Category: Lake Monster

Beer and Food Options at US Bank Stadium

Gone are the days of the humble Dome Dog and a Budweiser, after all it is 2016. The inaugural lineup of food options at US Bank Stadium are gonna be a hit, especially the local options. The beer….well that wasn’t available today. This is most likely due to the MillerCoors sponsorship which I’m guessing doesn’t allow for them to showcase the wonderful craft beer we have here in Minnesota.

But we were given a list of the local beer options that will be available. Summit, Surly, Fulton, Lift Bridge, Bauhaus, Castle Danger, Fair State, NorthGate, 612 Brew, Lake Monster, Sociable Cider Werks, Insight, and Finnegans will all be sold at the stadium in its first year of operation.

Local food partners featured at the stadium will be AZ Canteen, Be Graceful Bakery and Catering, Cinnie Smith’s, Curds and Cakes, Ike’s Food and Cocktails, Kramrczuk’s Sausage Company, Lola’s Cafe, Prairie Dogs, R Taco, and the much anticipated Revival Restaurant.

So how was the food? Well let’s dive in to some of today’s winners:

First up were the Lemongrass Meatballs from Rainbow Restaurant. These were tasty and will be a welcomed treat for those trying to avoid typical stadium fare.


Next were the Smokey Nachos from Icehouse Minneapolis. A nice take on a stadium staple that would pair well with a Lonely Blonde from Fulton. Smokey meat paired with real cheese sauce. If the price is right, this might the item to get if you’re planning to share.


The Jerk Bacon Sammie from Smalley’s Caribbean might go overlooked with all of the options. Our advice, don’t sleep on this slaw topped, thick-cut bacon sandwich. One of the best items on the menu today. Pair this spicy treat with a either an EPA or Saga from Summit.


Prairie Dogs is offering a Chicago Dog and a Skol Dog. The Chicago Dog (pictured below) was pretty standard while the Skol Dog (topped with purple potato chips and bacon jam) impressed with its presentation and the smoke infused jam. Go with the Skol Dog and pair it with a Farm Girl from Lift Bridge.


Kramarczuk’s makes amazing sausage so these (Andouille, Cheddar Wurst, Bratwurst) are a no brainer if you’re looking for standard stadium food. Get the standard brat topped with kraut and pair it with a Wonderstuff from Bauhaus. This is guaranteed to make any Packer fan jealous.


The Italian Porchetta Sandwich from AZ Canteen is something you don’t wanna miss. A top 3 menu item today. Perfectly seasoned and topped with enough greens to make up for the saturated fat. This would pair up nicely with a Parapet ESB from NorthGate.


The much anticipated Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich from Revival is the real winner today. This juicy chicken sammie is delightfully crunchy, and is plenty spicy for those who have a palate for that sort of thing. Pair this up with a Surly Furious which will stand up tall to the heat. Be sure to order the mild if you are sensitive to spicy foods.


Now for the not so great:

The Murray’s Short Rib Sandwich was a bit disappointing. This was tasty but was fairly dry. Dry enough where the coleslaw it was topped with couldn’t save it. The cost is probably also going to be a factor with this one.


The R Taco is a good option if you are looking for something a bit lighter, but this thing is messy. The last thing you want to deal with while rubbing elbows with drunk strangers is pulling shredded pork and diced onions out of your beard. If you do go with this, wash it down with a Hell Chicken from Insight. The citrus from the yuzu fruit will play well with the shredded pork and accompaniments.

The Gramsky’s Italian Grinder Sandwich was served at room temperature and was very heavy on the bread. By the time we got to this it was rather soggy and aside from the meat, was fairly bland.


All in all, these were the best offerings of a stadium in town. Pricing will also be a determining factor when purchasing these menu items so you’ll want to keep that in mind, especially if you’re bringing a family of four. So what was missing? I think there are a few vendors out there that would be nice little additions to the lineup. All of them would be a great branding fit as well.

Vikre Distillery out of Duluth. Aquavit cocktails showcasing flavors of cardamom and caraway seed would be a welcomed addition to the nordic themed stadium shaped like a viking ship.

HammerHeart Brewing out of Lino Lakes makes bold, smoky beers that would take fans out of their comfort zone and introduce them to an old-world method of beer crafting. A crowd people head banging to Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song with a Hammerheart beer in hand would be a sight to behold.

Northern Waters Smokehaus from Duluth. Imagine being able to order smoked fish and charcuterie made right here in the north country. It seems silly that we always go back to the standard stadium fare when these ingredients are sourced and readily available on the local level.

