Monday, January 18, 2016

Minnesota Breweries One By One: #3: Lynlake Brewery, Minneapolis, with Rye Guy Saison

When we started this series of visiting the breweries of Minnesota, we (by that I mean I ), wondered whether I would start getting to the out-of-the-way places, or stay close to home. In episode two, we found that the weather kept me timid and only investigating the well-known spots not far from my own neighborhood. I had made plans on my next day off to venture outward, but the frigid temps cancelled that. A full day off on a Friday night, the whole day mine, and it's well below zero. I got out of the house, but only made it out to Town Hall, my second visit this year, drinking some damn fine beers, taking home one of last year's barrel-aged beers in a growler, and only stepping out further to get needed provisions. What a fun-filled Friday night. Oh, I am getting old...

I made more plans for my next day off, though canceling the visits that are not open on Sundays, and you know what? It's still 5 below for Christs sake. And I'd suffered through waiting on a bus this morning in 11 below. Damn it, it's cold. There is a distinct correlation between the temperature and a witch's tit. I am not spending my free time out of doors if I don't have to. I will stick to the places that I know that are close to the bus stops, and I will minimize my chances of freezing to death.

And that's where I decided to drop in on LynLake Brewery, which I haven't been to since October, ending the post with "I should come here more often." Well, three months later, it's time to pop my head back in and see what's what.  I've only taken home a handful of growlers before, and also wrote more in addition here.

I started with a little pale ale called Citra Queen. You can't go wrong with Citra.
Citra Queen
5.2% ABV. 45 IBU. Big citric happens, smooth, slightly bitter, and ever-so drinkable. Exactly what you want in a citra pale ale. Love it.

Nitro Sword Smith Baltic Porter
From there I dipped right into a beer I knew I wanted to like, and I did. One of the best I've had from them. A Baltic Porter on nitro called Sword Smith, 9.2% ABV and 42 IBU, smooth, supple, silky, full-bodied, rich and malty, and a true delight. Plenty of raisin and cocoa coming in the flavor, dark fruits, a little coffee and licorice, everything I want in a Baltic Porter. I wished I could take it home, but you know how it is with nitro. This is the second year they've made this beer, I was told.
Cask Tradesman Porter with coconut.

sideburns oat raisin stout on nitro.
For my 3rd beer there, I went with a cask offering, their Tradesman Porter, with coconut added. It had the coconut alright, really big with the coconut, and I could dig it. I'd had the Tradesman before, and this was a nice twist.

I finished off with a nitro offering of the Sideburns oat raisin stout, also highly satisfactory. Creamy and slightly sweet, notes of chocolate and coffee, smooth and satisfying. Nice stout. So. Four beers down, that's enough for a night, now time to pack up and head into the frozen tundra.

I took home a 750 ml growler, what they call "roadies", for reasons that escape me, of the Rye Guy Saison, 7.4% ABV., 14 IBU, "a wheat and rye heavy saison for the winter. Yeast derived notes of pepper, and spice along with an herbal and earthy hop presence. Sweet citrus aromas lead into a bubblegum fruity sweetness with a dry finish." I quote this and post it, after having already written my notes, and they are.

Clear, chestnut coloring, dusky brown, slim dark head.

Slight sweetness in the nose, that Belgian bubblegum they talk about...rye malt spice just below. I like this nice, complex mix. Now, to taste....

In the mouth: again, it starts sweet and malty, turns Belgian funky, ends up dry. Lots of flavor coming through in this. Medium-bodied, with great flavors. Extraordinarily pleasant, expertly enriching.

Warm, malty, pleasing and satisfying....damn, I like this.

So, I'm left thinking what I thought before. This brewery is so close to me, there's no reason to only stop in every few months. They occupy an excellent piece of real estate that's bound to bring in a loyal following from the neighborhood, and are making some interesting choices in their offerings. A year and some months in, they have not produced anything for sale outside of the brewery, but it's still early for that. There's still time for them to find themselves and grow. And, hey, maybe they don't need that just yet. Maybe just serving up beers in the taproom is enough for now.

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