Category Archives: Beer

Butcher & the Boar

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On that beautiful afternoon last August when we took my mom down Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis, we decided to take a little walk further. Rob and I hadn’t yet been to The Butcher and the Boar, but we had heard that it had a fantastic patio. We had to wait a bit in a line outside because it wasn’t quite yet open.

¬†As you may guess, Butcher and the Boar is all about the meat! The outdoor patio is huge and meant for a crowd. It’s a little oasis downtown.

And I’m guessing they are dog friendly. ūüėČ The poster below shows the weekly dog event last summer! I’m not sure if it is going on again this year… But if I lived much closer, I’d probably be there!

Butcher & the Boar is known for their chef-crafted meats. In the Twin Cities, you can find their sausages in some of the local grocery stores! We ran the gamut on our choices that day…

To be quite honest, I don’t remember if that was a sausage or a brat or what, but I’m guessing Rob ordered it! Their menu changes all of the time, so what we ate last August might not be available now anyway.

I’m guessing this is what my mom ordered. She loves a good burger! But I could be wrong, maybe Mom got the sausage and Rob the burger. All I know is that they both loved their meats!

I have no idea why I chose wings. I’m not really a wing person, but they must have sounded good at the time. Though I don’t remember why, I do remember that they were a little disappointing. Carrie, next time get the real meat! I remember also enjoying some local craft beers and ciders and that Bourbon was a big deal here as well.

Looking at these photos has me wanting to get back to the Butcher and the Boar soon. Anyone want to join us?!

What’s your favorite meat of choice?

Cheers~
Carrie

Family in Town {Last Year!}

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I wrote most of this post last August, but never published it! ¬†I changed nothing, but added the end… Enjoy!

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Written 8/31/16…

I have been anxiety-ridden for about the past month. I always thought I dealt fairly well with change, but apparently not! Luckily, my mom came to visit me for a week. Having family in town distracted me from thinking (or feeling frozen) too much.

You know your mom loves you when she comes to visit you for a week, without a car, even when you have to work!

Why did she not have a car? Because the first weekend, my brother and Co. dropped her off. We had a lovely time, but unfortunately, I didn’t get any photos of the usual stuff – like playing poker or taking our annual trip to Burger Jones.

However, for some reason we decided to capture the moment my brother introduced all of his home brews! I find the expressions in these photos funny, so I thought I’d share them with you:

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My brother has a decade+ long obsession with duct tape. That’s why labeling his bottles with such is so fitting! I was quite impressed by his brews. We are looking forward to trying more in the future.

While our dogs both have really taken to all four of the kids, for some reason, Sham usually will end up hanging with Max.
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The kids had their usual swimming and MOA time, but we had a bit of adult time, too. We didn’t take JR on an afternoon-long brewery tour like we did for his birthday that one time, but we did introduce him to the one not too far from us that had finally arrived south of the the river – Nutmeg. Let me tell you, they have really upped their game since the first time I posted. There are new brewers that craft some exceptional beers in the smallest room possible. The food is exceptional… and there are even cocktails on the menu now.

This photo of her cocktail and a Nutmeg brew is courtesy of my brother’s wife, D. I like how she¬†got the photo of Rob’s and my noses almost touching!

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My mom really likes those keg lights hanging from the ceiling^^. And we have to say, dessert there is divine, too. But there is a total disagreement on which dessert is better, the Porter Brownie Sundae or the Amber Toffee Cake.

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The reason I never finished that post was that I had more to say. I often try to put too much into one post and then it never gets published! I need to remember to break things up. What I wanted to add was more of what happened that week with my mom!

For example, on a beautiful afternoon, we took her to Nicollet Mall to enjoy some of our favorites: such as a Cheese Toastie on the rooftop of Brit’s Pub while watching Lawn Bowling, a pint of cider or a Big Ginger at The Local and these Brie Curds with Blueberry Ketchup at The News Room:

It was such a lovely day that day (I remember it well!) that we took a little walk to a hip outdoor patio to which Rob and I had not yet been. I’ll leave that one for another post. ūüėČ

Better late then never, right?

What photos have brought back wonderful memories to you lately?

