Tag Archives: brewery south of the river

Nutmeg Brewhouse

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Happy Thirsty Thursday!

There is a new brewery South of the River!

It’s about time. Around these parts, we’ve only had Badger Hill Brewing to keep those of us in the South Metro company.

Nutmeg Brewhouse had their soft opening on January 2nd. The next day, Rob read a bunch of critical comments on Facebook. How could it be so bad? How can you judge so soon? Generally, we like to visit a new restaurant after they’ve had all of their kinks ironed out. But all of this ridicule had us intrigued to stop in on Day 2.

First, let’s get things straight. This is a brewhouse, not a taproom. It is a restaurant with its own beer on tap.

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Many of the online complaints were about about the beer descriptions. I will agree that “hop-flavored” beer is a strange and very generalized description; however, I’ll give them a break here. I can’t even imagine how exhausted one has to be putting a place together like this.

The other big complaint was about the beer. Uh-oh.

I had the Mild Porter, which was quite fine for a porter, if anything, just a little light. But, then, it was accurately named Mild Porter. Still, I enjoyed it. Rob liked the Shipmate’s IPA much more than I did. The biggest online complaint seemed to be about the unfiltered Wheat Weiss {which Rob pointed out is redundant}. It didn’t look just a little cloudy, but completely opaque.

I honestly had no complaints about my beer; it just wasn’t anything special. And as you know, these days, that’s what I usually go for. I could enjoy the Mild Porter any day; it’s just a little difficult after savoring a porter as wonderful as Death by Coconut by Oskar Blues the day prior.

Seriously, when it comes to beer, though, let’s give these guys a chance.

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The menu says that all of the beers are “brewed in house using traditional colonial influences.” I’m not quite sure what that means. Then, from Nutmeg’s Facebook page:

Nutmeg Brewhouse will feature British Colonial influenced cuisine and traditionally crafted beer.

Truly, I’d just like more info. It seems that you may find beer that is more particularly British in style and foods that are stereotypically English {read: fish and chips} or incorporate flavors from lands the Brits colonized {read: Indian}. But why the name Nutmeg? That’s something I should have asked.

Note: Nutmeg was built as an addition to the India Palace building. Rumor has it that the addition is owned by the owner of India Palace. But Nutmeg has its own kitchen and does not seem to be physically connected {by a doorway} to India Palace.

I also find it interesting that all of their wines are Australian, presuming that they are going with the colonization theme. Actually, I like that. British beer, Indian-influenced food, Australian wine…

Truthfully, I’ve never found a sparkling shiraz on a restaurant menu before. But there is a huge discrepancy with wine prices here. The reds are almost double the price of the whites! If you are running a business in Burnsville, the only way you are going to get away with a $13 glass of red wine  is at Chianti Grill, not a brewhouse.

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Now it was time to try the food. The menu is currently very basic, but is supposed to be expanded. I’d like to see some descriptions.

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Rob opted out on the food since the only dish he could have was the Scotch Eggs, which didn’t interest him at the time. I wanted everything, but couldn’t make up my mind without descriptions.

Since we were on the end of the bar, we could see all of the people seated around it. Several people ordered the Canterbury Cod and Chips. To me, the fish looked a bit dark, overcooked and greasy. However, the guy next to us told the bartender that he liked how the batter was really light. So I guess it really needs to be tasted.

I asked our bartender for a recommendation.

Chicken Tikka Kabab with Mint Chutney - $15

Chicken Tikka Kabab with Mint Chutney – $15

 

I love Chicken Tikka Masala, so I agreed it would be a good choice. The meat was very good, but I do like the extra sauciness of a traditional masala dish.

Please Note: This dish does not come with the mint chutney on the side. The bartender merely suggested it. I wasn’t sure if I’d like it; but it was really want the dish needed! The vegetables were way too boring without it. The mint chutney wasn’t overly minty, just more fresh-tasting. I’d order that sauce again and again. The rice was just way too much. Overall, the way the dish was served to me, it was pretty good. But for $15? I’ll try something else next time.

I had to ask what they did serve that chutney alongside and it turns out it is with {or on?} the flatbread. See what wonders a description would do? I can only assume that they are working on all of that.

Don’t quote me on this, but we overheard that the Grand Opening is on January 27th. That is not too far away! Until then, they are open daily from 3pm to 10pm.

We’ll definitely be back to see how Nutmeg Brewhouse adapts to little ol’ Burnsville. Maybe in a few months, we’ll give you an update.

Have you ever gone to a restaurant right when it debuted?

