A Modist Opening

Mod beer

It started out where most of us hear a lot of news – social media. I’d been watching the hype grow on various outlets for some time, and as someone who likes beer, it naturally sparked my interest. It was all about the newest brewery on the block, Modist Brewing. So, a few weekends ago, I ventured over to take in the grand opening of Modist Brewing.

What a treat it was! The beer is delicious, the space is very accommodating, and the location is ideal. The taproom was naturally busy on the first Friday of being open, but the flow of people allowed patrons the opportunity to wander through the space to either take in the sights of the production area or enjoy the cityscape on the outdoor patio.

The beer that I grabbed for myself before I attempted to find my friends in the crowd was the pHresh. I was in the mood for something a bit lighter, and at 4.8% ABV with a tantalizing flavor description, my choice was easy. The beer was perfectly refreshing after my bike ride over to the brewery. With an incredibly clean texture and crisp flavor, I would’ve biked away dragging a keg of it behind me if I could.

So it’s no surprise that over the course of 3 days, Minneapolis apparently drank them out of beer as evident from this tweet from Modist the Monday following their open…


Had I not joined up with my friends later than I intended, right as they were about to disband, I would’ve easily had another 2 pHresh beers. It’s one I that want to have in stock on a constant basis in my fridge, or in my car for any camping/cabin trips.

Keep brewing friends, because not only do I want to enjoy some more beers of yours soon, but so does the entire city! Congrats on your open and I will be back to see you very soon!

About a Stout


This is a beer alert blog post: the Goose is loose.

While out on a ride-along day with one of the Clear River reps in south Minneapolis on Monday, we planned to end our day at my habitual favorite spot, The Pig & Fiddle. Having already arranged to meet one of the staff members that afternoon, I went in knowing I’d have a beer and a good time chatting with my friends.

But I didn’t just have any beer. As I sat down, I was promptly told that the Goose Island Bourbon County Stout had just been tapped. And when you hear that, you don’t say “no”. I immediately ordered one. A winter beer making a sneaky springtime appearance? Well played Fiddle, and I’m all for it, especially since I have taste for dark, strong beers. The Goose Bourbon County Stout doesn’t disappoint. It clocks in at 14% ABV. BeerAdvocate rates it as a 100, which is no surprise. I sipped it over almost 2 hours and got more animated as the time passed, likely to the amusement of my drinking companions. This beer will get to you… 

And because I was among friends, the infamous beer shots were frequent. After downing a shot of our 8.5% Hoodoo dubbel, conversation turned to the fact that I own a chainsaw and currently have it in the trunk of my car.

“Who just drops the fact that they have a chainsaw in their trunk?!” my Clear River rep exclaimed. The beer buyer for Pig & Fiddle gave him a deadpan look back and replied “…why do you think we have Boom Island on tap?” Perhaps I should use my chainsaw as a selling point more often…

If you want to get an amazing beer on tap that you are not likely to find anywhere else, get down to Pig & Fiddle ASAP and order yourself a pour of the Goose Island Bourbon County Stout. You will not be disappointed.

So don’t meander, get that gander.

Millstream Brewing


Maybe I’m deviating a bit from my “Marta Drinks MN” motto for a moment as I’m writing today about beer from Millstream Brewing out of Amana, Iowa. But, I was drinking it at Grumpy’s NE, so I was, in some way, still drinking MN. I’m betting Pat would back me up on this.

Having made fast friends with the guys at Clear River (our distributor), I’ve heard a lot about unique beers and other beer events happening in the area. While out with one of the reps last week, I overheard that a special firkin of a Peanut Butter and Jelly Back Road Stout from Millstream was going to be served that Friday at Grumpy’s. As it turned out, Millstream owner Theresa was going to be visiting town and Grumpy’s NE had agreed to feature several Millstream taps as the beers of the night for Friday. Making a mental note, I planned to visit Grumpy’s that Friday to try a few Millstream beers, especially this PB&J stout.

At 4pm on Friday, I headed up University to meet with Clear River and Theresa at Grumpy’s. Having this PB&J stout in my head for several days, I immediately ordered a pour, very eager to find out what it tasted like. The Back Road Stout is a regular offering from Millstream, and this was a dressed-up version for the occasion.

This beer did not disappoint. I was greated with smooth chocolate notes and a perfect hint of peanut butter, very well balanced, but what surprised me the most was the prominent raspberry flavor. For me, the raspberry really completed the beer and made it taste very much like peanut butter with raspberry jelly. With enticing flavors and a very smooth body, I had to remind myself to savor the beer, and not down it in one gulp.

The next beer after the PB&J Back Road Stout was one that I was somewhat apprehensive about, but after hearing reports from the guys, I decided to go with it. Millstream makes a witbier called John’s White Ale, but this one had been aged on Jack Daniels whiskey barrels and was cleverly named John Meets Jack. I wasn’t entirely convinced that a witbier aged on whiskey barrels would taste very good, but Theresa insisted. “We just decided to give it a try and see what happens,” she said. “And it turned out really good!”

She was right. The added dimension of whiskey gave this beer a nice boozy quality while still retaining the lighter flavors typical of a witbier, all combined in an incredibly smooth texture. Like the PB&J, this is a beer that could’ve disappeared fast. I never would have imagined that a whiskey barrel-aged witbier could taste so good, and now it’s the only thing I want to drink. Of the two beers, I think I have to say this one was my favorite… but it’s a really tough call.

It was a great evening of good beer, friends and making new friends – Theresa was a delight to talk to! If you happen to be down in Iowa, plan a detour over to Millstream and see what they’re all about. You won’t be disappointed.

Post Script – to round out my weekend, I then enjoyed a bottle of the infamous Ride the Wendigo by Clownshoes that I’d had over at The Happy Gnome along with the Chokolat by Southern Tier, both split in the good company of another craft beer fanatic. It was a beer-filled Saturday to follow Friday, but hey, that’s what weekends are for.