Cheers~
Carrie

 

Sea Salt – I Felt Like I Was on Vacation

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It was my turn to pick a location for Girls Dinner Night Out this past weekend. Because Rob was out of town, I was feeling seafood! Can you believe I’ve lived in the Twin Cities for 15 years now and I’d never been to Sea Salt Eatery?! Sea Salt Eatery is located in Minnehaha Park right near Minnehaha Falls – a destination I recommend to everyone visiting the Twin Cities!

Sea Salt Eatery is open approximately April through October. You know, those times we Minnesotans just want to be OUTSIDE! The menu focuses mostly on seafood, much of it fried.

I have read that there is always a line, but it’s worth the wait. You order your food and drinks (beer and wine, too!) at the counter, where you pay and get a number. Go find a seat and enjoy the outdoors. The food may take some time, but relax! And if you need another beverage, you don’t have to get back in line. There is a beverage-only counter as well. We were lucky to have a little live music to add to our ambiance that evening.

I truly didn’t feel like we were dining out in Minneapolis. I felt like we were on vacation, enjoying the sunshine, relaxing and trying some of the local cuisine. {Of course, only the sunshine and relaxation were true!}

The food was great!

Fried Bay Scallop Tacos

Kim was smart and asked which were the best tacos on the menu and the reply was either the Fried Fish or Fried Scallop Tacos. These two little tacos may not look like much, but Kim said they were very filling!

Steamed Shrimp Tacos

I was a little jealous after seeing Kim’s Scallop Tacos because they were topped with a creamy, yummy-looking sauce. My Steamed Shrimp Tacos looked boring. But they fooled me because my tacos were not dry – there was tons of flavor there!

Jen ordered the Crabcake Basket (not pictured) which came with a corn salsa on the side that she found a bit spicy. There were diced up jalapenos in there! And to share, Kim ordered us the Crab-Stuffed Avocado.

Crab Stuffed Avocado

Wash it all down with local beer and cider and we were ready to walk by and enjoy the falls. This summer, get thee to Minnehaha Falls. Climb those stairs! We aren’t getting any younger! Then stop for a bite at Sea Salt Eatery. Even if you haven’t left town, you just might feel like you are vacation, too.

What local places near you make you feel relaxed and on vacation?

Cheers~
Carrie

Paddle Hard Brewing

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Happy Thirsty Thursday!

 

Not to be confused with Bent Paddle Brewing in Duluth, Minnesota, we tested our pooches out on the patio of Paddle Hard Brewing in Grayling, Michigan on the way to visit Rob’s parents.

Again, they did really well! Just a quick loud bark when another dog walked by… We have yet to find out what it will be like if another dog is lingering in the patio area with us. In that picture with Shamrock on the right above is a little travel collapsible water bowl. This is helpful when a dog-friendly patio doesn’t have a water bowl on offer for its furry patrons or if the bowl is on the other side of the patio!

It was a beautiful day!

We tasted a flight of brews…

Top Row (left to right): Paddle Hard Cold Brew Vanilla Brown Ale, Left Foot Charley Cinnamon Cider, Hideout Peanut Butter Chocolate Porter. Bottom Row (left to right): Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree Imperial IPA, New Holland Night Tripper Imperial Stout, Short’s Goodnight Bodacious Double Black IPA

Obviously, they offer guest beers as well as their own. And you can choose any to add to your flight!

We also had a bite to eat:

Quinoa Salad – Fresh quinoa, roasted red peppers, crumbled feta, green onion, banana peppers, tomato, zucchini, and dill, placed on baby spinach, served with vinaigrette with homemade garlic flatbread – $8

The salad was good, but not as good as the the Power Grain Bowl¬†from Morgan’s Farm to Table¬†and Ancient Grain Salad¬†from Vivo Kitchen – two of my favorite quinoa-based salads in the Twin Cities. This one could have used some chicken or something with a bit more flavor, despite all that dill. The homemade “garlic flatbread” just tasted like pita bread that had been grilled and sprinkled with parmesan cheese.

