Browsing Tag

taproom

Awards

Minnesota Craft Beer: Best of 2019

January 17, 2020
Tap Traveler at the State Fair

I can’t believe this is the fourth year I’ve given these awards. This year was especially hard, because I shifted down a gear on my in-state travels. I began 2019 with a resolution to count my calories (not great for beer). Shortly after that my toddler found her legs and combined it with boundless energy. We also took three trips out of state, where most of my drinking this year took place. Even so, I visited more than enough to put together this list.

A quick reminder at the stipulations. Each award must go to a brewery that I visited in the calendar year and I won’t give a brewery the same award two years in a row. At this point I’ve visited over 100 Minnesota breweries and written about most of them. I like to think I have my finger on the pulse of the scene, but if I’m missing your favorites I’d love to hear about them. On to the awards!

Continue Reading…
Editorial

A Craft Beer Lover’s San Diego Sojourn

December 18, 2019

“Did you hear that we are planning a trip to California next year?” my wife asked. “That’s a big state, whereabouts?” I asked. “We were thinking of San Diego actually” she said. “San Diego?” I responded. Like a burst of carbonation from a bottle, images of craft beer cracked through my mind. Sure the weather would be beautiful, the beaches plentiful, and the food splendid. But it’s a craft beer mecca, surely that’s why we were going?

Continue Reading…

The Brewing Projekt

October 28, 2019

We had checked out. Our road trip took us through along the entire north shore of Lake Superior. Through Ontario, into the upper peninsula of Michigan, and then the heart of Wisconsin. We’d been going downhill the past couple of days, putting miles behind us in our quest to return home. Eau Claire was our final night and The Brewing Projekt was a “bucket list” brewery that we had to visit.

Continue Reading…

Mackinaw Trail Brewing Company

October 17, 2019

There is no better pit stop than a craft brewery. We’d been driving for hours after departing Sault Ste. Marie and were about to touch Lake Michigan. After that, we’d plunge into the interior of Wisconsin. The stars aligned when we drove into Manistique, Michigan and spotted a small spit of land housing the Mackinaw Trail Brewing Company.

Continue Reading…

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.

Continue Reading…

Sleeping Giant Brewing Company

October 1, 2019

We love the north shore of Lake Superior. My wife and I both went to college in Duluth and several times a year we return for a recharge. We’ve been to every state park and also completed a thru-hike of the rugged Superior Hiking Trail. Earlier this year emergency car repairs derailed a trip to Europe. Instead, we shifted gears beyond Minnesota into Ontario. Our first night would be in Thunder Bay. That meant scheduling a stop at Sleeping Giant Brewing Company.

Continue Reading…

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.

Continue Reading…

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.

Continue Reading…

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.

Continue Reading…