Hermann, Mo.

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Two good reasons to go to Hermann, Mo.: Wine and beer.

Perhaps there are others, but I don’t know they’d be. The wine and beer were pretty tasty.

I ended up in Hermann, a cute little German town in the Missouri River Valley between Columbia and St. Louis, when I was on vacation with my husband’s family in nearby Innsbrook. Hermann is home to half a dozen wineries and the Tin Mill Brewing Company – with several other wineries and breweries close by.

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We stuck with one of each. After eating lunch at the Wurst Haus (yes, as the family’s lone vegetarian, I could make a joke that it was, indeed, the worst lunch ever) we headed for the Hermannhof Winery in historic downtown Hermann. We took a self-guided tour of the winery (the historic main building and stone cellars are on the National Register of Historic Places) and then headed to the tasting room.

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For $4 each, daughter Katie and two sisters-in-law and I had our choice of wines ranging from dry whites to sweet reds and even a cherry wine mixed with sparkling grape juice – very refreshing. We each tasted five samples and determined that it was pretty darn good. Three out of the four of us walked out with a purchased bottle in hand.

From there, we strolled down First Street to the Tin Mill Brewing Company for more tasting. There Dave and I ordered a sample tray of six of the brewery’s regular and seasonal beers.

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My family made fun of me for taking notes, but because I did, I can tell you that Dave and I both really liked the Red Caboose Amber and the seasonal Lucky’s Hard Rye. The Skyscraper German-style pilsner – one of the most popular year-round brews – was OK but not too exciting. We did not care for the dark Midnight Whistle or the First Street Wheat (way too much clove), and we downright hated the seasonal Tin Mill Dry Hop Pilsner – as you can see by the “after” photo, neither of us could finish it.

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Tin Mill has an Oktoberfest brew I’d love to try – and I’m sure the Oktoberfest events each Saturday in October would be a hoot. The whole downstairs is a giant beer hall.

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