Today’s brewery stop was at Red Wing Brewery. The city of Red Wing has a long history of breweries, but all of that ended over 60 years ago when the last one closed. Red Wing Brewery is a brewpub that is trying to bring back some of this amazing brewing tradition to this small river bluff community.
We arrived shortly before noon, and had to wait a short bit before they opened, but it came with the advantage of being the first through the door. Their location is situated in a simple storefront in a historic old main street portion of Red Wing. It’s not on the main drag on 61, but just a block off on Old Main.
Being a brewpub we timed this visit so that we could get some lunch as well as beer. In what I think is a brilliant move, Red Wing Brewery is mainly a pizza place. They have all the regular pizza’s you’d expect and a dozen or so specialty pizza’s with unique toppings. My wife got a plain cheese, but I decided to get a BBQ chicken. Having a limited menu with a specific focus means that the food that they do is done quite well.
While we were waiting for our food, and through much of our visit, we got to chat up one of the owners, Scott. I ordered a flight of 5 beers in my visit, and he was kind enough to talk about each beer and how it was made, as well as other fun topics around the brewing industry in Minnesota. It was great to get an insider view on the whole Sunday Sales topic that is plaguing our state right now. Because of our antiquated laws, I was only able to get root beer in my growler.
So on to the beers. The first beer I tried is their Ski Jump Special which was a beer infused a citrus flavor (if I recall correctly), but it wasn’t overpowering. The base of the beer was patterned off of a special bitter, and was very solid.
I then moved on to the red ale, which was a nice solid Irish Red. It didn’t try to do anything out of the ordinary, and accomplished its task, making for a really great beer. I followed that up with the brown ale which had a nice English bent to it (at least from my palette’s perception). Again, another really solid beer that I could see enjoying a full pint of.
My second to last beer was the oatmeal stout. This was served on nitro, and was super creamy and smooth. The oatmeal brought out a mild sweetness that made this a really easy drinking stout. I was amazingly happy with this beer, and would have probably brought home a growler of it if it had been available.
My final beer was their IPA, which was an English style IPA. I’m not a big hop head, but I really enjoyed this beer. It was a much mellower hop character than your traditional West Coast IPA, and it made for a great drinking beer. Again, if there were growler sales on Sunday I probably would have grabbed this one too.
The food was really amazing, and most of the ingredients are locally sourced. In fact they even partnered with a local bakery to utilize some of their spent grains into their pizza dough that the bakery produces for them. Every ingredient on my BBQ pizza was top notch and I couldn’t be more happy with my lunch today. The 8” pizza size was perfect for a lunch meal, especially after how much food we ate this weekend.
I can’t emphasize enough how pleased I was with this stop today. I had no idea what to expect when we pulled up to the door, but the owners have done a great job with this business and I highly recommend stopping in if you’re in the area. The food and beer was incredibly solid and I can’t wait until we get a chance to head back down to this area and hit them up again. What a great way to end out weekend trip.