Northfield holds a unique place in my heart. It was my first home away from home for college, and it’s where I did a lot of growing up (and my fair share drinking at the American Legion…don’t judge).
Returning to the town of Cows, Colleges, and Contentment to do one of my favorite things (drink beer) was such a treat. On a rainy day, Tanzenwald’s taproom warmed me up in just the way coming home should.
The taproom, filled with warm light, low conversations, and some woodworking by a friend of mine, made for an easy Sunday afternoon. Tanzenwald marks the fourth restaurant opening of Jenaveve Bell-Pittman, and it’s one of what I’m assuming is innumerable brews by her husband, Steve Pittman. The pair’s experience shone through with great beer, addictive homemade chips, and an exceptional staff.
Along with a smorgasbord of appetizers and sausages, I ordered a flight of impressive beers.
De Minimus Pale Ale (4.6% ABV, 45 IBUs) – a light and crisp pale ale with notes of fresh-cut grass, grapefruit, and lemon
Odd Fellows IPA (6.5% ABV, 40 IBU) – a citrusy IPA with a solid malt backbone
Twisted Sisters Hoppy Brown (6.4% ABV, 40 IBU) – a toasty brown ale with notes of caramel, pine, and citrus
Rye Opener Stout (5.5% ABV, 38 IBU) – a four-grain, rye-heavy stout with notes of black currants and coffee
I stole away Jenaveve for a moment to ask her for life advice. Bringing this question to someone who opened a brewery just a week ago is kind of like asking a brand-new parent when they’re ready for the next one, but the risk was worth it.
Jenaveve told me, “Don’t get worked up about things you can’t change. Through this process, there were a lot of things that were out of my hands. I realized early on I would drive myself crazy if I got worked up about things I couldn’t control. It was hard for me at first, but it translated to a lot of other parts of my life.”
When life takes the reins and you’re left wondering what to do with your hands, just grab a beer.