A little less than a year ago myself and Samantha had our wedding outdoors at her childhood home. At the reception we were wise enough to include a keg of Farm Girl along with our other drinks for our guests. Needless to say, a lot of people left with a new favorite beer. So when Samantha and our friend Addie were planning to get together in Stillwater, we thought meeting up at Lift Bridge Brewing Company would be a great idea.
Founded in 2008 in the basement of its founder Brad Glynn, Lift Bridge now has a home in Stillwater. Their namesake is the iconic steel vertical lift bridge crossing the St. Croix river in the heart of downtown. There taproom is small, intimate, and almost completely indoors. It has cabin in the woods feel, with wooden picnic tables and benches, a small bar, and a rail next to a window overlooking the brewery. There is a jukebox, board games, and popcorn for all customers. They serve no food, and I don’t believe they have food trucks. However, you can bring your own food in, and even order it for delivery straight to the taproom. They have a handy binder with local establishments, making this process pain free.
After getting a pizza ordered in for delivery, we settled into our drinks. To nobodies surprise I ordered a flight of six beers. I always like to try a little bit of everything. It was a fitting beginning of the flight to start with a Farm Girl. This saison style ale is one of their year round flagship beers. It is a champagne yellow, with a citrus aroma and a sweet faintly spicy flavor. It’s crisp, clean, and refreshing and is a beer that anyone can enjoy. It also evokes some great memories for Samantha and I.
The next three beers would also be from their year round taps, starting with the Chestnut Hill brown ale. This is a dark brown beer with a faint reddish hue. It’s got flavors of roasted nuts, chocolate, coffee, and cinnamon. It’s also a surprising 6.3% ABV. Next up was the Crosscut Pale Ale. This was very well balanced. The citrus, sweet aroma went well with the crisp hoppy flavor. The last of their year round beers was the Hop Dish IPA. At 7.5% ABV it was surprisingly smooth. It had a golden honey color, with a floral citrus aroma to go with its hoppy citrus flavor. This one will sneak up on you!
The last two beers in my flight were seasonals. Citra Kellerbier was spun gold, with a lemon aroma, and dry wheaty malty flavor. I really enjoyed this one and would recommend it to anyone that gets the opportunity. I can’t wait for my second shot at it. The final beer, the Minnesota Tan, was very unique. This Belgian Tripel weighs in at 9% ABV and owes its pink color to the berries infused into it. I believe they rotate the berries that are used, and in our case they had used strawberries. What resulted was a very strawberry sweet aroma and flavor. Definitely give this one a taste.
If you’re ever looking for a taproom with a more intimate casual vibe, Lift Bridge captures that in spades. I only wish it was closer to home so I could visit more often. They offer free tours, which I hope to take the next time I make the trek. You’ll need to pre-register on their website and plan accordingly. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!