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Granite City's Two Pull - Pull Me Another

Granite City's "Two Pull" Beer gets a Hearty Endorsement

Over the last ten years, my tastes have changed dramatically.  Food, wine, movies, people…almost everything really.  Some of those changes have come from simply trying new things and microbrewery beer tops that list.  Before we lived in England, the only beer I drank was domestic “lite” beer and the few times I tasted hand brewed offerings did not prompt me to continue trying them.  That all changed in England and that’s documented elsewhere on this site.  Bottom line, I do try microbrewery beer now, as often as I can, and that’s one of the changes I’m very happy about.

Carol visited the East Peoria franchise of the Granite City Food & Brewery chain sometime in early 2010 and liked it enough to suggest we try it some time when the weather was nice so we could do a walk on the nice promenade that the city has created along the Illinois River.  We did that one day in July that year and had a very tasty lunch.  We both enjoyed the grilled chicken sandwich and the fries were some of the best I’ve ever had.  But it was the beer that highlighted the meal for me.

Beer is like wine, I have found, in that tastes vary along a vast spectrum of nuanced flavors…much more so than I had ever considered.  I’ve been trying for years to define that for myself with red wine.  I would love to be able to quantify and classify what it is I like about a particular wine… as so many more discerning wine lovers seem to be able to do.  If I could identify and verbalize my tastes, perhaps I could avoid drinking some of the less desirable offerings out there.  I’ve been on that mission for over ten years now without success because alas, my palate simply isn’t that well developed.  I do keep trying.

So when it comes to beer, I’m really much lower on the learning curve.  That lunch at Granite City, though, gave me a serious nudge upwards.  I had checked out the beer menu online before we went that day and there were three that caught my eye.  I always try to find a beer that comes close to the beer I had in England…real ale or bitter as it’s called.  They typically have a hoppy flavor and the taste is sometimes quite startling…especially to a novice as I was when we first moved to the UK.  Again, I haven’t tried that many microbrewery offerings but I got lucky on this occasion.

As I wrote, I had narrowed the choices to three beers that day; Brother Benedict's Bock, Northern Light Lager and Two Pull, a mixture of the first two.  Since I was driving and knew I could only have one pint, I opted for Two Pull and it was the best beer I’ve tasted on this side of the Atlantic.  It was served ice cold, of course, and it was quite flavorful even at that temperature.  But as we enjoyed our lunch and the beer came closer to cellar temperature (about 58°F), all the beautiful, smooth taste came forward and there was absolutely no bitterness, even while providing a significant punch of flavor up front.  I honestly can’t think of anything I would suggest to improve this beer.  It set a standard that I’ll try to top as I continue experimenting with microbrews but I’m not confident I’ll be successful.  

According to their website, there are 26 Granite City locations scattered throughout the Midwest.  If you like beer and if you get a chance to visit one of their locations, consider this a strong endorsement for Two Pull and based on one data point, a thumbs up for the food as well.  

Here’s a link to the Granite City’s website so you can check out the beer offerings and their menus as well -- Granite City.


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