Breweries that need to be visited By Joel Schafer

While I have been contemplating my next piece on baseball while sipping on a Fulton Brewing Expat -Saison ale, I came upon the idea of writing about something that should be taken just as seriously. What you may ask would that be? The answer is BEER. There are so many good beers and breweries in the USA; many of those are in Beerapolis or better known as Minneapolis. I will touch on four breweries that need to be visited and tasted and enjoyed. I will stay away from breweries that have a reputation of already being excellent breweries: Fulton, Founders, Jolly Pumpkin, Odell, and Bells won’t come up again. These are fine breweries. If you haven’t had anything from any of these you are missing out.

I will start out with a brewery that is small and fairly obscure to most. They are a smaller brewery from the state of Drunkeness, better known as Wisconsin. Furthermore Brewery is so solid as much as I despise this state something good came from them. I have not been privileged enough to drink the full lineup yet, but I can say that they do not produce a bad beer from my experience. They hail from Green Spring WI. A little bit about the beer I have had. I will start out with a beer you won’t forget the name of: Fatty Boombalatty. Much like the name this Belgian pale ale has lots of flavor. Top two in that style in my book. Knot Stock is a spiced beer which I have had very few of. I remember a distinct black pepper in the taste. Nevermore is an oatmeal stout very solid and was my favorite stout outside the state of Minnesota until last week when I had KBS from founders. Oscura  is a California Common infused with coffee and is very good. Makeweight is an American strong ale. Strong taste but light on the alcohol as it is a mere 8.5%. Finally, Fallen Apple a seasonal creme ale made with apple cider. Imagine a hard cider mixed with a blonde ale, this is close to perfect.

The second out of state brewery is dear to my heart. I will admit I have a certain bias for them. I have a great connection with them and the next two breweries and a special sport I play, disc golf. This is a sport I play an like almost as much as baseball/softball. They are from a state with no professional sports teams. Lewis and Clark Brewery in Helena MT. In Minnesota it is impossible to get their beer. You have to buy it outside of MN or have an awesome friend send you it in a trade for quality beer that he can’t get in Montana. I have had very limited beer (12 cans from them) to taste of theirs. I have sampled 3 different beers that were all spendid. Back Country Scotch ale – as far as scotch ales go in my book this is a five star out of five stars drink I have several that are comparable and yet unique Founders, Samuel Adams to name a few.  Tumbleweed  American IPA I was pleasantly surprised  that the aftertaste wasn’t the typical bitter hops aftertaste of many in this style. Prickly Pear pale Ale is a fine pale ale made with cactus red fruit . I don’t see this as a pale ale it isn’t a blonde, amber, or farmhouse either. No matter what delicious is what it is.  This is a Brewery that without a doubt will be visited by me hopefully sooner than later.

Big Wood Brewery has one of the finest brewers in Minnesota. Ty Mcbee knows brewing and has a passion to fill your ears with his passion to brew for 18 holes of disc golf. I have met him on twitter and found out he plays disc golf and we ended up playing some together in our free time. Big Wood is in White Bear Lake  about 25 minutes outside of Minneapolis. The Saloon offers Flights of this liquid gold. I could go through a list of my. They had the #1 or 1a stout I have tasted on nitro when I visited recently (chocolate udder stout).  With beers named with great innuendo comes great taste. Morning Wood a breakfast stout. Jack and Jacques Savage, Bark Bite, The Wicked Ex and Bad Ax (one of the greats). You can go wrong with Lil’ Red Riding Wood or Big Black Wolf. I can tell you how much Ty is the Man but it would seem like myth and legend until you partake in Big Wood. Yes it is that big.

Sisyphus Brewery is the small batch master. Sam is highly regarded for his talent.  Much like the mythical character Sisyphus you will keep bringing your growlers back for more. The owners Sam and Catherine are very kind and humble. I found them last July while stuck in Downtown weekend traffic, not moving for 5 minutes and reading a sign that was well placed for a brewery I have never heard of and arrow pointing to the right, I did what any smart person stuck in the same spot for what seemed to be an eternity would do, follow the yellow brick road into a new brewery. I had a flight the first time I was in and like every time I have stayed to have a drink I always have a flight. (They should name it The Icarus). As a parent of 3 this is a brewery I can bring my kids and feel okay about it. It is also the only one I feel this way about. The atmosphere is great and with a pinball machine for the kids and a very home like feel. Sam and Catherine are very unique in how personable they are with everyone. If you have been in more than once they will know your name. As for me I will know all the small batches soon enough. Kentucky Common is one of the finest beers I have ever had in any style. They have a Maple Stout that is either 1 or 1a in my book.  The black ale they have is off the charts. Last week I had a Steam ale that and OPA2 and It was the hardest decision I had to make with only one grumbler along to bring to the disc golf course. I choose the one with the lower alcohol content and only can hope to get OPA2 or Kentucky Common this weekend.  Yes I will be there for a some beer this weekend. Just like the White Sox TV play by play calls a home run. Sisyphus, You can Put it on the board YES!

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