One of my primary goals for 2018 was to use all of our expired Groupons. When my brother in-law and sister in-law reached out to us for week night brewery visit I looked at my stack and was surprised to find that only one remained! A couple of texts later and we were on our way to Eastlake Craft Brewery.
This was our second attempt to redeem our Eastlake Groupon. The first time we had planned a double date with another couple. While en route to their taproom my wife informed us that it was not valid for the day we were visiting. More than a year later I was oddly excited to get this one off my list.
Eastlake is located on the southeast corner of the Midtown Global Market, just off Lake Street in the Phillips community of Minneapolis. If you’ve never been there it was one of the first food markets in the area and there are a ton of food options available. Of course, you can bring anything into their taproom that you can purchase in the market. Since we hadn’t eaten dinner, we each took turns going out to order food. It’s pretty nice because everyone can grab their own thing and you’re not limited to just a single food truck or ordering takeout from a nearby restaurant.
I’d walked by the taproom many times during lunch at the market but I’ve never looked that closely. They’ve got a stack of barrels guarding the entrance with a small corner bar on your left as you enter. There are wide high top community tables with wide seats to match. We tucked our stroller between two of the tables and luckily our daughter slept through the entire visit. A couple of rails facing the windows round out the seating options. As far as the decor goes, it’s eclectic. A disco ball with lights, taxidermied animals donning soccer apparel, and a marquee style mural and lights.
The metal tap list had a bit of glare from where I was seated so I approached the bar to get a better look. They had three preset flights available. I went with their flagship due to the fact that I’d yet to have any of their beers! The four beers in the flight were the Southside Pils, Blueliner Pale Ale, Mud in Your Eye Brown Ale, and Sun Dogs’ IPA. I also rounded the flight out with a pint of Creedence Tapes, another IPA. The Blueliner and Mud in Your Eye were my favorites. Both paired well with my Indian food, but in different ways. The Blueliner was very hop forward with a big orange, clementine, citrus aroma and flavor. It brought out the spices. The Brown Ale was malty sweet with a good dose of caramel that mellowed things out for me and rounded out my meal. The other beers were all decent in their own little ways, not a disparaging comment to be found in my tasting notes!
We had to scurry off before our newborn woke up but overall our visit to Eastlake was better than I expected. Unfortunately, it was an unseasonably cool day so we couldn’t sit outside. The interior was nice and it wasn’t too busy when we arrived and filled up as the night went on. The music was at a medium level, which I enjoy, and it was a very wide demographic there that night. If you’re looking for a brewery where everyone can get exactly they food they want without any hassle then Eastlake is the perfect solution!