The genesis of this road trip was a vegan brewery and taproom we found on HappyCow while looking for a destination last week. We had high expectations for a 100% vegan brewery and taproom and we were not disappointed.
The day started off to a rough start. They aren’t many vegan options in or near Rockford, IL. One we found was a co-op which was claimed to have vegan baked goods. We needed something small to tide us over before we arrived at the brewery later. The store was very well stocked and the staff very friendly, but they didn’t have any vegan baked goods or really anything else we wanted to eat for breakfast. We continued on.
A few miles down the road we found a local chain which can best be described as a noodles and company knock off local to IL. It was supposed to have vegan items on the menu. We didn’t find any on the breakfast menu, so we asked the staff. They were not very knowledgeable at all offering us the gluten-free menu when we asked for vegan options. The lunch menu had items labeled, so we got an order of avocado tacos.
Since we still have some time to kill before the brewery opened, we wandered into the Nicholas Conservatory. I felt it was a bit expensive at $6/person for the size. It is much smaller than the Como Conservatory in Saint Paul for example.
A nice selfie under the Indian clock vine. They had a butterfly event which made the $6 entrance fee more reasonable. I enjoyed looking at them and interacting with them. II
I plan on writing more about the conservatory on my garden blog after this trip is over.
Finally! We made it to Pig Minds Brewery. A 100% vegan brewery and taproom. We we excited and arrived just after they opened. There was so many things we wanted to try, so we settled in for a long tasting session. The beer flight above was 10 beers! in 5oz glasses for only $15. We each found one that we enjoyed. Oh yea, the black bean burger above with chipotle aioli was very good. The garlic mac and cheese, not so much.
We ordered both desserts cause, yea, they were both awesome! A detailed review will follow after this trip.
After we sobered up and let our food settle, we decided we need a nap back at the hotel. Later in the evening, we were both still very full and decided to skip dinner. A walk sounded great instead. We stopped to take a picture of the pink elephant on the way.
Beautiful sunset over a small lake in a Madison park. Save for the geese, we nearly had the whole place to our selves. It was a nice way to end the day.
Check back after our trip for more detailed reviews on each of the restaurants.
To see more from the Vegan Road Trip check out Laura’s blog: One Girl, Two Cities.
- Day 1: Laura: Vegan Road Trip: The Raw Deal
- Day 1: Chris: Vegan Road Trip: The Raw Deal – Menomonie, WI
- Day 2: Laura: Vegan Road Trip: Day 2 Recap
- Day 2: Chris: Vegan Road Trip: Day 2
- Day 3: Laura: Road Trip: Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens
- Day 3: Chris: Vegan Road Trip: Day 3
- Day 3: Chris: Mary’s Market Café & Bakery - Rockford, IL
- Day 3: Chris: Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens in Rockford, IL
- Day 3: Chris: Pig Minds Brewing–Machesney Park, IL
- Day 4: Laura: Vegan Road Trip: Pig Minds Brewing
- Day 4: Chris: Vegan Road Trip: Final Day