Browsing Tag

patio

OutSpoken Brewing

October 3, 2019

We were on the last leg of our road trip. We entered Canada near Thunder Bay, and we planned to exit into Michigan through Sault Ste. Marie. Ontario was magnificent and the Trans-Canada Highway was one of the best drives we’ve ever taken. Forest, rivers, lakes, cliffs, and hundreds of miles of smooth traffic-free highway. It wasn’t time to say goodbye; Ontario deserved one last night. We pulled up to OutSpoken Brewing to begin our farewell.

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Lupulin Brewing Company

September 26, 2019

I’ve written about craft beer for four years. That’s about as long as I’ve been drinking it. I don’t remember a lot of beers from the first couple of years. My palate wasn’t developed, most beers tasted similar, and I had a hard time differentiating good beer from bad. One of the pursuits we attempted in those early days was to complete the Northern Ale Guide. When there is a t-shirt at stake, I’ll do anything. I recall bouncing around the state on a cold December weekend trying to get the last few stamps in the book. There was one brewery that we visited that didn’t make much of an impression. This summer I wanted to see how my tastes have changed after four years in the hobby. On a drizzly summer afternoon I pulled into the parking lot of Lupulin Brewing Company to see what I had missed.

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Ashby Brewing Company

September 23, 2019

There is something intriguing about a small town brewery. It summons the past, a time when breweries dotted the country. When locals would gather in the park after Sunday mass and enjoy a refreshing mug of the area’s lager with friends and family. When I hear that a brewery has opened in a town with a population of less than 500, I can’t help myself. It’s even more appealing when they are only open for a handful of hours a week. Ashby Brewing Company is the latest nano-brewery to provoke a visit.

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Brickfield Brewing

September 21, 2019

It’s a long drive to my sister’s cabin in Hayward. Our usual strategy is to break up the drive by visiting the Drive In in Taylor’s Falls. It’s nearly halfway but, more importantly, they have cheese curds. My sister says they stop at the location in Grantsburg on their way home. In August we put the town on our agenda. No food for us though, our trip was for craft beer at Brickfield Brewing.

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Birch’s on the Lake

September 17, 2019

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.

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Alluvial Brewing Company

August 31, 2019

One of my criteria for a great brewery is the taproom. Of course, the beer matters. Yet the taproom can make or break the experience. I begin by trawling any “best of” lists that I can find, collecting the breweries that appear multiple times and any others that jump out at me. Then I dig deeper. I dive into the pessimism of reddit, ask for recommendations from Instagram influencers, browse individual websites, and search through local tourism info. Once I have list of breweries – usually far too long for my needs – I search for them on Google Maps. Location is a factor, but the primary reason is to view photos. Google organizes these, and Vibe is my jam. While searching for Iowa breweries, there was one that cropped up that intrigued me but had few photos of the interior. My visit to Alluvial Brewing Company would now have purpose.

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Jessup Farm Barrel House

August 14, 2019

“Do you think we’ll have enough time?” my wife asked. We were standing at an overlook within Rocky Mountain National Park. Ahead of us the Trail Ridge Road was closed for the season. “If we leave now and we don’t stop, I think we can make it work.” I said. Our plan was to visit two breweries that afternoon. “I’m glad the fog lifted, this was worth the drive.” I said. A thick fog had covered the valley on the drive up to our summit. It had just cleared, giving us an incredible view of the valley below. “Who’s driving?” I asked. “You,” my wife responded. Jessup Farm Barrel House was waiting.

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Guanella Pass Brewing Company

August 9, 2019

Ambitious. That’s the word I’d use to describe our travel style. On each new trip we try dialing our itinerary down. We continue to disappoint ourselves. For our first road trip as a family of three we planned on only 5 to 7 hours of driving a day. That ends up being quite a lot for a baby. Despite struggling at times we still made room in the schedule for craft beer. The first brewery on our list: Guanella Pass Brewing Company.

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Strap Tank Brewery

July 9, 2019

“Can we get a table outside?” I asked. “I’m sorry, the patio isn’t open yet.” the friendly hostess responded. Not open yet? It was early afternoon on a Saturday, almost 70 degrees and sunny. In Minnesota, this place would be overflowing. I’d heard that Utah had some interesting laws and it was unclear whether this was one of them. It was the start of a series of head scratching revelations we would have during our visit to Strap Tank Brewery.

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Ursa Minor Brewing

May 10, 2019

Duluth holds a special place in my heart. The first time I visited was when we toured UMD with my older brother on a college visit. I didn’t think much of the campus, the PortLand Malt Shoppe was more my style at the time. Yet, Lake Superior and the Lift Bridge must have made a larger impression on me than I thought because when it came time for me to choose a college to attend, it was an easy decision. My most formative years were spent on that snowy hill and it culminated with beginning to date the woman that would eventually become my wife. It’s no surprise that we visit the North Shore multiple times a year and each time we select a new brewery to visit. Last weekend we stopped at one of the newest, Ursa Minor Brewing.

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