Unfortunately, we couldn't bring Mom along this time, because she was on vacation in Florida. So, there we were on our own in my old stomping grounds, downtown Anoka, where I began my life and spent my first twenty summers. So long ago, of course, that I can barely remember what used to be where. Anoka (from an Indian word meaning "where two rivers meet", those being the Rum and the
And now they have a brewery, and because there is a brewery, we must go there and drink it's beer.
It's at 2005 2nd Avenue, right in the heart of downtown, and has a 3-barrel system, and opened to the public late last fall. I've heard mixed reviews, and even been flat-out warned against trying them. To those who suggested that I skip this one, I direct you to the first sentence of this paragraph. I will drink from all the breweries, and give you my report. Thanks in advance for your opinions, but this is a project of my experiences, and the beers I will drink, at all the breweries, no exceptions.
imbibings had waned considerably. I decided on the Minnesota Nice Pale Ale, because I like pale ales and there thing here seemed to be based on Minnesota Nice. The slogan is: "Nice beer. Nice people." I always thought that oddly simplistic. They say more, though: "Our beer is 'Brewed in the Land of 10K Lakes', and that means something to us. It means Minnesota values." Okay, got it. Niceness. But, were their detractors wrong, and their beer wasn't nice? One correspondent placed their quality along the level of that one brewery in Rochester. Was he right?
Um, no. There wasn't a thing wrong with it. A tasty, hoppy, smooth and drinkable pale ale. Once we knew that 10K, from this first taste at least, would not enter the ranks of the Fearsome Foursome, I was more relaxed and did not press pen to paper. I walked around the attractive space. Here's the where the music happens, there's the merch, over there's the board games, cool spots for hanging out with friends, and there's the small brewing set-up. We were there, it was Nice, and it didn't suck.
I was so relaxed by the niceness of it all, I didn't delineate in my notes that I'd attempted a third, but there it is in my photo collection, and I guess I checked into it on Untappd. (Yikes, if it's this hard remembering five weeks ago, how about when I tackle the lost visits of 4 months past?) That would have been IP-Eh? 2.0, their 6.4% ABV, 74 IBU IPA, and I liked it. "A well balanced IPA. Not too bitter and not too malty. Punch in your face hops was not the goal of this beer. We prefer smooth and crisp." And you know what" It is. Nice IPA. Real Nice.Yah, sure, you betcha, ....
|IP-Eh? India Pale Ale.|
We had a nice conversation with a our bartender, who is also a brewer, as well as some folks at the bar. One woman asked if I'm from there. Oh, yes, a long time ago. Sure, I'm originally from there, but I found Minneapolis more to my liking 28 years ago, and that's my true hometown, now. It's was great to see it again, bathe in the relaxing glow of nostalgia, and try to remember what was. It's not at all how I remembered it, of course. I tried to visit an antique store, and walked into a vaping establishment.
We left dear old Anoka town, and I took with me a growler of the India Brown Ale, which I did take notes on. 6.9% ABV., 69 IBU. Notes follow:
Dark brown coloring, lush tan head, lace-leaving, nice looking.
Cocoa in the nose, grassy hops creep in from behind.
In the mouth, big malt, rich and tasty, more cocoa on the tongue.
nicely bittersweet, ending dryly on the palate. Clean, dry finish.
I don't think of this as a "true" India Brown Ale, but what the heck is that, anyway. Do I just want this brown ale to be even happier. Am I not content with 69 IBUs?
Well, no matter. It's a good beer, and I can drink it. In fact, I like it.
Final thoughts: I'm glad that whatever glitches that 10K apparently had are behind them now, and that Minnesota Nice isn't just a fake smile and a how do you do, but quality beers, as well. I'd go again, and get that growler filled up with something new, for sure.