I don't exactly know when, how or why it happened, but in the past five years, my hometown of Minneapolis has seen an explosion of craft breweries.

Every time I make the trip back, my friends and I spend at least one night hopping from one brewery patio to the next, throwing back flights, hitting on tattooed bartenders and playing eclectic games like feather bowling.  Did I mention you can bring your dog?

I always find myself wishing that Rockford had more craft breweries- small tap rooms along the banks of the Rock River where you can share a pint with friends, enjoy cozy conversations in the lounge and feast on foods from food truck favorites. Doesn't that sound amazing?

Can we start by bringing Rock Cut Brewing Company to Rockford? Unfortunately, you won't find this brewery along the trails and bluffs of Rock Cut State Park; but we wish we could. This brewery, named one of the "best places to get a pint after after visiting America's finest national parks", features 12 tap beers, food trucks, a dog friendly patio, beautiful views of Lumpy Ridge and they even let you bring your own food. Can we say slow cooker?

Plus, when you drink select IPAs a dollar is donated to a local charity.

Catch Mandy James on “The Steve Shannon Show with Mandy James” on 97 ZOK from 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Follow her on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

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