After a easy few miles from the starting point in Minneapolis, the group sat down to a few lagers from Lake Monster Brewing, just off of Vandalia Street in Saint Paul. A large water tower and fantastic outdoor seating greeted us, as well as food truck gnosh provided by Potter's Pasties. Despite the notable construction nearby, the seating was pleasant and quiet; the nearest NiceRide kiosk was a short walk to Raymond Avenue, and though I got familiar with walking to and fro as the day went on, my group was happy to wait and obliged the slower pace.
Moving from Lake Monster Brewing, the group descended on Burning Brothers Brewery, a gluten free brew that originated from two fire eating brothers who didn't let their love for a good ale get in the way of a health condition. Not a long walk from the Fairiew and University NiceRide station, this smaller brewery offered little in the way of outdoor seating but was fun and companionable within...I'd go for a Dr. Who reference here but phone booths are getting long in the tooth these days. After Burning Brothers, the group pedaled over to The Urban Growler and Bang Brewing, located within walking distance of the Raymond Avenue NiceRide kiosk and the Green Line train.
I really liked the food at Urban Growler and would heartily recommend...I guess this is sort of shouting at the ships after they've sailed though, so don't expect any spoilers. It's good enough to enjoy responsibly, is all I will venture.
Moving from the third and fourth breweries, our group fractured a little in finding our way to the well documented and legislatively predominant brew pub, Surly brewing; located just off of the Campus Connector bike and bus lane between the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis and Saint Paul campuses. I had never seen the restaurant and open air communal seating area that is now Surly, having only seen their first brewery in Brooklyn Park maybe once or twice. If you are planning an event with a whole lot of people you hope might bump into some more people and maybe a few more people who you hopefully might get to know and then enjoy some beers with a lot of people who are now your new friends, I'd suggest going here...crowd surfing is a skill for the waitstaff, and they were surprisingly adept at keeping people happy and sociable.
After enjoying the Surly Brewery stop, the group I was with diminished. Undaunted, I overstayed my welcome to see the last and final stop of the PubRoll BrewPub Pedal Tour, Insight Brewing. Although by this point I was tired and the beer tasted like beer, a bartender attended kindly to all of us in the group. Sitting amongst a group of friends on a pleasant evening as traffic and mosquitos dwindled was the easiest and most relaxing part of the evening. I was impressed with the number of growlers lining the wall behind the bar at Insight, as well as the artistic representations of mythologies eulogized on their t-shirts and logos.
After all of that eating and drinking I got back to a NiceRide, took the long way home and slept it off, hoping to see some more of the 30 or so brewpubs within the Minneapolis and Saint Paul area; Harriet Brewing, Bad Weather Brewing, Fulton Brewing and Lift Bridge Brewing to start with.
|Starting near Calhoun, hashtag PubRoll. Photo by Michael McKinney|
|Lake Monster Brewing Patio, Photo by Michael McKinney|
|Burning Brothers Brewing, Photo by Michael McKinney|
|En Route, Photo by Michael McKinney|
|Urban Growler Brewery, Photo by Michael McKinney|
|Group Photo, Urban Growler Patio, Photo by Anon|
|Storms beyond, Photo by Michael McKinney|
|Surly Sculpture, Photo by Michael McKinney|
|Minneapolis and the Stone Arch Bridge at night, Photo by Michael McKinney|