Friday, March 10, 2017

Northern Ale Guide, Stop 2 - Insight Brewing

Stamp Number 2: Insight Brewing, 2821 E Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis

It seems like the craft brewers that get a lot of positive attention are the ones that are truly unique. Instead of checking off the boxes with the expected beers - Lager, Pale Ale, Wheat Ale, Porter, Stout - they actually try something different. Insight is one of those places.

I didn't take a picture at Insight, so I grabbed their
logo so my blog post wasn't just a solid wall of text.
I hadn't been to Insight before going there, but my local liquor store has it, so I was able to try the Hell Chicken, a Japanese-inspired pale ale that I honestly wasn't that impressed by. Nicci has had the Sunken City, a saison mixed with sauvignon grapes so it tastes like beer mixed with wine. We have some of that in the fridge right now, and she had some at the taproom too, I'm pretty sure. (To be honest, I don't remember, because we went before I decided that I would write about every one we went to, so I didn't bother remembering details like "what beer did did we have." It's my blog, and it can be as half-assed as I want it to be).

ANYWAY, Insight taught me that I need to take more care in choose what I drink. I had the Troll Way west coast IPA and the Lambton Dragon, and both were good, but neither that stood out as a reason for me to go sprinting back there. But Nicci's sister had the Banshee Cutter, which is a very disconcerting beer because it's a traditional golden color, but has coffee flavoring. Very interesting, but pretty good.

As far as atmosphere, I feel like Insight would be a great place to hold a party, or as a place to bring a full beer league softball team after a game. There is plenty of space, with huge booths that could probably seat 8 people if they were willing to get cozy. It seems like it would take a lot for the taproom to feel crowded - the parking lot would probably fill up long before the room actually did.

It was OK for kids. Like I said, huge booths, so they can move around without bothering people. But, because they're booths, it makes it a little awkward for picking up dropped crayons or dolls. The "plenty of room" also makes it difficult for hyper kids - I imagine if we hadn't snagged a booth and shoved the kids into the corner of it, they could have easily run around and gotten lost if we weren't paying enough attention. Oh, and the only "kids pop" they offer is root beer, which is ... not root beer. I don't know what it was, but it didn't taste like root beer. Don't order it - bring your own drinks for the kids.

I'll be happy to go back to Insight to try more of their stuff - I'm definitely eyeing the Lost Satyr and Frugivorous, so I'll return in "late summer" when they're available.

For our next passport stamp, Nicci and I took an early anniversary road trip down to Rochester to knock three out of the way...

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