I recently saw an article in The Growler magazine about a vineyard that had both a winery and brewery in one location. This particularly piqued my interest, because there are several people in my life that prefer wine to beer, and vice versa. So we made some calls, set a date, and headed over to Schram Vineyards Winery & Brewery.
Schram Vineyards opened their winery in 2013, built their winery building and tasting room in 2014, and then added a brewery shortly thereafter. Not bad for a few years time! After visiting their location in Waconia on one of the nicest nights of the summer, I can safely say that the sky is the limit for these guys. With a standalone tasting room, indoor and outdoor beer taps, multi-level patio, bocce ball courts, and some fantastic scenery, there is something for everyone here. While the wine drinkers commented on the quality of the wine, and the beer drinkers traded their thoughts on the large variety of brews we chowed down on some authentic Mexican food from Taqueria Del Buen Pastor. They rotate the food trucks every week, so check their website before heading out.
We arrived early to make sure we had enough room for our group, and once we settled in I headed into the tasting room to grab my first flight. I leaned a little lighter and got their Blonde Ale, Hefeweizen, Vienna Lager, and Top Secret IPA. The standout here for me was the Top Secret IPA, named such because there is a secret ingredient that as of our visit nobody had yet guessed. It was citrusy and sweet, with a very distinct orange and nectarine aroma.
As the sun set I went a little darker and grabbed a flight of their English Pub Ale, Dark Horse Stout, Smoked Porter, and Mocha Monkey Coffee Ale. While all the beers tasted excellent, my favorite was the English Pub Ale. It was very well balanced with a creamy, malty, nutty flavor.
This quickly jumped to one of my favorite locations that we’ve been to. I’m really excited to see how things progress here because they are still so new. With both a winery and brewery I’m interested to see some of the different beers they might try, especially when they start using their barrels in their fermenting process. It appears as if they are particularly interested in experimenting with different techniques and flavors, which should hopefully mean there is something new for each visit. I would recommend Schram Vineyards to anyone that asks.