Saturday, July 6
Awoke early (for me, 9:30pm) to again make use of free hotel breakfast. Better to lose sleep than to lose money buying food constantly. My sleep has been up and down, but the comfy beds and generous AC in the Fairfield help. Do not recall any dreams.
Headed out mid-afternoon to journey north to Minocqua, near-ish close to the Michigan border. Another stop at same gas station with a Subway and terrible pop music still blaring from the speakers at the pumps. Had another 6-inch sub to stave malnutrition, but tonight the venue was feeding us.
Before we hit the forests:
While Wausau area looked like Squatch country, the drive to Minocqua was DEFINITELY Squatch country. My cell reception ranged from decent to completely non-existant en route. Morale and spirits still good tho I was dealing with some things back home which I won't get into.
Minoqua mainly a summer lake town, lots of money. Definitely buzzing with post-4th of July vacationers. Rick had never played the Minocqua Brewing Company, but it had been recommended by Malarkey's owner Tyler, and that was good enough for him. Just by the correspondence he'd had booking, they were already treating us like royalty. Which also goes a long way when you're a long way from home.
Got turned around trying to find it, but it afforded us this awesome photo op:
Yup, we were definitely up north. And yup I'm definitely representing Bucky's. Seeing Paul Bunyan signs and statues reminds me of my childhood, visiting family in Minnesota and the lake cottage my grandparents once owned. There are probably family pics somewhere of my sister and I next to the Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox in Bemidji.
Anyway, pardon for waxing nostalgic. Found the Brewing Company, very nice place! However we'd have to load up the stairs once inside the front door, but no big deal as I'm still blown away by how light we are traveling. Nice little venue, nice stage, nice people runnin that place. And the PA was still set up so we wouldn't have to lug that in as well. Bonus!
Loaded in but waited on soundcheck, as it was still pretty early. And it was starting to warm up as well, probably a heat wave for northern Wisconsin, but to us Texans we refer to that as "March."
We filed downstairs to the restaurant area to order food. Heard great things about their burgers, as well as everything else on the menu, and everything we heard was true. Had a Mediterranean burger and a side salad. Wow. I was fighting off a food coma for the next 2 hours, but well worth it.
The Brewing Company is right on the lake, and unfortunately I didn't get any pics of the lounge area behind us with windows overlooking the water (was full of people and I felt weird taking pictures of random strangers, heh). Beautiful area and buzzing with activity and motorboats. Bet it's peaceful when not a holiday weekend.
Finally began sampling the namesake brews now that I had a full stomach. Was really digging their Hefeweizen, the actual name of which escapes me (that's what happens when I wait a week to update this blog...).
Where the magic happens:
Decent amount of people there when we started the first set, but they were mainly waiting for a table at the restaurant downstairs. But they were digging us. Good sets, good sound, good stage. Crowd ebbed and flowed but the people there dug it so that's good as well. We made a very good impression and will def be back!
Drive back to the hotel outside was uneventful