We’ve got a handful of friends located in the south metro area and beyond. We’re always looking for places that may be more convenient for them to avoid requiring them to drive to the cities every time we want to visit a new taproom. When we heard that Northfield would soon be home to two breweries, we planned accordingly. The first to arrive was Tanzenwald Brewing Company.
A name like Tanzenwald (dancing forest) screams German influence with a whimsical tinge on the combination of good times and nature. Their onsite Nosh Haus (food house) pairs German inspired food with a wide range of beer styles. The founder, owner, and head brewer Stephen Pittman is a formally trained brewer with real world experience at a high profile California brewery: Lagunitas. How Stephen and his wife ended up in Northfield is a story best left to their website.
Heading straight for downtown we took a quick left turn and easily located the brewery’s large sign from the road. The bare dirt surrounding the taproom flagged the brewery as brand new and the empty patio out back made me dream of warmer days to come. As I walked around the building to grab some exterior photos before the sunset, we saw our friends through the large glass windows and Samantha went in to apologize for our tardiness.
Entering the building I was surprised to find an extremely well designed taproom. All manner of seating dotted the area, and our friends were saving us a spot at a high top near the door. A bevy of natural light spilled in from the windows. Exposed trusses made the room feel larger than anticipated, with a floating tiled ceiling above the bar creating an intimate space for ordering your beverage of choice. The tap list was created by hanging wooden signs on railroad spikes, a subtle nod to an industry that gave birth to so many river towns like Northfield.
The first order of business was getting some beers to the table followed by placing our food order at the counter. As usual, I ordered a flight of four beers which coincidentally was every beer this new brewery had on tap. Those beers: De Minimus (Pale Ale), Odd Fellows (IPA), Hitthebrix (Belgian Golden Strong), Guns-a-Blazin’ (Double IPA). While working through the flight my Asparagus Risotto arrived and provided a nice sticky, buttery complement to the bitter beer before me. The unanimous favorite between myself and several friends was Guns-a-Blazin’. It’s rare that a Double IPA would be my favorite of the night, but the 8.2% ABV was hidden by the great balance between fruity and bitter. A malty backbone, thorough hop aroma and flavor, and light caramel notes created an excellent taste to round out the night. It goes without saying that I followed up the flight with a full pint!
Combined with the now open Imminent Brewing and the upcoming Chapel Brewing, Northfield stands to become somewhat of a destination for craft beer fans from the greater metro area. I hope to visit once they’ve had time to settle in and expand their offerings, but this is hardly a knock on a brewery that was so new during our visit. If you’ve never visited Northfield, now is the perfect time for a day trip!