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Archive for "Events"

ICT Brew Crew

Posted on June 6, 2019 by under Events.    

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Last month I had the pleasure of joining a group of business owners on a tour of the ten breweries we have here in Wichita.

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For weeks I was super excited to go on this adventure with my Friend Jay Dill, who owns The Travel Junkie travel agency. Three days before the event, I developed a cough that I could not get ride of and on the day of the event it was at its worst. It was so bad that I barely got any sleep and I actually slept in another bedroom of our house because I kept waking Ching up.

Regardless, I wasn’t going to miss out on this adventure. I pulled myself together, got me some coffee that morning, and pushed through. I was glad I did because it was a great tour of the breweries. I learned very quickly that not all breweries are the same.

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We started at Aero Plains Brewing in the Delano District. This is one of my favorite breweries due to the delicious Irish Red they brew but you have to be quick as it’s very popular and it tends to sell out very fast.

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From there we moved to Limestone Beer Company, a very small brewery and restaurant. They had several varieties of beer that I was not too fond of but there were others in the group that really liked a Blueberry beer that they had.

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Next up was Nortons, another one of my favorites. Here we got to speak to Dan Norton, the owner. He is very down to earth and humble and takes his brewing very seriously. He believes in producing quality beer for everyone while still exploring a wide variety of flavors. Plus, he has some outstanding food available, Bacon Crack is one of my favs and I can’t go here without getting some. My wife an I frequent Nortons because the atmosphere is great and they have live shows in their outside space from time to time.

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Wichita Brewing was next. This one was on the West side of town. By now everyone was feeling pretty good and we had a tight schedule that we were, amazingly enough, keeping to. Wichita Brewing is another of my favorites as they have an excellent food menu, great pizza, and their 502 Amber is pretty tasty as well.

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We stopped for lunch at Augustino Brewing and had the pleasure of eating some Noble House Hawaiian food. This was my first time trying Noble House and I have to say that it was pretty tasty. Augustino makes some good beer as well and his brewery is actually set up nicely.

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River City Brewing Company is one of the original breweries in Wichita. They have been doing it for a long time and, at one point, had set the bar as far as breweries in town go. They have another Amber beer that I like (you can see where my beer tastes lean) and they also have a great menu available. Ching loves the food there.

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Third Place Brewing is a tiny little spot just downtown, located right next to an old-fashioned barber shop called the Artestry Lounge. You can stop here, get your hair cut, then walk next door for a cold one.

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Hopping Gnome has been a mainstay in Wichita for some time now. They offer a variety of beers and even have specials events when they tap a new flavor. Again, it’s a small venue so get there early if you want to sit somewhere.

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We jumped across the street and had some snacks and a few more beers at Central Standard Brewing. This is not one of my favorite places, as their beers are a little out there for me, but I love the location, all of the outdoor seating, and they have food trucks roll in all the time. It’s a great place to meet up with friends and again, come early as there is always a crowd.

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Just down the street from there was the PourHouse from Walnut River Brewing. They have, hands down, my favorite beer! I usually have at least a six pack or two in my fridge at all times. I’m working up to getting a kegerator so I can have it on tap in my basement bar and, yes, I would drink a keg if allowed. The PourHouse is one of the newer Breweries in town; however, Walnut River is not new to the brewing game. PourHouse offers a wide variety of food and an excellent selection of Walnut River’s beer.

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Finally, we wrapped up the evening with a trip back to Aero Plains Brewing. Since I wasn’t feeling well, I really didn’t go beyond the small tasters that they offered so I wasn’t as plastered as some of the others. All of the participants with the exception of me had drivers, Ubers or Lyfts waiting. Since I started the day under the weather and I was more into seeing the workings of the breweries, I drove myself. However, I had at least two backup plans just in case. My wife was waiting for a call from me as she offered to Uber over to get me when she was done with her class and my cuz offered to come and get me as well and drive me and my car back home. So I was well cared for no matter what state of mind I happened to be in.

All in all, it was an excellent event that I was very honored to be a part of. I met a lot of very cool people and got to learn more, not only about the local breweries, we have but I got to learn more about the local businesses and the people that own them.

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P.S. If you’d like to schedule your own brew tour, hit it up the awesome folks at Brew Wagon Tours.

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Y Takeover at Chicken N Pickle

Posted on May 28, 2019 by under Events, Zumba.    

