The Best of the Twin Cities: Beef & Brews - Spiral Brewery & The Busted Nut

Alyssa Groskopf | August 8, 2019

After taking a little break from my beef and brew hunt, I was finally able to make my next stop. This week, I brought things a little closer to home and made a trip to Hastings, MN to Spiral Brewery. Which by the way, yes, it is awesome to have a brewery in your hometown. However, if you’re not as lucky as I am, the historic, small town feel that Hastings brings will allow you to feel like you’re home – especially being downtown. 

Spiral Brewery is a very unique spot, and it truly exemplifies the story of Hastings. I wouldn’t consider Hastings, MN to be a small town, especially with a population of over 22,000 people. Complete with historic charm, Hastings has done an excellent job maintaining a balance of what used to be and what is to become.

Spiral Brewery was created by a group of five friends with a dream of creating craft brews. With an opening date of April 20th, 2018, this spot is still a relatively new location on the map. Yet, they have found great success. What makes Spiral Brewery so special is the sense of community that it brings to Hastings. Their taproom is accommodating to all – from the individual that needs to get work done or the family that wants to bring their children on the outing as well. They also have a little patio area for those that want to soak up some sun while enjoying their drink.

Yet, the most unique piece that I have never seen before is “The Beer Board,” which allows customers to buy a beer for someone for their next visit to the brewery. After returning, the person can then claim their beer and take their name off the board. I couldn’t think of a better way to encourage your family and friends to continue to come back. 

BREWS

Now let’s get to the good stuff. As you can see from the photo above, they have MANY options to tailor to all beer lovers. I couldn’t decide what I wanted, so I asked for the opinion of the bartender of what she thought I would like. This led me to the Mississippi Fog Hazy IPA. 

Asking for a suggestion on what to get has never steered me wrong, and this time was no different. This brew was the perfect complement to a hot, summer day. This was a clean, easy drinking beer complete with an initial taste of citrus on the front, and a kick of bitterness from the hops on the tail end. Coming from a person that isn’t normally a fan of hoppy beers, I was very satisfied with the balance of the flavor profile in this selection.  

With a 7.0% ABV (sensing a trend here, folks?) this is perhaps one that I would select for an after-dinner option. However, this brewery gave me the choice to select what size glass I wanted to take on. Therefore, I got smart this time around and chose the 12 oz. tulip glass to enjoy. 

BEEF

Spiral Brewery doesn’t offer food options of their own, so I went across the street to The Busted Nut, which is a bar and grill in the downtown strip. If a bar and grill isn’t what you’re looking for, that area has many different food options to choose from within walking distance! Their homepage says they have the best burgers in town, so I thought I might as well give them a shot. 

The Busted Nut is another intriguing location well-known to Hastings residents. After seating yourself at a table, you get a complimentary basket of peanuts which isn’t uncommon when eating at a bar and grill. However, they live up to their name, and allow customers to crack the peanut shells on the floor instead of putting them in a bucket on the table. Kudos to those that work there that get the privilege of sweeping up all the shells at the end of the evening.  

They have many different burger options to choose from to accommodate the adventurous soul, or those that want to remain close to the classics. Seriously, check out their website to read about some of the burgers they offer. For example, “The Hulk” is green olives, cream cheese, homemade blackberry ketchup & wonton strips. What a creation.

I decided to stick with a classic and go with the California Burger, which included onion, tomato, lettuce and mayo. I figured the best way to evaluate the quality of the burger is to get something that isn’t too far out there.  

Upon getting the burger, I thought that it might end up being a little dry. To my surprise the burger was still rather juicy, and I was impressed with the flavor that it had on its own. The toppings that were included on the burger were fresh and served to enhance the flavor and texture of the burger. This location is one that I will go back to, perhaps to try something a little more on the wild side instead. 

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!