Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Nostalgia and Beer in Harrisonburg

 Isn't it funny how nostalgia works? This past weekend, I visited Harrisonburg, where I had my first job out of college. The work itself was extremely engaging, yet challenging, and I didn't know a soul when I moved there. I lived 3.5 hours from my now-husband, was traveling away every other weekend and was learning how hard it was to make friendships after college. It was so lonely, and yet being there again this weekend, I missed that era so much! It helps that Harrisonburg is 100% cooler than it was then.

I went to visit my friend Holly and we ate and drank our way through town with great success. We started our visit with a trip to Cuban Burger (which has amazing Happy Hour specials, by the way). I had a delicious caipirinha...

 And the scrumptious El Original, a beef burger topped with caramelized onions and shoestring potatoes (plus Swiss if you ask for it). I had it with a side of cheesy grits and it was amazing. Next time I'm definitely getting the Cuban sandwich.

 After Cuban Burger, Holly and I ventured out to the 3 Brothers Brewing tasteroom, located in what was a bottling plant back in 2006. I had the citrusy Session Experimental, which had strong notes of delicious grapefruit. It was hopping at happy hour!

 The next day, we had a fun reunion with Laura, who was actually my intern when I was just a baby reporter myself. I introduced Holly and Laura (virtually) when they both lived in Harrisonburg. It was so fun to chat and reminisce about the Burg back in the day.

 We spent Saturday at the Rocktown Beer & Music Festival, a craft beer fest held under the farmer's market pavilion (which didn't even exist when I lived there). I was so proud of Harrisonburg for growing this way! Holly's friends Jeff and Bonny greeted us with pretzel necklaces, and we all spent the entire event the envy of all we encountered.

 $35 got us these tasting cups and 10 tastings. My favorites included the Bear Republic Double IPA...

 and of course, Crispin's Br'er Rabbit cider. Delicious and so pretty!

 We finished the evening with dinner on the rooftop of Capital Ale House (the former location of Calhoun's back in my day) and it was just lovely. No wonder I was reminiscing!

 A couple product plugs from the ride home: this Argo Tea was delicious and the glass bottle packaging was so cute I kept it for future use.

And also, Sheetz has Dr. Pepper and Crush licorice. Amazing.

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