Tag Archives: twin cities breweries

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. 🙂

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

 

 

 

HammerHeart Brewing

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Happy Thirsty Thursday!

While sipping our half-pint flight of beers at Northgate one beautiful Saturday, Rob instinctively looked up a brewery that we’ve been wanting to go to for some time. It was just Too. Far. Away… from us.

However, Rob’s iPhone indicated it was just 16 miles north of Northgate, about a 19 minute drive. We hadn’t any plans for the rest of the afternoon and didn’t want to finish the couple of half-pints in the flight that we didn’t like so much… so why not? We took the little jaunt north up to HammerHeart Brewing Company.

It was a beautiful Minnesota spring day, but one filled with mud! Such was the case getting into and finding a spot in their muddy parking lot.

But upon stepping across the threshold into HammerHeart’s taproom, the first thing I heard was the sound of bagpipes wailing! I believe that it was just for a special event that bagpipers were in the house that day; but I felt like I was being personally greeted. Ha!

HammerHeart Brewing gets its influence from Celtic and Nordic cultures as well as metal music. It’s a very interesting combination that you can read more about on their website. Rob thinks my brother would love this brewery, but we only had so much time during his visit. This just means you’ll have to come back for another round, JR!

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So what drew us to HammerHeart, you ask? Well, we’d been wanting to go for some time after reading their every-changing tap menu online over the past year or two.


But what may surprise you after yesterday’s post is that HammerHeart focuses heavily on smoke in its brews. So why on earth would their tap menu intrigue me? There is something else. Can you guess what it is?

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Yes, that’s right – the bourbon barrel aged beers! Like many tap rooms, they are not available all of the time; but we saw on the website that there were several available that day. No matter what, HammerHeart has many more different beers on tap at a given time compared to most other breweries in the Twin Cities metro; so there is bound to be something for everyone. But just be careful to order the right beer…

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Rob ordered a beer for himself and then added “and one Flanary’s Brew” for me. However, he hadn’t read the entire menu to see that there was a non-Bourbon Barrel Aged Flanary’s Brew on the bottom. {See menu above.} And of course, it was the Bourbon Barrel one that I wanted and the original that I was served.

I told him that it was just fine. But he took one for the team because he wanted to make my one beer of this brewery visit count. He went back up to order me the correct beer. He would just have to drink the mistake. 😉 It was a win-win for both of us. For the record, it was worth it! I could handle a mildly smoked oatmeal stout if you aged it in a bourbon barrel. Go figure.

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Rob also returned with a growler and a pint glass for our collection, too.

This is a great brewery for locals. If we lived anywhere near Lino Lakes, we’d be back on a regular basis. But, alas, we don’t. So we’ll just have to save HammerHeart for a special occasions. But I will tell you, it’s entirely worth the trip.

Do you like smoky foods or beverages?

If so, what’s your favorite?

Cheers~
Carrie

 

 

 

Northgate Brewing

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Happy Thirsty Thursday!

Let’s just start off by saying, that the only reason we made it to Northgate Brewing in Nordeast Minneapolis was because of a Groupon Living Social voucher. I knew that Rob had had a Northgate beer in the past, specifically at the Uptown Cafeteria; and he wasn’t all that impressed. But it had been a while – a few years, maybe? Libertine has since moved in to the space that Uptown Cafeteria once housed.

I bought the voucher because of what it included: a tasting of four half-pints of their beers, as well as two flagons. What the hell is a flagon, you ask? I was wondering the same thing! It’s essentially a mini-growler, holding about 750ml/25 oz of beer {the amount in a bottle of wine}, as opposed to a growler’s 64-oz fill-up.

Isn’t it cute?!

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Northgate’s taproom is pretty small; but we loved the vibe. Not unlike Insight Brewing, you’ll find a focus on British-style beers here. I only took one photo – of our half-pints. Boy, do I wish more restaurants and breweries served beer by the half-pint! 

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Our favorite: Maggie’s Leap Sweet Stout

Oh dear lord is that sweet stout tasty! I hadn’t had anything like that in a long, long time. A sweet stout gets its name because lactose is usually added to the brew to add body and a touch of sweetness. What made this sweet stout even more creamy is that they served it on nitro.

This also meant that we couldn’t fill a flagon with the Maggie’s Sweet Stout. 😦 Nitro beers won’t keep in a growler. Instead, we filled our flagons with the Stronghold Robust Porter. It’s made with cold press from Up Coffee Roasters. You can really taste the coffee!

To be quite honest, the other two were not memorable. In fact, we weren’t very fond of them and left them behind. With each of us having had only one half-pint, it was time for us to find another brewery… You’ll have to wait until next week to find out which one!

It looks like the Maggie’s Leap Sweet Stout is a seasonal beer. However, at the time of this writing, it’s still on Northgate Breweing’s “On Tap” menu online. I recommend you get there for a taste. I’d go back just for that beer! A deck of cards and a sweet stout? Sounds like my kind of afternoon in a taproom.

Have you had a sweet stout?

Cheers~
Carrie