BLT Pizza – Homemade garlic butter sauce, cheddar/mozz cheese blend, topped with bacon, cheddar cheese, chopped romaine, tomato, and mayo homemade garlic butter sauce, baby spinach, artichoke, sliced Roma tomatoes, mozz/cheddar blend – $9

Rob loved this pizza! Such a nice buttery crust with great BLT flavors. Even with lettuce on this pizza, he was not going to leave any leftovers behind – they came with us.

Now that we know the dogs seem to do well in public places, it’s nice to know we can stop when they are allowed! Paddle Hard Brewing‘s slogan: “Life’s Short. Paddle Hard!”

Do you have any favorite dog-friendly hangouts?

Cheers~
Carrie

5 for Friday: St. Patrick’s Day Edition!

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Taking a break from the books this week since it’s St. Paddy’s Day! I’m not Irish, but sometimes I celebrate like I am. ūüôā

Here are 5 of my St. Paddy’s Day Faves:

  1. Food:

    • Creamy Reuben Soup – I made this for the first time on Wednesday. My husband devoured nearly 3 bowls of it! (For the record, I loved it, too.) Okay, so Reubens are not technically Irish, but the corned beef and sauerkraut (cabbage), makes me feel like Reubens kind of are… ¬†Besides, a local bar always makes a version that Rob always dreams of this time of year. I wanted to see if I could do it justice. The verdict? This one might be better. Make it no!¬†Side Note: I never really had a Reuben sandwich until I met Rob. He and his parents always ordered them when we ate out!
    • Corned Beef and Cabbage – Truth be told, this is not a traditional Irish dish either! It’s more Irish-American. This was our go-to recipe every year, a few years back. I don’t think I’ll be making it again, though. The Soup has won out for eternity.
    • Irish Bread – I think Irish Soda Bread might be Irish-American, too. I don’t remember ever having that when I was in Ireland.I do miss their brown bread, though! Maybe I’ll have to try whip up a batch of that next year. Anyone have a fave recipe?
  2. Drinks:

    • Guinness – People think that Guinness is such a heavy beer because it is dark and maybe also because of the foamy head.¬†While it may be heavier than the lager you are drinking, Guinness really isn’t as think or full-bodied as you¬†may¬†think it is. There are several stouts that have much more flavor and richness than Guinness. So give it a try! Sometimes, I’ll drink a Guinness when I want something lighter – it has so¬†fewer¬†calories than many other beers! Plus, there are so many concoctions you can make, including the Black Velvet in this post.
    • Whiskey – I’m not much of a whiskey drinker, but my husband and friend Jen tend to like Johnny Jump Ups (a shot of whiskey in cider). But we did do a tasting while in Ireland. So much fun!
    • Irish Sangria – Want something a little nontraditional and fit for the beautiful weather we are supposed to have this weekend? Try the Irish Sangria in my Sangria post!
  3. Entertainment:

    • Irish Music – You can’t easily¬†find trad¬†in the U.S. but when you do, especially on this special day, it’s wonderful. We love the music at St. Paul’s FREE Irish Fair every August. And we go to see¬†the¬†non-traditional, but always fun Gaelic Storm whenever they are in town!
  4. Memories:

    • My friend Jen and I started a tradition when we backpacked Europe after college to find an Irish Pub in every country. My husband and I carry on this tradition to this day whenever we travel like we did here, here, here,¬†here, here and here.
    • Almost two¬†of those 10 weeks¬†backpacking in¬†Europe backpacking were spent in Ireland. I was most at peace in Dingle. I still remember that day and the calm I felt on the boat while in search of a the view of Fungie¬†the dolphin. Although, hanging with my friend Colm in¬†Dublin and Dundalk¬†was wicked fun!
    • Then we took a family trip to Ireland with Rob’s parents in 2012. Here’s a link to my last post¬†about that wonderful¬†trip. If you scroll down to the bottom of that post, you’ve got a link to all of my posts about that trip on the bottom. We were chauffeured around The Isle by Ray with Walk with Me¬†and made some friends with locals in Dublin. {Hi Ross!} We do need to plan a trip back. {Sigh.}| I haven’t seen the south yet!
  5. Lastly:

    • Our very own Shamrock:

 

Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

What is your favorite thing about this holiday?

Cheers~
Carrie

Modist Brewing

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Happy Thirsty Thursday!

It’s been a while, but we finally hit a new {to us} brewery!

