With Lakes and Legends grand opening celebration this Saturday, I thought I would stop in and see what the new brewery located in Loring Park had to offer. I was more than impressed with this new Minneapolis brewery.
Walking into a large open room, I note lawn games lining one wall, bringing a bit of the outdoors to the indoors. Another wall hosts a clear view of the brewhouse equipment. The heavy dark-wood tables and bar, and floor to ceiling windows are evocative of the farm to bottle attitude that co-owner Ethan Applen says defines Lakes and Legend’s vision. Applen says they plan to focus on brewing Belgian and farmhouse styles, a unique approach that should set them apart from other Minnesota breweries. They also intend to source as many local ingredients as possible. When I asked Applen why they decided to focus on Belgian styles, he responded that these were the styles that got him interested in craft beer because they are approachable and demonstrate different flavors than other popular craft beer styles like IPAs. Applen hopes that Lakes and Legends’ unique takes on Belgian beers can ignite interest in these styles for others as well.
With their expansive and eclectic taplist, Lakes and Legends is already standing out. I tried four, but the new brewery already has eight different beers on tap. Starting with their Belgian IPA, I was already impressed. This beer has all the esters one should expect of a traditional Belgian ale. The flavor itself is dry and biscuity, with a healthy bitterness to satisfy any hop-head, and a mild fruitiness. The next beer I tried was their raspberry braggot. A braggot is a style of mead made using malt for a portion of the fermentable sugars. Not many Minnesota breweries serve a braggot, so I knew I had to try this one. This beer is fantastically sweet, a bit tart from the raspberries, and overall a very pleasant, light, easy-drinking brew. Their Belgian Rauch was the next beer I tried, a beer brewed with smoked malt and belgian yeast. This beer had an expectedly strong flavor of smokiness, but notes of clove and pepper shined through as well in this crisp ale.
The standout beer from my flight however was their seasonal cranberry saison. The cranberries lend the beer a lingering tartness. This complemented the spicy clove notes from the saison yeast very well. The beer finishes crisp and dry, making it a complex but very drinkable choice. Also, the cranberries were all locally sourced from a family cranberry farm in Aiken, Minnesota. In addition to the beers I didn’t try, Also on their menu are several appetizers and craft sodas. Overall, the beer at Lakes and Legends seemed very consistent and refined, and I look forward to trying more from them.
This Saturday, Lakes and Legends is celebrating with a grand opening party, where they will release their newest beer – a Winter Warmer. At the party patrons can donate a new unwrapped childrens toy or book for donation to the Children’s Hospital and receive a free 4 oz. beer! Celebrate the season with the newest member of the Minnesota craft beer community, we’ll see you there!
Lakes & Legends: 1368 Lasalle Ave, Minneapolis MN 55403
- Tuesday – Thursday: 3pm – 10pm
- Friday: 3pm – 12am
- Saturday: 12pm – 12am
- Sunday: 12pm – 9pm