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The YMCA had their first Y Takeover event and it was massively successful. It was held at Chicken N Pickle on May 19 and involved several Zumba and Sh’Bam (another type of dance fitness workout) instructors.

First of, most people are probably already familiar with Zumba but not quite sure what Sh’Bam is or how it differs. When people ask me what Sh’Bam is, I often tell them it’s just a different flavor of dance fitness much like Zumba. It’s basically the Les Mills branded version. There are other slight differences though.

Here are a few of them:

1) Here in Wichita our Sh’Bam classes typically last an hour like Zumba but as I’m doing research, it sounds like 45-minute Sh’Bam classes are more common. As for Zumba, classes are typically 55-60 minutes.

2) Zumba uses various genres of music from all over the world but has a lot of Latin music influence. Sh’Bam primarily uses more popular music. Brian has never set foot in a Sh’Bam class but, after the Y Takeover event, he confessed to me that he actually prefers the Sh’Bam music selection. If you listen to the radio a lot, then you’ll probably find Sh’Bam music more relatable. As for someone like me, who doesn’t really listen to the radio (except for NPR), I go for danceable tunes and there’s an abundance of them in both formats.

3) The Sh’Bam instructor certification process is much more rigorous than the Zumba Basic 1 training so you’re less likely to run into a Sh’Bam instructor who isn’t very good. The Zumba process isn’t a certification so pretty much anyone who completes the Basic 1 training is licensed to teach classes. That said, I never have to worry about the quality of the Zumba instructors in town because we have some of the best ones in Wichita. Plus, the market really takes care of this situation.

4) Zumba has better name recognition than Sh’Bam. Almost everyone know what Zumba is whereas people usually don’t know what Sh’Bam is. Zumba does a really good job marketing their brand by partnering with movie producers and artists to get the brand out there. Even people who don’t take Zumba classes know what it is or at least have heard of Zumba. Unless you’re a Les Mills person or have taken Sh’Bam at some point, you won’t know what it is.

5) Another big difference is the gym carries an additional expense to be able to offer Sh’Bam. With Zumba there is no additional cost to the gym because the instructors are paying monthly membership fees to Zumba for the license (right) to teach classes. With Sh’Bam not only are instructors paying fees but the gym also has to pay fees to Les Mills for the right to offer the format. It’s kind of a double hit.

Anyway, now that you know the difference between Zumba and Sh’Bam you can tell they’re very similar and as such it made a lot of sense to have a combo event. The event at Chicken N Pickle was basically just a massive dance party alternating between Zumba and Sh’Bam.

Here’s a clip of Sarah, backed by Rose and Jessie, kicking off the dance party with a fun warmup. The clips below are also from their set.

It was a beautiful day for a dance party and we had such a great turnout.

Here are a few more videos from the event. The video above is of Aimee with Amy and Francie as her backup instructors.

This next one features Melissa with Todd and Brynden backing her up.

Here’s a clip Brian got of Vi’s Sh’Bam set.

Lastly, here are some videos of our set led by Charis with me and Amanda as her backups. The video above features Peligrosa and the one below is Little More.

This next one is Firehousee, a class favorite. Brian a great video, making his way through the crowd. We had such a blast leading these songs!

Here are a few of my favorite pics from the event.

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Amanda, Charis, and Me

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With Sam, one of our devoted class regulars

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With Melissa below

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Brynden, Melissa, and Todd

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Amanda, Rose, Charis, Jessie, and Me

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Same group this time with Sarah in the middle

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Brian and Brynden

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The three of us this time

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Hideki and Me

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Charis, Hideki, and Me

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And just a few more pics…

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This was such a fun event. And, very well-attended. I hope that we get to do it again soon before Fall/Winter season.

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If you’ve never been to Chicken N Pickle, I highly recommend it. It’s such a cool hangout spot. There’s plenty of stuff to do, including free yard games. The huge complex is also pet-friendly so you can bring the whole family!

I’m so grateful that we now have a Chicken N Pickle in Wichita and I’m grateful that I got to be part of such a wonderful community event. Until next time. GNG.

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2019 Memory Gala

Posted on May 26, 2019 by under Events.    

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My friend Tammie invited us to attend a fancy party at Mark Arts last month for the Alzheimer’s Association. Brian knew Leo would be there and he refused to dress up. It worked out alright for me because I didn’t have time to buy an evening dress.

