I’m at an age where you start to see your friends less and less often. Everyone has a family and they’ve settled into their own routines. There are a few people that I’m lucky to see more than once a year. I’ve been working in St. Paul for over a decade and one day it dawned on me that one of those friends lives relatively close to my office. It took just a few texts to line up a time after work to meet my friend Adam at Barley John’s Brewpub in New Brighton.Continue Reading…
I really enjoy writing this article, but these awards get harder and harder every year! That’s mostly because there are so many great breweries in the state and partly due to some self imposed limits. Every award must go to a brewery I’ve visited in the calendar year and I won’t give a brewery the same award two years in a row. I also added a Best Innovation category to reward the breweries that are consistently pushing the envelope! I’ve visited almost 100 breweries in Minnesota and written posts about a healthy amount of them. If I’m missing your favorites I’d love to hear about them. Let’s get to it!
We’d just spent the morning at Bandelier National Monument and had worked up quite the thirst climbing in and out of the ancestral pueblo homes in the Frijoles Canyon. After re-grouping in the parking lot we determined that a brewpub would fit the bill and I identified a particular one that I thought would be worth a visit. Into our rental cars we piled and headed back into Santa Fe to the taproom of Rowley Farmhouse Ales.
Anytime you have a metaphysical experience you should follow it up with a beer. Which is why, after running around and exploring the magical world of Meow Wolf, we took a walk around the corner to reflect on our experience and trade notes about all of the craziness. Our destination was one of several craft breweries in the area, and since one couple in our group was now pushing a stroller we chose the closest: Second Street Brewery’s Rufina Taproom.
When I was looking for breweries in Albuquerque there were two names that kept cropping up. On our way to Santa Fe it just so happened we needed somewhere to eat lunch. What better place than a brewpub? For those two reasons it was an easy decision to stop at the Bosque Brewing Co. Public House.
We had just spent the afternoon at the ABQ BioPark and were looking for a spot to relax before dinner. The previous night we got a hot tip to go to El Pinto and I knew from my pre-tip research that there was a brewery near there in West Side Albuquerque. Without hesitation we piled into the rental car and set course for Boxing Bear Brewing Company, dreaming of craft beer and rested feet.
In January my wife and I were determined to visit our friends in Cleveland for a birthday party. That’s a significant drive, so we decided to make a pit stop in Chicago to visit my old friend and roommate Adrian. I slipped out of work around lunch, swung home to pick up Samantha, and texted my friend our estimated time of arrival. He was well prepared for our visit and had planned our night accordingly. The first stop was for food and beer at the Two Brothers Brewing Roundhouse.
It’s that time of year again. Time to reflect upon the breweries that I visited in the past year and identify some of my favorites. Since this is the second time I’m doing these awards I added some ground rules. I’m only assigning an award to somewhere that I visited in 2017. If you don’t see one of your favorites then let please let me know. Rest assured that with the amount of breweries now in Minnesota there is a great chance I didn’t make it there. In an effort to shake things up, I decided to ensure there were no repeats from last year. Lastly, to recognize the best of the breweries that opened in 2017, there is a new category called Best New Brewery. Let’s get started!
The company I work for does an event every quarter. After we’re done there are a handful of regulars that like to keep things going. We were in Eagan and someone mentioned that there was a new place that had opened recently. Before long I was closing my vehicle door and searching for the entrance to Union 32 Craft House.
Earlier this spring I mentioned to my wife that this could be a good year to hike the entirety of the Superior Hiking Trail. A crazy suggestion, yet just a handful of months later we were pulling into Grand Marais with one sleep left between us and the trail. In the morning my parents were going to drop us off on the Canadian border and to temper our nerves we had planned our last meal at the aptly named Gun Flint Tavern.