I think of St. Louis of a small town so often that I forget that it’s really not. We’re a city of about two and a half million people, but it sure doesn’t feel like it at times. So when places off the beaten path come to my attention, it’s always a bit of a shock. “This place sounds pretty cool are we sure it’s in St. Louis?” Well in this case they’re not really in St. Louis, they’re in Grafton.

As a was perusing the latest Sauce Magazine this week, I noticed an article about The Rotten Apple in Grafton, Illinois. It didn’t take long for the article to completely grab my interest:

And, most importantly, it serves and promotes great beer.

It turns out that The Rotten Apple serves 16 hard ciders and 12 regularly rotating selections of draught beer. I hear the food is pretty great, to boot. It turns out that The Rotten Apple is also looking to craft brew at their location in the future as well. It’s like this place is begging me to visit.

If that’s not enough to get you to visit Grafton, how about this? Jerad Gardner, the manager of Piasa Winery in Grafton informs me that in addition to the hundreds of different wines they have to offer, they also carry an impressive selection of about 90 different beers. Jarad’s newest offerings will be detailed on the Friday Round-Up each week, so you’ll know what you can expect when you visit.

I’ve always loved the beautiful drive up the River Road, now at least I have a couple of excuses to make the drive.