Whatever your tastes are, you’re sure to find plenty of delicious heart stopping food on the menu at US Bank Stadium. But just know that nothing will stop your heart faster than a field goal that goes wide left.

Thanks Gary…


Growler Gala Fundraiser to Benefit Roosevelt High School Theater Program

Growler Gala

It’s been about twenty years since the curtains were last drawn in the theater at Roosevelt High School. Thankfully Rick Spaulding and some of our local breweries have stepped up to help raise funds to revive the program in south Minneapolis.

On Thursday, February 4th the Parkway Theater will host an event from 7 PM until 10 PM where you can dance, mingle, and enjoy some drinks with friends. Pepito’s will be there selling food and beverages and there will be both a live, and silent auction where you can bid for growlers donated by the following breweries.

Excelsior Brewing
Fulton Brewery
Harriet Brewing
Town Hall Brewery
Lakes & Legends
Tin Whiskers
Urban Growler
Dangerous Man
Boom Island
Fair State
Bad Weather
Lake Monster
Sociable Cider Werks

Tickets will be $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Don’t miss your chance to help bring the Roosevelt Theater program back to life.


Thursday, February 4th from 7 PM until 10 PM.

Parkway Theater
4814 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55417


Looking Ahead: Predicting 2016


This was another great year for our local beer scene where we saw breweries such as Able Seedhouse, Lake Monster, Lakes and Legends and many more open their doors for business. We saw Dangerous Man introduce their barrel aging program, Fair State and Indeed brought forth their sour programs, and Bad Weather got themselves a new home in St. Paul. With 2016 right around the corner, I decided to look ahead and forecast what we might see happen in the next 12 months.

1. Local collaborations: We haven’t seen a ton of this in previous years, but I think we’ve come to a point where we will see some breweries putting their best foot forward in unison to bring us some lively brews. Our friends over at the Growler have been hard at work putting together “In Cahoots” which is an event that they host every summer encouraging which encourages local breweries to collaborate on brews that people can enjoy at the event itself. Can you imagine the Hoops brothers collaborating on one? Now that would be one tasty beverage.

2. Special beer verticals in taprooms: Now that some of these breweries have been in operation for a couple years, I think we will begin to see “mini-events” that feature verticals of vintage specialty beers. Take Steel Toe for instance. They held an event back in November called “A Barrel-Aged Trifecta” which featured 2015 Barrel-Aged Dissent, 2012 Barrel-Aged Lunker, and 2014 Barrel-Aged Lunker available as a flight or on their own. I could see breweries like Surly or Indeed doing something similar with Rum King or Darkness, and the turnout would be huge.

3. Locally made cocktails on tap lines at notable bars around town: Technically this is already happening at Republic Seven Corners right now where Tattersall has a couple different “pre-mixed” cocktails available on tap. This is certainly a way for local distilleries to get their products into popular bars around town and showcase some of the flavors, all while maintaining the consistency by eliminating poorly made drinks. I could see this gaining momentum as the popularity of locally made spirits seems to be on the rise.

4. The rise of the Lager: Lagers have a bad reputation over the years thanks to large breweries that are more interested in volume than flavor. This is a big misconception in that you can make some damn tasty Lagers without sacrificing quality or flavor. Expect to see a rise in Lagers (such as Pilsners, California Common, Amber Lagers, etc) being brewed around town and maybe with a little twist—especially at smaller breweries (think Town Hall) where they have more freedom to change up their beer menus frequently.

5. The “death” of struggling breweries: No one wants to think this will happen, but it is inevitable that at some point some of these breweries will not make it. I honestly don’t think there will be a lot of this going on at this point, I just feel that this might be the year we see one or two turn off the lights. This should also serve as a reminder to support your local brewery and give them honest feedback so that they can fix any issues with their beer, service etc. Trust me, they’d rather hear that than close up shop.


Lake Monster and Lakes & Legends Grand Openings

Lake Monster Taproom

Lake Monster Taproom

New brewery weekend! First, Lake Monster Brewing may not be new to the market, but they’ve built a brewery and are celebrating today with a ribbon-cutting event at 3:30pm. The taproom opens at 4pm with plenty of beer and food from Peeps Hot Box and Hot Indian Foods.

550 Vandalia Street, St. Paul, MN

Lakes and Legends Taproom

Lakes and Legends Taproom

Lakes and Legends celebrates the holidays and their grand opening on Saturday. In celebration, they’ll be releasing their seasonal Winter Warmer Ale. And if you’re feeling the spirit of giving, bring an unwrapped toy or children’s book in to support the Children’s Hospital of Minnesota and you’ll receive a free 4 oz. pour from the brewery.

1368 Lasalle Avenue, Minneapolis, MN