NE Mpls Taproom Adventures {And a New Brewery in Town!}

Standard

Happy Thirsty Thursday!

First off, I lied. Last week, I said I’d tell you about our spontaneous trip to another brewery after visiting Northgate a couple of months ago. But I’m going to change gears this week instead…

Because my brother and his family visited last weekend!

And I really want to tell you all about the Belated Birthday Brewery Tour we concocted for him and his wife! We love taking out-of-towners to visit our breweries. {Wanna visit?!} But we also had some of our own “firsts” on this taproom tour – including a brand spanking new brewery!

There are at least thirty craft breweries in the Twin Cities metro area now; so how does one choose which ones to hit? There is no way you can do them all! This 17-Brewery Crawl seems a little obnoxious. Rob and I even learned that six breweries may be too many to fully enjoy yourself.

Mpls

{photo by D}

 ~

Here is how we narrowed it down:

  • Pick a Favorite – Start there when your palate is fresh. If you don’t have a favorite MSP brewery, ask around. Dangerous Man is ours. What also makes this brewery a great stop – they do not sell their beer outside of their brewery. You won’t find the beer in any restaurants, bars or liquor stores. You have to come to the source.
  • Stick to One Area – There are several breweries in a five-mile radius of each other in NE Minneapolis. Yes, our focus was Nordeast. We’ll change that up one day…
  • Concentrate on Just a Few – Only expect to hit two to four. This all depends on how much you are liking the beer at one stop or if you are just interested in changing things up. I think the magic number for a nice afternoon is three. Six? Probably too many, even with a designated driver.
  • Be Flexible – Your afternoon may turn into one of ideas, especially if one or two in your crew are sucking down the suds quickly. You might come up with a great place to eat! Someone might think of another brewery unbeknownst to others. Or you might decide to check out some dive bars instead. Whatever happens, don’t stick to a rigid schedule. Instead, go with the flow. It’s sooooo much more fun that way.

Here are our latest Nordeast Minneapolis brewery adventures!

1) Dangerous Man

Of course this is our first stop! We want the best beers to be tasted first. Do you want to know what was was even cooler about this visit? We arrived right when they opened – at noon. This means we were able to secure our first ever Dangerous Man growler!

IMG_2752 (1)

It’s funny… We have so many growlers now; but this one is going to be the most coveted. You see, Dangerous Man only offers about 20 to 30 growlers a day because they brew in such small batches. Growlers have always been sold out when we go. But this time, we got to take our very own Chocolate Milk Stout home.

As much as I love the beer at Dangerous Man, they have delicious sodas, too. After my run that morning, I said to Rob, “Mmm… I don’t know why, but I’m craving ginger today!”

He looked at me quizzically. I, too, thought it was weird. I can’t ever say that I’ve had that craving before. So when the gal behind the bar said that their homemade soda of the day was Ginger Peach, I was up on it. What I love about DM’s sodas is that they are sweet enough to make it taste like a soda should, but not thick, syrupy sweet. This one was so refreshing.

Ginger peach handcrafted soda

Ginger Peach Homemade Soda

My brother’s wife D isn’t a beer drinker. But you don’t have to be to enjoy many breweries, especially on a beautiful day like it was on May 9th! And it was at Dangerous Man that D had her first ever kombucha! Yes, this fermented tea from Prohibition is all the rage. This one was also made with ginger.

Ginger-infused Kombucha

Ginger-infused Kombucha

It was delightful, but may be an acquired taste for some. The boys decided they’d rather stick to their beer.

For the record, JR’s fave DM beer was the Rooibos Red Ale. Yes, that’s right, this beer gets it red color from rooibos tea. The tea also adds earthy and floral notes to the flavor.

At this point, the food truck outside was calling our names… Carrie! Rob! JR! D!

No, that didn’t really happen; but looking at Butcher Salt‘s menu online was enough for us to decide to have lunch NOW and not give the next potential food truck a second glance for our main meal.

