All in Good Beer: A “Not Your Average Date” at a Local Brewery

As I try to get better at keeping up with my posts in a timely manner, I am spending a lot of time at work again. It’s our peak season, so there may be some gaps here and there. However, this date was how my husband and I closed out our “Staycation” this year, and it happened at a perfect time.

A couple of weeks ago, Jeremy and I had our first “Staycation” this year, during which we were able to get a lot of rest and finally get to go on some pretty fun dates. I have already posted about our Rock Climbing/book buying adventure in Dallas, but the other great date we were able to go on was in our own town, Tyler, TX. We went to True Vine Brewing Company’s Open Taps event the day after Jeremy’s birthday and it was pretty darn fun! For those who don’t know, True Vine is the first craft brewery in Tyler that sort of popped up, officially, just a couple of years ago. They brew some outstanding beers and have been serving them out of their back yard during their Open Taps events. Open Taps is generally held every last Saturday of the month and it is definitely worth the wait, if you’re already a fan or if you’re dying to try it out. You can actually buy tickets to it in advance via Eventbrite for about $10/person (which gets you a glass and 2 beer tokens to try whatever brew you want). At the door, tickets go up to $15/person and the glasses can’t be guaranteed.

Moving on to what happens when you’re in. Picture it: a gravel yard, covered with huge shade trees, picnic tables and what can be described as a quaint “ice house” to grab your beer from. This small brewery in Northern Tyler plays host to an Open Taps event that attracts hundreds of people from the area. They always have some great music going from local bands and they host booths for a couple of local vendors with stuff to sell. They also invite a food truck to come out and feed their patrons and sop up the delicious beer. While we’re talking about the beer, let me tell you that I try a lot of different craft beers…and these guys are good. You can tell that they know what they are doing and that they have put their blood, sweat, and tears into every batch. I tried their #1 brew called “Mermaids and Unicorns”, which was magical. I also tried one of their beers that was seasonal (I’m struggling to remember the name), that equated to that of a Blue Moon (an orange wedge would have been the only thing I would have added to that one). Jeremy enjoyed a couple of pints of their Sanctamonium (a little hoppy/bitey for my taste, but the other notes in this brew were pretty good). We had also brought my brother and my sister-in-law out with us from Oklahoma and they were just as pleased with their selections. My brother commented on being impressed that a once dry-county like Tyler could have such a good local brewery now. I agree, whole-heartedly. This is definitely an event that I will go to again. The owners of this brewery are amazing people, who love what they do and they love the community that they are in. I sincerely hope they are around for a very long time, indeed.

If you’d like to know a bit more about True Vine Brewing Company, definitely look them up on Facebook! Keep an eye out for Open Taps and other events at their charming brewery, and also at Brookshire’s Fresh for their cans!

I only have one, really great picture to share from Open Taps, and that’s of my husband, the birthday boy, enjoying the brewery tour.

Thanks for stopping by everyone!

With Love, From ETX,

Casey.

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Not Your Average Dates: Dyno-Rock Climbing Gym

Hello again! As promised, I am posting another venue visit under our “Not Your Average Dates” category. This one is from when we visited Dyno-Rock Climbing Gym in Arlington, TX this past week on our “Stay-cation”.

My husband and I have been trying to go out on more active or educational dates. The big one before this, was the Dallas World Aquarium followed by a Dallas Stars game that I posted about previously. This month, so far, we decided to go rock climbing together for the first time. It’s something I had always wanted to try, as a way to build strength, try something different for once and to help get over my fear of heights. We also wanted to do something that was truly something that we had to work together on, so we thought this was a great option for team building/bonding.

Some notes about this place: It is a little difficult to find on your first try. Generally, if you end up close to the enormous AT&T Stadium (where the Dallas Cowboys play football), you’re on the right track, but the little nook-and-cranny streets around there can be a bit confusing. Once you do find it, you may be questioning if you’re in the right place, because it looks like an old office space or warehouse. But, if you look for the sign, you will find that you are, indeed, in the right place. Once you find some parking, the door to get in does kind of look like some back door exit, but it’s definitely the right one. Once you get in, the pictures from the website start to look familiar, and you are greeted by one of the friendly guys that run the gym.

We were greeted by a really cool guy named Michael, who helped us not only with paying for our visit, but he also gave us a crash course in climbing 101. He was extremely knowledgeable about climbing and took plenty of time, and patience, to answer all of my very beginner questions. He also made himself available to us for any further questions or if we needed help with any of the courses in the gym. So, big points to this place for customer service. There is also something to be said about the particular community of climbers that were in there as well. At one point, I needed to take a rest while my husband wanted to try and climb a particular wall that was not the “self-assisted” ropes, and another young man who was just visiting on a day pass like us, just stepped in and belayed (fancy climbing word for the person who holds the ropes at the bottom) for him. I thought that was pretty cool.

Now, let’s talk prices, because you might have guessed that this isn’t a free activity. This place was also quite affordable. If you have your own gear, you spend $12 to be able to climb all day long. But, if you are complete newbies like us and you need to rent shoes, a chalk bag and your harness, it comes to about $21 per person so, about $42 if you’re on a date. Seriously not bad considering this is available to you all day long…and they mean all day. You can literally leave, go have lunch or dinner, and then come back and climb for the rest of the day, if you wanted. Now, if you come in and try it and decide that you really like indoor rock climbing, they also offer memberships and punch cards so you don’t have to pay for the day pass every time you come in. That information and pricing can actually be found on their website at: http://www.dynorock.com .

To recap: This is a fantastic date if you want to do something that is active and fun. Rock Climbing also requires a lot of team work, both physically and mentally. We spent a lot of time mapping out how we were going to make it up the walls, and while we were climbing, the belayer was always calling out different rocks to grab or step on and the climber trusted the advice and ultimately made progress up the wall. Rock Climbing is a very affective trust activity, and I would recommend this to couples of any kind, but especially engaged couples who are about to be married. We absolutely loved the physicality this took as well…we were both sweating and had some very sore arms afterward, but because we climbed and reached the top on several of our attempts, it made it worth the work. I would definitely recommend this gym in particular, for the price and for the community and employees who are there to help.

As usual, at the end of these posts, I have some pictures from our day. So, please forgive odd angles and exasperated, sweaty husband and wife.

As always, Thanks for stopping by!

 

With Love, From ETX,

Casey.