Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Bulldog Uptown (Minneapolis, MN)


Finally made it over to The Bulldog Uptown. The last time I was here it was the old Mud Pie restaurant  which survives as a menu item as the vegetarian mud pie burger. The veggie burger was good, but not as good as my memory.

The place was crowded and busy for the 1/2 price Belgian night. A range of good Belgians plus a few others that made it well worth the effort to get there. Koningshoeven Quad was on tap, and my first--a treat if you've never had it. St. Feuillien Brune and Triple were my other highlights of the night. All beers were listed and well explained on a sheet for the customer to peruse and make good choice from the explanations. I was able to point my friends in the right direction from the specific descriptions.

I will definitely go back for the well handled and served beer. While not my all time favorite place, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it or return in the future when the opportunity arises, especially for a specialty event.

12/3/12: Since this initial visit, I've been back to The Bulldog Uptown several times.  My evaluation is still the same.  They have a fine selection, good food and provide a nice evening with friends.  I don't go too far out of my way to get to The Bulldog Uptown, but will happily drink there when suggested.

Buster's on 28th (Minneapolis, MN)


Since the only beer I had on this visit was Samichlaus, it may not be a fair review and I'll update at some point in the future. Also, we only ate the seasoned french fries for the meal. With that said, both were excellent.

The Samichlaus was well served and fantastic. At $11 a glass, you can decide for yourself whether or not this is reasonable.  However, since the purpose of the trip was to drink this wonderful world class beer for my birthday, I considered it a bargain. The french fries (eaten while the beer warmed, though it was served too cold) were excellent as well.

My wife and I are considering coming back to watch a football game on the small TVs scattered around the cozy bar.  It feels like a real neighborhood bar, including the bread coming from the bakery next door.  Good stop if you're in the area.  If you're new to beer, they have flights of all of their tap beers, which is nice and not always available at beer bars.

Worth Brewing Co (Northwood, IA)


A friend of mine and I road tripped down to Norwood, Iowa on a Saturday afternoon simply for the pleasure of drinking at the smallest commercial brewpub in the US: Worth  Brewing.  At least, that was the billing on the podcast in which I heard owner Peter Ausenhus talked about his family brewpub in Iowa.  Growing up in a similarly small town in northwest Iowa, I was really interested in what a brewpub in a rural farm town would look (and drink) like.

Put simply, it is "worth" your time to pull off of I35 for a pint. We went in the middle of the afternoon in hopes of it not being too busy and to chat with Peter, which we did. We drank everything on tap and chatted about his upcoming release, business pressures and family emergency in progress while he was working his pub. The dedication is takes to run a business and a life with him and his wife amaze me. I would stop to drink for this alone. On top of it, the beer is good too. All of Peter's beers were of very good with the Brown Ale and the Smoked Rye Porter being my favorites.  We ordered some snacks, which were excellent as well, but you'll need to find dinner some place else since appetizers is all that's offered.

Talking to a couple of the locals, it seems that they are terribly proud of their local watering hole. In addition, from the friendly banter, it actually reminded me of being in my home town bar where I grew up listening to my dad and his friends chat over beers--except at Worth, the beer isn't crappy.  Get off the freeway and have a pint at Worth Brewing. Check out the hours first, since they are only open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. You'll be glad you did.