The boys went to 10K Brewing last night. It's in downtown Anoka in a cool old building. There was a band playing and the there was a good crowd. There was a decent mix of older folks, music lovers, hipster-types, and beer snobs. There was even a brew dog lounging at the bar.
It's a small brewery. We only saw one fermentation tank. It looked like a 5 bbl, 3 vessel system. We didn't see any bright tanks and heard from another brewery that they were carbing in the keg (which isn't horrible but not the best way). Also, just because we didn't see it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
As per usual when trying a new brewery, a flight was ordered. Here goes:
Belgian Hefe. I thought this was decent. Not a true hefewiezen but good. It's a wheat beer and has Belgian hops. It was drinkable and light. One of the boys was disappointed and said it wasn't a hefe at all. I could be persuaded to drink this again.
Northern Honey Blonde
The cool thing about this beer for me is that it uses local honey from a family farm. I'm a big fan of local ingredients and keeping things local in general. It's light, but not really a lawn-mower beer, which I was expecting. It was decent cold but as it warmed a bit, there was a buttery smell and taste. This is an off-flavor called diacetyl and not something you look for in a beer.
This might have been the most disappointing of the group for me. Generally, I like ambers and reds. However, the first taste had a sour note to it which is not characteristic to the style. If it had been labeled a Amber Sour, I may have thought differently. I also got a small note of smoke flavor, which was very strange in this style. The carbonation on this one was very low. However, I think there is a good base to this and could be a great beer.
This was the best of the lot. Perfect low carbonation for the style. A hint of chocolate and light roasted nut flavor. The smoked malt was just enough without being overwhelming. I saved this for last in the group and it was really good. Generally, I'm not the biggest fan of smoked beers but this smoked Baltic porter had just enough of the subtle hints of a few flavors that made it quality.