Saturday, January 29, 2022

Mario Goes Home

Wow, it's been a week already? Mario left Minnesota a few days ago, and after a quick stop in New York City, he and his daughter Lara are back home in Düsseldorf.

Our last day of brewery visits and beer tastings together was last Friday in Minneapolis' North Loop neighborhood, but my phone's battery died after the first stop, so I'll see if I can remember the rest of the day...

After some good beers at Wicked Wort, we continued on to Inbound Brewco. They had a couple of new beers on tap since we visited a couple weeks ago; the Goat Trouble Saison and the Barrel Aged RIS were particular standouts.

The North Loop neighborhood is great for brewery visits; there are four or five within walking distance, and street parking is only $1 per hour. So that was the plan: park the car at Inbound and walk from one to the next.

Difficulty: The high temperature was 23°F/-5°C, but that was at midnight. It had dropped to around -5°F/-20°C by the time we were downtown. Worse, the wind was howling down the streets, creating a biting wind chill temperature of -24°F/-31°C.

More difficulty: we walked down to the corner, to StormKing Brewpub & Barbecue, only to find that my information was incorrect, and they weren't open yet. But with Fulton Brewery just around the corner, we hurried on our way.

More difficulty: My information about Fulton was also incorrect, and they weren't open yet either. Even I was feeling the cold. We spotted a bar up at the next corner, and it looked like there was somebody inside, so we pressed on, leaving the car even further behind.

More difficulty: There was in fact somebody sitting inside; it turned out it was the owner, working on his books. First Draft Taproom wouldn't actually be open for a few hours. We decided that I would walk back to get the car, then drive back to pick up Paris and Mario. Then we could at least sit in the heated vehicle and plan our next moves.

So I walked back to get the car, then drove back to pick up Paris and Mario. They weren't standing outside when I pulled up, but my freshly-charged phone rang just as I was parking. It was Mario, saying that the owner saw them shivering and opened his doors early just for us!

First Draft was our first experience with a pour-your-own establishment, but owners Darren* and Andrew* enthusiastically showed us how it was done and gave us a tour of their 50-odd taps. Most of the taps poured beer, but there were a handful with wine and even some with whiskey!

*I'll apologize in advance if I got the names wrong; I have a memory like a steel sieve.

We spent a good long time at First Draft, pouring our beers-by-the-ounce and having a grand old time. In the meantime, I called Fulton to find out what time they'd be open, and as it happened they were open already. So we paid our bill and said our goodbyes to the great staff, and headed back into the bitter cold and down the street. Only this time, we took the car with us!

There was only one beer on the menu at Fulton that I hadn't had before (or wanted to try), but it was a good one. Jaromir Lagr is a damn tasty Dunkel (or Tmavé) with a damn clever name.

Continuing backwards along our original route, we returned to the now-open StormKing, the air redolent with the aroma of barbecue. Their Noble Pilsner was a fairly tasty American Pilsner, and the She Gone Rye and the Starless Schwarzbier were excellent.

The last stop was a couple blocks away at Modist Brewing. I only had room for two beers here, but they were both top-notch: Rye & Mild (I love me some rye) and Supra Deluxe, a Premium Lager.

And then we had to bring this three-day adventure to an end, taking Mario to his downtown Minneapolis hotel. We made 15 brewery stops plus one beer bar. I ended up with 44 new beers for the notebooks. Mario had 60 here in Minnesota, and 59 more in NYC and the various airports on the way home! He's already making plans to come back this summer so he can see the other side of our weather.

Pictures from Wednesday

Mario at Pryes Brewing

Paris and me at Pryes Brewing

Happy drinkers at Pryes
Utepils Brewing

OMNI Brewing

Aegir Brewing (obviously not from Wednesday)

Pictures from Thursday

OMNI Brewing (again)

Yoerg Brewing

Waldmann Brewery

Bad Weather Brewing

Clutch Brewing

Aegir Brewing (again, and obviously not from Thursday)

Pictures from Friday

Wicked Wort Brewing

Inbound Brewco

First Draft (from Google Maps)

Mario strides purposefully toward Fulton Brewing

StormKing Brewpub & Barbecue

Modist Brewing

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Oh yes, it was an amazing trip to Minnssota and absolutely unforgettable. Yeah, i will definitely come back... Prost!