Saturday, April 26, 2014
A brewery themed walk is the perfect way to spend a Saturday in Minneapolis. I also wanted to show Scott all of the destruction and construction going on downtown.
We walked along Bryant Avenue which is a bicycle boulevard that runs from 58th Street until the Loring Bikeway Bridge near I-94. Our first stop was at Urban Bean at 33rd and Bryant.
We continued walking along Bryant Avenue South after our break. Some of the sights along the way:
While I'm glad I drank some caffeine at Urban Bean to stave off a headache, I wish I could avoid the side effect of having to take bathroom breaks. We stopped at the Loring Park Dunn Bros and Scott got a snack to satisfy the customers only requirement of using the restroom.
We arrived downtown and walked along Nicollet Mall until 5th Street. A lot of construction is happening along the Light Rail line and in Downtown East near the stadium. I've wanted to get a close look at the stadium construction since I pass it regularly on the bus. It seems like you could fit an entire city in the pit!
One of my favorite discoveries from this walk is a private residence at 247 10th Avenue S. It used to be a commercial building and it caught my eye because of the turret and steel sculptures outside. At the time I'm writing this, it is for sale for a mere $2,695,000.
Brewery #1: Day Block Brewing Company
This was the first time we've been to Day Block Brewing Company. I never understood the name of this brewery until I visited and realized it is in the Day Block building (built in 1883). I liked the vibe of the place and the aesthetic but either my taste buds are off from my cold or I found their food to be just okay. We split an order of pretzels (way too salty) and I had a mixed greens salad (too watery or drenched in dressing) that came with garlic knots (too tough) and Scott had the Bahn Mizza (none of the things I love about bahn mis were happening on this pie). Scott liked the Batch 019 IPA and thought the Oatmeal Stout was pretty good but said it started to lose its carbonation by the end.
To get across the Mississippi River, we walked across the Stone Arch Bridge, one of my favorite walks in Minneapolis.
Brewery #2: Sociable Cider Werks
Next stop was Sociable Cider Werks, the first cider taproom in Minneapolis. I couldn't pass up a flight because I love ciders. I was not disappointed. In order of preference: Freewheeler (dry, tart), Spoke Wrench (stout), Hop-a-wheelie (hopped cider), and cucumber habanero infused cider. Scott had a swifty of Hop-a-wheelie and a beer, Mad Mike's Helles.
Although the walk up to the brewery was a bit weird and off putting (no sidewalks and you have to walk through a giant parking lot), the vibe of the taproom was great. Like many breweries, they had a food truck outside and the seating extended from indoors outside thanks to giant garage doors. They had a fire pit going which made it seem more cozy since it was a bit chilly. I'll definitely go back for more ciders!
Brewery #3: 612 Brew
This was our second time at 612 Brew and we mainly stopped in because it was so close to Sociable Cider Werks. I have a love/hate relationship with this place because it doesn't have the cozy vibe I like in most taprooms. That said, I love the huge patio with giant rock steps to sit on. I also love the building it occupies, The Broadway.
I didn't drink anything but Scott enjoyed the Laudenback, a "spring seasonal, brewed with German malts in traditional German Maibock style. Medium body, gold in color with biscuit aroma and notes of apricot." It was at this point that I decided to scout out a fourth brewery so we could officially call this walk a brewery tour!
After 612 Brew, we continued down Broadway and crossed the Mississippi River again. I don't love walking on busy streets but it seemed more straightforward than risking getting lost by moving to side streets.
Brewery #4: Boom Island Brewing Company
Our final stop was a pleasant surprise. Neither of us had heard much about Boom Island but we both thought the taproom was fun. We were greeted right away and given the lowdown of their beers. Even though Scott doesn't typically like Belgium-style beers (although he was wearing his New Belgium hat), he went for the flight of 8. I tried a few sips and definitely liked Witness.
A tour group arrived at the taproom and one of the gentlemen immediately started chatting us up. While talking with us about our flight, his wife walked up to tell him something then walked away. I immediately recognized her but couldn't place her. After awhile, it came up in conversation with her husband that they are from Fairmont and then I knew where I'd seen her - at my grandma's assisted living home! I sometimes love having strong facial recognition skills! I asked her to take a photo with me so I could send it to my parents and they couldn't place her even though they've seen her many more times than me.
After Scott finished his flight, we definitely needed to walk so he could work off some of the beer. We had a goal of walking 15 miles and it was fun to pause in the North Loop neighborhood to take a celebration selfie! We kept walking until Haute Dish and decided to stop for dinner even though we were way underdressed. They sat us in the back by the kitchen but I didn't mind because it was like having the place to ourselves. The food was awesome and I can't believe it took us so long to get there. We split their house salad described as "South Dakota steak-house salad" - wedge of iceberg lettuce, bleu cheese dressing, bacon "dust", and other deliciousness. Scott had their Tater Tot Haute Dish (porcini, short rib, green beans, “tots” which were more like croquettes) and i had the creamed peas on toast (peas and ricotta cheese, smoked whitefish, pecorino, pickled shallot). I can't wait to go back and possibly sit in the front room wearing more appropriate attire!
After dinner, we kept walking downtown on Nicollet Mall until 11th Street when it started raining. We happened to be by the WCCO weather watcher which was glowing green. A sign we needed to hop on the 18 bus home.
Inspiration & Goals
The Nivens Family