If you have read several of my posts, I’m sure you’re noticing a recurring theme: I like going up north. When any opportunity allows me some extended time away, I can usually be found in my car headed up 35 in an instant. After a rather involved month of May, I was more than eager to get out of the Cities and enjoy some time in the woods.
Over Memorial Day Weekend, I went up to Grand Marais Minnesota, a place so far up the shoreline that when you look out over The Lake, you’re actually looking south (as opposed to likely looking east / northeast over the Lake when in Duluth). Unfortunately, the views weren’t exactly spectacular upon arrival. In the morning I woke up to this…
But not one to let any fog dampen my spirits, I went out and explored the area which of course included a stop at Grand Marais’s own brewery, Voyageur Brewing. Situated right off the main road / 61, Voyageur nicely fits within the core of Grand Marais. At first glance, it’s a modest yet pleasant-looking building on the side of road with only its name across the top to identify it as Voyageur. No other bold signage sticks out to shout that the brewery exists, which I found refreshing. The inside, however, is a open space with lots of room for patrons. At the time that I visited, the brewery was understandably busy due to the long weekend and also to a local band performing. I grabbed a flight and decided to head upstairs to the rooftop patio, despite the weather conditions remaining mostly unchanged and the view offering one shade of gray.
These beers are good brews. Each one that I tasted I thoroughly enjoyed, and my favorite turned out to be their Trailbreaker Belgian Wit. The Devil’s Kettle IPA provided a significant hop dankness that was potent yet balanced (and I was sad that I wasn’t able to visit its namesake on this trip). The Palisade Porter was the perfect dark beer option that I was craving on gray day. Others that I also sampled included their seasonals: Muddy Boots Maibock and the Maple Hill Smoked Roggenbier.
I find that I have more appreciation for well-made beers. Doing just that alone is worthy of praise. A brewery doesn’t have to make the craziest creation in the world. Certainly fun creations have their place and they’re enjoyable, but having a solid line-up of beer is just as important. Voyageur is doing exactly this. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when I visited, and I walked away very satisfied. I would’ve been content to have any one of their beers on a given day, and I think that says something. In fact, I spied the Trailbreaker in a liquor store last week and reminded myself that I’d need to purchase some for myself soon.
If you’re up in the Arrowhead, I highly recommend stopping by at Voyageur to experience this unique north shore brewery. It’s a good location with good people and good beer. All in all, that sounds like the good ol’ Minnesotan way to me.