Friday afternoon, June 6, my sister and I headed east to Mankato, MN to try out Mankato Brewery. I found them by searching online and here is what their website says:
Founded in 2010, Mankato Brewery is proud to revive the brewing tradition in the Key City. Mankato Brewery will be the first production brewery in the community since 1967. Focused on creating authentic beers that reflect the heritage of the region and its people, the crew at Mankato Brewery invites you to try our beer and to Experience Local Flavor.
The beers we tasted (spoiler, we tasted all of them), info from their website:
- Ceres Summer Ale: Named for the Roman goddess of agriculture and grain, Mankato Brewery’s Ceres Summer Ale is a crisp take on an American Wheat Ale. The barley and wheat malts are complimented with lively hops and sweet orange peel, for a refreshing finish, Style: American Wheat Ale, ALC: 4.5% by Vol, Color- Straw.
- Organ Grinder Amber Ale: The malt is the key to Organ Grinder with the hops taking a break. Much like its German inspired relatives, you see its brilliant amber color and smell its rich malt base. The flavor follows the aroma, and is toasty with a touch of sweetness and a slight noble hop presence, ALC: 5.6% by Vol, Color: Amber.
- Haymaker IPA: With the hops and malt fighting for contention, Haymaker IPA won’t back down. The rich, malty base provides the windup for the hops’ crisp, bright citrus flavors. Go toe-to-toe with this well balanced and devilishly drinkable IPA, and this double dry-hopped phenom will knock you out, ALC: 6.8% by Vol, Color: Copper
- Mankato Original: Mankato Original (M.O.) is an homage to the traditional top-fermented beers of Cologne, Germany; it is light and refreshing with a crisp bitterness, delicate hop aroma, subtle malt flavor and a hint of fruitiness. M.O. is a great beer to enjoy anytime; it will compliment a wide variety of foods from pizza to sausages and sauerkraut. It will also pair well with cheeses like Muenster, Edam and Gouda, 4.8% ABV.
- Stickum: The name “Stickum” is derived from a German vernacular word “stiekum” which means: “to say something quietly, behind one’s cupped hand”. It is no secret, we meant to do this! Stickum is a Sticke-Altbier, brewed on special occasion to a higher strength and bitterness than its everyday counterpart. With a brilliant mahogany hue, hefty malt backbone and robust bitterness to back it up, Stickum exhibits notes of toasty malt and caramel coupled with an earthy-spicy hop character, a full body and an underlying winey character from fermentation, 5.8 ABV.
- Duly Noted (not on their website), A hop forward American pale ale that uses a generous amount of west coast style hops bringing distinct tropical, floral, lemon and grapefruit characteristics, 5.4% ABV.
I would say my favorite was the summer ale, not surprisingly. I generally like the lightest beers best. But I enjoyed tasting them all. Good work! The taproom is an industrial area, but extremely easy to access off the main road. The tasting room was manned by a very friendly, knowledgeable and funny man. The seating area featured popcorn (excellent move – a must in my mind), PlayStation type games, HUGE Jenga and more games. I imagine this would be a fun place to come with your buddies after work. The hours are currently somewhat limited, Tues-Fri 4-7pm and Saturday noon – 7pm. You can take a tour if you schedule in advance or even rent the tasting room – catering is welcome. They have a small gift shop section and growler fills are welcome.
After visiting Mankato Brewing, we headed over to the Boulder Tap House on 291 Saint Andrews Drive, which was a quick stop away from the brewery. We met up with some co-workers of my sister. I have never been to this place, but I understand it is a small chain in MN. I loved the vibe and beer. Of course, the company we kept was exceptional, so that helped. They had a ton of beer to choose from, flights to drink and some good food. I got the Fajita Chicken Lettuce Wraps which featured Fajita chicken, black beans, corn, peppers, onions, lettuce, seasoned sour cream, guacamole and pico. I wish I had taken some more photos or notes but since we had company I didn’t want to be more weird than usual. Thanks ladies for the great evening!