Were it on almost any other weekend, I would have been at the Bloomington Craft Beer Festival. But since it was the weekend of my wife's birthday (and my own as well), a weekend of hanging with beer geeks was not in the cards. To celebrate our birthdays, we opted to head to Franklin, home of the Willard.
For those who have never been, the Willard is a restaurant located next to the Artcraft theater, just a half block from the courthouse square. The Willard is one part college bar, one part midwest small town bar, and one part family restaurant. It is located in a century's old building that used to be home to a hotel.
For my wife and I, we go partially for the memories (she is a Franklin College alum) and partially for the pizza. They serve a thin crust pizza with finely ground sausage and plenty of cheese. It's along the lines of a Muncie-based Pizza King, only better. They also have a fine selection of sandwiches, appetizers, and Mexican foods. The onion rings, nachos, breaded mushrooms, and breaded fried pepperjack cheese cubes. And all at very reasonable prices.
The beer selection is a mixed bag. Given the number of college students and blue collared types, it's not surprising that Bud, Miller, and Coors are readily available. But their beer list (categorized good, better, and best) includes a number of quality beers from breweries like Sun King, Upland, Bells, and New Belgium.
On this particular day, I was looking for something that is appropriate for summer, pizza, and fried foods. I've been on a not-so-hoppy kick recently, so lagers and wheats have been high on my list. I opted for a Bells Oberon, a seasonal wheat beer with low hops, low fruits, and high crispness. I'm not one that counts the days until the first Oberon of the season is available; there are plenty of other wheats that are as good (or better) than Oberon an available year-around. I count Upland Wheat amongst those. But there is nothing wrong with this refreshing beer. I will never complain when I'm drinking this.