The nearby suburb of Brooklyn Park has gotten its first brewery, Blue Wolf Brewing. Their grand opening was Thursday, so I decided to swing by and check them out. After having a hard time locating their building (behind Broadway Pizza), I went in to see what was up. That’s when I discovered that opening day is the wrong time to visit. The place was so packed and crowded that I turned around and left.
The good news is that I had time tonight (Friday) to try again. The wife and I ordered up some take-out from Broadway Pizza and headed over. Sure enough the crowds had toned down quite a bit and we were able to get a seat with ease. One of the first things that’s unique about Blue Wolf is that they have servers who wander around to take your order. I’ve seen this in only a couple places, and in general I’m not a fan. I don’t like having to wait for someone to take my order to get my beer, however the bar area at Blue Wolf is small enough that I can see why they don’t want big lines at the bar.
Our server was pretty cool and easy to like, so it wasn’t that big a deal to have him wait on us. He got us the beer menu, which right no consists of three beers. They’ve decided to start small, before expanding to 6-8 beers in the future. This is a good plan for any new brewery. I’ve been to so many breweries lately that are tremendously mediocre when they open that I love it when I can have some beer that doesn’t suck.
I ordered up a flight of three beers; an IPA, a Rye Ale, and an “American Bitter”. The American Bitter was the first one up, and frankly I found it a bit weird. It was a cross between a British bitter and an American pale ale. It was tasty, but I’ll be honest, my taste buds weren’t sure what to make of it. There was an English maltiness to it, along with some earthy hop character, but it wasn’t very strong. It mingled with the American malts and mellow hops to create something that is certainly unique. But, as I said, it was still quite tasty.
The next beer I had was the Rye. This beer was very well done, and I really liked the smooth finish alongside the nice rye bite. It was very drinkable, and a solidly made beer. Finally, there was the IPA. Of all three, this one was my least favorite. It had an earthy hop quality, and was mostly balanced with the malt, but I felt like it needed some kind of brightness to perk up the flavor. Something fresh and piney as a dry hop would have perked up the nose on this beer and helped to make it feel nice and fresh. Despite this complaint, the beer didn’t have flaws, and was still quite drinkable.
Once I finished these three I noticed a sign that they were also doing Radlers. I assume that with the lack of beer options, putting in some Radlers was a way to expand their menu. I ordered up their Rye beer with orange soda, and the two went together quite nicely. I could see this Rye beer going well with many different types of mix-ins as well.
The atmosphere at Blue Wolf was nice and quaint. It’s not the biggest tap room out there, but it didn’t feel too cramped. We were able to find a place to sit just fine, and we were able to have a conversation without shouting. Overall, a pleasant place to have a drink. I’m excited to have another brewery so close to home. It’s nice to have options that don’t involve having to drive down in to the city. Plus, it’s good to get more craft beer options out to where the majority of places serve Bud Light.
I’m hopeful that Blue Wolf can make a solid go of it and continue to develop their beer flavors into some amazing beers. They also seem to really have an interest in wolf populations, and they are supporting places like the International Wolf Center in Ely, that helps support and maintain wolf populations. It’s nice to see a place that takes a stand for something that they believe in. I’m certain that I’ll be back.