When Katie and I moved to Monticello, MN just over a year ago, there were no breweries in town.
Lupulin Brewing in Big Lake and Hayes’ Public House in Buffalo were within a 20 minute drive in either direction, but we missed the convenience and countless options of great breweries we had before when we lived in NE Minneapolis.
A lot can happen in a year, though, and this weekend’s soft open of The Nordic Brewing Co. makes for the second brewery to open in Monticello in nine months! Needless to say, we’re pretty thrilled.
Nordic Brewing is tucked away in a little business strip mall located not far off I-94. We didn’t even know it was there until just a week ago! Chatter and buzz around town has been very quiet, and had Katie not spotted Nordic’s big, bold-lettered name in passing we may not have even known they were opening this weekend at all!
Friday night’s soft open was equally and refreshingly quiet. People trickled in and out, laughed and conversed with each other, played board games over food they brought in, and seemed to genuinely enjoy themselves. The staff was warm and competent, things appeared to run smoothly, and, really, there was no indication that it was literally Nordic’s opening night!
The taproom is large and spacious, with high ceilings that only seem to add to the depth and room. The theme is, predictably, Nordic, albeit slightly ambiguous and scattered — ski poles, sports rackets and other Nordic-inspired pieces decorate one a section of wood-paneled wall while the remaining walls are painted solid shades of white, brown and green; a single tree — presumably pine or fir — stands in an alcove near the front; natural-looking wood and stone frame the bar; and the brewery’s apparent mascot — an ibex — is stamped on every glass. Round tables and chairs dot the taproom, while one long wood table with benches provides room for a larger group and a handful of stools provide additional seating at the bar.
There were only three beers available on tap when we visited — a cream ale, fruit beer and brown ale — but they were all fantastic — great taste, true to style and a solid selection to start with! With nearly 20 taps behind the bar, there’s room for a whole lot more, and if these three are indicative of anything — there’s a lot more great beer to come!
We left feeling impressed and confident that Nordic’s off to a really strong start. If their soft open is anything to go by, we’re going to be frequenting Nordic Brewing Company a lot more in the future.
Here’s our full review (categories are rated out of five 🍺):
- Beer Selection (number and styles available): *Obviously, this one deserves some grace*
- Beer Taste (expected of style): 🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺
- Location (find-ability/ accessibility): 🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺
- Atmosphere/Venue: 🍺🍺🍺🍺
- Service (of staff): 🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺
– Adam & Katie, Ale Adventures