CRAFT NOTES HIGHLIGHTS ESSENTIAL LOCAL CRAFTSMEN FOR THEIR CONTRIBUTION TO MINNESOTA CULTURE.
LAKES & LEGENDS REDEFINES THE CONCEPT OF “FARM-TO-TABLE”
(Or more appropriately, “Farm-to-Glass”)
There is a seemingly endless quest by local MN businesses to proclaim “I’m more local than you.” It’s good. It’s one of my favorite things about living in MN because when people take pride in where they’re from, they also try hard to capture the spirit of their home and share that experience with friends. Sometimes it’s fabricated, but not at all with this local brewery.
Lakes & Legends Brewing Company in downtown Minneapolis’ Loring Park neighborhood does MN better than most, letting “the feel” of MN seep into everything about their taproom and beer.
LAKES & LEGENDS TAP ROOM CAPTURES MN
The founders at Lakes & Legends, Derrick Taylor and Ethan Applen have gone to great lengths to create a place that captures the “spirit” of MN Lake culture. And it’s all about chilling, boating, and drinking good beer.
Yea, I think that sums up “Minnesota” pretty good, don’t you?
The tap room is a large, sunny, open space just outside of Downtown Minneapolis. It resembles a modern farmhouse, with large up-cycled wood beams rescued from local farms, turf-grass, and subway tile.
A space they’ve filled with iconic local patio furniture and yard games like Corn Hole and Hammerschlagen to make you feel, no matter in the middle of summer or dead of winter, like you’re at a friend’s lake home.
FARMHOUSE BELGIAN ALES HANDCRAFTED WITH INGREDIENTS FROM MN FARMS.
The real spirit of the brewery, however, is in the unique beers crafted by head brewer Andrew Dimery, a KY transplant recruited specifically for this position.
With roots as a chef, Andrew decided to branch out to beer, working for Bluegrass Brewing, where he worked his way up to “head brewer.” He took the job at Lakes & Legends because of his chef roots; the freedom to expand on ingredients, use more advanced brewing techniques, and make more interesting beers.
Lakes & Legends is a Farmhouse and Belgian style brewery. And, much like the Trappist monks that invented this style 100’s of years ago, have made a real commitment to local farms and sourcing ingredients (and making friends with the families that run them).
Why’d they choose all Belgian?
“They’re my favorite beers to drink…” Owner Derrick tells me. One can appreciate that answer.
FARM TO GLASS BEER
There’s always something new to try at Lakes & Legends. “Seasonal” Beers are taken quite literally, as access to local crops and local farms are a dominant focus in their beers. In fact their 1st year alone featured 9 of these types of collaborations.
Most of these local MN farmers hadn’t done anything with beer yet, so they’re excited to expand into new markets, opened to them by Lakes & Legends.
But one of the biggest things Lakes & Legends does to stand-out is by building personal relationships with the farmers themselves. They don’t just order their products, they get to know them, making new, long-lasting relationships.
These friendships have allowed them to make better beers as the farmers have taught them about how to use their ingredients in different ways, extracting more juice or creating a wider-range and more depth of flavors.
One of the most unique beers with this Farm-to-Glass collaboration with Spirit Lake Native Farms who harvest wild rice to make the Wilde Rijste Belgian Brown.
Derrick explained the lengths they went through to get the perfect ingredient.
“We went up to the Fon du Lac Reservation where we helped hand-harvest the wild rice…pushing canoes through the rice fields and knocking it in to the them (canoes) with the tribe… They roasted it over open flames, giving it extra time to really bring out the wild rice flavor which you can really get in the beer…”
THE BEERS: WHAT TO TRY
There are 4 Year-Round Beers at Lakes & Legends, but the real treat is the seasonal variations that change regularly.
MARIGOLD STRONG ALE
They aren’t fooling around with this 7.7% ABV traditional Belgian Strong Ale.
HARMONY FARM SAISON
A simple, light Saison that will appeal to all Belgian Beer fans.
MY PICK: WALLONIA FIELDS
This 2016 Spring Seasonal was one of my favorites. If it’s around make sure to get it! A lighter Saison brewed with hints of Juniper make for a smooth, easy-drinker with high ABV.
I also really like the SILKY stout, its Belgian stout, not as creamy as a milk stout, but still brewed with Lactose for a full-flavored stout.
A FARM-TO-TABLE BEER INCLUDED IN THE CRAFT NOTES GUIDEBOOK.
14 CRAFT BEERS + 4 CRAFT COCKTAILS.
LAKES & LEGENDS BREWING
LORING PARK DOWNTOWN MINNEAPOLIS
1368 Lasalle Avenue | 612-999-6020
Lakes & Legends beer is best tried at their taproom, though they can also be found at various local bars when they can keep up with demand!
One of the best things about the tap room are all the great events they bring in regularly! Craft Fairs, Food Trucks, monthly movie night, plus a ton of adventure-sport events. Save on ThriftyHip or check their Calendar to keep updated.
TRY SOME AWESOME BEER.
Get a Free Beer from Lakes & Legends and 18 other Essential local craftsmen with the Craft Notes Guidebook.