Minneapolis (Lyn-Lake), Minnesota:
Tuesday 13th October 2009
Three inches of snow greeted me on this morning and it was still falling when I left the hotel. My first destination was south of the city. I caught the Hiawatha line for a couple of stops to its terminus at Hennepin Avenue and transferred to the number 4 bus to the Uptown district of Lake-Lyn. At the airport the previous evening I had bought a $6 24-hour ticket that brought me into town and was being used for this day's travelling.
I thought that my first brewpub destination would open at 11.00 so was disappointed when I found that I had another hour to wait. The snow had eased a bit yet was still falling. I needed a refuge quickly and as sometimes happens, advantage emerges from adversity. After alighting from the bus, on the next main road to the south at 810 West Lake Street, I found this pub, an intriguing mixture of bar, restaurant, ten-pin bowling alley and comedy theatre. By pure chance I had found one of the best pubs in the whole city. I took a seat at the bar and stared glazy-eyed at the selection (see photo).
Apart from the national brewers I had a choice of Fat Tire Pale Ale (5.2% abv) from New Belgium Brewery of Fort Collins, Colorado; Anchor Porter (5.6% abv) from San Francisco, California; Summit Extra Pale Ale (5.3% abv) from nearby St Paul, Minnesota. Then there was Surley's Cynic (6.5% abv) (Belgian-style ale), and their Furious (6.2% abv) (a combination of US hops and Scottish malt): both from Brooklyn Centre, a northern suburb of Minneapolis.
The eclectic range continued with Best Brown Ale (5.8% abv) and Two Hearted Ale (American IPA), both from Bell's Brewery of Comstock, Minnesota; Lift Bridge Farm Girl (6.0% abv), brewed under licence at Flat Earth Brewing in Steven's Point, Wisconsin.
An odd one was Magic Hat No 9 (4.6% abv), an American pale ale with apricot essence all the way from Burlington, Vermont. Finally there was Ace Cider (5.0% abv) from Sebastapol, California.
I had pints of Fat Tire PA, Surley's Cynic and Bell's Two Hearted Ale (the very best) with tasters of pretty well everything else, thanks to the kindly barman.
The charges for bowling are very reasonable and it's the sort of place you could easily stay in all day long, and I nearly did! So, over two hours late on schedule, I went around the corner to my original appointment.
The Lake-Bryant Bowl, 810 West Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55408. Tel: (612) 825 3737
Open: Daily 08.00-02.00
Food: Breakfast 08.00-15.00;
Lunch / Dinner: Monday to Friday 08.00-00.30; Saturday and Sunday 13.00-00.30
Happy hours: Monday to Friday 15.00-18.00; Sunday to Thursday 22.00-02.00
Close to the intersection of Lyndale Avenue South and Lake Street West. Frequent bus
no 4 to and from downtown stops on Lyndale Avenue about 200 yards from the pub.