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MOM'S LITTLE BLACK BOOK | Awesome Ottawa Tours

by Kristen Kucharski


We celebrate the dads in our life in the month of June and what better way than to take them on a Brewery Tour in the middle of Starved Rock Country! Awesome Ottawa Tours boasts a plethora of history tours guided by Ottawa’s own Tom Aussem who is rich in knowledge about the finer fascinating details of this small town.

Although it was a tough pick as the Wine Through Time tour was tugging at us strongly, and the Obscure Bike Tour sounded like a unique way to caravan through time; with dads in mind this month, we selected the Brewery Tour at Tangled Roots Brewery, and we plan on returning in October to try the annual haunted tour which partners with the Paranormal Research Institute for a reality experience of its own kind.

The brewery tour started with tasting hops and barley, and we learned the ins and outs of making beer. We were inside and outside, upstairs and downstairs, and saw the kettles, fermenters, washers, and the like, including the bottling line which was reminiscent of Laverne and Shirley and inclusive of our own reenactment of ‘Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!’ because it just had to be sung. We took home souvenir caps, discovered the art brewing, and were engrossed in the history of the building, the owners, and the town, and how it all came together.

Of course, the tour also included a complimentary flight of farm to foam craft beer which was enjoyed with our amazing dinner at Tangled Roots Brewery.

After the tour, Tom shared other highlights of Ottawa and encouraged us to visit Buffalo Rock State Park which overlooks the Illinois River. We enjoyed a short hike, amazing view, and a personal engagement with the three buffalo on the premise that interacted with us and provided many laughs and unexpected memories.

Just a short 52-minute drive from home, it felt like we were a million miles away for the day. Awesome Ottawa Tours provided an engaging afternoon of something unique and different, and we cannot wait to go back for another experience!


Starved Rock Country’s only guided history tours. Seven unique tours to choose from. Drive, bike, walk, hike, brewery, and wine tours.

Awesome Ottawa Tours

624 Court Street, Ottawa, IL

(815) 343-4940 •

Hours: Tours available 7 days a week


Naperville mom Kristen Kucharski graduated from Illinois State University in 1992 with an International Business Degree. She has two energetic daughters and her house is always full of children. Kristen’s column titled, Mom's Little Black Book, is a monthly feature written for moms who are looking for ways to keep their kids busy. Read her past columns at

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