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Thursday, July 13, 2017

[Minnesota, Baxter] Jack Pine Brewery

Since I came back to the USA, I have been in Minnesota. It seems like everyone and their mother has a microbrewery, so obviously I've been checking out a bunch of them.

We checked out Jack Pine Brewery in Baxter, Minnesota.




These were the 17 beers on rotation when I visited. :)


I decided to go with the pre-set, Jack Pine Brewery flight (for $10). You can also choose to make your own and choose 5 beers for $14.

Just keep in mind that I am in no way a beer connoisseur or even a beer hobbyist, so take everything I say with a grain of salt. My preferences are "the hoppier, the better." 

Honestly, I wish I would have made my own flight. There were wayyyyy too many ales in the flight and absolutely zero dark beers. Honestly, they were, for the most part, pretty forgettable beers. My mother got the full pint of the Dead Branch (cream ale) and my father got the full pint of the Hornets Nest. Honestly, I kind of thought both tasted pretty similar, which was the general consensus. The Hornets Nest did have a faint citrus/fruity taste, but it wasn't that notable. Most of the beers were actually pretty one-dimensional.

The one that did stand out was the Vengeance beer. I could tell that the base was the Dead Branch, because the beer flavor was not that intense...but then they added jalapenos to it, so it kind of had a kick. Out of the entire flight, this would be the one I may consider ordering again, just for novelty's sake. My mother said it best with, "I don't think I could drink a whole pint of it, but it's fun."

My father's review:
My requirements for a beer: icy cold with a bright, light taste. So when we visited Jack Pine Brewery in Baxter, I chose Hornets Nest Honey Lemon Wheat. My drinking partners criticized it as too weak, but it was perfect for me.
The beer is brewed with honey and lemon that combine for a bright summer ale.
It’s a refreshing drink on a hot summer day.
Jack Pine brew pub’s seating flows from indoors to an outdoor deck thanks to giant rollup doors that are open in nice weather.
Pale Wheat Ale – American, 6.5% ABV

My mother and I were not quite sold on the options, so we decided to try our typical go-tos. I typically order an IPA, because 1) it's my favorite type of beer, 2) so I can reliably compare breweries to find my favorite.

I got the Barbwire and my mother ordered the Deadfall (Russian Imperial).
The Barbwire was okay, but it definitely isn't as hoppy as I would have liked. In ranking the IPAs I've tried this summer in Minnesota, I would put it in the lower side of middle.
The Deadfall wasn't really a huge winner for us, either. You could really smell the coffee, but that subtle coffee flavor was WAY too subtle. 



Its location is pretty great for folks heading up to the lake. And, as you can see in the brochure pictured above, it is also semi-family friendly. A lot of other breweries don't have offerings for kids or individuals who don't care for beer. Jack Pine Brewery offers old fashioned sodas and cold press coffee.

You can also rent out the space. :)

It's located right by the Arrowhead Lodge, so check it out if you're staying there, too.

It's relatively new, so I think they may be tweaking the recipes a little.

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