Tag Archives: fulton

Fantasy Draft Friday

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This post was inspired by Paige at Alcohol by Volume who recently curated a six-pack for the Four Firkins, a beer store here in the Twin Cities where you can find one of the widest selections. At the end of her fantasy draft post, after listing the six beers she selected, she asks the question:

And if you could chose six beers to represent yourself, what would you choose?

This really got me thinking… There was no way I could list six beers off the top of my head. I needed to give it more thought. I’m not sure that I could pick six beers that represented me. I would probably just end up picking six beers I like right now. And we all know that our tastes change.

For example, for me, 2012 was the year of the IPA. I was a hophead. But I sipped a lot less of those in 2013. I probably wouldn’t put one of those in my six-pack now.

Instead, I decided to create a six-pack of beers that represent this past year.

Fantasy Draft 2013

Indeed LSD Honey Ale (MN)

This beer doesn’t have great ratings over at Beer Advocate, but I love it. It’s an ale brewed with lavender, sunflower honey and dates – LSD. The lavender is evident, some may even think overpowering. But those people don’t like lavender. I do. It reminds me of Provence. And I’m a francophile. It’s a no-brainer.

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018Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat (MA)

Ahhh… This is what summers are made of! Or at least the week or so we spend in Michigan in the summer. It just makes me happy. And while I am busy feeling like a kid again, I can take the afternoon and and sip one of these like an adult. Well, with a cherry on top bottom.

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Southern Tier Pumking AleSouthern Tier Pumking Ale (NY)

In the fall, I almost get annoyed with all of the pumpkin-this and pumpkin-that all over the blogisphere. I just want everyone to stop the pumpkin-ing of everything already! But this year, I realized, that I really do like pumpkin-flavored foodstuffs, especially this beer. In 2012, it sold out so early everywhere that we only got to enjoy it once. But in 2013, we found Pumking at Stone Tap as early as August! Then, in fear that it would sell out soon, we sipped it every time we found it available including at Devil’s Advocate, Groveland Tap and The Lowry {long overdue Restaurant Impression coming next week!}

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FultonFulton The Libertine Imperial Red Ale (MN)

I never thought I’d ever dig a red ale. And while I did discover it beforehand, we took our first trip to the Fulton Brewery in November. And while I love Fulton’s Worthy Adversary just as much, if not more, the Imperial Red Ale was a unique find for me. And the name is perfect for the beer. From their website:

A Declaration of Brewing Independence. A libertine is someone living free of society’s restraints. Similarly, The Libertine doesn’t constrain itself with preconceived notions of what a beer style should be. Loaded with malts that include the UK’s premium Maris Otter and Caramel 60, and topped off with Rye to impart a distinct reddish hue, the Libertine is a malt-dominated red ale like none you’ve ever had before. It boasts a rich, indulgent body without being overly sweet. Conventional classifications fail The Libertine, but who really wants to play by the rules anyway?”

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photo 1O’So Night Train Oatmeal Porter (WI)

Since my husband and I praised this beer the first time my dad had us try it, he seemed to always make sure there was some of it on hand when we came into town. We can’t get it in Minnesota and even in Wisconsin, it can be hard to find. And every descriptor on that bottle works. So good. O’so good.

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086Firestone Walker Velvet Merkin Bourbon Barrel Aged Oatmeal Stout (CA)

2013 whas the year of the Bourbon Barrel Beers for me. So which one to choose? I’ve been a fan of the bourbon barrel-aged brown ale from Wisconsin Tyranena’s Rocky’s Revenge for years from the first time I sipped it on a dock in Hayward, Wisconsin. I’ve even discovered and kicked back plenty of bottles and glasses of the smooth and lovely Dragon’s Milk Bourbon Barrel Stout from Michigan. On my birthday this past year, I almost passed up an Old Rasputin Imperial Stout, until I learned that the “XV” was aged in bourbon barrels! But the I selected the Firestone Walker Velvet Merkin as part of my six-pack because sipping it at the PUBlic House in Temecula was the start to our late afternoon / early evening of a wonderful craft brewery crawl where I came to love Bourbon Barrel Beers even more. I really hope our local breweries jump on this band wagon soon!

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So there you have it, my friends, my fantasy draft for 2013. I’m not even sure if you can get all of these in Minnesota or where you live. But by now, you know that I love to travel. So the fact that some of these beers were tasted on vacation do represent me and where I’ve traveled in 2013, too.

What beer(s) represent(s) your 2013?

Cheers~
Carrie

The Post Fulton Diaries

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After our venture to Fulton Brewery, we sought out a bite to eat. We decided to drive around until we found something. We had nothing planned, so it would be spontaneous! This sometimes backfires when we I can’t may up our my minds.

We drove around and less than a mile away we passed the Smack Shack. Do you know how many times we’ve seen this place online and in local magazines?! We’ve heard rave reviews about their food truck and particularly their Lobster Roll.

