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Discussion in 'Midwest' started by KarlHungus, Jan 2, 2017.
This is the internet. So you know that thing YOU like. It sucks.
Everything barrel theory had on tap today was better executed than 99% of breweries in the metro. On top of that these are all first batches... when's the last time a brand new brewery came out of the gate swinging like that? I really hope they push others to do better. Tired of hearing "we've just gotta dial it in a bit more" or "I can tell this place has potential"
Personally, I get pretty excited anytime a brewery opens and it's not the same old home brewer story.
Another Hopcat? Aren't there enough of those all over the Midwest already?
Went to barrel theory earlier today. They crushed it. I know we don't like to talk about competition since everyone in the twin cities brew scene are super tight and friendly (albeit passive aggressively) but the quality of their beers today should put all the new breweries on notice.
I skipped the Berliner but all the other beers were very good to nearly perfectly executed. The west coast IPA was my least favorite and still better than most IPAs produced in the twin cities. Looking forward to growler and hopefully Crowley sales soon. Oh and yeah signing up for the mug club asap.
The closest one to Minneapolis is 5 hours away in Madison...so no.
Oh, I thought there was some in Michigan, Wisconsin, Nebraska and even Kentucky (which yes, I know isn't Midwest exactly). Guess I need to do a road trip out there in the near future.
Do u know the details on that? I tried looking on their website but didn't see anything.
Whoops, just realized that speech to text didn't completely capturing what I said. I meant to say that I don't believe BT lived up to all the hype it had generated (mostly from us beer nerds) before opening.
I thought the West Coast IPA was not good at all, very bland. Someone else mentioned it seemed water down and I think I agree. The few people we talked to while there did not finish their 4oz poor of it like us. The other IPAs were solid, but nothing mind blowing.
I felt like the Java Oat was only just so-so.
The Key Sublime was tasty and I would consider it my favorite of the bunch. However I feel sour and tart key lime juice could be considered a safe play.
Overall, solid but I wouldn't consider it a perfect opening. I am not boarding the hype train just yet. I hope that changes, but I guess only time will tell.
Thinking about heading up to the cities on Sat and want to hit up some of the new breweries that have opened. Looking to hit up maybe 3. Barrel theory is a must. Thought about wicked wort..
Rain Drops and Raining 3s were both substantially better than anything Lupulin has done, in my opinion. I'm one of the few on here that hasn't been particularly impressed by Lupulin though.
I tried all 5 tonight and agree with others that this was a very impressive opening. Rain Drops, Raining 3s, Key Sublime and Java Oats were all great. West Coast IPA was meh. I'm definitely looking forward to what they do next!
Haha yes indeed there are, I think there are 5 or 6 locations total now.
Among 2016 and 2017 openings, I'd say there's only one standout, Wild Mind Artisan Ales. I already rank it in the top 10 breweries in the state. Modist so far has fallen short of high expectations but has turned into a pretty good brewery. Between the space and the beers, Utepils may be worth a one-time visit, but it lacks the variety to entice locals. All three of those are in Minneapolis. Bobtown in Roberts, Wisconsin, Swinging Bridge in River Falls, Wisconsin, and Tanzenwald in Northfield are good options if you want to venture out a bit.
Wicked Wort is a generally subpar brewery that some people think brewed a good New England IPA, which apparently is the only style that matters anymore. I can vouch that it did brew an excellent kellerbier, the unofficial beer style of the state of Minnesota, but unfortunately that's not going to move the needle on BA.
Just for reference, what do you think is good beer? Honestly asking because you are by far in the minority in your opinion. Everything b/t had on today was exactly done to style with possibly the exception being the west coast and even that rivaled anything anyone around here is doing. I understand if you're a giant fan of summit EPA or something and that's your benchmark for greatness, but to say that their beers were mediocre is asinine.
No only about a dozen. None yet in MN.
Starr Eyed has an event https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=1558799087478166
9, maybe 9.5.
