Within walking distance of Mishawaka Brewing, maroon-lettered sandalwood-bricked eatery-bar, GRANITE CITY FOOD & BREW, positioned inside University Park Mall (next to JC Penney), became the 26th of 30-plus Granite City restaurant-breweries along the Midwest trail, July ’08.

Visited November ’09, this midsize watering hole opens to stainless steel bar with white slate columns and wood veneer. Behind left side booths were glass-encased brew tanks serving a terse assortment of light-to-dark brews.

A slight buttery creaminess gave lemony peach-grapefruit-centered wood-hopped maize-dried Northern Light Lager the heads up over phenolic Miller/ Bud Lite fare. Spice-hopped wheat-honeyed cornbread-like Wag’s American Wheat and sour-fruited gourd-spiced fig-sugared hop-sharp Octoberfest were crisply lightweight.

Duke Of Wellington Pale Ale retained bright IPA-like apple-peach-orange fruiting, dry pine lacquering, and juniper berry-sharpened grapefruit peel bittering. Dry hop-roasted espresso-coffee-finishing Broad Axe Stout rendered surreptitious vanilla bean influence. Sugarplum, cinnamon-spiced apple, candied nuts, and praline bedecked Brother Benedict’s Bock, which was bettered by bock-styled Northern Light mix, Two-Pull, a corn-husked dry body with spicier fig-date-almond sugaring and harsher hop phenols.

Nearby ‘fan-centric’ South Bend sportsbar, Legends Of Notre Dame, located on campus across famous Notre Dame Stadium, served great local microbrews during November ’09 trip to watch the Fighting Irish oppose Connecticut on the gridiron. Prior to and after the game, enjoyed Goose Island Harvest Wheat and Mad Anthony Ol Woody Pale Ale while checking out sports memorabilia and regalia lined across interior walls of alehouse. Enjoyed burgers, sausages, and chicken tenders underneath canvassed courtyard beside outdoor patio.

With four locations in Mishawaka/ South Bend, City-Wide Liquors featured deep selection of microbrews and imports. Found Boulevard Brewery’s Long Strange Trip Ale, Double Wide IPA, and Sixth Glass Quadrupel as well as Three Floyd’s Moloko Milk Stout.

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