life.

The “Ellwood Steak and Fish House” located in

DeKalb, Illinois celebrates a similar level of dining experience. All patrons are greeted with Midwest warmth and every dish served with a high degree of the owner’s hands-on perfection. Bill Hristakos, owner, expects every visit to become part of the fabric of your great dining experience.

Unique to the fabric of north central Illinois,

Upon entering “Ellwood” you will be warmly greeted by a Host or Hostess at one of two different inner entrances. One door leads to the intimate and sophisticated lounge experience in the epicenter of good times celebrated in the “1879” Lounge.

“Ellwood Steak and Fish House” , Bill demands all of his steaks are bought of the highest grade and then aged for 35 days. The chefs are meticulous in their preparation of each and every steak, with a staff driven to make every patron feel special; and every item presented with the utmost care. “Upscale Restaurant with an Upscale Feel” perfectly describes “Ellwood”, as the locals call it. Situated on Sycamore Rd. across from Market Square Shopping Center, is as much a gathering place for regulars as it is for parents taking their NIU students to dinner while visiting on parents’ weekends.

Specializing in artisan cocktails, exotic wines and specialty beers, all served by an engaging and supremely friendly collection of bar tenders and staff.

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Bill bought Ellwood from John

Pappas years ago and continuously delivers his passion to all guests, meeting and greeting most as they enter. However, Bill's other passion is growing his own olives in Greece on family owned acres and then selling "Bills Olive Oil" on-line or within the restaurant. Hand Grown and Hand Picked, Bill travels frequently back to Greece to tend to his olives from beginning through harvest. The “Ellwood Menu” brings a major city, coastal and worldwide appeal in its offerings.

Herb Crusted Salmon Salad, “Gehrke Farm Grass-fed Beef”, Steakhouse Philly Sandwich, Stuff Cheese Ravioli, Vodka Pasta and the 1879 Burger are just afew taste treats that support the Certified Black Angus 12oz. Bone-in FiletMignon, Canadian Salmon, Mediterranean Salmon, Seared Sea Scallops andGolden Shrimp featured items.

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Did someone say “What about an adult beverage or a great bottle of wine…? " While making your main course selections, you can lose yourself in the magnificent wine collection ranging from origins of California, Washington, Australia, France, Italy, and many other worldly ports of call. Prices vary from $26 - $300. Domestic and Imported ales, hard ciders, and IPAs are available in a vast selection.

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PLACE" in northern Illinois. When you enter, not only is the "BEST" steak and seafood available, but you will assuredly have a great time meeting new friends at the 1879 or having a quiet time on your own. You can also watch the story of “Bill’s Olive Oil” in the main entrance, which I guarantee you will find extremely fascinating. Side-note: at the writing of this story, Bill is in Greece tending to his family, home and olive farm.

The overall experience is one that has established “Ellwood” as the go to place only 65 west of downtown Chicago. If you are venturing to see the Fall 2021 colors, plan a stop at “Ellwood Stake and Sea Food”, to experience a major city dining experience served with Midwest charm and warmth. Also download their App by texting Ellwood to 888-255-0077 or using this QR Code.

Story by ""The Next Taste Staff" enjoying many fun times at "The Ellwood".

"Now that's a Bloody Mary" An Ellwood 1879 Special

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Highlights From:

Craft Beverage & Culinary Tours Members Facebook Group

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Lynfred Winery -

Brick Stone Brewery -

More Brewing Co. -

Obscurity Brewing and Craft Mead -

For more information "Craft Beverage Culinary Tours" test "CBCT" to 888-255-0077 Join "Craft Beverage & Culinary Tours" Facebook Group to see more information about members like these.

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High Garden

John Daly Punch Bowl

Provided By: Journeyman Distillery

Provided By: Journeyman Distillery



• 1 ½-ounces Cucumber- Infused Journeyman Red Arrow Vodka • ½-ounce Rosemary Simple Syrup • ½-ounce Fresh Lime Juice • Cranberry Juice • Garnish: Sprig of Rosemary

• 8-ounces Journeyman Buggy Whip Wheat • 5-ounces Fresh Lemon Juice • 5-ounces Simple Syrup • Iced Tea • Garnish: Lemon Wheels

Instructions: 1. Add all ingredients (except cranberry juice) to shaker with ice. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Shake well and strain into coupe glass. Top with cranberry juice. Garnish with sprig of rosemary. Serve and enjoy.

