Before this summer, I had only been to Minneapolis’ LynLake Brewery once – in February 2015. Back then, I was writing for Best Buy Corporate as a copywriter. By sheer luck and good hiring, the team of writers was close, and we all liked dining and drinking in the Twin Cities.
LynLake was a new brewery back then, and one we thought was just alright in its early days.
Back then, I didn’t check beers into Untappd (I’ve forgotten more beers than I’ve checked into the app, in which I have 3,174 unique check-ins), but I do remember a smoked ale being the best of the bunch. Perhaps even on nitro.
All of that changed during my recent revisits.
Nowadays, LynLake is an entirely different brewery as far as the tap list goes (plus, it now has a dedicated kitchen inside).
Still located in the historic Lyndale Theater, with bicycle tire rims hanging overhead at the taproom bar, LynLake just looks neat. Maybe a bit steampunk, even. And it has nice views of the city from its outdoor patio on the second floor. The tap list also offers plenty of what craft beer is currently obsessed with: haze and sour beers. For a bit of depth and variety, you’ll also find old-world styles or generic ones with a twist, like a Kolsch made with wild rice or a golden ale with blueberries. I also noted old-school IPAs, an amber ale, regular golden ale, an oat raisin milk stout, and more rounding out the tap list. What attracted me was the Queen of Sheba New England Pale Ale, and Suck Me Sideways Raspberry Kettle Sour. Sota Summer, a berry kettle sour and Adulting is Hard, a New England IPA, stood out as well – but they were seasonal beers, and are no longer on the menu.
Each beer is well-made. To my wife’s benefit, the sours leaned a little more toward fruit beer (a beer I deem “not sour at all” will sometimes make my wife spit said beer back into the glass due to an overbearing tartness, so your interest in these may depend on your palate!). The hazy beers were a little more pithy than sweet. While I wasn’t clamoring for more of the samplers of any given beer, LynLake has seemed to evolve its beers in a good way (though I would have loved to try that smoked ale again), and the taproom’s added kitchen (where food vendors will cycle through every 60 days) is a smart idea and off to a great start.
LynLake deserves a visit – at least to see the building décor and sit upon that second-floor patio, if you haven’t yet. The beer is technically sound, and the tap list provides a good variety for a craft beer nerd or someone who wants the lightest thing on tap.