As we passed it, we went in search for a place to park. {Note: Just because you can park, doesn’t mean it’s free. It cost us only $1.75 to park not far from Fulton for 3 hours. But it cost us $42 to park near Smack Shack. Why? We didn’t feed the electronic meter! DOH! I won’t be making that mistake again.}

We got out of the car and made our way over the block and a half to the Smack Shack. On our way, we walked passed Cuzzy’s. Oh no. Decisions, decisions. I made Rob choose. It was, after all, almost his birthday.

He said we’d start at Smack Shack. Maybe we’d hit Cuzzy’s, too. He wanted to check both boxes.

Smack Shack

I thought this place was named for the fact that you’d be smacking your lips because the food was so good. Silly girl. There is a another meaning to the word…

Smack: (Eastern U.S.) : fishing vessel, especially one having a well for keeping catch alive.

Okay. That totally makes sense now. No wonder they are known for their lobster rolls. The funny thing? I wasn’t in the mood for seafood. I have no idea why. Maybe it was because it was 7pm and I last ate at 11am and felt like I was just famished. I was also indecisive. I can’t tell you how long we looked at that bar menu.

They had a small handful of beers on tap, including the local Fulton we had just visited a few blocks down. I do love that in Minneapolis, restaurants are great about serving the beers from their local community! But at that point, I chose a Sparkling Sake instead.

Why? Because I saw it on the menu and I had never had one before.

I liked it.

It was low in alcohol.

And I like sake.

And I like bubbly.

Win-Win-Win.

Then we ordered a couple of small plates.

BRAISED BEEF SHORT RIB with Pickled Fresno & Ancho Garlic Mayo 6.95

Braised Beef Shortrib Taco with Pickled Fresno & Ancho Garlic Mayo – $6.95

There are no words to describe how good these are! The beef is tender and the flavors are so well integrated and balanced. When we raved about them, our bartender said that the smoked pork tacos were even better. We couldn’t even imagine that was possible!

Seasoned Fries 4

Seasoned Fries – $4

The fries were pretty good, but nothing to completely rave about. We didn’t finish them, especially since this was the point when Rob admitted that he wanted to go to Cuzzy’s, too.

We agreed that we’d go back to the Smack Shack, especially if we have people in town who love seafood!

Cuzzy’s

We walked into Cuzzy’s knowing it was going to feel more like a bar than a restaurant. And with that comes bar food. There were dollar bills all over the walls and ceiling, but nothing like McGuire’s in Pensacola, where we hosted dinner after our beach wedding.

It was the first time I realized why Fulton named their blonde ale the Lonely Blonde. A guy walked in, sat down at the bar and said, “I’d like a Lonely Blonde, please.” People are ordering Lonely Blondes all over Minneapolis! Clever. And I hadn’t even realized it until I heard someone order it.

We opted for a burger and tots to split. I never expect this when we mention that we are going to split something, but they split it in the back for us. Never, ever expected, but always appreciated!

 Black and Bleu Burger With portobello mushrooms, bleu cheese and Cajun seasoning 8.99

Black and Bleu Burger with portobello mushrooms, bleu cheese and Cajun seasoning – $8.99

This burger was excellent and hit the spot! I can’t even begin to explain how perfect those portobello mushrooms were. The flavor was well balanced with just the right amount of seasoning and blue cheese.

And although I was no longer hungry after we polished off our burger, when the gal next to us ordered a Mexican dish, I turned to look at it because it smelled so good! It looked fresh and yummy, too, not just slopped on a plate like you find some version of Mexican food.

Looking for bar food in the Warehouse District of Minneapolis or close to the Twins’ Target Field? I think you’ll be satisfied here. Maybe even impressed. We were.

The cuisine at Smack Shack and Cuzzy’s is completely different. Some would say that Smack Shack’s food is a bit more elevated; but for bar food, I’d probably say the same about Cuzzy’s.

In my opinion, while different, they are equally enjoyable. We’ll be back to both! The problem will be choosing which one. Maybe it will be depend on our food mood. But if we can’t decide, we just might have to flip a coin.

What are your favorite types of small plates?

What kind of food do you like to split?

Cheers~
Carrie

Fulton Brewery – Minneapolis

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Soooooo…

We’ve been to a few of the breweries in the west Twin Cities metro area, but really that’s about it. It’s kind of hard to believe when we’ve been to five breweries in Charlotte and six breweries in Temecula!

My husband occasionally participates in a co-worker Happy Hour at Steel Toe, one of our faves in the Twin Cities. We also support a lot of local breweries when we are dining out.

But how is it that we haven’t made it to the Fulton taproom yet? It was, after all, the first brewery taproom in the Twin Cities!

Well, when Rob’s co-workers arranged an outing to the brewery and Rob invited me along, he did not have to twist my arm.

Fulton-1

The boys of Fulton made their first beer in a one-car garage in the Fulton neighborhood of South Minneapolis in 2006. According to the story on their website, Fulton served their first keg at Happy Gnome in October of 2009.