Instructions: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Combine ingredients in a punch bowl. Fill with ice and top with iced tea. Garnish with Lemon Wheels. Serve and enjoy.

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Author: Geoff Pace-CEO of MAJiik

MAJiiK Uniquely Empowers Consumer Connection

The new currency in today’s connected world is the digital connection brands create with their consumers. For brands to build true connections with people, they need to meet consumers where they interact most – on their mobile phones, and create content that puts a brand’s own people front and center. Consumers want interactions with and content from brands that humanizes an otherwise faceless company. Simply put, real consumer connection breeds loyalty, protecting businesses from changing times, or from losing customers to competition. 64% of consumers say that their loyalty to a brand increases when they feel connected. Connection also directly impacts a brand’s bottom line. 76% of consumers say they would buy from a brand they feel connected to over a competitor, and 57% say they are more likely to increase how much they spend with a brand when they feel connected.

So, how do brands and businesses connect to their consumers to create a more intimate and interactive relationship – one that lasts and grows over time? It’s MAJiiK!

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"The MAJiik Mo bile App" is a one-of-akind platform that connects brands, businesses and consumers together in real-time through immersive experiences, dynamic digital content delivery, interactive experiences, brand storytelling, offers, loyalty clubs and so much more. Use the MAJiiK app to highlight your brand or business and reach your consumers with increased adoption, deeper social engagement, expanded monetization and efficiency. Consumers want more from brands than just a social media post. MAJiiK will help brands accomplish this using these principles:

For Example to Get an App

Be Authentic – Be original and genuine in your communication approach, personality and voice. Remain Relevant – Have a point of view for your brand or business. Continuously monitor trend setting changes in consumer behavior and adjust your communication strategy accordingly. Be Persistent – Be smart regarding the frequency of consumer messaging. You should ensure your frequency is moderate, appropriate, timely and relevant to the needs of your consumers. Ultimately, it’s all about quality of messaging, not quantity. Be Consistent – Use the same perspective and tone across all communication mediums. Messaging should remain consistent with your brand’s core values and the way your brand builds relationships with consumers and partners in face-to-face encounters outside of the digital world. These principles hold true for brands and individuals in any industry. Remember, your current consumers and potential new ones are everywhere and if you really want to meet their needs while elevating your brand, you must actively engage them with mobility. MAJiiK believes the future success of brands relies on creating memorable and individualized experiences. That’s why we created the MAJiiK app. Live social on the MAJiiK app and your brand will thrive…

313 W. State, Geneva, IL 60134 Hand-picked vintage and antique treasures available in downtown Geneva. Instagram @belljarvintage

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Christmas Season 2021

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GENEVA Reconnect-with family and friends in picturesque Geneva, Illinois. The town, framed by the scenic Fox River, beautiful parks and historic neighborhoods, offers boutique shopping, sophisticated dining and luxurious lodging. Festivals and non-stop special events bring a bustle of activity throughout the year welcoming locals and visitors from around the state. Located just 40 miles west of Chicago and easily accessible via train or the interstate, Geneva offers boundless opportunities for good fun and great memories. Shop- Over 160 specialty shops are housed downtown in charming Victorianstyle homes and historic buildings. Geneva merchants fill their shops each season with exclusive treasures from around the world. Distinctive art galleries, trendy clothing, elegant home decor, specialty cookware, designer jewelry, stylish shoes, unique food places, fun children’s clothes and toys, unusual garden plants and accessories are housed in every corner of the shopping district. The creative arts-quilting, knitting, stitching, beading, scrap-booking and pottery painting- are also represented. A different experience awaits those wanting to shop the more than 70 shops and dining areas at the Geneva Commons located minutes from the downtown. Options abound and make Geneva one of the best shopping destinations in the Chicago-land area

