The Best of the Twin Cities: Beef & Brews - Lake Monster Brewing

Alyssa Groskopf | July 17, 2019

Folks let me tell you, I’m taking this hunt for the best breweries and beef in Minnesota very seriously. Therefore, it’s time for the second stop of the tour – Lake Monster Brewing in St. Paul, Minnesota. 

Once again, my co-reviewer, Joseph, accompanied me on this beef and brew journey. To my surprise, this brewery was only 2 miles away from my house and I had never been there before, so it seemed like the perfect spot.

This is a stop with an interesting name and interesting story. According to their website, the name “Lake Monster” stems from the fascination of the lake-dwelling critters that explorers have been intrigued with for centuries. Many people believe that these mysteries are yet to be solved and the depths of uncharted waters are yet to be explored. But they believe it’s “worth the effort to venture beneath the surface in search of something unknown and extraordinary.” And they feel the same way about beer. 

This location proved to be a particularly cool spot. Complete with an outside patio and unique indoor aesthetic, it was conducive to those that wanted to enjoy the hot weather or air conditioning. They also bring in a food truck each day of the week aside from Sunday, and the food options range from BBQ to Mexican Street food. Their website is complete with a schedule of what day each of the trucks will be there if you want to tailor your visit to the type of food that will be available. 

However, my personal favorite part of this stop was that dogs are allowed in the taproom! This didn’t excite Joseph nearly as much, but I was perfectly content admiring all of the good puppers that got lucky enough to tag along with their owners. 

But let’s move into what y’all care about: what we drank and what we ate. 

BREWS

This time we each selected one drink to review for you. Joseph selected the True Story Pale Ale EPA, which we both thoroughly enjoyed. This beer was a solid EPA and proved to be an easy-drinking option. It’s brewed with old and new school hops, and that was evident in the malty, hoppy flavor profile. With a 5% ABV this was a great choice for a single drink if you’re looking to have a casual beer or two and continue on with your day. We both decided that this is one that we would definitely order again. 

True Story Pale Ale 

I had Joseph surprise me with a beer that he thought I would like, and he selected the Empty Rowboat IPA for me. This brew is an American IPA that has a citrus profile of orange and grapefruit. He was very successful in picking an option that I would like, as citrus flavors are normally what I’m drawn to. As you roll this beer over your tongue you get an initial hint of citrus, and it finishes with a kick of bitterness from the hops at the tail end. This brew has an ABV of 6.9%, so one was enough for me. (Different blog, same story. Whoops.)

Empty Rowboat IPA

BEEF

We went to this stop on a Friday night, so the food truck for that day was El Tapatio, a food truck that specializes in Mexican Street food. They had many different options from nachos to tacos. These trucks are typically in the lot from 4ish to 9ish, and we ate at the tail end of when the truck was scheduled to be there. When we went up to the truck, they had mentioned they were running out of supplies, as they were pushing an impressive amount of food out to customers all night long.  

We chose to go with the steak tacos, which were EXCELLENT. 

Here are our individual reviews, and then scroll a little more to enjoy a photo of Joseph’s first bite of the tacos. Which he caught me taking in the middle of the bite and started laughing.  

Joseph: These were AWESOME! The flavor profile is clean, fresh, and I would recommend ordering these with the mild salsa. It has a little punch to it, it’s not too hot but spicy enough to take the natural flavors to the next level. The steak may be a tick done for my taste, but the handmade corn tortilla adds to the authenticity of the taco.  

Alyssa: These little tacos are full of flavor! We ordered them with all the fixings and that was a great choice. The toppings were fresh and complemented each other very well. I was thoroughly impressed with how authentic the tacos were and would definitely order these again. The steak was a little done, but I think adding the fixings on top kind of masked that a bit. 

mEET CHUCK

Cooking beef doesn't need to be scary. So, meet Chuck. Chuck Knows Beef will help you determine what cuts to buy when in the store and how to prepare it when home in your kitchen!