The Rural Route

The Rural Route

May 18th, 2019 - Silver Grizzly, Anvil, Cypress Creek, Gilmer, Oil Horse

9:45 Morning Coffee at Silver Grizzly Espresso (100 W Tyler Street)

- Included in the price of your ticket

Silver Grizzly Espresso

Who needs the mega-corporate mechanizations of StarBigBucks when you can get far more superior product, but much cheaper in price, at Silver Grizzly Espresso here in beeeeeeeee-you-tee-full downtown Longview! Silver Grizzly Espresso is locally owned; it’s unassuming with no la-dee-da pretensions whatsoever; and it’s just a downright cool place to gather with friends and enjoy a wide-ranging variety of beverages and the inspiring spirit of community. Coffees of every variety under the sun, yummy-dang-doodle-delicious pastries that’ll smack your kisser giddy, and an amazingly courteous and down-to-earth staff all do the heart and mind good! Oh, and a stellar selection of beers on tap is available for consumption on premises or to-go in growlers of 32 and 64 ounces. In fact, I often visit Silver Grizzly Espresso to purchase just such a growler of sudsy merriment, because I enjoy supporting local businesses while refusing to be a slave to corporate banality. I invite you to do the same!

10:30 Leave Longview

11:30 Arrive Anvil Brewing

- One free pint provided by Anvil Brewing

Anvil Brewing

We always enjoy enmeshing ourselves in the rustic down-home confines of Anvil Brewing that evokes a time and place when life was simpler and less hectic (not surprising since the building dates from 1910!). The furnishings epitomize rural simplicity with a flair of country ruggedness that defines East Texas tenacity and perseverance of spirit. The Anvil employees go out of their way to offer the friendliest, most courteous service while getting to know their customers on a first-name basis, as if we are all just long-lost cousins along the dusty red-dirt road of life. The culinary delights offered fresh from the kitchen are served in generous heaping portions and we engorged ourselves silly on the heavenly delicious Reuben Sandwich piled high with shaved corned beef, juicy mouth-watering pastrami, homemade sauerkraut, melted Swiss cheese, and a beautifully tangy “secret recipe Reuben sauce” on light rye bread (it’s a monster of a sandwich, folks, and, by far, the best damn Reuben we’ve ever had the pleasure of ravenously devouring!). Chase it all down with a pint each of the creamy, subtle mocha-infused Anvil Coffee Porter or the refreshingly sweet Anvil ESB Ale.


Select menu items are included in the price of your ticket (menu to be announced soon)

1:30 Leave Anvil Brewing

2:00 Arrive Cypress Creek Southern Ales

- Buy a flight, get a free pint provided by Cypress Creek Southern Ales

- Cypress Creek is also generously providing one of their incredible wooden coasters to all attendees

Cypress Creek Southern Ales

Cypress Creek Southern Ales sits in the sleepy ol’ burg of Winnsboro. The Cypress Creek brewery / taproom is small and cozy, the type of place where everyone you meet becomes what seems like a lifelong friend just with a smile, a nod of the head, and a simple greeting of “How ya doin’?”. We don’t think we’ve ever visited a brewery with such friendly and hospitable staff and patrons… they all made us feel like we had been a part of their tightknit community forever and a day even though we were obviously out-of-towners. Oh, man, and the beer is nothing short of sudsy divineness: small-batch specialty beers brewed with the finest ingredients, pride, dedication, and enthused attention to detail. We thoroughly and mirthfully immersed ourselves in a glass each of the pleasantly sweet, gullet-tickling Cypress Springs Honey Haze IPA, 1137 Crossroads – Meridian Imperial IPA, and Loblolly Pine Dust Imperial IPA. The owner / brewmaster Mike graciously explained his particular talented take on the brewing process while giving us a private tour of the room housing all of the shiny awe-inspiring fermentation vessels. Yeah, we were like a giddy, fuzzy-eyed kid on Christmas morn as we explored the Cypress Creek premises and soaked our senses in the dazzling splendor of some of the most awesome brews we’ve ever had the privilege of imbibing.

3:30 Leave Cypress Creek Southern Ales

4:00 Arrive Gilmer Brewing Company

- One free pint provided by Gilmer Brewing Company

Gilmer Brewing Company

Gilmer Brewing Company in the yam capital of the known universe. We were undeniably impressed with the spacious rustic charm of the taproom and its stripped-down fully restored brick walls, plank-wood ceiling, corrugated metal bar with a shiny lacquered wooden top, and 1950s-era diner furnishings (tables, chairs, and booths). The beertender greeted us with a sweet smile and the utmost of natural-born geniality as we each ordered a pint of the wondrous golden sensation known as the Peacemaker Pilsner (what a magnificent barley treasure to behold it is!). And what of the rest of the beer selection, you might ask? Well, it was enticing, to say the least! Five sudsy offerings total, and I gluttonously embellished my senses with each and every one of them: the sweetly bitter and citrusy Pritchett Fog NE IPA, the refreshingly soothing Peacemaker Pilsner, the sultry easygoing Buckeye Blonde Ale, the explosively hoppy Shrapnel IPA, and the succulent roasty chocolatey Big Woods Stout. We couldn’t help but think life is so much sweeter and more pleasurable with the added thrill of cold beer and good friends. Cheers to more of those special brew-enhanced moments to come!

5:30 Leave Gilmer Brewing Company

6:00 Arrive Oil Horse Brewing Company

- One free Oil Horse Brewing Company Anniversary Glass for all attendees. Please stick around and enjoy two bands and celebrate the Oil Horse Anniversary!

Oil Horse Brewing Company

Oil Horse Brewing Company in vibrantly revitalized downtown Longview is the perfect gathering place for music, games, camaraderie, and of course beer-inspired merriment. The environs are charmingly downhome and rustic with knowing nods to the oil and logging industries of thriving days past, and the scuffed worn hardwood floor dates back to the building’s original occupant in the late 1800s / early 1900s, the burgeoning community’s first hardware store. The Oil Horse staff can always be counted on to be hospitable, attentive, and just downright Southernfied friendly. On a recent visit, laughter and lively conversation filled the air as we plunged into one pint after another of such delectable palate-tickling Oil Horse brews as 1877 Irish Red Ale, Landman Brown IPA, Ossamus Saison, Big Inch Milk Stout, and, my personal favorite, The Doghouse Belgian Dark Strong Ale. One of the brewery owners sat at our table, and we talked excitedly about some upcoming Oil Horse releases and also discussed the history of various downtown buildings and the businesses that were long ago located within those landmarks of days gone by: The Record Shop, Right On Fashions, Longview Hardware, Brown’s Shoes, Martin’s, and Riff’s. Ah, the memories... when life was simpler, and the moon was made of cheese. It’s truly encouraging to witness the abundance of energy and vitality that has returned to the charming old buildings along Tyler Street. Drink local, dine local, and enjoy local indeed!