If so, what were your impressions?

Did you go back?

Cheers~
Carrie

 

Thirsty Thursday: The One South of the River

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Happy Thirsty Thursday!

At long last, we finally have a Brewing Company/Taproom South of the River! For those of you who aren’t local to the Twin Cities, “South of the River” refers to the suburbs located south of the Minnesota River. To Minneapolites {or Minneapolitans}, this feels sooooo far away. Truth be told, as a South of the River resident, I live only eight minutes from a friend in Bloomington, the city where the Mall of America is located. Dwellers of the city don’t think MOA is far away at all. {Although some wish that it were!}

Despite that argument, and the one where I profess that we can get to The Lowry in Uptown Minneapolis in just 16 minutes, it would still be nice to have a brewery in our neck of the woods.

Enter Badger Hill Brewing.

We first discovered Badger Hill on a Trolley Beer Tour back in 2012. They were brewing out of extra space at Lucid Brewing company. I’m sure it was a challenging task, but they finally opened up their own brewery and taproom in Shakopee this past year.

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We’ve been there a handful of times now. But truth be told, I’d rather go north to MSP. Call me a beer snob if you’d like; but I’m hard-pressed to find something interesting or that I even like at Badger Hill.

Check out the menu:

One of my past favorites at Badger Hill was the Foundation Stout. However, my first couple visits to the Shakopee location had me realizing I’m not such a fan anymore.

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The first time I ordered it, the bartender served it quickly, with half of it as head. When it finally settled, the glass was missing almost a quarter of its beer! I was quietly angry, complaining to my friends. “You are a brewery and you don’t even know how to pour a proper pint of stout?”

Sure, I probably should have said something, but because I don’t want to be that customer, I kept it to myself. A few months later, it got better; but I discovered that I wasn’t even liking the Foundation Stout. It was tough for me to even finish it. So I am thinking one of three things have happened since we first visited Badger Hill in its infancy:

  1. They changed their recipe.
  2. My palate has changed.
  3. I’ve been spoiled by all of the other exceptional stouts in the Twin Cities like here, here and here.

We’ve picked up on Social Media announcements when BH was serving a couple of specialty beers – like a Cherry Dunkel and a Caramel Macchiato Stout. But alas, we’ve never been able to make it there before they run out.

Where Badger Hill has a real winner though, is their Traitor IPA. I absolutely love the name of this beer because the premise is that this IPA is so good that you will be a traitor to your favorite one! It’s solid enough that they can proclaim that.

I took this photo because the shape of Jesus a heart had formed on the top:

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Rob: “That looks more like a butt to me.”

Me: “Perfect! I love you with all my butt!”

Rob: “Huh?”

Me: “My butt is bigger than my heart, so that means so much more, right?”

I don’t drink IPAs much anymore {mostly because they make me crave salty foods, like fries!}, but this one is absolutely the go-to beer for me at Badger Hill.

Last Thursday, we met up at BH for a going away party for a couple of Rob’s co-workers. They all arrived there not long after the end of the workday. There were a lot of people in need of food! However, unlike many of the city breweries, a food truck is parked at Badger Hill only on #FoodTruckFridays. The solution?

Badger Hill keeps a binder of local delivery menus!

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About 50 tacos and two huge orders of fries were ordered and delivered from Taco Loco for our group. It’s a pretty decent-sized taproom, so it’s a perfect place for a get together like this.

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Some of us also tried the craft sodas, which is usually a treat for DDs. However, our friends told us to shy away from the Root Beer. I went with the Cherry Cola instead and couldn’t drink very much of it. There was very little carbonation and the flavor did not remind me very much of cherry or cola. I didn’t taste a hint of sweetness either.

There is also a big jug of water where you can help yourself.

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Our friend Dirk said that the water was really good! He said that there was a sign that indicated that this is their brewing water. Our friend Chay wanted to try it as well. After tasting it, he said that it was a little bit sweet. What?! I needed to have a taste for myself.

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Dirk’s and Chay’s palates must be way more discerning than mine. It tasted just like water to me. Rob didn’t detect any sweetness either.

What I really need to do the next time we meet up with people at Badger Hill is to get a flight of beers to try the others on the menu that I assume I won’t like. You never know, one of them just might surprise me, like the Frank’s Red Ale did at Day Block.

It would be nice to have a brewery south of the river that is worth a trip for the urbanites. I’m not sure Badger Hill is there quite yet; but, perhaps, it all depends on what you like.

How far will you travel to try something new?

Cheers~
Carrie