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We were unsure how to pronounce Modist Brewing, but we were schooled as we walked in the door.

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On this lovely weekend afternoon, we were able to pull up two stools to the bar. I knew very little about this brewery, except that I’d been hearing about it a lot as of late. I was surprised by the unique offerings!

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Now you know I like something unique and a little special when I visit a brewery. On these occasions, I’m not one for an everyday IPA, porter or stout that I can get anywhere. I want something with character. But these combinations just seemed a bit off to me:

  • Oatmeal Pale Ale
  • Salted Caramel Lager
  • Juicy Hoppy Wheat Ale
  • Cold Press Coffee Lager
  • Oatmeal Wheat Stout

What the what?!modist-note

Okay, so this is what they do. Because I was really unsure of what direction to follow {I love salted caramel and coffee, but hate lagers; I like traditional wheats, but in a stout?!}, I had to ask for some recommendations.

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Left to Right: Deviation 003 Oatmeal Wheat Stout, Wasteland Dark Rye “IPA”, Smoove Salted Caramel Lager, Wasteland Dark Rye “IPA”

In the end, I sampled the Deviation 003 Oatmeal Wheat Stout and the Wasteland Dark Rye “IPA” {why the IPA is in quotes, I have no idea}. Rob ordered the Smoove Salted Caramel Lager without tasting it. {I was surprised! He doesn’t like lagers either; but nothing salted caramel has ever sucked, has it?!} He thought he liked my sample of the Dark Rye “IPA”, so he ordered that instead and gave me the SC Lager because I couldn’t make up my mind. We weren’t in love. We weren’t even in like. We left the place with our glasses half-empty – maybe literally¬†and¬†figuratively.

I know it’s ingenious, even ballsy¬†to want to try something different from the norm. But for us, these beers just didn’t sound good, nor did the ones we tasted really work.

Modist Brewing is in the North Loop area of Minneapolis. They are also proud of their teal floor {in the brewing area}.

Well, friends, we did the research for you. So we know we’ll be sticking to our usual-ish tour when our next out-of-town guests visit!

Have you had any strange beers lately?

Cheers~
Carrie

Bald Man Brewing

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Happy Thirsty Thursday!

A couple of weekends ago marked the grand opening of a new brewery in the southern suburbs of Minneapolis-St. Paul!

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The grand opening of Bald Man Brewing Company was on Saturday with a soft opening for family and friends a day or two prior. After seeing how packed the place was on Saturday, I am certainly glad that we didn’t take my parents there while they were in town that weekend!

Instead, Rob and I went on Sunday afternoon. There was no real signage indicating directions to the building, but we found it eventually around the back. And we were able to pull up a couple of seats to the bar. Much nicer than a packed grand opening!

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As to be expected at the beginning, the beer list was rather short and somewhat basic.

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I overheard a bartender tell a customer that while they currently only have four beers on tap, they plan to average about six at any given time. It sounds like their Oktoberfest will be available shortly {if it hasn’t been already by the time of this post}.

For sitting at the bar, we had quite the time getting service. I thought we were invisible because the people on either sides of us got served in no time! I went with their Tupelo Honey Brown Ale, which I vaguely recall being their signature beer.

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It was fine, but I didn’t love it. In fact, I had a hard time getting in down. But I came to learn that day that I had a hard time getting any beer down. So maybe I just wasn’t feeling beer or drinking that day. Rob also tried the Misty Mountains Hops IPA, which he said was solid as far as IPAs go.

There is definitely some money invested in this taproom. I like the open and spacious floor plan.

To the left of that entrance area is even more room with more tables and an open garage door to the back patio. That concrete floor also helps make the tap room dog-friendly! Dogs were already visiting that day. ūüôā

Look a little more closely at those tanks and how they are labeled:

I think someone is a fan of the guitar!

Bald Man Brewing does not sell food, but on the day of their Grand Opening, a few food trucks were parked there. There was no food truck there on Sunday and no indication that food was welcomed to be brought in or delivered, but I don’t see why not. No one was doing such, though. So we went elsewhere for dinner.

Great start, Bald Man! We will be back to see what other beers you plan to concoct.

Cheers~
Carrie