To stay or not to Munster

Discussion in 'Great Lakes' started by TheBeerAlmanac, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. TheBeerAlmanac

    TheBeerAlmanac Poobah (1,020) Kentucky Mar 3, 2011 Verified

    My wife and I are planning beer road trip in the next six months and are going to visit a bunch of breweries, FFF included. I'm just trying to figure out if the city is worth staying the night in. I live in Lexington, KY and will be heading up through Indianapolis, through Munster, then to Grand Rapids. Can anyone advise if Munster is fun enough to spend an evening, or should we save our hotel fare and stay in Indianapolis, then pass through Munster on our way to Michigan? Whether or not we stay here alters our entire trip and it's a subject of contention so we need some local expertise.
  2. hannydawg

    hannydawg Initiate (0) Illinois Apr 4, 2010

    Three Floyds is the only "fun" thing to do in Munster.
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  3. Bad_Trader

    Bad_Trader Initiate (0) Namibia Nov 8, 2012

    I would stay in Grand Rapids.

    Plan accordingly and you can make it to the other great breweries within an hour or so, in addition to Hopcat etc.
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  4. MarcatGSB

    MarcatGSB Initiate (0) Michigan Jan 8, 2011

    Where are you going after Grand Rapids?
  5. miketd

    miketd Advocate (530) Ohio Mar 2, 2006

    Depends on how much time you want to spend at FFF. If you and the wife want to tie one on and don't feel like driving after, yes it's worth it. If you just want to go and have lunch and leave, don't stay. I would also say the only decent hotel in the area is the Hampton Inn, if you decide to get a room.
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  6. Spend a night in Grand Rapids.
  7. cosco

    cosco Aficionado (130) Michigan Dec 5, 2007

    I would say, pass through Munster but rather than spend the night in Gr Rapids, stop at The Livery in St Joe or Saugatuck Brewing and stay at a nice place on the lake in St Joe or Saugatuck. Get and early start in the morning and head to Gr Rapids. I guess I am assuming you will be staying in Gr Rapids for a day or two once you get there.

    Saugatuck is a great little town right on Lake Michigan. I actually really like the brewery as well. If you are trying to work in stuff to keep the wife happy, this could be a great stop.
    TheBeerAlmanac likes this.
  8. TheBeerAlmanac

    TheBeerAlmanac Poobah (1,020) Kentucky Mar 3, 2011 Verified

    Within a week we're going to try and hit FFF, New Holland, Founders, Bells, Dark Horse, Jolly Pumpkin, Kuhnhenn, Great Lakes, maybe some sideshows like The Livery, Arcadia, Dragonmead, The Brew Kettle, and Jackie O's. Will we hit all of them? Definitely not. So planning appears to be of the utmost importance. From Lexington we'll be driving a huge round trip circle, and to Indianapolis it's 3 hrs. For day one, we could stop in Brugge Brasserie for lunch then spend the night in Munster (if it's worth it) then proceed on to Michigan the next day, or party it up in Indianapolis for day 1, and stop at FFF for lunch on day 2 and proceed through to The Livery or Founders and carry on. From the general sentiment, Munster sounds like more of a passthrough than a destination. And yes, I do have to entertain the wife to an extent; she likes good beer, but if we spend and entire week of vacation doing nothing but searching for craft beer, our road trip might end with a divorce.
  9. lurchingbeast

    lurchingbeast Initiate (0) Illinois Feb 19, 2009

    Do lunch at FFF the second day on your way through. Hit Livery and/or Greenbush on your way to Kalamazoo for Bell's. Crash on kzoobrew's couch. Head up to Grand Rapids the next day.
  10. bozodogbreath

    bozodogbreath Advocate (520) Indiana Oct 19, 2006 Verified

    Chicago is only 45 minutes from Munster. Spend the night in Chicago and visit Goose Island - Lincoln Park. Make a stop across the street at Binny's Bevarage Depot. Depart for MI the next morning. You will not regret following these words of wisdom.

    PS:There is no better place than Chicago in the summer!
    geneseohawk and TheBeerAlmanac like this.
  11. Plan for a month of travel then your schedule won't be so tight. If you need to add side trips other than breweries then you're trying to plan too much into a short period of time. Slow down and enjoy it. Get in half of the planned breweries, then take a Fall excursion to get the rest of them.
  12. miketd

    miketd Advocate (530) Ohio Mar 2, 2006

    I am in the same boat in regard to not being able to do vacations centered around beer, but many of the areas you are going are not exactly tourist hotspots, if you know what I mean. I was in the Grand Rapids area over the Summer with the wife and the weather sucked... she did not have fun.

    If you do one brewery in Cleveland, Fat Head's should top the list. Followed by Great Lakes and Brew Kettle.

    Have fun
    TheBeerAlmanac likes this.
  13. Docrock

    Docrock Advocate (535) Illinois Jan 21, 2012

    Ok so here is my thought since my work Territory ranges from Chicago ( base ) to Grand Rapids, Cleveland, all of Kentucky all of Indiana and all of Illinois.

