Over on Get to NoMi, we’ve been promoting local businesses, including the startup Boom Island Brewing. We’ve all been promoting the place, but I’m not sure if anyone has actually tried their beer. So I took it upon myself to do just that. Such is the sacrifice that I am willing to undertake on behalf of my community.
And make no mistake, this was indeed a sacrifice. Their beer locator shows that the closest place to buy their beer is in St. Louis Park. I cannot stand driving to, through or even thinking about St. Louis Park. Their on-again, off-again freeway exits drive me crazy. It’s like they were built by a civil engineer with commitment issues after an especially traumatic breakup. Or maybe an overly sarcastic city planner said, “I like St. Paul’s practice freeway on 35E, but do you know what would make it even better? Strip malls.” And then the city council passed the design plan before anyone realized that was a sadistic joke.
Just about the only good thing I can say about the highway and street layout of St. Louis Park is that it finally answers the question, “What if David Bowie’s Goblin King from the movie Labyrinth got a master’s degree in urban planning?”
“Damn it, Carl! The GPS says there’s a T.G.I. Friday’s right around the corner.”
So I braved the freeway ramp mazes, found the Four Firkins beer store, and made my way back to NoMi with my newest acquisition. And that beer tastes utterly amazing. It is by far my newest favorite beer. I consider myself somewhat of a beer snob in that I generally don’t want to drink anything that’s been advertised on television – unless of course it’s free. But even then, I must grouse openly about the beer’s inferior quality and the nerve of my supposed friends for giving me something so disgusting. There are rules for being a self-proclaimed beer snob.
What I am not, however, is very articulate about why I like certain beers over others, or how to describe the taste of these beers. Brunkish? Autumny? A snorky, brambish taste, that is of course affected by the hops.
Ah yes, hops. There’s a beer word that doesn’t make squiggly spell-check lines come up under what I’ve been typing. Now if you want a real description of Boom Island’s beers from someone who knows her terminology, I recommend checking out Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl’s article in the Minnesota Monthly.
The Hoodoo beer was the best of what I had tried, and is described by Grumdahl as a beer that “[is] dark as root beer and offers a nose that’s more than a little root-beer like, suggesting scents of anise, sassafras, and clove along with dark toast, it’s very pretty and wintery.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. Really.
And their beers have a cork on the top instead of a bottle cap. There’s something pleasingly celebratory and almost ceremonial about popping a cork. That in and of itself adds to the experience of drinking this brew.
As soon as I can confirm that growlers are sold on-site, I’ll post that news. Then we can buy our neighborhood beer without leaving the neighborhood.
(Photos by Jeff Skrenes, video by Hillside Chronicle)