Taking a Few Brews for a Test-Spin at Ned Kelley’s.

Would you care for a quirky, crackpot metaphor?  Here’s the best I can do-buying beer and purchasing a new car are very much alike.  How do I intend to make that one work?

Here I go.

First, as the auto industry has grown, there are tons of different vehicles to choose from.  You know, you have a pick of sedans, vans, SUVs, hybrids and so much more.   Likewise, as the craft beer market has expanded, there are many different types to sip. Stouts, ambers, blondes and brews mixed with bourbon, dare I say a hybrid, are all beers I have downed-  I could list plenty more.

I’m just getting started with my crazy car/ beer metaphor.   The more powerful an engine is in a vehicle, the weightier the price of said item.  Same can be said about a stiff beer, the higher the ABV, in many places, the loftier the bill.  So, accelerating from 0-60 or sober to buzzed costs more, the quicker you get there.

Automobiles are filled with bells and whistles, especially of the digital kind, making the ride so much nicer.  Beers could also be said to have features, of a different sort of course.  There’s brews with honey, raspberry, peppers and even pastries to name a few features that attract a wide array of customers.

Now days, there’s both top end and economy class brewers, as well as car manufacturers.  Who’d mention a KIA Sorento and a Keystone Light in the same breath?  Me, oh and that cop that arrested a college kid for DWI.

You can test-drive a car at the dealership, similarly most craft breweries will allow you a taste-test before purchase.  I guess they figure  their beers/cars are quality, so eventually you’ll fall in love with at least one.

Another similarity, and this gets me close to my point, if you go to a new car lot, your going to shop cars from one auto maker.  Much is the same if you visit a craft brewery.  You’re choices are  limited to that brewer’s products, oh and probably a couple of guest taps.  I guess they’re a little different, but you know what I’m saying.

So, if there was a place that brought one hundred beers under one roof, and let you taste-test until you were sold on a unique concoction,that’d be a good thing, right?  I mean, It would be similar to shopping the same lot for new Toyotas, Fords, Chevys, KIAs, Mercedes, Fiats….Ok, I could go on, but you get my point.  Such a tap house, known as Ned Kelley’s, exists in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Okay, enough with the pointless and lengthy lead in!

On with my drinking experience at Ned Kelley’s in down town Green Bay…

February is drawing to a close, and I’m about to send Leap Day Eve off with a bang.  Yeah, Leap Day Eve, I work Saturday so this is the best I could do.  Heidi and I are embarking on a little experimenting tonight…Ok, mind out of the gutter people.

As we walk into Ned Kelley’s, I dig the ambiance.  It’s slightly dim as, lined on a genuinely antiquated brick wall, LED screens scroll through the one hundred options I have.  I’m talking about alcoholic beverage options, beer to be precise.  That’s alot!img_0568

Overhead, a monstrous and artistic chandelier comprised of liquor bottles highlights the room, very much like a yacht on a pond.  It’s size in this small oasis is simply cause for pause and admiration.img_0574-2

Today, being it’s a Friday night, every stool along the sizable bar is taken.  There are other places to sit, including an adjacent room which provides quite a bit of open space.  Sometimes, bands make appearances in this area. The opening is also brick, and is graced with that haunting vibe of a nineteenth century nightly retreat.  You know, when bare bones wasn’t seen as hip, but simply all the owner could afford.  I imagine an establishment did exist like that back then.  If not, I can conjure my own daydreams.   All that being said, this place meshes modern and retro in a very stylish way.

There are two waitresses hastily bustling from patron to patron behind the bar.  We’re going to make things difficult on them tonight.  We plan on purchasing two beers, one for each of us.  But only after careful perusal of the Beer list, and tasting the labels that sound most interesting.  Basically, we’re after our  Holy Grail- the perfect beer.  My thoughts on the matter conclude that the absolutely perfect beer does not exist, hence the term Holy Grail.  Yet, with this many choices, and the ability to taste our way to a great decision, I might get damn close.

This isn’t a picture of our taste testing!  I just like urinals like this, and this place has them.  

Heidi tastes at least five different brews, which the waitress gladly brings to her.  Even if Heidi, at times, seems unsure as to which beer she’s actually trying, the waitress helps her out.  It takes sample number two for me to find the beverage for tonight, it’s a dopplebach, which is an unusual choice for me.  It’s really, really good.  I confess, I didn’t pay much attention to the brewer, the description just sounded delicious.

Seeing how the bar is packed, we slink off to a place towards the corner, with wood counters and a window that is usually  opened  during summer. It allows a view of Washington Street on a late winter night.  We sip our beers, as I entertain myself with blogs, smiling at the writings from my usual reads.

Our drinks are finished, and mine was quite strong.  So, although I love this spot’s casual and fun atmosphere, we’re set to head back home.  Yet, this feel and it’s small bar appeal sets the tone for a lively night.

Safe Travels!






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