Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Newt's North (Rochester, MN)


For years, I've driven by Newt's on Hwy 52 through Rochester and never took the opportunity to stop.  In reality, it was vegetarian bias since it looks like a local meat-centric burger joint. In this case, it seems to have been a mistake. 

Some teacher friends (thanks Scott and Heather!) are regulars (after school happy hour), so when several coaches got together here for some Sunday afternoon out-of-season socializing, Newt's feel like our local.  Newt's is a fine pub with a very friendly feel and a solid beer list to keep you entertained.

Let's start with beer. Not recognizing what the 21st Amendment Dark could be, I asked and the server wasn't impressed with the beer.  It turned out to be Brew Free or Die IPA, one of my favorites (I'm drinking it at home right now!) and not Dark at all.  The beer list is respectable, especially for Rochester, so that's fine, but the staff doesn't seem to be overly knowledgeable of craft beer.  But I'm use to Al at the Blue Nile as a guide, so maybe I'm spoiled.  But the staff made up for it in friendliness, even joining in our group photo.

It doesn't say it on the menu, but Heather said she knew of others that ask for a Boca Burger on any of the main burger combos.  So, I ordered the Shroom Burger with a veggie substitute, which was good and reheated well as left overs.  While just a Boca Burger, it was still very good and something I couldn't make as well at home (an eating out food criteria for me).  However, it would be great if that was listed on the menu so I wouldn't have to feel so high maintenance by ordering off the menu.

Ended with after lunch drafts of Alaskan Amber and Lagunitas IPA.  Both were well served and the beer is taken care of well at Newt's.  Inside information--a member of our group is related to the line cleaner of Newt's, so we know that it's done by someone we trust.  And, it shows in clean pints that taste fresh. Taking a closer look at my list, I evidently visited Newt's back in 2001 and had a Mantorville Stagecoach Ale.  My memory of this stop is vague, but it doesn't seem to mesh with Newt's North so I'm guessing I was at the downtown location (and the pictures online do seem to mesh with my memory).  Newt's is not a beer destination for those out of state, but it is a great local bastion of craft beer.

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