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Where Is the Weirdest Place You Have Found Craft Beer?

Small corner gas Station in Portland Oregon. Photo courtesy of Werewombat. Not joking, really Warewombat.

So where is the weirdest place you have found craft beer?  I have mentioned mine a couple of times here, but thought it deserved its own post.  I was coming back from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and really REALLY had to pee.  I was only 10 miles from my house, but this wasn’t going to wait, as I had been in the car over 2 hours and I was staring down the barrel of stopping at a c-store or changing and showering immediately upon my arrival home.  Not to mention scrubbing out my car, so I thought I should stop, and I did.

I pulled into a Jackson’s gas and grocery in the tiny little town of Wilder, Idaho.  Now Wilder is known for two things, former Idaho Governor Phil Batt lives there on his family farm, and Onions.  They grow lots of them.  Actually if you are reading this and you are seated west of the Mississippi river, you have probably eaten onions from Wilder, Idaho.

Did I mention that this town was tiny?  Only about 500 people here.  So I went into the c-Store and took care of business first.  Then I feel it is only polite if you use their facilities to make a small purchase.  Most of the time for me that is a local paper or a pack of gum.  However this time the beer case caught my eye.  The reason it did was that it was an older case with no doors, and an open front, and I could see that they were selling single cans and bottles of beer.  This isn’t that surprising as it seems that they always sell singles of Malt Liquor and 24 oz Coronas.  But I saw something intriguing…brown bottles!  Could it be?  Yes!  Craft beer singles!

They had some Sam Smiths, Sam Adams, and Ninkasi!  Ninkasi from Eugene, Oregon at a tiny C-Store in tiny Wilder!  Well I picked it up and drank it very happily that night.  So that is the weirdest place I’ve ever come across craft beer.  How about you?  Where is the most surprising place you have found craft beer lurking around?  Let us know in the comments.

-Don

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15 Comments on “Where Is the Weirdest Place You Have Found Craft Beer?”

  1. October 5, 2011 at 11:55 am #

    A very small and tiny town in west NJ one block away from the Delaware river and PA. Population around 1,000 with a gas station, dry cleaners, restaurant and a grocery/liquor store on a single 1/2 mile “town center” stretch. I found bombers of Racer 5, Hop Rod Rye and Red Rocket Ale by Bear Republic — VARIOUS styles from this California Brewery in this tiny little store? Sweet!

    • Don
      October 5, 2011 at 11:58 am #

      I thought you were going to say you found Victory and Brooklyn Brewery beers. That would have been a little more understandable, particularly when you have such a population base all around on the East Coast, but to find a broad selection from Bear Republic? Well, that is just cool! Great find.

  2. Angela Arp
    October 5, 2011 at 12:02 pm #

    The Moonshine Gulch Saloon! One of the quirkiest places I’ve ever seen and you can get Moose Drool there!

    http://thisdoesntsuck.com/story_detail.php?story=10

    • Don
      October 5, 2011 at 12:07 pm #

      Wow, Angela, you win! Actually this reminds me of some of the tiny Roadhouses along some of the highways and back roads in Alaska. I’m guessing you can get some decent craft beer from them as well, but I wasn’t into beer at the time, so I don’t know what they might have. I did come across a fairly impressive selection of Single Malt though when I stayed in Talkeetna one night!

  3. October 5, 2011 at 1:19 pm #

    We were staying on Emerald Isle in North Carolina. After some research, my brother-in-law discovered that there was a tea house nearby that advertised live music and beer. Sure enough, this place existed. I loaded up on some Weyerbacher, DfH, and other breweries not available in Missouri. It was easily the best beer find of the trip.

    Of course, most of my best finds are just in random grocery stores. For example, I had been asking for over a year that my mom bring me some 21st Amendment beers on her next trip to visit us. She kept telling me that she couldn’t find that brewery anywhere. Then, while visiting over Memorial Day weekend, I stopped in their grocery store near their small town. And what did I find? 21st Amendment’s Back in Black and Brew Free or Die IPA. This is why I check the beer section in every grocery store just in case.

    BTW, are you two just mining our comments for post ideas? Where’s our cut?

    • Don
      October 5, 2011 at 2:57 pm #

      Oh no Jim, they’re onto us!

    • Don
      October 5, 2011 at 2:59 pm #

      I guess I wouldn’t have thought to look in a tea shop for craft beer. Another place that is starting to go more and more to craft beer are local wine stores. I’ve actually seen many wine stores that are over 1/2 craft beer now, because the cost of inventory is so much lower than it is for wine. One owner said if it wasn’t for the beer he couldn’t afford to keep selling wine! Its a movement I tell ya!

      • October 5, 2011 at 3:06 pm #

        Most wine shops have improved this aspect. However, we have a pretty high-end wine place here and they charge way too much for their beer.

        • Don
          October 5, 2011 at 3:11 pm #

          I have run into that before, and most of the time if you talk to the owner (s)he will do an “adjustment” to the price, just to keep your business in his/her store. Did you like how I said his/her store? I actually just had his, but then remembered I was replying to you so I went back and changed it! Zac Early…changing the world one blogger at a time! 😉

        • October 5, 2011 at 3:16 pm #

          It’s a dude and he’s defensive about the beer stuff. Another way that you remind me so much of my father, Don.

        • Don
          October 5, 2011 at 3:21 pm #

          Why? because I talk to the owner and get them to adjust their outrageous prices? Or because I had to remember to change he to (s)he?

  4. ScottG
    October 5, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

    I’m currently on a temporary assignment to a US embassy in the Middle East (second trip). They have had at the embassy, between the two times I’ve been here, Left Hand Brewing Porter, Anchor Steam, Anchor Steam Porter, Leffe Brown and Blonde, Flying Dog IPA, Gouden Carolus Classic, Anderson Valley Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout, and a selection of brews from the Shephard Neame brewery in Kent, England. And Sam Adams.
    Weirdest Stateside was a dive bar in Amish country PA (where my wife grew up) with DFH Aprihop on tap.

    • Don
      October 5, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

      I guess the embassy’s are technically US territory, so they can have the beer there. I feel sorry for troops that can’t have beer because the countries they are serving in are dry. And not just like desert dry, but alcohol dry too. Sucks. Glad you have it available in the Embassy, and it seems like they had a pretty good selection!

  5. Kyle
    October 9, 2011 at 8:45 pm #

    Sam’s Quick Stop in Durham NC. From the outside, just your standard college town gas station. The inside, Mecca, for craft beer lovers. This gas station carries literally every craft beer that is bottled and legal for sale in the state of North Carolina. I was in my local craft beer store trying to get on a wait list for Founder’s CBS and they said they probably wouldn’t even get any, but to check with Sam’s.

    • Don
      October 10, 2011 at 9:21 am #

      Sounds like that is a great place! It’d be interesting to know how much of the till is gas purchases, and how much is craft beer!

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