Why Rochester on an Edina blog? Rochester, my friend, is the home of “Minnesota’s Craft Beer Boom,” according to The Growler’s Louis Garcia. So, not only can you get world-class medical care in Rochester, but some pretty tasty local brews as well.
Last year saw three new brew pubs open in Rochester. Grand Rounds was the first and it opened for business in April of 2015 with a name only the Mayo Clinic pros will get. “We wanted the name of the brewpub to reflect what we’re trying to create – a sense of community, a gathering place, a true neighborhood pub where folks feel welcome, where anyone and everyone can meet and have a good discussion over a pint,” the website claims.
Grand Rounds serves food as well as some tasty craft beer. The food is fresh and much of it comes from local producers. But, that’s not why you’re here, is it? Ok, the beer: you’ll find five flagship beers, a kolsch (with a nod to the many Germans living in the state), 2 IPAs, a Scotch ale and a stout. They also serve brews from “guest” breweries that are local to the state but not Rocchester, so this is the only place in Rochester you can taste them.
Find Grand Rounds on the web here and in person at 4 3rd Street SW in Rochester.
Another new kid in town, Forager Brewery also opened its doors to beer lovers last year. One of the newer kids in town, Forager opened its doors in 2015. “I believe there's a beer for everyone. I hope Forager can be a place where people can come in search of something they're not going to have or find elsewhere," says head brewer Austin Jevne on Forager’s website.
With a beer named Funky Dangerfield, and labels almost nearly as entertaining, I don’t think he has anything to worry about. There’s a very cool selection of craft beer on the menu and I’ve already made up my mind to try Broken Compass, the brewer’s hefeseizen. Check it out for yourself online here or pop into Forager Brewery for a beer at 1005 6th Street NW, Rochester.
LTS Brewing Company
Another 2015 entry into the Rochester tap room scene, with lofty ambitions LTS aims “to make amazing beer, have fun, take care of our people, our customers and our community.”
While they will have a kitchen in the future, right now LTS serves popcorn and invites you to bring in food from nearby eateries. It’s the beer you’re there for anyway, right? LTS serves both on-tap and small batch brews in the tap room. Tap varieties include a kölsch, Belgian-style blond, a golden ale, brown ale, IPA and others that look quite interesting.
Find LTS Brewing Company on the web here. They are located at 2001 32nd Ave NW in Rochester.
The Tap House
Try beers on tap over at The Tap House on historic 3rd Street. You can order by the glass or try a beer flight to try multiple brews. They have around 50 beers on tap at The Tap House. You can order a flight of 4 for $10 or a flight of 3 for $7.50.
Try the Boulder Mojo IPA, the beer with the perfect balance of malt character and hop bitterness. It tastes like citrus yet dry and crisp. Another great option is the Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro which has an aroma of vanilla cream, brown sugar and hints of roasted coffee. It offers a mocha flavor with a slight hop and roast bitter finish. They also offer wine and specialty drinks plus you can enjoy an appetizer while you’re there. The Tap Room is located at 10 Historic 3rd Street Southwest in Rochester. Find them online here.
Kinney Creek Brewery
Last and certainly not least is Kinney Creek Brewery, to which Garcia gives credit for the craft beer boom Rochester.
There are tons of beers available in the tap room plus seasonal beers. You can have food delivered or bring it in while you try out their beers. The taproom is open Sundays from 12 to 6 p.m. and Thursday through Saturdays from 12 until 10 p.m. They’re located at 1016 7th Street North West in Rochester and online here.
Don’t miss the Rochester Craft Beer Expo on April 30, 2016. Get details here.