Feast- Endless options await your palate from local eateries and neighborhood pubs to award-winning restaurants with American and international cuisine. Gather at landmark establishments in casual or sophisticated settings where welcoming staff make you feel part of the family. Fine wine lists, unique beers, signature specials, and tempting treats offer interesting choices for everyone. Snack on miniature pastries, chocolate fondue, homemade ice cream and other delicious treats throughout the afternoon and don’t forget to visit one (or several) of the fine wine sellers to sample and shop for gifts and related accessories. At night, check out establishments for “open mikes,” live entertainment and great dancing in friendly settings. Stay- Sweet dreams await you with luxury lodging offering a host of amenities and services to travelers of all ages and of every budget. Swimming pools, exercise rooms, fireplaces, spa services, river view terraces, boutiques, gardens, and WiFi-Internet connections provide the ultimate in comfort and indulgence. Stay in hotels that are recipients of AAA Three and Four Diamond awards or retreat to an historic bed & breakfast inn on seven acres of tranquil terrain. Enjoy friendly staff and unforgettable experiences just a few minutes from the downtown. Don’t forget to explore special weekend and romantic getaway packages or settings for wedding, receptions, banquets, and private parties.

GGeneva,IL and Naperville,IL

Geneva Diner 14 S. 2nd. Geneva, IL 60134 630-934-1005

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Daniel Sullivan Master Photographer

Antartica Adventure November 2021

Photos Provided By Daniel Sullivan

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Spent the day with these amazing Gentoo and Adele penguins today as we were the first ship to land in Antarctica in 2 years . It is the peak of mating and nesting season. Penguins are as it turns out also great thieves . As some penguins built there nests with the perfect small stones they had collected other penguins would sneak in to steal them . Eventually the thieves would get caught and a full on penguin brawl would break out. DS Antartica, 2021

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It is quite impossible to describe the experience of Antarctica in words . The raw beauty of the land , the great expanses, the ice , the wildlife can not be compared to anywhere else. DS

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This might have been one of favorite Antarctica moments yet . We were visited by a pod of 14 killer whales yesterday who took an immediate interest in Lindblad’s new ship the Endurance. The new baby calf was especially curious and lifted his head up to take a look. The level of intelligence in these beautiful creatures is remarkable and a matriarchal family unit of killer whales will stay together during their entire lifetime. DS Idaho

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Deception Island on the way South to Antarctica is a massive active volcano . We are on the first crossing to Antarctica since 2019 aboard the National Geographic Ship the Endurance . DS Lahaina Harbor

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Photo by Daniel Sullivan

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Photo by Daniel Sullivan

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Photos by Daniel Sullivan Antarctica Nov. 2021

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Photos by Daniel Sullivan Antarctica Nov. 2021

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Photos by Daniel Sullivan Antarctica Nov. 2021

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Photos by Daniel Sullivan Antarctica Nov. 2021

"The birds of Antarctica are truly remarkable. From the brown Skua that steels penguins eggs , to the snow Petrel , the Albatross and emperor penguins the birds here have evolved perfectly to live in this harsh environment over millions of years . " Photographer Daniel Sullivan Antarctic Expedition November 2021

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Photo by Daniel Sullivan "Antarctica has changed me profoundly and there is no other place I’ve ever seen like it." Daniel Sullivan Nov. 17, 2021

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Publisher's Note: This is Daniel's favorite subject when back on Maui....that being Maui. You can spend a great day when visiting Maui, and line up a Photography Tour with Daniel. Contact Daniels at

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The ocean feels alive again as the North Shore of Maui is pounded by massive winter swells . DS

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Barnett Vineyards – A Trio of 2013 Great Wines by Michael Kelly

The Winery

At the top of Spring Mountain

The Cabernet Franc rivals some of the best in the

AVA, at 2600-foot elevation is Barnett Vineyards. The trek up the switchback road to the peak is worth the adventure. Upon reaching Barnett Vineyards, you are greeted with a breathtaking view looking back towards Howell Mtn. The Valley floor is the area between Calistoga and St Helena. Unfortunately, the day this picture was taken it was a bit overcast, but on their website you will find a few beautiful sunny photos. As you can see the terrain is very sloped (30 degrees and more)!

