Sunday, September 9, 2012

Discovering Craft Beers - Fulton Brewery

I have already blogged twice about food and dubbed the topic Happy Belly. However, I feel I have slightly ignored the other vital companion to the taste buds, the beverage. With a seemingly never ending supply of breweries, brew pubs, and wineries, this is another way to explore an area. Therefore, I will be writing about this too, as the whole food and beverage world resonates with many. Not sure yet if this will link in with Happy Belly or branch out to its own niche. I probably just need some creative inspiration for a cool name to convince me one way or the other.

So, in the inaugural beer post, I will focus on a newer brewery from downtown Minneapolis, Fulton. One of those awesome stories of four guys that started brewing beer in a garage and were able to transform their hobby into a winning product in the rapidly growing craft beer market. The About portion of their website has a great writeup.
I love the atmosphere in the brewery's tap room, opened in March 2012, and the first in the Twin Cities due to some new legislation supporting micro breweries. Cement floors, the lingering scent of yeast and hops from the adjoining brewery (about 50 feet from where you sip), and a variety of seating, it is a great place to hang out. During busy times it invokes a mingling tone, as striking up conversation with those around you seems common.

Of course, a brewery is still only as good as the beer, and Fulton's passion for brewing is reflected in the quality of the product. I am guessing the limited options reflect their smaller scale, but it could also be an outcome of focusing on quality not quantity early on. Sweet Child of Vine is my favorite and their staple product, and the easiest to find on tap or bottled. I have high standards when it comes to an IPA, and this has entered my regular rotation when found on tap. The Ringer is an American Pale Ale, a bit lighter, but still with substantial flavor. My wife really enjoyed it, and she is not an avid beer drinker. They also offer Lonely Blonde, an American blonde I have yet to try. I see wheat beer and shy away, though it looked to be ordered at an equal rate as the others.

They also experiment with their beers in creative ways. I tried War and Peace, which is their Russian Imperial Stout with Peace Coffee. This one hits you pretty hard. You probably won't order this unless you enjoy very dark beers, but it was highly drinkable and expertly masks its near 10% ABV.

Fulton is an up and coming local business that gives you a sense they truly love what they do (which is always a worthy cause to support). I highly recommend checking them out if you are in downtown Minneapolis. Tours and growlers are offered as well.

There is also a food cart just outside where you can pick up some grub and eat inside the tap room. I ate at the Fork in the Road last time and had the BBQ pulled pork grill cheese sandwich with caramelized onions. Oh my, was that a tasty match to the beer.


  1. Love it! Been there with you and we had a blast :)

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