On our way to a family reunion in the Iron Range of Minnesota over the weekend, we decided to stop off at a small brewery along the way. Moose Lake Brewing Company is located in Moose Lake, Minnesota, about 45 miles southwest of Duluth. It's a town of less than 3,000 people. They opened in late 2016.
Photos courtesy of Moose Lake Brewing website.
Atmosphere: When we walked in, it felt like we stepped in to somebody's cabin. Since northern Minnesota is known for having a lot of cabins, this is a very fitting setup. There is a great view out back of Moosehead Lake.
The Service: there was only one beertender working, but we were greeted right away upon walking in. Sami was allowed to sample a few different beers before buying, since she was unsure what to have. She was very helpful.
The Beer: Moose Lake Brewing has 10 beers on tap. We tried four of them.
Knot Bumper Mango Blonde: 5.25% ABV, 14 IBU
Sami: I thought it was a very clean, light beer. I didn't taste much of the mango, but I did taste some fruity components. It was easily drinkable, and refreshing for a hot, summer day.
Log Roller IPA 7.5% ABV, 64 IBU
Will: A very solid, drinkable IPA. You can definitely taste the citrus in it, and even thought the IBU is higher, it wasn't overpowering.
Wood Chip EPA: 5.25% ABV, 35 IBU
Will: I really liked this beer. It was a very nice, easy drinking beer. Not too hoppy, not overpowering in anything really. This is well done beer.
Pumpkin Spice: 5% ABV, 32 IBU
Yes, you're reading this right. Pumpkin spice beer in July. There's a funny story to this. We were talking to three other people at the bar, and were commenting about how it was too early to be drinking something like that. We were kind of talking trash about it too. The beertender kind of shut us up by giving all of us a sample of it.
Sami: It was drinkable, it was spicy, and it tasted like I was drinking a pumpkin pie. All you needed was a big Thanksgiving dinner to go with it.
Will: Yep, she shut us up. It was way better than I expected. You definitely tasted the pumpkin and the spice, and it wasn't overpowering in either.
The Verdict: If you're on your way to the cabin for the weekend, or on your way to Duluth, this is a good spot to pull over and get a beer. It's not very far off of the exit, so you won't be going too far out of the way. And, if you're hungry, and willing to spend a few bucks, you can have a frozen pizza made for you. They also have other munchies, like potato chips and salsa, to buy as well.