Valley with its dark purple color with hints of floral and dark chocolate. In my opinion these two are the premier wines at Barnett Vineyards. Current release is the 2018 vintage and unfortunately are both sold out! The Cabernet Franc goes for $80 and the Cabernet Sauvignon goes for $190.

A quick background on the owners,

you take that first sip. On the palate, silky smooth and lush mouth filling black cherries as well as blueberry with secondary flavors of cinnamon and caramel. The finish is opulent with soft tannins yet the brightness of the wine comes across. Mostly Merlot with a small percentage of Cabernet Franc added. Aged approximately 22 months in 60% new French oak. Current release is the 2018 and goes for $70. Sláinte, Michael

Fiona and Hall Barnett. They bought the 40 acre property in 1983 and established Cabernet as their initial varietal. In 2007 they hired David Tate as Winemaker and General Manager. For those who do not know David, he is a very “solid contributor” to the wine industry at large and has had a phenomenal impact on Barnett Vineyards. David has produced wine in Australia, France, New Zealand and now Napa Valley. His influence from vineyards to wine making has shown well with their 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Rattlesnake Hill receiving a 98+ points from Robert Parker. It is truly a 98-100 point wine with its dark concentrated mountain fruit and layering of tannins. He believes it “will last 18-20 years”.

Went to dinner last night and one of the guests

mentioned he very much liked Merlot. So pulled this 2013 Barnett Vineyards Merlot out of the cellar. The 2013 Merlot has a deep purple coloration and has a medium-heavy viscosity.

On the nose plum and black cherries waft inviting About Michael Kelly:

My focus is on showcasing small artisan and handcrafted wines of quality regardless of pricing. Quality wines are defined as having distinct layers and aromas that linger on the palate. I am a member of American Wine Society. I typically taste 1,500+ wines a year. All the recommendations listed are wines which I have paid for and


tasted I am also a collector of fine Northern California wines, writer, grape broker, exporter servicing 3-Star Michelin restaurants and more. Contact at

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Travel Blog:

From the "Pitts" to the "Peaks" by Robert Aldrich Photos by Robert Aldrich

Photo proveded by The Next Taste

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Mellen, WI "A what?” A pandemic? But our trip....can we still go?....but all that planning, and reservations, and tickets.....

Yes, a pandemic.

Of a horrible disease that has taken many lives, and has made many very, very sick.

I must say, as a bit of a music head.

So when, in retirement, after long careers, a

major trip was finally planned in March of 2020, to have to cancel everything was, well...the “pitts”.


that Trudy had planned, to visit Japan, during cherry blossom season, including plane tickets, train passes, show venues, and accommodations, all had to be cancelled.

The airlines of course, would give us credit,

I was in the Midwest when the mountain erupted, but remember the pictures. Trudy felt the blast nearly 250 miles away, on Whidbey Island in Puget Sound.

that would have to be used in the near future. That got us thinking about Iceland ...somewhere we’ve been talking about visiting. Through the summer, it seemed that perhaps Iceland might be possible by the fall of 2020. Again, reservations, accommodations, and trip plan in place. But no. Iceland was closed, and it was the round of cancellations again.

There was a deadline closing in on airline

credit, so we thought....where in the U.S. ??

We both liked the idea of Washington

State. Trudy was living on Whidbey Island in 1980, and heard the blast, as her house shook. She has great memories of the grandeur of western Washington State. There are mountains, rain forests, the Pacific Ocean, Puget Sound, and National Parks, with historic lodges. And it’s in the “good ol’ U.S.A.”. We flew to Seattle, rented a car, and drove to Mt. St. Helen’s.

What we think of as grandeur, or spectacular

beauty and awesome scenery in the west, came about from catastrophic changes in the earth, millions of years ago. The subduction of tectonic plates drove the west coast of the U.S. upward, and upward, and upward to form Mt. St. Helen’s, Mt. Ranier, Mt. Baker, the whole Cascade range, and we know about the San Andreas fault in California....still part of that geology.

