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A great "Prospecting" location
(Click on the picture for a full size view)

There are certain times when gold prospecting is completely out of the question. Whenever I find myself in that position, I look forward to my second most favorite prospecting activity. Prospecting for Liquid Gold ! If you have read any of my other stories you may have noticed that if I don't have the dredge nozzle stuck in my hand, it naturally gravitates toward a similar shape object. A microbrew bomber bottle! Maybe the bottle isn't quite as big around as the dredge nozzle but after holding a couple for a while, it gets hard to tell the difference.

I found myself on a spring day in Minneapolis Minnesota, not far from the Metrodome. This really isn't in the fancy shopping part of town so as I looked around for something to do, what did I see but the Town Hall Brewery in the building next to my hotel. It was afternoon and I had nothing else scheduled that day so I walked over for a drink and a bite to eat. Little did I know I had found a home-away-from-home for the next two nights.

beerlist.jpg (28573 bytes)As I looked through the menu sipping a great Oatmeal Stout I could feel the stress of traveling melting away. After a short time  I ordered. They had a Salmon Salad that looked good and what better place could there be to get good seafood than Minneapolis. As I ate and sipped on my beer I mellowed out even more as I watched a hockey game on the television. The whole two days I was there the only thing on the television was hockey games. They must have taped them and played them over and over.

To form a completely fair opinion about which beer was the best I felt that the only unbiased way to make the decision was to try them all. The problem with that decision was the glass size. They came in pint glasses. So with fairness in mind I continued to work my way around the list ordering another as my glass emptied. This worked pretty well until my fourth one. By this time I was beginning to have a little trouble remembering which kind of beers I had drank and which one's I still needed to try out. As my memory serves me, I think I gave up and walked???? next door to my hotel room. It sure was a pleasure not to have to drive home. I couldn't have drank more than one beer if I was driving. The only thing I had to operate to get home was the elevator. It wasn't too much of a problem as all I had to do was push the button to select the correct floor. It did all of the driving.

The next day was a work day and I couldn't get through it quickly enough. I already knew where I was going to eat that night. Of course I would have to have a brew or two just to be sociable. Besides, they still had some beers that I hadn't beerlist1.jpg (21858 bytes)tried out. This had turned into a mission that deserved the best of my effort to complete.

Arriving back at my favorite barstool, I didn't even need a menu to decide what I wanted to eat. The Salmon again. It had been great the night before and I was really looking forward to another large serving of it. As I studied the beer list trying to recall which ones I had already sampled, I found I couldn't remember. As I sat there trying to come up with an equitable plan, the solution slowly emerged. This time I would start from the bottom of the list and work my way up. If there happened to be a little overlap in the middle, oh well. Certain sacrifices must be made in the name of fairness. As I sat there enjoying my supper, sipping on the beer and watching yet another   hockey game I thought, what could be better than this? Well, maybe gold dredging but this was a pretty close second.

Which beer was the best? Here I'm going to take the cowards way out. You could pick any one of them. They were all simply great.

If you are heading up Minneapolis way and need a little company, email me. I'm ready to go try one more time to select a favorite. I asked but  they don't bottle or I'd have a couple of cases headed my way on UPS or whatever it would take to get it here.

For the "unbiased", real, and more important, sober story, visit the Town Hall Web site at   They have a menu and lots of information posted there. Tell them the Golden Optimist sent you. Maybe someday when I get back there they will give me a couple of brews free. If they don't, you can depend on the fact that I will gladly pay for them

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