I’m too young to understand the “supper club.” A concept interwoven into the fabric of the Midwest, these establishments have long sought their place in the modern era. By the time I was old enough to remember, these previously revered restaurants had become an odd blend of classy and kitsch. A vestige of the past. The craft beer industry is suited to blending the old and the new. Enter Birch’s on the Lake.Continue Reading…
If you’ve been in the craft beer scene for any length of time you’ll begin to realize there are certain glasses for different styles of beer. Since smell is intrinsically linked to taste it makes sense to drink beers with a heavy hop aroma from glassware that provides maximum surface area. When a local brewery began serving IPAs out of a bowl they made waves across the entire industry. It was only a matter of time before I took the drive to the shores of Lake Minnetonka to stick my nose into a bowl of beer at Spring Park’s Back Channel Brewing Co.Continue Reading…
Dinner at Va Bene Caffe has become a tradition that we perform every time we visit Duluth, which is usually a couple of times a year. Towards the end of each meal the conversation leads to a discussion on where we will go for drinks afterwards. Only a pair of brewpubs remain that I’ve yet to visit but I’d heard about a spot across the Minnesota Wisconsin border that I had to try: Earth Rider Brewery. Continue Reading…
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!
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.
With our tent setup we began the walk to Castle Danger Brewery. We hadn’t planned very well for our visit to Two Harbors, but we lucked out when my wife mentioned to a co-worker that we were visiting. Turns out his daughter lived seven blocks directly north of their taproom. A perfect place to sleep after taking part in our first Minnesota Brewery Running Series!
There is no substitute for a cold beer on a hot summer day in Minnesota. We had a Groupon to burn and were determined not to use it on the last day possible. So in late June on a particularly warm and extremely breezy day, Samantha and I met up with some family at Enki Brewing.
The last stop of our north shore brew tour was in Canal Park at the aptly named Canal Park Brewing Company. All of us had been there before so we knew what to expect. We had planned to take it a little slower, and luckily it was quiet when we arrived.
The next stop on our trip was the Castle Danger Brewery. We made our approach after a quick turn off the highway. Just like Voyageur this taproom faces Lake Superior and provides some excellent scenery.
After a short night of drinking we woke up early and hit the road. The plan was to get in as many breweries as we could and we were to start at the furthest one north and work our way down. Before we knew it we had rolled into Grand Marais to our first stop: Voyageur Brewing Company.