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It would have been weird if he was in a tux and I was just in a regular dress so we were both somewhat relaxed in our attire that night.

Here are a few pics from that evening:

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The Boot Hill Distillery tasting station offered tastes of their vodka, gin, and two kinds of whiskey.

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Here’s a picture of dinner.

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Since it was our first time attending, we didn’t know what to expect. It was a very nice event over all. It was a real shame we couldn’t stay for the dance party after. We had to go to Dillons to get some supplies for the lunch we were hosting at our house the next day. It worked out because Brian’s didn’t want to dance anyway.

That’s pretty much it for the Memory Gala. I wish we would have taken more pics. Until next time. GNG.

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Society of 1895 Luncheon

Posted on May 1, 2019 by under Events.    

I thought now that I’m not longer working in Kansas City, I’d finally be able to make it to one of these. No such luck.

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Brian had to attend by himself again (for the third year in a row).

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On the plus side, he ran into one of my Rotary friends there. Here he is with Tony Durano (above pic). Brian is always really good about taking pics at the event to make me feel like I’m there.

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The food looked good.

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I hope to make it to one of these luncheons one of these days. GNG.

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PourHouse ICT

Posted on March 22, 2019 by under Events, Food and Drink.    

Brian and I finally got a chance to check out Walnut River Brewing’s new taproom in downtown Wichita. We were there last month for my Rotary club’s final Thursday social. It happens on the final Thursday of each month and we usually support local businesses in the Andover area. Lately we’ve been making our rounds to support all of the breweries that participated in last year’s Haus of Brews (our club’s annual fundraising event).

Here are a few pictures from that evening.

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This is a selfie of me and Alison, our current club president.

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Alison with her husband and one of her boys, Josh and his son, and Mark digging into a chicken wing.

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The socials are a great opportunity for our club members and their families to get together while supporting local businesses.

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As an added bonus, we also got to watch our local college basketball team, the Wichita State Shockers, play.

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The PourHouse took over the old space that Mumbai Rail (also known as The Rail) used to occupy. I’d never been upstairs before then but it’s really neat. They have a cool stairwell in the middle connecting the two levels.

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Not only do they serve great beer, they also have delicious cocktails.

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Walnut River makes Warbeard, Brian’s favorite beer. As you can tell, he is very happy in this photo. Cheers!

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Here’s picture with our friend Darrin Hackney, who manages PourHouse ICT for Walnut River Brewing.

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Anyway, Brian and I liked the PourHouse so much that we decided to return the following week. Here are some pictures from our follow up visit.

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I liked the Scotch Eggs but Brian didn’t like them as much. Granted, they aren’t as good as the deep-fried deviled eggs that they used to serve at BRGR in Kansas City, but I thought they were pretty good.

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Brian really liked the pretzels with the Warbeard queso. It’s interesting because he likes the pretzels at Wichita Brewing Company better but he likes the queso at the PourHouse better. Out of everything we ate on our second visit to the PourHouse, this is what he enjoyed most.

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I liked that they split our burger in half for us. Because we had a couple of starters, neither of us really wanted to eat that much. Splitting a burger was perfect.

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You can’t go to the PourHouse and not drink some drinks! So, of course, I had a couple. This one is called Jen’s 87.

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The blue one you saw pictured above that I tried on our first visit, when we were there with the Andover Rotary Club, is called Float Trip.

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They do “table sharing” at the PourHouse and it didn’t take long before we made friends with our table mates. By the way, the green shirt I’m wearing in the photo is a special St. Patrick’s Day shirt they were selling for $5 which is a pretty good deal if you ask me. They only had mediums left so Brian and I both got the same size. We only got one for me at first because I didn’t think the medium size would fit Brian. It was disappointing because the shirts were such a good deal. Anyway, he thought could manage squeezing into a medium so he tried mine on then and there just to prove me wrong. Amazingly, the shirt fit so we got him one too.

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Here’s Brian with the shirt on and a look of “I told you so” on his face. LOL.

We didn’t actually get to wear our fun Warbeard St. Patrick’s Day shirts on St. Patty’s Day together because I was flying to Austin on March 17. I made us wear them the day before when we went to see Captain Marvel, though. I think most people celebrated on Saturday anyway so it worked out.

Anyway, be sure to go check out the PourHouse! It’s a really neat place with great beer and great drinks!

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