... and what did I learn? I confirmed a lot of things. Like I like a good hotel. I like interstate highway driving. And I like red pandas, the greatest looking creature ever to walk upon the planet. Oh, and I learned a bit about local good beer, too:
-> The Galeville Byrne Dairy which replaced the old Galeville Grocery in Liverpool, NY, to the north of Syracuse has taken the good beer tradition of the old store and, five years after it closed, run with it. A fantastic selection with a few beers I did not see in Oliver's of Albany last weekend. Another shopper said "better than Wegmans" which it was.
-> The Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs have craft beer on sell... well, at least one - Saranac Pale Ale. Which means they have 100% more good beers than the rather embarrassing Toronto Blue Jays. The Chiefs also had 1911 on tap, a local draft cider. Again, at least 129,842 times what is offered by Canada's dullest pro sports franchise.
-> Middle Age's Syracuse Pale Ale remains a local standby along with its Saranac cousin. It appears on many menus that passed by my eyes including at the quite rewarding Santangelo's restaurant, an Italian place with dandy steaks and Utica greens.
I took a pass on the World of Beer at the mall known as - no, really - as Destiny USA. WoB was packed, which was good, but looked like a lot of guys drinking beer at a shopping mall. Never got that concept myself. I brought a few new things at Galeville. A insanely strong IPA from Dark Horse, a smoked porter from Evil Twin, a brown ale by Jolly Pumpkin, an IPL from Jack's Abby and a pale ale by Captain Lawrence among other things. I buy a fair bit against my prejudices... just to make sure.