Wednesday, May 12, 2021

A Visit to Tanzenwald Brewing


Back when I was still running my travel blog. The Sheltered Gallivant, in the summer of 2018, I decided to focus my efforts mainly towards covering the various craft breweries and distilleries that I found myself at. That should’ve been a sign that I should’ve returned to the world of craft brewing but that’s another story altogether; One that I actually talked about at great length about a year ago.

Anyways, one of the breweries I visited was a place called Tanzenwald Brewing in Northfield, MN. My first time there, I found myself enjoying the atmosphere, beer, food and various homages to Northfield. In fact, when I did my initial piece on it, I talked about at great length as to how much I enjoyed the brewery. Well the travel blog is no more and it’s been 3 years since I last visited Tanzenwald, so I figured it was time to go back and check them out; This time as a beer blogger.

Located along Water Street and nestled in between an auto body shop and a Holiday Gas Station, Tanzenwald is the brain child of Jenaveve and Steve Pittman, a former brewer of Lagunitas Brewing. Having first opened their doors in 2017, they’ve been providing libations for the thirsty patrons of Northfield as well as those who happen to be passing through ever since. They also offer a full menu and a kitchen for those who wish to grab a bit to eat while sipping on beer.


Housed in what used to be an old creamery, the brewery itself oozes with rustic charm and it’s evidenced by the d├ęcor as well as the overall atmosphere. In other words, pretty much the same place I first visited the first time around. It was mid-afternoon and it wasn’t terribly busy, so my wife and I came at the right time.


Anyways, let’s talk about beer. While some of their selection were definitely ones that I saw before, they’ve added quite the variety to their lineup. Amongst this: Sours! So I decided to try out a variety of styles just to get an overall feel for what Tanzenwald has been up to since I last visited them 3 years ago.

Rio de Oro – A pineapple atole sour made with corn, cinnamon & lactose. This is an easy drinking sour with nice pineapple and vanilla notes with a hint of cinnamon spiciness and a nice tart finish. An overall delectable sour that paired wonderfully with the nice and sunny day.


Life on Mars? – A sour made with berries and aged on oak. Having been impressed with Rio de Oro, I decided to try out their other sour offering: Life on Mars? This has a nice raspberry flavor with a pronounced oakiness to it, with a nice tart finish and a slight funk. Tanzenwald definitely has their sour game where it should be based on their offerings.



Captain Amore – A Salted Grapefruit IPA. This one honestly surprised me for a couple reasons. One, it’s got a very light body for a beer that is 6.1% ABV. Two, the grapefruit flavor here is quite profound. Most grapefruit IPAs I’ve had are grapefruit plus citrus/piney hops but this isn’t the case here. It’s all grapefruit throughout the palate with a slightly bitter hop and pale malt finish. There are beers out there that some refer to as “Dangerously Crushable” and I think that this beer is a textbook example of that. That said, I enjoyed this beer a lot!

Gottlieb – A Bavarian Style Pilsner. This has a nice and light body with a solid pilsner malt base with a touch of floral hops and lemongrass. Another overall drinkable beer that I could see myself drinking on any given occasion.


A much deserved award!

All and all, the beers from Tanzenwald have definitely improved over the past 3 years and that’s evidenced by both their quality and styles in which they offer. I’ll certainly be on the lookout for more offerings from them in the future and you should be too, if you do happen to find yourself in the area! 


They can be found at:

103 Hwy 3 North

Northfield, MN 55057


 

Sunday, April 11, 2021

A visit to Pryes Brewing

I recall about 5 years ago when I was at The Nook in St. Paul, I had miraculum from pryes brewing on tap.  By that point I had seen this beer on tap at many watering holes but I had never seen anything else from the brewery itself aside from this one beer. Me being the inquisitive individual i am, I made a remark on Untappd/Twitter asking if this was indeed the only beer that pryes brewing had made.  Much to my surprise, they replied that indeed it was and that they were working on perfecting Miraculum before moving onto the next one.

Fair enough!

Well almost five years later, they have opened up a swanky taproom in Minneapolis on West River Road overlooking the Mississippi River and the number of beers they make instead of just one has increased to.....a lot. From their flagship Miraculum IPA, to more varied styles like Sours & Pastry Imperial Stouts.

Coming off of my recent vaccination and having been stuck at home for the past year, I figured now is a perfect time to start visiting tap rooms again and to commerate this, I visited Pryes Brewing on Easter Sunday; Mask in hand of course!


Now when I was there, all of the seating was outdoors but from what I saw inside, it's a fairly large space with tables and such and the fixtures were a mix of rustic I'm not sure if this is due to city ordinance but it this is not one of those days where one sits inside. This was 70 degree patio weather, and at the start of April in Minnesota nonetheless. Usually at this time of the year, we're contending with 30-40 degree weather and the occasional blizzard that Old Man Winter likes to dump on us one last time as a reminder that it's an ever lingering presence in our fine state.

But enough about the weather, we’re here to talk beer! Followers of my Instagram account will know that I’ve taken quite a liking to Pryes’ offerings, in lieu of my regular beer reviews that I used to write extensively about before switching up the format. That said, I tried out a few of their offerings and here is what I have to say about them:

 


Outside The Grid – A Pastry Imperial Stout made with Stroopwafel. This delectable beer sports a nice and roasty dark chocolate malt flavor with a very nice caramel and brown sugar sweetness with just a hint of honey and a light hoppy finish. Overall, a delicious desert beer that I could see myself pairing with a stroopwafel or a slice of tiramisu. Haven’t seen this in cans yet but you bet I’d grab this if I saw this in stores!


Stratacaster – A New England/Hazy style IPA. In this day and age, most breweries have their own interpretation of a Hazy IPA and Pryes is no exception to this rule. Made with, what else, Strata Hops; This bundle of goodness comes loaded with citrus and melon flavors with just a touch of cantaloupe. It’s a fine beer and I can’t find anything wrong with it. Shame it’s a limited release because this would be a hit if it were in cans (assuming it already isn’t)!


Lost Moon (2021) – Rounding my visit off, I decided to once again embrace the darkness again with their annual Imperial Stout release. Nice & rich chocolate malt and toffee sweetness here, with an ever so slight coffee roastiness. According to what I read, it’s supposed to be inspired by Belgian Candy. I’m not sure what that means but I’d be lying if I said that this wasn’t a tasty beer; Far from it. It’s not overly roasty and the toffee aspect here does the flavor justice.


Before visiting Pryes Brewing, my opinion of them was already quite high but it's even more-so now after paying a visit. The beer selection is great, the taproom and space itself are nice and the food served is also top notch; Like the Spicy BBQ Pizza pictured above. So if you find yourself in Minneapolis and are looking for good food and beer, Pryes Brewing is where you need to be at!