I’m back from my World Tour!

I can’t believe I forgot about this.

For the past three and a half years – as long as we’ve been back in Sioux Falls, really – Kerrie and I have frequented our local chain pizza joint, Old Chicago. The food is pretty good, considering it’s a multi-location national franchise (everything is made from scratch for the most part), and they have a staggering array of beer choices.

The beer is what first drove us to Old Chicago. Aside from one of our local dive/college bars – Nutty’s – most bars are limited to about ten different taps. Unacceptable, as far as I’m concerned. Old Chicago, however, stocked their bar chock full of brews, and while it’s a franchise and it bucks every “frequent the local restaurants” trend I try to portray, I really enjoy going there.

Our main reason for going back time and time again is their World Beer Tour. 110 different beers. Drink them all, and you get your name emblazoned on a plaque, there to show the world just how much of a drunk you really are. It’s amazing. And we were hooked.

That is, until Tuesday. On Tuesday, I finished my 110th beer (Kerrie beat me by about two weeks, unfortunately, so we didn’t have a celebration party or anything.) It was a 32-ounce Grain Belt, saved for last because, as much as I bow to the corporate monster from time to time, I still have to support the brewery in New Ulm.

During my World Beer Tour, I’ve sampled beers from countries that I didn’t realize even brewed beer. I’ve had beer from Italy, China, France and Japan. I’ve tried an oilcan of Foster’s Bitter (in the blue can!) and have learned to appreciate Stella Artois, the entire line of Sleeman beers, and Lowenbrau. I consider myself a connoisseur now. A beer connoisseur.

So yeah – my name will be on the wall. I’ve completed the World Beer Tour at Old Chicago. Roughly $500 worth of beer (not including food, tax, tips, etc.) garnered me a bottle opener, a handful of coozies, a small cooler, at least three t-shirts, and a sweatshirt with a stitched World Beer Tour logo.

I have to say, I’m a little proud.

Of course, now we can start drinking somewhere that has cheaper beer. Nutty’s, here we come!

This was lovingly handwritten on July 14th, 2006