I agree, I can criticize but most of it is nitpicking. Everything was on point. The first 5 beers ever brewed on that system was what was being which is crazy to me. The worst of the 5 was the very first beer brewed on that system and it was still pretty damn solid and better than what almost (a few exceptions) every other brewery in the last 7 years has offered on opening day. I can't honestly think of a brewery who had a better starting lineup compared to what is out there now.
Figures, I'll be too busy running my booth at the Liberty Block party, and the clean up after to even think about going.
"you disagree with my opinion, therefore you're wrong!"
That's the TL;DR version of this post. Excellent internet-ing though.
Okay, fair enough, at least Hopcat nation is spreading out now (I wonder if it's to compete with Granite City, I remember them to be all over the place out there).
Also, your avatar is pretty awesome, just saying.
Batch 1, to me was just not good, very uninspiring. We talked to at least 4 groups of people in the short time we were there, all of which did not enjoy it either and I think all but one group didn't bother finishing it. Between those people, friends or people I know from tasting groups that went later, it seemed like a common theme among them as well. Watered down and bland were two phrases that seemed to be mentioned the most and one person even said they are not sure why they would release it during their opening to showcase their beer. For me, if we are talking about MN based west coast IPAs, my first thought are the few from Sysiphus for ones that I like.
Java Oat, like I have already said, I feel was only so-so. I would drink it again, but would not go out of my way to drink it. To me, the stout was pretty mundane. The coffee flavor was the element that elevated the beer a bit for me, but personally I would have liked a bit more coffee flavor. For local stuff, I don't think you can go wrong with Bent Paddle Cold Press and that is always my go to coffee beer.
From there, I do think things got substantilly better. Rain Drops was solid and I would consider it in the top for MN brewed NE style, but I think Disgrunted, some Forager and even Wicked Wort's first batch of New England IPA beat it out. However, if we are comparing it to Tree House, Trillium, Monkish, ect..., they aren't just there yet, but I guess I am not sure I would consider any MN brewery in that teir just yet. It just didn't have the wow or mind blown factor that I had like the first time I have Galaxy DDH Fort Point or Haze. I also thought Raining 3's was solid, some where in the top half, but not a must have again for me. Just lumping all styles of IPAs in from MN, I have enjoyed a lot of what Sisyphus has put out, I have a special affinity to Issac the Faxman and Cloudy with a Chance of Yeastballs. Recently, I have really been digging Lupulin's offering, especially Blissful Ignorance and Hooey on tap and I also can't wait for Straight Hash Homie release next year.
Key Sublime was by far my favorite of their offerings yesterday and I would go back to drink more of it (in fact, my wife probably will make me). I can't wait to see what other sours they put out as I have heard good things of the Berliners.
Overall, I would say it was a solid opening. Definitily better than a lot of others, but then again, not a super huge hill to climb right now. There certainly was some medicority in there with the Java Oat and especially with the west coast IPA. For me, it just did not live up to the hype that seems to have been generated around it. That hype has come from multiple sources. From people I know who have had their beer well before they opened and other people in the industry to people that seem to have some sort of vested intrest just to drum up the hype. I also feel like due to that hype, it really seemed like there have been some pretty big blinders on and a lot of back patting.
That being said, I am still optomistic that Barrel Theory can become one of our top breweries. I am excited to see what else they can do and how they can grow. They have a very nice space and a good start with some of their beers. I wish them the best and look forward to revisiting them in the future.
I went to Barrel Theory yesterday, as well. I arrived at 3:01 to find a short line to get in to a packed bar. It took the staff a bit to clear through the initial rush (totally understandable), but you can tell they hired a great crew that has put in their time elsewhere, so they were able to manage through the high tide and get ahead of things relatively quickly.
The beers were anywhere from above-average-for-the-Twin Cities (stout, west coast IPA) to excellent (everything else). It's easy to see that this will be a standout brewery from this point on, especially once they get their barrel game going.
