Brews & Spirits Tour: Once Sip at a Time

5 Things to Love About the Lakes’ Food Scene
August 4, 2021

Travel around the Lakes Area and you’ll find local breweries and a microdistillery. Each place has a cool, laid back vibe and some seriously tasty brews and spirits. They’re the perfect places to slow down, sip, and unwind.

Jack Pine Brewery | Baxter

Jack Pine Brewery’s taproom offers as laidback, family friendly atmosphere that focuses on great beer and good conversation. The Jack Pine crew are always experimenting so every few weeks customers have new seasonal beers to sample. On warm days, the taproom’s large industrial door opens, and the crowd effortlessly spills out on to the patio tucked in a grove of pine trees.

Tasty Brew: Dead Branch. Cream ale that has a mild and grainy flavor. Suitable for all palettes. 

5Rocks Distilling Co. | Brainerd

5Rocks is making a splash since it opened in 2020. Family owned and operated, 5Rocks uses locally sourced ingredients to make small batch spirits. You’ll find Cold North Vodka, Lizzy’s Gin, Straight Bourbon Whiskey, and Double Barreled Bourbon (limited edition). Sample spirits, or try mules, old-fashioneds martinis, specialty and dessert cocktails! Bring a cocktail kits (or two) home as a souvenir!

Tasty Spirit: Cold North Vodka.Handcrafted from MN wild rice and sugar beets, this vodka has a sweet vanilla finish.

Tasty Cocktail: Cold North Espresso Martini. Cold North Vodka, 5Rocks roast espresso, liqueur, espresso.

Ya-Sure Kombucha | Brainerd

Ya-Sure Kombucha is new to downtown Brainerd! If you’re into the health benefits of kombucha—a bubbly, probiotic-rich fermented tea—check out Ya-Sure Kombucha! Stop in to the tap room and enjoy a variety of on-tap flavors. Whether you’re new to the world of kombucha or you like more Hopped flavors, you’ll find a healthy kombucha you love. Ya-Sure Kombucha is also on tap at many local establishments!

Try it: Apple Crisp. Tarte apples with cinnamon and oats. It tastes like apple crisp and is the easiest drinking kombucha on-tap.

14 Lakes Craft Brewery | Crosslake

14 Lakes Craft Brewing Company offers an intimate setting for friends and family to enjoy quality beer and good company. The taproom is family friendly with board games and cards. On warm summer evenings, you can play a game of cornhole (bags) on the patio or just relax or take in the surrounding beauty. Visitors often bring their favorite four-legged friends to socialize, too. When vacationing in Crosslake, make sure to stop in and enjoy great beer!

Tasty Brew: Blond Rush Ale. A clean, crisp, and refreshing ale with a slight citrus taste and mild bitterness.

Snarky Loon Brewing Co. | Jenkins

The newest brewery to land in the Brainerd Lakes is the Snarky Loon. The beer is German and Belgian influenced along with some seasonal rotating taps. The Snarky Loon also easily melds the outdoors with its large doors to the outside and a live music patio. You’ll find the Snarky Loon is a great place to bring people together and have a good time while enjoying good beer.

Tasty Brew: Shenanigans Irish Amber Ale. An easy drinking beer with subtle flavors with a soft toffee/caramel sweetness and a touch of roasted dryness in the finish.

Big Axe Brewery | Nisswa

Big Axe is serious about brewing good beer and providing a one-of-a-kind atmosphere. You’ll appreciate not only the variety but the quality of beer. Kids and nonbeer drinkers will love the homemade cream soda and root beer.

Big Axe also has a full-service menu that pairs nicely with their craft beers. The patio is the perfect place to enjoy the summer sunshine, drink a cold one, and relax after shopping downtown Nisswa.

Tasty Brew: Agropelter Mosaic. Light-bodied single hop pale ale. Packed full of aroma with notes of grapefruit, tropical fruits, and a touch of blueberry.

Roundhouse Brewery | Nisswa

Roundhouse offers classic and seasonal brews, plus nonalcoholic beverages. Roundhouse moved into a larger space near Nisswa and expanded its taproom, along with a private event space. You’ll also find an outdoor patio with a firepit. It’s the perfect place to unwind on a summer’s evening!

New! Channel your inner Paul Bunyan with axe-throwing in the Wreck Room!

Tasty Brew: Coal Train Porter. A robust porter, dark and smooth. Flavors of roast malt, coffee, and cocoa.  A mild caramel sweetness rounds out the flavor.

Raise a glass and cheers to good times with family and friends!