    That being said, and driving at or just above Limit, Indy should be less than 3 hrs away from home for you so why spend anytime there, you can pop up there anytime. Munster is just about 325 miles from Lexington so 4.5 hours or so. You can get to FFF for a late lunch ( they are on Central time), then head up into Michigan ( 45 minutes to an hour away) and visit Greenbush or other, stay the night there and proceed from there. Also being from Detroit originally, I wouldn't stay there, Kuhnhenn is worth a trip but better for Lunch then proceed Dark Horse or you Ohio stops from there. Enjoy!
  14. TheBeerAlmanac

    TheBeerAlmanac Poobah (1,020) Kentucky Mar 3, 2011 Verified

    We've been to Chicago a couple times and have always enjoyed it, I'm just trying to keep the cost lower if I can and also visit some new places. Last year we did a road trip south (which sucks for beer, by the way) and one of the highlights was Huntsville, AL. The town was seemingly innocuous but had a ton of charm once we settled in. Of course, we stayed in some horribly horrible places, too, which I'd love to avoid if I can; no offense to anyone from Birmingham, but I've never seen so many brazen cockroaches in my life.

    That's good advice, though, she'd love to hit Chicago again, that may be our pit stop.
  15. TheBeerAlmanac

    TheBeerAlmanac Poobah (1,020) Kentucky Mar 3, 2011 Verified

    I've never seen 8 Mile but heard enough about it to completely stereotype Detroit :p. It'll likely be off to Cleveland after that, then....
  16. bauermj

    bauermj Advocate (510) Illinois May 4, 2009 Verified

    Before looking at Google Maps I would have thought you were making a mistake by avoiding Chicago while going out of your way from Lexington to Munster en route to Grand Rapids. Especially since you want to make the trip seem less like a 100% beer trip for your wife. I think Chicago has more exponential options to accomplish this, when compared to Munster + Grand Rapids. However from a map/distance standpoint it looks like I-65 the whole way only adds 45 minutes or so when compared to 75to69 or 74to69 so maybe it doesn't really matter.

    also, Chicago in the summer is great. But I would consider saving Floyds for a time when you are going to Chicago and perhaps consider a mini Michigan tour instead.
  17. If you're looking for advice to add tourist places that would appeal to your wife that are also on the way or convenient to some breweries then you could consider your overnight stays near these locations and hit them in the mornings since breweries won't be open until lunchtime anyway.

    Depending on the weather, there are several good beaches along the Lake Michigan shore in Michigan (the one in South Haven is my personal favorite). But you could stay in St. Joseph and hit their beach in the morning and The Livery for lunch, go back to the beach, and then go to Greenbush Brewery for dinner (which is about 20 miles south).

    In Grand Rapids is Meijer Gardens which is an indoor/outdoor experience (which makes it not totally weather dependent), and it's only 7-8 miles from downtown where Founders and HopCat are located.

    If your wife (and you) happens to be into antique cars (sometimes wives are car lovers) then the Gilmore Car Museum (regarded as one of the top 5 in the US) is in a little town called Hickory Corners, and is convenient to Bell's and Arcadia, or Dark Horse which is 12 miles east of Arcadia. (The Kalamazoo AirZoo is also a good choice if either of you are into aviation museums that have some fun amusement-like rides.)

    I hope this is information helpful to a well-rounded trip for you both.
    TheBeerAlmanac, bauermj and miketd like this.
  18. Duffman929

    Duffman929 Savant (380) Illinois Nov 27, 2010

    How many nights do you want your trip to be? What is your hotel/gas budget? What breweries are "must see"?
  19. Docrock

    Docrock Advocate (535) Illinois Jan 21, 2012

    Ok I may be from Detroit, but Cleveland sucks too!
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  20. TheBeerAlmanac

    TheBeerAlmanac Poobah (1,020) Kentucky Mar 3, 2011 Verified

    Probably a full week, + a couple days if needed. Likely around $2k. Mainly the bigger names, just to say I've been there (Bells, Founders, FFF, Great Lakes) and subsequent ones as they fit in the schedule (New Holland, Arcadia, Kuhnhenn, Jolly Pumpkin, Dark Horse, etc.)

