A few weeks ago, I went to Preston, MN to check out the Sweet Stop & Sandwich shop for lunch and was pleasantly surprised to see Trout City Brewing just a few doors down.
Brenda and Mike from the Sweet Stop also had a growler for me from Karst Brewing which was just up the road in Fountain, MN.
So, I did a bit of research and saw that Paw Print Brewery was just up the road in Chatfield, and Harmony Spirits was also in the area.
So, I got in touch with my friends, Chance & Katie and we decided to make a day-trip to brewery hop!
Our first stop was Paw Print Brewery in Chatfield. Cool little town, would definitely like to go back and check out more of that area. Paw Print is a veteran-owned business that just opened this past January. He’s got about 15 of his own beers on tap, and a boozy slushy for the really hot days. We decided to stay inside with the air conditioning, but there is PLENTY of outdoor seating to enjoy.
I had a flight of four beers, The Minuteman, an Irish red, The Kong, a peanut butter porter, The Bearded Bear, a cream ale, and Walk The Dog, a wheat beer/lemon shandy.
All four beers were well done, and my favorite was definitely The Kong. It had a really good balance of subtle peanut butter flavor without too much sweetness…mixed with the roasty quality of a porter.
Our next stop was Karst Brewing in Fountain, MN. Just a short trip up the road from Paw Print. I’d had their Edge of the Earth oatmeal stout before, and it was fantastic! So I was really excited to try some of their other beers.
While they had plenty of taps to choose from at Karst, it was a bummer that five of their beers were currently out when we showed up. But, that just gives me an incentive to go back for a follow up visit! There was a small tap room with some tables & chairs, but there was a LOT of room outside for plenty of social distancing!
I tried Maggie’s Farm, a cream ale, Ember Waves, a red ale, Company-A Centennial Red, a red ale, Coconut-A-Nilla, a blonde, Cheers to Cherries, a kettle sour, Sugar Creek Saison, a saison, and Acknowledgement Ale – A Black is Beautiful Beer, a stout.
The beers were all very good, but the two stand outs were the Cheers to Cherries and the Coconut-A-Nilla. I don’t usually like sours at all. Too tart. But the Cheers to Cherries was well balanced with a good amount of sweetness to undercut the sour finish. The highlight of the stop was the Coconut-A-Nilla. We took a growler home with us!
After a few breweries, we stopped at the Sweet Stop & Sandwich Shop in Preston for some lunch. I had the Sloppy Mike with cheddar on garlic & herb bread, along with some potato salad & macaroni salad. Plus, some cheesecakes to take home. Just so you know, the Sweet Stop is going to be doing some work on the shop in the near future and will be closed for the time being. But they’re going to reopen as soon as possible!
After lunch, we walked down to Trout City Brewing in Preston and had a round of beers. I’d been to Trout City before and took home a few growlers of the beers they have on tap. so I went with the Shout It Out Loud stout and a couple of ice waters. I really wish it hadn’t been so hot & humid. They have a neat little bierhall and a nice outdoor patio area, but I’m fat and disgusting, so I sat inside with the AC. Next time we go up that way, we’ll have to eat at Trout City. It’s a mom & pop cafe/brewery and the menu looks REALLY good.
After that, we made our final stop at Harmony Spirits in Harmony, MN. Harmony Spirits not only makes vodka, bourbon, rum, gin and whiskey, but they also make hand sanitizer! It’s a pretty slick operation in there, too. With everything that going on, they have the drink making down to a science with a lot of different options on the menu. I went with the John Daly, which is like an Arnold Palmer, but with vodka in it! All their seating is outside, with lots of room for staying socially distant.
If you’re looking for a nice little day-trip to check out some cool little breweries, then the Chatfield/Preston/Fountain/Harmony area has plenty to offer!