Germania in the Heartland

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Guten Tag, lovelies!

In case you may have know it, I love me some wine and I love me some German culture (HELLO! I’m dating a Kraut) so combining these two loves doesn’t require a trip to Germany. Nope! Just travel southwest of Chicago, pass St. Louis and boom, you’re entering the German Wine Country!

This time we are off to a little slice of Deutschland in the American Heartland; Hermann, Missouri! This darling little town is in the heart of Missouri Wine Country and a town that celebrates and embraces it’s Germanic heritage.

HISTORY LESSON!

Hermann, Missouri was founded in 1836 and…….. actually you can just read this historical marker and learn EVERYTHING about Hermann, Missouri and possibly more than you ever wanted to know.

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Hermann, Missouri and the area surrounding it is more than just beautiful rolling hills. The climate is perfect to grow wine grapes because it’s sheltered creating a microclimate where fertile vineyards thrive.

A mere 90 minute drive from St. Louis, and six hours from Chicago, Hermann is a mecca for wineries, boutique shopping and antique shops. WARNING, this charming town is popular with wine weekends, so brace yourself for the occasional warm of basic bitches named Caitlin (or Caitlyn, Kate-Lynn, etc.) being annoyingly sloshed bynoon. (#blessed) But don’t like that detour you, this town is as charming as you can get!

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First off, drinks are in order. There are so many options to wet your whistle, but if you want history with a dash of cirrhosis, head to the Concert Hall and Barrel Tavern; the oldest operating bar west of the Mississippi!

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To quote the culinary creationist and world famous lush, Sandra Lee “It’s cocktail time!” and I’m not one to pass up a bar without stopping for a drink (or four) plus a stop to the Concert Hall & Barrel Tavern was on my Hermann bucket list. It’s a neat bar, apparently they serve good grub, offers outdoor seating, is super historic, has great prices for boozy delights (compared to Chicago prices) and is a wonderful dive bar packed with tourist and locals alike.

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And what small town wouldn’t offer antique shops? I swear I think Hermann may have more antique shops and boutiques than citizens. The Midwest Trading Post is an absolutely adorable shop with a mix of antiques and new items. Totally unique in it’s offerings, this shop legit can be your shopping destination for everybody in the family, from mom, dad to bae.

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And antiquing we did……………..at low, LOW PRICES! This large decorative planter stein was a steal and after debating for 10 minutes of whether to buy it or not Jared finally caved in. It now lives on our shady back porch and generally filled with impatiens and probably making our neighbors jelly.

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AND CHECK OUT MY HUGE COCK! Who doesn’t need a vintage cake pan in the shape of a chicken? Clearly no one REALLY needs one, but for ten bucks, I needed it in my life, so in my shopping basket it went. Will I ever use it? That’s to be seen but if a poultry-inspired cake is needed in the near future, I am set!

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After all that shopping and calories burned I think we earned ourselves lunch. Now Hermann offers an array of eateries from German restaurants (Vintage Restaurant, Hermann Wurst Haus) comfort food (Hermann Diner, 4th Street Pizza, Harvest Table) and our choice Tin Mill Brewery, since it combined my 3 loves; booze, ethnic food AND repurposed old buildings! Tin Mill Brewery is located in one of the oldest and most recognized landmarks in Hermann, Missouri. First built in the 1840s, the structure was utilized as a grain elevator during the 1800s. Basically it’s historic and neat AF.

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Despite the sausage appearing like an raw organ the meal was DELICIOUS. Rahmschnitzel , German potato salad, red cabbage and sausage. Hey, when in German Wine Country one has to eat like a German, right? Actually I adore some Kraut-ish cuisine plus I had to try the local wine. Stone Hill Winery makes a superb white. You can buy it at the winery itself (and treat yourself to a tour) or you can buy a bottle (or 6 like I did) at the Save A Lot on First Street, right across from the Concert Hall.

Regardless of where you stop to eat, drink or shop, you really can’t strike out in this darling town. A slice of the Germany transplanted west of the Mississippi. Adorable, friendly, boozy AF and oozing with Old World charm, Hermann, offers all the perks of Germany without an expensive flight or rising Neo Nazism.

Prost!

-Anthony & Jared

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