Saturday, March 15, 2014

Three (fairly new) Minneapolis Breweries

I visited Minneapolis last week. Lots of recent additions to the burgeoning craft beer scene there.
Here are three in the NE section of the city, all within a few minutes of each other.

612 Brew

612 Brew's brewery and tasting room is in a renovated industrial park building. Apparently, the space above the brewery used to be a sort of alternative theater, with puppet dramas and the like -- but gentrification/beerification have taken over. The tasting room offers seven beer on tap. Flights of four generous (7oz.) pours cost $11, and pints cost $5. Growlers also available. The tasting room and brewery share the same space. It was crowded on a Saturday afternoon, and the crowd was decidely older (40s - 60s) than at other places I’ve been to in Miineapolis -- they had The Golf Channel on one TV (if that’s any indication) and women’s college basketball on the other. The beer is okay here. Not the best that the Twin Cities have to offer but not bad at all. Here are the ones we tried:

Gateway Park (Pale Lager – 5.6%)
This little lager had a smooth grassy aroma and a deep gold color. It more or less resembled a pils, but was just a bit too sweet.

Brew Six (American Pale Ale – 5.1%)
Smooth mild fruity nose and a dark amber color. The flavors were peach and light caramel with minimal bittering. The finish seemed like the sweet milk leftover in a cereal bowl after the Cheerios are gone.

Zero Hour (Black IPA – 5.4%)
The aromas were of candyish tootsie rolls with some air freshener floating around. The light sweet malt had some berries notes in it. Fairly decent hopping in a medium body.

Rated R (IPA – 6.6%)
This IPA had a flowery nose and a slight peppery tang. The solid malty initial (caramel or toffee) gave way to peppery mid palate. It featured deep resinous hops that lingered long into the finish. This was the best one we had at 612 Brew.,c_limit,q_80,d_brew_def.jpg/brew_16039.jpg

945 Broadway St NE
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA 55413
Tel: 612-217-0437
Hours: W - Th: 4 - 10 pm / F: 2:30pm – midnight / Sat: noon - midnight

Indeed Brewing Company

Indeed has a pleasant taproom in an old renovated brick building, and it's a popular place Lines of people outside waited to get in and there was a bit of a crush at the bar. Artwork by the same person who designs Indeed's labels hang on the walls. No TVs here (thank you)! The service was a bit slow and unsmiling, with only two people working the bar and lots of people buying growlers. Beer here is good to very good. Nine tap pouring, including two casks. No sampler flights were available. Prices are normal: 10oz pours for $3.75; 16oz for $5; and 20oz for $5.50. An enjoyable place with a real sense of identity.

Day Tripper Pale Ale (Simcoe – 5.4%)
This one was on cask, and it’s among a series of limited Day Tripper releases featuring a single hop or a fruit. It had a smooth deep Simcoe nose. Flavors of light peaches with steady hop bittering.

Let It Ride IPA (Mosaic – 6.8%)
A limited cask version of Let Ride IPA. It had a deep fruity hoppy nose, with rich cake. Peaches and toffee, with berries, as the Mosaic hops meld nicely into the malt. The Mosaic works so well in this one.

Indeed / Northbound Hot Box Imperial Smoked Pepper Porter (9.5%)
A collaboration brew, with smoked peppers and cold-smoked malt. A very full aroma of pepper, smoky BBQ sauce, and soy sauce. The initial flavor had sharp peppers, and moved into smooth smoky roast malt, coffee, and then even more smoke. The peppers dominated the lingering aftertaste. They weren’t overwhelming, but rather pleasant and complemented the smoky malt well.,c_limit,q_80,d_brew_def.jpg/brew_14786.jpg
711 15th Avenue
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA 55413
Tel: 612-643-1226
Hours: Th - Fri: 3 - 11 pm / Sat noon - 11 pm

Dangerous Man Brewing Company

Dangerous Man has been open just over a year now, taking over the space of a former bank building Although it was very crowded, the atmosphere was pleasant and really welcoming. I asked the doorman about the origin of the name: he told me that the heavily-bearded owner's appearance once scared a friend's young child -- and the tyke was reassured that he wasn't a "dangerous man". Fun music on the sound system -- and the bar servers were bouncing to the beat. Very mixed group of customers, but mostly young to middle-aged and hipsterish. Also, the service was fast, with five or six bar servers busy as can be. Six taps, all quite varied. No sampler flights are available. Beers cost $3 for a 10oz glass and $5 for 16oz. The beers were all good to great. If I lived in the area, I’d come back to this place often, just to check out what new brews they have made.

Dangerous Man brewery has been getting a lot a press these day, including this recent article on the CNN web site. It was also voted RateBeer's Best New Minnesota Brewery in 2013. Go there and see why.

Chocolate Milk Stout (6.3%)
A light smooth cocoa nose. Wonderful sweetish dark roast maltiness with coffee, chocolate, and Ovaltine. Like a slightly boozy breakfast drink.

Vienna IPA (6.6%)
Solid roast malt, with a decidedly IPA nose. Good hopping and sweet caramel. The bittering went on and on. Much more body than a typical Vienna and less than an IPA. An interesting hybrid.

Batch 100 IIIPA (12.4%)
A real monster, with aromas of roses, tropical fruit, massive citrus hopping, and severe alcohol fumes. Thick rich caramel flavor, with peaches and some toffee – the alcohol warmth was also considerable – and it had an endless tongue-scraping hoppy finish. This one goes way beyond any normal imperial IPA. Thick and bit sticky, but very good.,c_limit,q_80,d_brew_def.jpg/brew_15908.jpg

1300 2nd St NE
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA 55413
Tel: 612-209-2626
Hours: T-Th: 4 - 10 pm / F: 3pm - midnight / Sat: noon - midnight

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