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The effects of the blast from Mt. St. Helen’s,

that are still visible today, stretch one’s ability to comprehend. The initial shock wave exploded at about 500 miles per hour. This splintered old growth trees in excess of 500 years old into toothpicks. It threw boulders the size of apartments miles away.

In Spirit Lake, some miles from the crater, a

tidal wave resulted, that raced 850 feet up the north shore of the lake, then sweeping all the splintered and ground debris back into the lake. Many acres of logs still float, and are submerged in the lake.

Next, we headed to Mt. Ranier, and the

The geology of the area is endlessly

intriguing. There were lava flows from volcanos millions of years ago, that created lava tubes. What?? Lava TUBES? Well, yes. When lava flows down from volcanic mountains, it follows the path of least resistance, like water. As it flows, the upper portion begins to cool, but the center of the flow is still molten.

Naturalists describe this as akin to a pie crust

that cools on top, but the pie filling is still very hot. When the lava flow ceases, there is a hardened roof, and a tube where the lava emptied. It is eerie, but awesome to walk through where very hot, liquid rock flowed like a river.

Paradise Lodge, a National Park Lodge, built by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps). As is often the case, we were shrouded in mist at that altitude, but in the morning, the mist had lifted and we were dwarfed by the immensity of Mt. Ranier.

Trudy had planned this trip.

All the arrangements, the hikes, all the reservations. It was time for our first major hike: The Skyline Trail at Paradise. Sounds dreamy, right?? Well, buckle up! The lodge is at 5,400 ft. of elevation, and we were heading on a trail that will reach 7,100 ft. OK, let’s go! We started well below the trails you can see winding up to our vantage point.

There were a few others out, as it was a

beautiful day, and everyone was looking for some “safe escape” from the pandemic.

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Trudy’s goal was to pack it all in, so when we

left Mt. Ranier, we headed for the Olympic Peninsula. Did I mention rain forests?

I am well familiar with forests...I live in

northern Wisconsin, and there are National Forests all around me. The massive white pines that stood here, fell to produce houses all across this country in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. The forests here, still produce lumber. But I was not prepared to see the forests of western Washington. Douglas Fir, and Sitka Spruce that are alive and hundreds of years old are a wonderland through which to walk. We walked in a little way to see the “World’s Largest Spruce”.

The true rain forests offer a stark glimpse of

the life cycle over a much longer span than human experience. Trees that were here many hundreds of years ago die, fall, begin to decompose, and new life springs from them. Straight rows of cedars, now hundreds of years old rise from these “nurse logs”, and can be seen. Moss hangs from trees in this humid environment, and you find yourself wondering, “did I just see Sasquatch move behind that massive Douglas Fir?” Emerge from the forests, head west a bit....and there’s this has a name....the Pacific. It’s latin name means “gentle”, passive. Well, it is immense, as you know. The coastline is so incredibly varied: beaches, tidal pools in volcanic rock, sheer cliffs, “hole in the wall” rocks. And always what the tides roll in.

From the Olympic Peninsula, we took a

ferry out to the San Juan Islands, and stayed at Orcas Island. This archipelago out in the Straight of San Juan de Fuca, is again, geologically, part of the upheaval of land from the subduction of tectal plates, and has fascinating topography. If you said, “ORCAS” ?? You mean, like WHALES?? Well, yes. And while we call Orcas “Killer Whales”, indeed they are not true whales, but members of the dolphin family.

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We boarded Maya's Legacy Whale Watching

tours, and saw a number of a well known pod of orcas, and learned much of their family’s story. There were some sea lions as well, and a fascinating tour.

While we did not make summit, it was an incredible hike, and with mist closing in, and turning to rain, and maybe snow, we headed back down. Back on the mainland, Trudy was intent on climbing to Winchester mountain. Since that is the name of her home town growing up, she was focused. There is a “road” part way up. Well, “‘part way up”, before the “part way up”, I decided I would not attempt to get a rental vehicle up the “part way”.

