A week ago my cousin and my wife’s close friend Megan and her husband Mitch inquired whether they’d be able to join the Tap Traveler on one of his adventures. After a quick calendar check we planned a trip to Badger Hill the next night. We’d heard good things about them, I’ve tried several of their beers, and it’s in a close location for both of us. So on a Thursday evening we headed to Shakopee to give their taproom a visit.
The Badger Hill taproom was established in 2014. Previous to that they had a partnership with Lucid Brewing for about three years. Their new taproom exceeded my expectations. One of the things that I’ve noticed about Badger Hill is that their branding is one of their strong suits. When you first enter you are presented with a beautiful mural featuring a unique art style that shows the brewing process of their beers. After turning the corner you’re presented with a modern industrial taproom and a wall of windows separating the taproom from the brewery. With a mix of benches, high top tables, and a concrete bar there is plenty of room for visitors. They also have a small outdoor patio which I hope can be expanded and improved to match the style and character of the interior.
As I mentioned in a previous post we’ve had a tasting that featured Badger Hill beers and we’ve sampled them in a couple of different locations. They’ve all been excellent. Therefore, when I built my flight of four beers I decided to try some that I had not tasted.
I started with one of their main beers, the Traitor IPA. At 7.0% ABV and 70 IBU, it was a surprisingly well balanced beer. The appearance was golden honey and had a mango citrus aroma. It was sweet, hoppy, and very refreshing. If I see this one in the store I’ll definitely buy it, it’s one of my favorite beers of the summer.
The next beer was their Minne-Ale Kölsch. This was a seasonal beer available in the taproom only. It is a pale yellow lager, with a sweet bready aroma, and tasted malty, creamy, and smooth. Samantha said it was a “good bonfire beer” and I’d have to agree! After that I tried their Foundation Stout. There were hints of roasted coffee, chocolate, and caramel. It was creamy and smooth and had a slightly dry finish.
The last beer of the flight was another taproom only beer, the Three Tree Rye Brewers #4. It was definitely one of the better rye beers I’ve tasted. It had a brown amber color with a spicy aroma. There was a distinct spice taste with some bread and malt notes. All this combined with a super smooth beer that was easy to drink. To finish the night I had a pint of their White IPA. This is a Belgian Witbier which means it’s a little different than your normal IPA. It was straw yellow, zesty, spicy and wheaty. A nice beer to end the night.
We had a great night at Badger Hill. Their taproom was excellent, and the only bad things I’ve heard is that it can get busy. We got there early, and when we left it was full but not too crazy. It’s small enough that it’s still intimate but big enough to accomodate larger groups. They have a great logo and branding, and the decor inside the taproom results in an awesome indoor space. I’ll definitely visit again, and I’d recommend it to anyone, especially in the cooler months. If you find yourself there, check the chalkboard walls in the bathroom for a sign of the Tap Traveler!