Thursday Doors, a Train Depot, and Beer

I’m pretty sure Dan has become excited merely by the title of this post, as he should.

Today is Norm’s Thursday Door Day, a WordPress blogging sensation as far as I can tell. I’ve wanted to join in the excitement for some time now, but never had a proper subject. I pass many doors during the day, but they all seem so boring, without character or a story. It took a trip to Green Bay to find a door worthy of a blog post.

And, if a door isn’t enough for you, National Train Day is on May 14th and it is “beer time” somewhere in the world.

So, let’s begin…

One positive that comes from my brother’s visits is that he likes to explore the area’s eateries and brew pubs. (The negative is the calories that usually come with the explorations.) This past Saturday, after a walk through a botanical garden, we headed over to Titletown Brewing Company for lunch. Beyond the huge statue of a Green Bay Packer with Donald Driver’s #80, the main door to the restaurant greets its visitors.

The Titletown building was originally the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad Depot, built in 1898 and 1899. You can read all of the depot’s history HERE.

“During the depot’s golden age, it was a bustling hub of activity. Thousands of families saw their loved ones depart for war or reunited here after its end. Among the most famous visitors were Nat King Cole, Buddy Holly, and three presidents: Taft, Franklin Roosevelt and Eisenhower.”

My brother and I have visited Titletown Brewing Company before, enjoying good food and thirst-quenching craft beer. However, on this day, the sibling had another reason to visit. “Want to go on the brewery tour? I’ll buy the tickets.” Being the good sister and lured by a free ticket, free beer and a souvenir glass, I said “Sure!”

While beer brewing still occurs at the restaurant/former train depot, Titletown and its investors purchased a former cannery building across the street in order to expand its brewing capabilities. Larsen Canning Company first occupied the building in 1898, but the site itself was the former location of Fort Howard, a military installation occupied during the War of 1812.  The newest Titletown brewing facility (with a ground floor tap room and rooftop bar/patio) sits in the middle, while “The Cannery,” a new restaurant and market, occupies space to the south.  On the north end of the building, remodeling has begun to create space for business and shops. The owners and investors have a good “thing” going here, having opened their expansion on Broadway Street in 2014.

But you want more doors, right?

I have those too. How about we start with the door to the mash vat?

The mash pit door.

What I found interesting during the brewery tour is the cost of equipment. We didn’t discuss the cost of the mash vat. However, the big fermenting vats are about $50,000 each. Titletown had six fermenting vats in one room (you do the math). Only the owners and their accountants know the total value of all equipment – vats, bottling line, kegging machine (from Germany), piping, etc. – not to mention the grains and hops they need to purchase in order to brew their adult refreshment.

The Titletown tap room and rooftop bar and patio boast very cool doors. Or are they windows? I’m not sure.

During the tour, participants are given a plastic cup and wristband. We are allowed four half-pours of the plastic cup. Unfortunately, I was the designated driver that day and I am also a weenie when it comes to imbibing in alcohol. So I allowed myself two half-pours and a soda.

The piece de resistance of the day, the final photo for this post, is not a door, but something that wowed every member of the tour group. It was fabulous, an item that belongs in every home and work place…for an end-of-the-day reward or for a reason to keep going on a bad day.

I think a Wineblur or OldFashionedblur could peacefully co-exist with this bubbler.

This is not a bubbler with foamy, brown water.

This, my friends is a BEERBLUR.

Yes, I drank from it. And then I walked through the doors of an elevator, happy as a clam and excited that I finally had material for Norm and his fabulous door people.

31 responses to Thursday Doors, a Train Depot, and Beer

  1. joannesisco says:

    Now THAT is a great fountain!!

    I highly approve of old buildings being repurposed. In this case, it looks like they did a great job – not only in the renovation itself, but the people-draw of their new business.
    I really like those garage-style doors that open up a restaurant to the outdoors in the warm weather.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I really would love to have that fountain. It was cool to see how they repurposed some things…like the foot rail at the bar of the tap room. It was part of the old track from a children’s train ride at Bay Beach Park. They are really stepping up their business and bringing people in. Evidently, over Labor Day weekend, they are going to have a huge party on the grounds prior to the Badger & LSU college game at Lambeau. They will make $$$ hand over fist.

      • joannesisco says:

        I think of that as clever entrepreneurship. It’s not just a money grab … they give people an experience and sense of value for their money.

  2. Norm 2.0 says:

    You had me at “Beer” and sealed the deal with that last shot *weeping tears of joy* 😀 Awesome first door post all around – welcome!
    And I do believe that was our first mash pit door too – well done!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thanks Norm! I bet you are going to run to the hardware store today in search of your very own beerbler…right? I may not be around every week, but I’m going to start paying better attention to doors. There must be something out there worthy of another post.

  3. joey says:

    BEERBLUR. Heh!
    What a great post — So glad you joined!
    I really like the photo of the chimney with TITLETOWN — that’s a great subject.And the doors that make it a patio! Ooh!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I’m itching to go back there on a nice day and hang out on the patio with girlfriends. It’s an inviting place, somewhere to relax and drink beer and talk stupid.

  4. Oh, I want to see those doors! Just so I can go through them and drink beer from a tap. (But I am going to go and google a wine version I could get installed in my kitchen…..)

    • bikerchick57 says:

      If I ever win the lottery or meet Mr. Rich, I would have one of those installed in my kitchen. Except I might have to go with a brandy Old Fashioned bubbler. I could handle that.

  5. Ally Bean says:

    A great trio of topics brought together in one post. I like tours of places where you learn how something is made. And beer? Now that’s a good one to visit. That wood door just beckons, doesn’t it?

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Beer and wine might be my calling to Thursday doors. We have plenty of brew pubs and wine bars in the area. I could see that as a good and bad thing 😉

      • Ally Bean says:

        I love that idea. I’d enjoy your photos and IF you took them prior to entering those sorts of places, I’m sure your pics would be clear. 😉

  6. Dan Antion says:

    Let me get this straight. You managed to tie doors, trains, beer, history and football (‘cuz I know why it’s title town) all together in one post. You have great pictures of doors and a picture of a beer fountain that I absolutely need in my kitchen, my office and the family room. Oh my goodness Mary, you raised the bar to a point of no return. I love the history and the information about this brewery/brew pub. Thanks so much for sharing this with us. You are really making me add Green Bay to my future travel list.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Now you know why I was so excited to write this post. It was like I found nirvana, especially in the beerblur. The downside is that I have no idea how I will ever top this.

      Yes, you need to come to Green Bay. It’s not the most exciting place in the world, but it has plenty of its own history, beer and football!

      • Dan Antion says:

        I’m pretty sure I’ll get to Green Bay at some point. I have much more appreciation for cities like that then the uber-trendy places I’m supposed to visit (according to someone).

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thanks Jean! I may not be here every week, but I’m going to try to show my face every so often…as time and doors permit.

  7. OH, I think I’ve found a new Blur to love! 🙂 The rooftop bar/grill looks inviting. The view of the clock tower, and river are really nice, and I love those BIG windows.

    Great first post! Yeah, Liquid chocolateblur works for me too! 🙂

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