We left it about a mile below the parking

area, but then began our ascent up Winchester.

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When one sees the world, or at least a

spectacular glimpse of one part here in our own country, with such expansive views, and natural grandeur all around, one gains some perspective, or at least one SHOULD gain some perspective.

And the history of a culture here thousands of

years before white Europeans were here, should be acknowledged, and appreciated. And indeed, native culture is still here and exists today. There are at least 29 federally recognized tribes in Washington today, and their cultures go back thousands of years.

Their relationship with salmon, and their

harmony with the natural environment are evident in carvings, totems, and symbols in their culture. I personally respect very highly how they have lived in this wondrous state.

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We Make it Easy!



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Give Yourself a Moment Give Thanks

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Here's Why We Created the "Majiik APP"

"The Old Way"

We simply got tired of all the updates, add friends, likes, multiple feeds, Twitter-Facebook-Instagram-YouTubeand all the rest. Social Meida takes hours, marketing meetings, intrigue, and in the end we were not even able to talk to all of our followers...its the algorithm we are told...

We SIMPLY GOT TIRED OF THIS and then in the end, our followers had to go to our media to see what we took time to place on all the feeds...

ARGH! and then we were told to BOOST IT... (Pay Money) Just to get to OUR Friends And Followers to SEE OUR MESSAGES!!! "We Found a Better Way"

"The Better Way"

"The Craft Beverage & Culinary Tours " Majiik APP

Patent Pending

This is what we did.. We simply just asked our current social media followers on all of the feeds to sign up for the our "CBCT" APP. ITS THAT EASY! Why? Our Followers Get.. • 100 % direct to phone, laptop, iPad immediate feeds we create • Live Streaming Available • Links to Website and Media Presentations • NO BOOSTING, NO ALGORITHMS • and.. We don't harvest our followers info to sell to other platforms...not interested in that. • It's that Easy..

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Join us beginning Oct 2021 on the MAJiik App All shows will be featured on our "Craft Beverage & Culinary Tours" App To Get Our App: Text CBCT to 888-255-0077

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Mike Calbot The Golf Doctor

M ike has been associated with, and in the business of golf since the late 60’s. He has traveled

extensively in golf; and has been seen in over 50 countries around the world as a renowned Golf Trick Shot Artist, professional golf instructor, master clinician and public speaker.

I n his travels, Mike has come into contact with nearly every type of golf operation

conceivable, which has allowed him to be one of the more knowledgeable individuals in the world in the business of golf instruction. He has successfully operated as an entrepreneur and independent contractor in the golf business since 1978. Prior to 1978, Mike was head professional for a private club for 6 years and assistant professional at several other country clubs earlier in his professional career in the late 60’s, including the famed Marco Island C.C which was home to the late Gene Sarazen.

M ike has an instructional TV Series entitled “The Golf Doctor” which has been seen on

Wink-News a CBS affiliate for 35 years and is viewed by millions of people annually. In addition, Mike is the author of a golf instructional video “Learning Golf” (Produced in 1978), published writer (Golf Tips and Golf articles). Mike can be seen and heard weekly on the Radio/TV weekly show, "The Next Taste on Tour",which he gives golf advice and tips to its listeners.

M ike Calbot as golf instructor, swing analyst and golf trick shot expert, travels the world giving performances, schools, clinics and corporate outings, which allow him continuous exposure. His Golf Studio boasted a healthy clientele in the thousands and has personally given over 85,000 lessons.

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The Mike Calbot Golf Academy

"Building Confidence Through Better Understanding" through progressive practice programs quickly elevating the skills of beginner, intermediate and advanced golfers. Call: (239) 482-0900 Email:


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My name is Kirk. I am a craft beer enthusiast from Batavia, IL who is passionate about the talented brewers and the success of the growing brewing industry in the Chicagoland area and across the Midwest. After years spent in the corporate world, I have decided to leave that behind and partner with the Brews Cruise group to pursue my passion. My vision is to help establish the Chicagoland area as a recognized destination for great craft beer. Cheers!

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Iconic Golf Trips with Art Stricklin

2022 Masters Still Available




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