As they grew, they moved a few times to have enough room to brew. This means that they are no longer brewing out of that South Minneapolis garage in the Fulton neighborhood. And in 2012, they relocated to downtown Minneapolis, where they opened the first brewery taproom in the Twin Cities.

With its newly expanded patio and extra bike parking, Fulton has been referred to as an “Urban Oasis.”

And even though we drove there in rush hour traffic on a cold, cold night, I’d wholeheartedly agree.

Fulton-2

You’ll find the Sweet Child of Vine IPA and Lonely Blonde Ale on tap all over the Twin Cities Metro. But come to the brewery for some specialty beers.

We’ve found it on tap at some obscure places, but served at the taproom is one of our absolute Fulton favorites – the Libertine Imperial Red Ale.

Fulton

It was my beer of choice for the evening. The funny thing is that I’m not generally not into red ales. But this beer goes against any brewing rules. It’s a fall beer, generally available September through November.

We were crossing our fingers that our other fave Fulton would be available: the Worthy Adversary Russian Imperial Stout. We had it back in January at the Pig & Fiddle. We put it up against the Founders Imperial Stout which was also on tap that night.

Battle of the RIS

Oh dear, are they both heavenly! It was actually pretty difficult to differentiate between the two. If we had to choose one, we would say that Founders beat out Fulton by 1/100th of a point. In other words, we will always order the local Worthy Adversary if we find it on tap.

But alas, Worthy Adversary isn’t available until December. We arrived on November 21st. I guess that means there is a winter trip to Fulton in store for us…

When the taproom is open, a food truck is parked outside. While we were there, it was Lulu’s Street Food. Boy did that food look good! A couple of our friends tried it:

Mark ordered a Crab Cake Sandwich and said it was probably the best crab cake he had ever had! Nora said that her Wild Mushroom Hash would have been way too dry if it wasn’t for the runny egg.

I assumed that we would be food-trucking it that night, but Rob wanted to find another place in the neighborhood. Although I had a beer under my belt and was feeling almost hangry having had lunch around 11am, I could hardly say, “no” considering it was his birthday the next day and he had the day off. {Come back Thursday to find out where we dined post-Fulton!}

As Rob finished his last beer, I sipped on a Blueberry Cream House Made Soda {Yes! They have those, too!} It was a little over vanilla-ed for my taste. Then we stocked up on some Fulton purchases before heading our way out.

Fulton-3

Growler of Libertine + Fulton Pint Glass + the softest ever green Fulton t-shirt = awesomeness

Empty growler now = required trip back to Fulton.

Question: Who wants to join us?

Cheers~
Carrie

F&F – The Leftovers Edition

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This weekend we hosted my last ever Wine Tasting Open House. {Well, there’ll be more on that in the next month.} I can’t even begin to tell you how fun it was to have people over whom I haven’t seen in ever so long! I think I have to make a commitment to see these people at least once each year. {A checklist maybe? Or another type of entertaining event?}

But what we have in the house – that I wasn’t expecting – is a whole lot of leftovers. I was worried that we wouldn’t have enough food! So instead of grocery shopping this week, we are going to have to be creative with the following ingredients:

  • Shredded lettuce
  • Sliced black olives
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes
  • Sour Cream
  • Mushrooms
  • Cubed Cheese – Tuscano peppercorn, Havarti Dill, Iberico
  • Hummus
  • Garlic & Asiago Sourdough Crostini
  • Cream Puffs
  • Blue Cheese
  • Salami
  • Irish Cheddar
  • Gingersnaps

Other items we need to use up before expiration this week:

  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • Greek yogurt
  • almond milk
  • bacon

planning

So, it’s another strange week coming up, but here is what we have planned:

Dinners:

  • Monday – Roasted Pear
  • Tuesday – Ground Beef Stroganoff
  • Wednesday – Surprise! I’m thinking about another pasta dish, but don’t want Rob to know about it! So, I’m not posting it here.
  • Thursday – Fulton Brewery – Yes, we are finally making a Pilgrimage!
  • Friday – Rob’s birthday – We are going to a play and probably grab a quick bite to eat beforehand.
  • Saturday – Rob’s REAL birthday dinner. You’ll have to check back next week to find out what he chose!
  • Sunday – Packers vs. Vikings – Will Rogers be back?

Lunches:

  • Extraordinary Salad with leftover lettuce, cukes, tomatoes, carrots, olives, cheese cubes, bacon {yes! I added bacon!}, salami with a lite Caesar dressing
  • Leftovers from the week

Breakfasts:

  • Overnight oats
  • PB Toast

Fitness:

  • Last week’s fitness was non-existent and my body is feeling it. To get going again, let’s start simple and say walk at least one mile per day. There’s no excuse for not doing that.

How would you utilize the leftover ingredients above?

Cheers~
Carrie