This was D’s first food truck experience!

me & d

{photo by D}

Here’s what we ordered from the friendly and helpful gals from the truck:

  • JR: Topped Hash Browns – hash browns | bacon | pepper jack | rosemary | sautéed peppers + onions + tomatoes | over easy egg – $8.50
  • D: Grilled Caprese – mozzarella | tomatoes | basil | balsamic – $8.50
IMG_2756

Grilled Caprese & Butcher Salt Sliders

I should start by explaining what Butcher Salt is… because I didn’t know until I researched it just now. From Butcher Salt’s website:

Butcher Salt is an inspired blend of sea salt infused with rosemary, sage, thyme, and marjoram. It’s our new take on classic street fare.

That’s why it looked like there was a black salt or dark spice of some sort in our luscious caramels! Mmm…

JR liked the Hash Browns just fine, but he could have done without the peppers.

Rob and I split our sandwiches. I thought the Sliders were just okay, kind of blah; but Rob loved them.

But the star of the day was the Grilled Caprese. We all agreed that it is possibly the best Grilled Cheese we’d ever had. I’ve had a something similar before, but without flavor. That was not the case here! It was cheesy, gooey and had a perfect balance of basil and balsamic flavor that was not overpowering, all pressed between perfectly grilled bread. I can’t imagine ordering anything else. Although, if it were available, I know that the guys would have wanted the Candied Maple Bacon. Alas, such was not the case.

Roundabout

{photo by D}

That’s perhaps the tiniest roundabout in the world. Is there anyone who’d like to challenge me on that one? 😉

Then, there is someone’s genius yard sign that points directions to various breweries and taverns in Nordeast:

sign

{photo by D}

Mental Note: We were headed in the right direction.

~

2) Indeed Brewing

IMG_2758

This is usually the second stop in our NE brewery tour for newbies because there is always something unconventional on tap. This time – LSD, an ale brewed with Lavender, Sunflower Honey and Dates. This is one you’ll either love or hate. I happen to love it.

Here, we also scored a seat on the patio!

Indeed hands

{photo by D}

 

D was grateful that they sell the flavored NA beverage San Pellegrino, which Rob and I affectionately call San Pay. We discovered a new flavor here, too: Pomegranate-Orange. I love that our fave bartender offered her a glass. It felt all fancy-like.

With two seafood allergies in the group, we were grateful we had lunched on Butcher Salt at Dangerous Man because a seafood-heavy Hibachi Daruma was the food truck parked at Indeed. That didn’t stop us from trying some nom-nommy pork potstickers, though!

So where would our third stop be? At this point in our NE Taproom Tour, we gauge that on our guests. What beers do we notice they enjoy? What scene suits them best? Or did we want to try something completely new? No matter what, we always have Insight and Northgate as solid backups.

They opted for something new to ALL of us!

~

3) 56 Brewing

I found 56 Brewing online when I was looking for NE Minneapolis breweries. I knew that there were a few new ones in the area! It took a while to find it with a bridge out and some construction, but we finally located it tucked amidst a bunch of warehouses near the railroad tracks and Pedal Pub headquarters.

We had to follow signs to the back. Rob said that as we pulled up everyone was staring, thinking, “Do we know those people?”

IMG_2759

That’s exactly what it felt like at first… But it also felt like some friends opened up their garage door to serve us some brew.

{photo by D}

  Complete with brewery dog running around!

56 Brewing had just opened one week prior! To be fair, this is a brewery; but not a true taproom. They cannot sell pints. They can only offer samples and sell growlers. Samples?! Yes, please!

IMG_2760

I just love the names of these beers. On our way to Nordeast Minneapolis that day, I explained to JR and D the Polish influence in the area. I like that 56 Brewing takes pride in their community history. Check out the names!

