Taps: / Bottles:
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 31 | Reviews: 23 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by feloniousmonk:
4.5/5 rDev +9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Back before he added BLB to the Beerfly Database, tavernjef and I discussed this, and he said, "does it belong? After all, it's a bowling alley." Well, he answered his own question when he added it, it is and it isn't, it was once, it still is, and it will never be just that again.
There are still signs of BLB's past, like the Grain Belt and Pabst signs outside, but that will never change, despite the makeover that Kim Bartman gave it over a decade ago. Now, it's easier to say what the BLB isn't, rather than what it IS. As for me, up until recently, I could say that I've done everything you could do there but drink wine and bowl. Then, I tried to bowl, and, really, let's forget about that. What have I done? Seen plays, monologues, comedy, films, heard jazz, pop, rock, ate a bunch, and drank aplenty.
The staff is almost uniformly great, and I've rarely met a dud in that department. Consider yourself lucky if you're at the bar, and get Dan at your service. The bar features only wine, and plenty of beer, no liquor, but we care about the beer, and what beer! No huge conglomo-brews, lots of locals, the best of America's micros, always some Bell's and Belgians, lambics, and even gueze, and every time I visit a surprise of two. Something always changes, among the 24 taps, and plenty of variety among the bottled selection.
The food menu is eclectic, and always good, ranging from vegan to bison, and fish and more, and ranging inexpensively in price.
Best yet, nestled deep in the Hipster Central neighborhood of Uptown Minneapolis, it really is a great meeting place for all manner of folk. Be ye white or black, rich or poor, gay or straight, hip or square, upwardly mobile or working-class stiff, it doesn't matter, as long as you like good beer or wine ...or not! I once saw Dan deal with a smelly ragamuffin looking for Bud, and he presented the olfactorily-offensive man with a bottle of PBR and a glass and
I watched the man pour it out contemplatively and slowly savor it from the glass. Now, that's a good beer bar, where even the lowliest can seem like a connoisseur!
On my latest visit, last night, I had the pleasure of speaking to Dan, who still rocks the bar. Highlights among the tap beers included rogue Brutal Bitter, Delirium Tremens, Mojo IPA, Two Hearted, and others..had my first Double Diamond...alcohol has been added, for those who need their Cosmos and double scotches, as well as sidewalk seating for the nicotine-addicted. Still highly recommended.
07-23-2005 10:02:34 | More by feloniousmonk
More User Reviews:
4.45/5 rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
According to my notes, 2002 was the last time I logged a beer at Bryant Lake Bowl. I think I've been there since--just no new beers on tap for me. My recollections of BLB walking in the door again was of an adequate tap list, memorable pad thai and a night of fun but frustrating bowling due to some lanes, though pitchers of Summit smoothed out the rough patches. Last night's Friday night gathering of Sibley friends was a revelation.
Finding a truly amazing beer for the first draft helped the night along: Bourbon Barrel Aged Bell's 9000. Boozy bourbon wafts above a dark ale with an original gravity of over 1.100. Big beer with a complex taste of wood, chocolate, vanilla and sweetness that's smooth, elegant and slightly overbalanced from the high alcohol. A real treat by itself, but it also happens to be the "batch" beer that I was missing. Before last night, I've been able to sample, 5000, 6000, 7000, 8000 and 10,000. Better to be lucky than good, I guess, but frequently good bars will tend to make one lucky as well.
The food is also fantastic. My wife had the mock duck rolls, which she reported as very good--good enough that I didn't get a sample. I did the pad thai with mock dock and my recall on this dish was spot on. Dan ordered medium compared to my hot, which Lori compared and said mine was significantly hotter, as expected; my bald head was sweating slightly, but it wasn't stupid spicey--just nicely at the limit. Plus, I had purposely ordered a double IPA, Bell's Hopsolution, to counterpoint with high hop: an excellent combination that I would love to repeat.
My wife was surprised at how loud it was sitting in the restaurant, but, evidently, she's always been there late at night or not on a Friday. With a full house and a waiting list for the bowling lanes, I was hoarse after our three hour dine and drink session with friends. Not an uncomfortable volume for our group of six and everyone could participate in the conversation, but it did take a bit of effort to speak.
For entertainment, in between the other drafts, I had a little beer you may have heard of...Surly Darkness. With a half a dozen additional beers that I would happily drink, Bryant Lake Bowl has seemingly upped its beer game. I saw on an RSS feed that BLB did have a Bell's event tapping earlier in the week, so maybe we picked a good night is all. But, I intend to test the theory in the near future and not wait so long to return to Bryant Lake Bowl.
11-21-2012 18:57:14 | More by FightingEntropy
Bryant-Lake Bowl in Minneapolis, MN
92 out of 100 based on 31 ratings.