Monday 12th October 2009
I arrived in Minneapolis / St Paul International Airport on a freezing cold Sunday evening in October 2009. I travelled into the city centre on the Hiawatha Line and decided that I would visit one brewpub that evening, the night before my pub crawl. After all, it was 23.30 British time and I hadn't gone to bed until 01.00 earlier that same morning. So it was to be, and I walked the ten minutes between my hotel and the Rock Bottom at 800 La Salle Plaza.
It took me a further ten minutes to find the way in. Five years earlier I had visited this pub during the day and had walked in from the street. However, it was now evening and it's in a shopping / office plaza. There was only one way in, off the next block. The security guards on the door directed me to the pub.
Rock Bottom is a brewpub chain found throughout the country. As well as this location I had previously visited branches in Milwaukee and Chicago and had come away impressed by the beer. I hadn't had much to drink that day, so ordered a pint of Itasca Extra Pale Ale (5.4% abv). It was cask-conditioned, served by a hand pump. It was so enjoyable I had two more till true tiredness overcame me and I walked back to my hotel through the freezing night.
I returned the next day and partook of the sampler tray which consisted of Big Horn Nut Brown Ale (5.8%), Erik the Red Vienna Style Lager (5.6%), Minneapolis Kölsch (5.4%), North Star Premium Lager (4.2%) and Minneapolis Red Ale (5.7%). I also had another pint of the excellent Itasca Extra Pale Ale.
It's good for visit at any time, but should you be an aficionado of cask beer then it is an absolute must!
Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery, 800 La Salle Plaza, Minneapolis, MN 55402
Tel: (612) 0332 2739
Open: Sunday to Thursday 11.00-01.00; Friday to Saturday 11.00-02.00
Happy Hour(s): Monday to Friday 15.00-18.00; Sunday to Thursday 22.00 to close.
The pub is in the middle of downtown and local buses stop on the streets in the locality.
The Hiawatha light rail line is a few blocks away.