Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Minnesota Breweries One by One #44: Wayzata Brew Works, Wayzata

Wayzata, Wayzata, Wayzata. Just like to say it. Means "north shore" in the language of the Lakota Sioux, and sure enough it sits along the north shore of mighty Lake Minnetonka. Population, 3, 688 according to the 2010 census (only 92.5% of them white folks). Founded in 1854. And man, do they love their boats!

Wayzata Brew Works (or, WBW, the Brewery on the Bay) was stop #2 of the lake brewery visit of May 22, after Excelsior Brewing, traveling about 20 minutes around the lake to Wayzata Bay.  The brewery had only been open for a few weeks, and we'd heard very little about it, so we were set up for either a sad surprise or pure delights. Or, somewhere in the middle. That's about how it goes.

We pulled into the business complex (and darned if I can't remember what it's called) at 294 Grove Lane East, and found the place. A currently unused distillery sits behind glass as we entered, found some seats at the bar, flagged down a server. There were six beers on tap at the time, with flights of 4 going for $12, or 5 for $15. We went with four: I had the Wayzata Bay IPA, Chocolate Stout, Hoppeweisen, and English Ale, and Jason chose IPA, Kolsch, Stout, and something called Moore Moore Moore Lager, giving us both a taste of everything they had going at the time. (Checking Untappd, I see they've upped their total in the past 5 months to ten beers total, including a wit, a strawberry shandy, a brown ale, and an oktoberfest. Also, the chocolate stout is now being called Starboard.)
L to R: IPA, Stout, Kolsch, English Ale. 

Wayzata Bay IPA was crisp, clean, and hoppy, with a pleasant bitterness, very satisfying. The Kolsch, my notes tell me, was right on. The English Ale was a slightly buttery, earthy, crisp, and malty, with bright hoppiness. I liked it. The Hoppeweisen went down well, and the lager (named after an early Wayzata settler and, surprise, boat builder) was rather simple, but just what you want from the style. Oddly, I took no notes on the Chocolate Stout, but I remember it being passable.

Things were quiet during our stay. Most of the other customers were on the tiny patio, staring out at the boats and the water, taking in Lake Minnetonka. There's a stage around here somewhere, where they also provide live music on the


The decor inside is all oars and outboard motors and such maritime stuff, with the beer list chalkboard and TV attached to the bottom of a boat. Anchors are in the logo and all over the place. Boats, boats, boats....they love 'em out there. Hey, I like a boat now and then, too. These folks are all about the boats. And why not, it is a pretty sweet lake they got out there.

The beer's not bad. That's about all I can say. Adequate. Competent. And a little bit pretty good.

Just right for partying by the lake, but not going to blow your mind. It was beer and a brewery, and we could drink them, and we had to go, because we're going to all of them. And the next one we went to: another lake, and another brewpub on that lake!

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