I've always felt there are a big handful of breweries in the area that are succeeding because they were one of the first to market, building a business primarily on the fact that they are local beers. Now that the market is maturing a bit, and average consumers palettes are maturing as well, there is plenty of opportunity for GOOD breweries to open. Well, this is one of those good breweries that should open the eyes of consumers and help to expose the "frauds"...particularly in the St. Paul area (if you catch my drift).
I think I agree with the general overall feelings on the west coast IPA. By far, it was the weakest of the bunch. I wouldn't call it horrible, but I likely wouldn't order it again.
I definitely think Barrel Theory had the strongest opening I've ever been to for a Twin Cities metro brewery. However, I also thought the west coast ipa was bland and by far their worst beer. Java Oats had a good coffee profile and was a little thin for my liking. Key Lime Sublime was very good for a first sour. Rain Drops and Raining 3's I think are within the best the metro area has to offer for those styles, both were juicy and had a soft mouthfeel.
Went to Barrel Theory and tried all 5 on tap.
Batch 1 West Coast IPA - it was fine. Many better IPAs in MN
Rain Drops NE IPA - absolutely fantastic. Exceedingly aromatic
Key Sublime Berliner - also fantastic. Very tart with a nice lime flavor. Can't wait to see what they do with barrel aging
Java Oat Stout - only had a sip but seemed to have great coffee flavor but the base didn't seem as great as hoped. But just a sip
Raining 3s DIPA - I think this was fantastic but I was too drunk to properly analyze
Very happy with them overall, and I live 2 blocks away
Details of BT member program released:
$150 annual cost
10% in taproom (with disclaimer to not abuse it)
Bottle of anniversary beer
Invite with +1 for TBA member party
Access to bottle release without having to wait in lines
Or you could just accept not everyone is going to enjoy what everyone else does.
Barrel Theory member program.....does 100 seem a bit too low to anyone else? Now I wonder how many people will be lining up that Friday night.
While there are high hopes for this brewery, seems to be just hedging your bets hoping they will be great in the future to get access to beer.
"you are by far in the minority in your opinion".
You might have been a little premature with that statement. If I'm reading these posts correctly, quite a few people were not overly impressed w/ the west coast IPA, eh?
Bummed that they chose a holiday weekend for an in-person membership sign up. I'm sure I'm not the only one that will be out of town that weekend. Oh well!
Also, one can't be 'by far in the monitory". You are in the minority or not. You could be in a small minority.
Making annual trip to lake region in mid-July.
I've been to JackPine, Gull damn and Big Axe. Besides Portage in Walker, is there any thing else new in the area?
I thought Roundhouse in Baxter (?) put out some very good beer. Pretty cool space in the railyard as well.
I was just trying to point out that not liking something because of your personal taste vs. the beer being actually flawed or a poor representation of the style are 2 very different things. I personally can't stand cream ales but I don't go to breweries and say that their cream ale is shit because I think that about all cream ales. I understand when something is well executed vs. poorly made. I think that's a huge problem.
+1 to Roundhouse. Roundhouse is in Brainerd in one of the old rail yard bulidings. Definitely check that out. Jack Pine just recently moved into a new building in a new location too. Very nice new space. You may also want to check out Cuyuna Brewing in Crosby. I enjoy the Cusher IPA there.
I guess I will pile on to the Barrel Theory heap. The West Coast IPA was pretty good. Amongst new breweries, it was slightly above average, but it was the beer they used to dial in their system. I thought both Rain Drops and Raining 3s were good, but well behind breweries like Forager. Rain Drops is much better than the Blackstack 75x series, but it only costs $6/16oz. It will be interesting to see if they respond. The key lime pie kettle sour slightly edges out widely distributed key lime pie kettle sours like Tallgrass. The coffee stout was the biggest surprise. It had a unique strong fresh coffee flavor that differentiates to some extent from other coffee stouts.
Same boat. #$%*. Only bums me out more because their stuff seems pretty good.
Progress so far. Looks like their grand opening is still a good few months out.
Still no social media presence, but that's okay. Why rush it?