It is hot and I am sapped. Sorry for the silence this week. I haven't covered very many Champaign spots, so today I'm going to cover three great places to get your drink on in Champaign.
1) Leisure Time Pet and Hobby on Mattis: this is the place for your basic beer brewing needs. We normally order beer supplies on-line but if I need a last minute ingredient I can usually find it here. And while you are there you can get a train or pet food. Brilliant!
2) The Esquire: This lovely downtown bar is an excellent place to spend a Friday afternoon watching the Cubs and catching up with friends. It serves the normal deep fried pub grub, but a notch better than usual, and the draft beers have a nice variety. If it is your first time there the toppings (onion, pickle, etc) are near the back of the bar on either side.
3) Alto Vineyards: Just outside Champaign toward Mahomet is Alto Vineyards. All summer long they have a concert series where you can relax near the grapevines to groovy local bands. Wine is by the glass and designated drivers drink for free. The wine shop is a cute little shop with local products and fancy wine trinkets. I fell in love with Alto Vineyards' Chambourcin at the state fair wine tent four years ago. This one is a crowd pleaser and is worth the trip to the winery for a hostess gift.