South Fork Brewing Company

February 18, 2016

Determined not to let another Groupon get to the final day of eligibility we decided to be more proactive with the next one. So I reached out to our friends Andrew and Katie to see if they’d like to accompany us to the South Fork Brewing Company. It didn’t take much convincing before we had something on the calendar! It was Delano native Katie who offered to drive and on an early February night we headed west.

Another brewery from the 2015 class, South Fork opened in early summer. Located near downtown Delano they occupy a building that used to be the Bohemian Wine Bar & Pub. After a couple of years of owning and operating that business Sara Beamish and Karen Zimmerman decided to make the switch and join the Minnesota craft beer movement. This allowed them to focus on their true passion: the beer.

Once we arrived we grabbed a spot at the end of one of their long community tables. It was cozy and quiet with a beautiful wooden ceiling. A small bar was at the far end of the taproom near an opening into their brewery. It was dark when we got there so I wasn’t able to get a good look inside. They’ve got a selection of games which several patrons were taking advantage of. An interesting feature was a blackboard door that had a question on it asking customers to include a response. Of course I’ve seen blackboards at all sorts of breweries but this was the first one I’ve seen be that interactive.

I was lucky enough to try all of their beers. One of the group favorites was their As the Crow Flies Kölsch. It had definite notes of citrus fruit which reminded Samantha of a Radler. I would definitely agree and it was very refreshing. Katie, who is not a beer drinker, liked that one as well which is high praise. If you’re with someone that doesn’t like beer or is new to it, I would suggest the Kölsch.

The five other beers in the flight were the Sunday Funday Red, Nerdy Girl Amber, Plunger IPA, Pilgrim Chocolate Pumpkin Stout, and the Black Cat Stout. It’s hard to put a beer through a real test when you’re sharing a flight, but I’d say the standout was the Black Cat. It had a dark red wine color that almost seemed purple. It was very sweet yet easy to drink. We were there for the new release of their Beer Geek Imperial IPA. This one was really tasty. It was deep red with floral/citrus aroma and a strong pine flavor. I was also able to try their Frozen Crow Bock which tasted excellent. I’m starting to notice a lot more lagers at breweries which is great. The scene is evolving from being very IPA heavy to spreading out across the many styles available. Lagers especially have been poorly represented.

South Fork was a nice change of pace for us after visiting some breweries in the metro area. Even at capacity I think the place would be quiet and low key. Their patio was a nice touch which unfortunately we couldn’t enjoy. I also loved the names of their beers, but I’m a sucker for branding. The Groupon we had was one of the better deals that I’d found. It included two flights, four pints, four pint glasses, and four t-shirts. Look out for that one in the future!

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