Mother’s Day Weekend: New Ale Trail in Columbus, Ohio and a Date to Save

The 2nd Annual City of Riesling First Night is set for Sunday, July 26 beginning at 5pm (ET) with VIP admission for $100 per person and general admission from 6-10pm at $50 per person, held at Clinch Park Pavilion. Both tickets include different levels of Riesling tastings as well as access to Great Lakes region winemakers and sommeliers.

Last year’s Mother’s Day I ate at Ralph’s (Brennan family) on the Park in New Orleans with my mother-in-law and daughter. Admittedly this will be difficult to top, but I will keep you posted.

New Ale Trail Highlights Columbus’ Craft Breweries: It’s only the first beer fest in charming Columbus, Ohio (a 5-hour drive from NWI) and probably won’t be the last considering that 25 local breweries have opened here in the most recent five years. The trail fest, with free Experience Columbus pint glasses and other freebies, continues through Saturday night. But even after the official launch party is over there are still five breweries in a row in the center of downtown that offer a variety of experiences, at least according to the Columbus folks:

North High Brewing is a brew-on-premise microbrewery that offers a unique experience to visitors. Not only is all of the beer crafted on site, but also, guests can create their own personal blend. North High’s expert brewers walk brewmasters-in-training through the process to ensure success. Some two dozen taps serve up multiple choices in several different styles, from Belgian, Porter and IPA to shandy, ale and stout. www.northhighbrewing.com

Seventh Son Brewing Company features three delicious brews, along with a variety of rotating specialty beers. Seventh Son's taproom and brewery are well located in up-and-coming Italian Village. The venue hosts special events and live music, as well as some of the city's most popular food trucks, allowing visitors to enjoy some great local grub along with their beer. www.seventhsonbrewing.com

Barley's Brewing Company has been a part of the Columbus craft beer scene for more than 20 years, making them one of the more seasoned breweries in town. This company’s specialty is crafting unique ales, a process they've mastered by using the finest ingredients from all over the world. Along with their honored brew, Barley’s serves up delicious food in the Short North Arts District, making it a one-stop destination for travelers. www.barleysbrewing.com

Wolf’s Ridge Brewing opened as the vision of a father-son team and has rapidly become the perfect spot to enjoy outstanding craft beer served with some of Columbus’ finest cuisine. Far from a typical "beer joint," the spotlight here shines on both the brewmaster and chef creations. Visitors can experience imaginative dishes, such as grilled octopus, confit pig cheeks, or geranium and apple salad, with the menu offering beer pairing suggestions for each dish. Guests can sample any of 12 brews from the Wolf's Ridge taproom, or try a Stout & Espresso, Beermosa or any of the other creative cocktails crafted with brew. www.wolfsridgebrewing.com

Elevator Brewing Company offers up nine distinct brews and special seasonal beers at two locations. One is a respected full-service restaurant in a stunning Historic Registry building that boasts the city's oldest and most ornate pool tables and a colorful Victorian past as a gentlemen's club. The other houses Elevator's brewing operation and welcomes beer aficionados for tours every third Saturday. Open every Saturday, noon to 8 p.m., the taproom at the brewery allows visitors to enjoy a game of cornhole or perch atop a keg to watch football and play old-school Nintendo games -- all while enjoying Elevator brews. www.elevatorbrewing.com

Other Columbus Ale Trail stops include Actual Brewing Company, Buckeye Lake Brewery, Four String Brewing Company, Homestead Beer Company, Knotty Pine Brewing, Land-Grant Brewing Company, Lineage Brewing Company, Pigskin Brewing Company, Rockmill Brewery, Sideswipe Brewing Company, Smokehouse Brewing Company, Staas Brewing Company, Temperance Row Brewing Company, Zaftig Brewing Company and Zauber Brewing Company.

Traverse City Night of 100 Rieslings in July: This Michigan city is a weekend trip away, but if you haven’t visited Traverse in a while, you might want to check it out. Between the big personalities of Michael Moore, Mario Batali and other core boosters, this place is unrecognizable from what it was a decade ago. Tickets are already available for the 2nd Annual City of Riesling First Night on Sunday, July 26 beginning at 5pm (ET) with VIP admission for $100 per person and general admission from 6-10pm at $50 per person, held at Clinch Park Pavilion. Both tickets include different levels of Riesling tastings as well as access to Great Lakes region winemakers and sommeliers. Music will be provided by Kalamazoo band, The Go Rounds, featuring soul music, baroque folk, art rock, country and classic rock n' roll.

On Monday, July 27, 2015 City of Riesling plans an all-day symposium with a world class culinary event luncheon. City of Riesling is the brainchild of winemaker Sean O’Keefe of Chateau Grand Traverse and Villa Mari Vineyards; restaurateur and sommelier Amanda Danielson of Trattoria Stella and The Franklin; and wine writer and Riesling evangelist Stuart Pigott. Last year, more than 300 people attended the festivities.

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