Lakes Area Brew Hopping
It's been awhile since I've done a post, I've been caught up in the holidays and busy recovering from them too! We were out of town for a good week and a half visiting family and friends but I was able to keep up my workouts none the less by doing some Sculpt and Vinyasa courtesy of Nisswa Yoga (love this little spot).
But of course, I also rewarded myself over the holiday by visiting some favorites (and one new) brewery in my home town. If you should ever find yourself in the Brainerd Lakes area, make sure to make some pit stops for these micro brews!
Jack Pine Brewery
I've had Jack Pine's beers quite a few times at various beer fests but had yet to make it to their tap room since it was a bit further out of the way from my old stomping grounds. Their tap room is tucked away in an industrial corner of Baxter, MN; it's very understated until you walk in the door. A small but cozy space filled with LOTS of beer selections, I was delightfully surprised!
I did one of the two flights offered so I could sample as much as possible - and then took sips of everyone else's full beers :).
I had tasted the "Vengeance" (Jalapeno Cream Ale) before and although I give them props for pulling this off, I just can't handle an entire glass of it - it's got serious bite!
The all around favorite was hands down the "Campfire" - it's a S'mores Stout topped off with marshmallows! Save the mallows til the end, they're a perfect creamy end to the toasty, flavorful and savory beer.
All the beers were great but I have to do one more shout out for the "Trespass", it's a whiskey barrel porter. Super dark but light, you can taste the whiskey flavor right away and it distinguishes it a lot, it has a very different flavor, in a good way! Way to go Jack Pine. I wouldn't be surprised if they get a little bigger in the coming months.
Gull Dam Brewery
We have been fans of this place since it opened over a year ago but it's great to visit every time we're in town, there's always something new to try. Gull Dam (you have to laugh don't you!?) is right off 371 in Nisswa, MN - it's an easy stop on the way up north.
Favorite beer of the moment: I went with the Nitro Stout, simple and savory, plus I like Nitro when I can get my hands on it for a change.
The atmosphere wins here - large open space with some rustic charm. They have occasional food vendors and bands visit from time to time but I personally love the ginormous Jenga, it really draws a crowd. Now, go get your Gull Dam beer!
Big Axe Brewing
These guys are fairly new to downtown Nisswa and a great addition if I do say so myself! Nisswa has a quaint touristy downtown with cute retail shops, some of the best pizza (Rafferty's), souvenir and coffee shops, and a small town brewery compliments it perfectly. This space is tight but kind of adds to the fun of it, they have a cafe side with a few food items and then the brewery side with a woodsy sit up bar.
Not going to lie, I'm loving the Stout here too, but I'm sure it has something to do with the weather. All their beer is easy drinking - they have a small and very simple selection, which is nice for a change, it makes ordering easy! I think they did a great job decorating the small tap room space, it's got a cozy up north feeling and I think the limited space in here actually draws a larger crowd - maybe it's all part of the plan... ;)
If you should ever find yourself passing through or visiting the "Lakes" area, pop in to one or all of these! I bet if you stop you'll want to stay up there a while too...