    The consensus sounds like The Livery and Greenbush are must stops.
  21. Duffman929

    Duffman929 Savant (380) Illinois Nov 27, 2010

    Of course there are TONS of places to hit, but if you are looking for brewery only, I recommend going at the end of June through the holiday. Mapping it out, if you leave in the morning, it would go:
    (Upland, FFF), (Dark Horse, Arcadia, Bell's), (New Holland, Founders), Shorts, (Kuhnhenn, Jolly Pumpkin), Great Lakes, and Jackie O's. The reason why the end of June, make the trip up to Shorts worth it by doing the Traverse City Cherry festival. Tons of great wines and foods, if cherry is your thing. On that first day, after lunch at FFF's, head up to the Warren Dunes and chill out with the wife. I'm sure there is a cheaper place that doesn't suck that is more fun than Munster. Then you can hit up KZoo, GR, TC, Detroit/Windsor area (I always opt for Canada!)....if you want, head over to Niagara and do some ice wine (Canadians don't give a crap about the 4th of July, so things will be open), and then head back down on your way home. That is something I would rock out!
  22. miketd

    miketd Advocate (530) Ohio Mar 2, 2006

    Cleveland may not be the best place in the world(and for from the worst), but when it comes to beer, it definitely does not suck.
  23. This.
  24. Casedogg43

    Casedogg43 Advocate (500) Indiana Jan 4, 2012

    +2. ^^^^^^^^
  25. mlefevre

    mlefevre Savant (280) Michigan Nov 3, 2012 Verified

    bring me up some good bourbon from KY that i cant get here in MI and i will pay you big $$$$ :) !
  26. mishuggah

    mishuggah Savant (310) Illinois Jul 14, 2009 Verified

    Two words.

    Munster Donuts.
    Bakker likes this.
  27. epicac2

    epicac2 Disciple (50) Illinois Apr 2, 2012

    skip sleeping in munster. And expect to wait at least 1 hour before getting in to 3 floyds( if you're going on sat or sunday day)

    Im from IL and just did a MI brewery trip. Our route was 3 floyds, Greenbush, Paw Paw, Livery, Bells(stayed in Kalamazoo). Then up to Founders, Brewery Vivant, hopcat, dark horse. We tried to stop at Arcadia but they were closed on Sunday, their website didnt update the hours at the time. It was an awesome time. Make sure you stop at Brewery Vivant. Awesome food, beer and atmoshphere(built in an old Funeral Chapel)
    TheBeerAlmanac likes this.
  28. TheBeerAlmanac

    TheBeerAlmanac Poobah (1,020) Kentucky Mar 3, 2011 Verified

    I hope this is sarcasm......................?
  29. Franch

    Franch Advocate (575) New York Mar 22, 2011
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  30. JakeT469

    JakeT469 Savant (365) Illinois Jan 13, 2012

    That is def true and it will be AT LEAST an hour. However, if u can, get there 20-30 mins before they open (they open at noon on sat/sun) you should def be in the first wave of ppl that get in. If I go on the weekends that's what I've always done and never had a problem getting in right away.
  31. And the waiting line is outdoors the times that I've been there. (I've been there only during nice weather, but maybe they make other arrangements when it's raining or in the winter?)
  32. JakeT469

    JakeT469 Savant (365) Illinois Jan 13, 2012

    They def don't make dif arrangements for shitty weather. You might just find more people waiting in their cars rather than outside.
  33. epicac2

    epicac2 Disciple (50) Illinois Apr 2, 2012

    No sarcasm. We arrived at 11:15am on a Saturday. They open at 11am. We waited 1.5 hours. Two of us. There is also a separate line for buying beer to go. We put our names in and stood in the beer line for about 30 minutes before buying beer. The upside is they take your phone number and tell you to wait in your car.

    I've been to 3 floyds three times and have waited at least 1 hour each time, though they were all fri-sun visits.
  34. JakeT469

    JakeT469 Savant (365) Illinois Jan 13, 2012

    Dont know how that happened but they open at 12 on Sat and Sun and 11:30 Mon-Fri.
  35. NSK79

    NSK79 Savant (375) Illinois Jun 4, 2012

    Two best things about Munster
    1. 3 Floyd's
    2. Aurelio's pizza (on Ridge west of Calumet)
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  36. epicac2

    epicac2 Disciple (50) Illinois Apr 2, 2012

    Ahh, well we arrived at 12:15. I just remember it was 15 minutes after the doors opened
  37. Casedogg43

    Casedogg43 Advocate (500) Indiana Jan 4, 2012

    But about a mile away sits Beer Geeks in Highland.
    Gotta hit that place!
  38. Bakker

    Bakker Savant (315) Illinois Aug 1, 2010

    I'll add # 3 to the list that mishuggah mentioned :

    mishuggah likes this.
  39. cadizkyguy

    cadizkyguy Savant (345) Kentucky Mar 17, 2008

    Aurelios pizza in Munster is the worst place for pizza.if by chance you were headed to Flossmoor Station in Flossmoor, IL, then I'd suggest the original Aurelios Pizza in nearby Homewood, IL for an awesome pizza.
  40. Jkoeneman

    Jkoeneman Aficionado (160) Indiana Jul 30, 2010

    If you are taking a week and a couple days, definitely stop in Indy the first day and stay the night. Lunch at Brugge, Afternoon pints on the patio at Flat12, Cider cocktails at New Day Meadery, and pints at Fountain Square Brewery. A quick tasting at SunKing (You can't buy pints) and dinner on Mass Ave. Plenty of hotel space downtown.