  • Lake Sandy Rye – a rye lager named after a lake that is only labeled on maps of the area prior to 1900!
  • NE Nectar – a kolsh made with local honey.
  • Polonaise APA Polonaise is the French word for “Polish” and one of the five national dances of Poland.
  • Dark Territory – Dark Territory is a railroad term – very appropriate for the location of this brewery and this stout.

JR loved the Polonaise APA enough to purchase a grolwer. Rob and I filled one with the Dark Territory Dark Chocolate Coconut Stout. Yes, you read that right. One of the gals told us that she toasts the coconut in the oven before she adds it to the brew. That Dark Territory has so much promise. Rob and I will attest that it stands up to any stout we’d had at Dangerous Man. Yes, that good.

So we had to ask. “Why 56?” We were given this answer:

IMG_2761

56 Brewing is the first Community Supported Brewery in Minnesota. What is that? You can read more about that here. In addition, 56 uses sustainable, locally sourced brewing practices keeping in mind what is best for the community. You can buy a membership and fill up with a growler every week or month.

We all loved getting to try a new brewery right at its very beginning! I am so glad that JR and D were open to trying something new.

Still, since we didn’t get a true sit-down, taproom experience on that stop, the group decided it was time to go to just one more brewery. Because it was a beautiful day, we went in search of a brewery that we’d heard was known for its outdoor space.

4) Bauhaus Brew Labs

IMG_2767

Rob and I hadn’t been here yet, if only because the beers on their menu never seemed to match our personal preferences.

IMG_2769

JR ordered a pint of the Über Düber Hoppy Bock. Rob got the Midwest Coast SkyFive! which he said was solid and would order it again.

Nothing was standing out to me, so D and opted for the Whistler Classic Soda:

IMG_2770

D had orange while I sucked down one of the best cherry colas I’ve ever had! It’s right up there with Sprecher. I don’t drink soda very often; but when I do, it’s got to be a specialty one. I hadn’t heard of Whistler Sodas; but they come right out of our very own Forest Lake, MN!

It was such a freaking beautiful day! JR and D were now fascinated with the food trucks at each stop. At Bauhaus, they couldn’t resist Gastro Truck and their Grass Fed Beef Brisket with Horseradish Aioli & Greens!

IMG_2773

Before departing, JR decided to go with a flight of their year-round beers. This was his birthday gift after all…

IMG_2774

I love how each of the beers at Bauhaus is assigned a color. This makes it easy to recognize which beer you have if you pick it up in cans or see a tap handle at a bar or restaurant. After that flight, we were off…

Until… Someone decided that we should have one more pint…

5) Northgate Brewing

I had only had one beer all day, so I was happy to finish our tour off with a Maggie’s Leap Sweet Stout. JR ordered a Stock Ale on nitro. I don’t know why that didn’t sound very interesting to me; but I’m so glad he ordered it. I loved it and was highly impressed with how smooth it is. Now I go back to Northgate’s website and find the description:

We saved some of the stock ale we used to blend in with our Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Ale and put it on Nitro. Creamy deliciousness.

You had me at Bourbon Barrel and I didn’t even know it.

~

So while I said that six breweries in one afternoon or evening is probably way too many, we did five that day. But consider the fact that not all of us drank at every brewery. We left the indulging to the Belated Birthday Boy! Besides, breweries generally have something interesting for your designated driver or that person who just really doesn’t like beer.

In any case, it was time to get back to the kiddos and take the real birthday boy, who was turning 15, out for some burgers and bacon!

What are your favorite places to take out of town guests?

Cheers~
Carrie

Advertisements

8 responses »

  1. Pingback: HammerHeart Brewing | Season It Already!

  2. Pingback: Thirsty Thursday: The One South of the River | Season It Already!

  3. Pingback: coup d’etat – Food & Paint | Season It Already!

  4. Pingback: The Football | Season It Already!

  5. Pingback: Brunch, Then Beer – All the Wins + One Fail | Season It Already!

  6. Pingback: Modist Brewing | Season It Already!

  7. Pingback: Family in Town {Last Year!} | Season It Already!

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s