The Kunhenn brothers spend every day of the week brewing and overseeing the production of beers at Kuhnhenn Brewing. That kind of dedication is what makes the brewery a well-deserving recipient of numerous brewing awards. In 2012, the highly sought-after DRIPA?or Double Rice IPA?took home a gold medal at the World Beer Cup, and the insanely popular Raspberry Eisbock has consistently been one of the highest-rated beers in the world since its release in 2004. Inside the brewery's lively tasting room, visitors can sip on flights to sample a variety of beers, or order larger glasses or pints of their favorite brew.
Fueled by the passion of winemaker and obsessive-compulsive grape-stomper Lisa Berry, Vintner's Cellar offers several wines fermented in Royal Oak. During your tasting, you'll get to sample five different wines from a diverse range of red, white, fruit, and specialty libations. You'll also get to snack on cheese, crackers, grapes, and crackery grapecheese creations while soaking in the lively décor of intermingling dark and vivid tones like a sponge tuxedo. The wine tasting is good for two people, so buddy up or carefully wheel a frenemy's bed to the cellar before he or she wakes up.
In 1997, Kip and Dennise Barber sold their suburban home. But it wasn't because they were downsizing or moving to the city. Instead, they used the money to purchase a large, wooded plot of land in Grass Lake, which they cleared and planted with rows of grapevines. And thus, Lone Oak Vineyard Estate was born. Over the years, the couple worked to add more and more varietals to the vineyard, and today, their estate is home to 12 types of grapes spanning 25 acres. Handpicked at the peak of ripeness, each of the European grapes is transformed into estate wines, such as dry reds, semidry whites, and utterly sarcastic dessert wines.
Since 1946, John Christ Winery has been a destination for locals and tourists alike, who stroll across the verdant property and sip samples of the many wines made onsite. The Kopf family took over day-to-day operations in the early 1990s, and continue to welcome visitors to the rustic tasting room decorated with Americana memorabilia and plenty of windows to let in natural light. Taking a seat at a table or sidling up to the bar, visitors can sip samples of the red, white, and perpetually embarrassed blush varietals.
Inside Small Plates’ villa of victuals, visitors discover appetite-sating secrets in a menu full of delicious tapas, pizza, and sandwiches. After observing the amber-colored walls and wood floors that lightly complement the browns of chairs and high-backed booths, unfold a miniature trampoline to bounce into a pile of veggie spring rolls served with hoisin, spicy mustard, and plum sauces ($8). Then, snag a Broadway baguette ($8), save the Boursin cheese and roma tomatoes for later, and force-feed yourself a plate of baby-back barbecue ribs with hand-cut fries ($15) or an eight-inch, thin-crust, brick-oven Italian sausage pizza with gorgonzola cheese and caramelized onions ($10). Once your stomach has gotten used to its new guests, sweeten your palate with the signature chocolate chunk cookie sandwich ($7), or with alternating nibbles of cheesecake ($7) and crème brulée ($6).
Per its name, Royal Oak Taste Fest celebrates some of the best local cuisine as well as the chefs behind each food sample on offer. But that might be the only traditional thing about this event. The dishes here hail from the Middle East, Mexico, Italy, and just about everywhere in between. In some ways, it's a Taste of Everywhere?except Greenland, where people only ever eat ice.
The festival extends beyond food too, showcasing art from local retailers and crafters, as well as musicians whose live shows add the soundtrack to the day.