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Archive for September 18th, 2008

My parents live in Oakville, or as I like to call it, “The Wasteland of Beer.” So when I found out about Bon Vivant Wines last year, I could begin to express my joy. Only about a 10 minute drive from 255 and Telegraph in Columbia, Illinois, this short trip makes it an absolute stop for any beer drinker in the area.

Store: Bon Vivant Wines
Address: 123 S. Main, Columbia, IL 62236 (Map it)
Phone: 618-281-3464
Selection: Over 100 beers.
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Proving that bigger isn’t necessarily better, owner Andrew Traughber has used his limited shelf space to put together one of the finest beer selections in all of St. Louis. As is common with our friends in Illinois, Andrew is able to stock many things that we can’t find here in Missouri. It wouldn’t be surprising to find Three Floyds, Dogfish Head, Founders and Dark Horse on any visit. As is also common with Illinois stores, Andrew also offers an extensive mix-a-six, allowing you to pick and choose from anything on the shelves.

If you’re looking for anything special that’s not on the shelves Andrew will try and do what he can to get it. From my own personal experience he’s gotten me a case of DFH 90 Minute and a 1/6th Barrel of Founder’s Red’s Rye, that’s what I call service. This may sound like a bit of hyperbole, but I honestly think Bon Vivant is the savior for all of those looking for a great beer in South County.

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While wandering around the Great Taste of the Midwest before the festival opened, I happened upon Arcadia Brewing Company which was situated right next to the O’Fallon Brewery booth. The thing that stuck out to me is that while there were a lot of very nice brewers at the festival, the Arcadia guys seemed very enthusiastic and genuinely appreciative of me stopping by.

So it came to no surprise to me that when Arcadia’s owner/founder Tim Suprise visited The Stable for an Arcadia beer tasting, he was just as enthusiastic and nice as the people I met in Madison.  As for the tasting, we got to enjoy Cocoa Loco, Hopmouth, Cereal Killer, and Witsun.   We were also treated to bacon wrapped dates, chicken satay, mushroom caps, a potato and cabbage dish and white chocolate chip and dried cherry cookies, some of which incorporated different Arcadia beers.  It was a very good time with great conversation, great food and great beer.

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