Inside a converted hotel on a busy downtown street corner, TWO RIVERS BREWING COMPANY resembles a dimly-lit 1920′s speakeasy with its rustic red brick exterior, copper-embossed tile ceiling, dark wood veneer, old Classical columns, dramatic mirrored bar mural and ancient Telecom phone system. Open during 2012 by long-time married friends Judy and Brad Nelson and Kathy and Troy Reynard, Two Rivers delights in crafting a well-rounded batch of mostly limited edition fare.
A low-ceiling 20-seat bar (with two TV’s) services ten tables plus a few private upstairs rooms. My wife and I get seated upstairs for sinner in the maroon-walled room with single-pane windows and stark drapes. An ever-changing food menu includes several culinary delights such as the incredible pecan-seared walleye, delectable peach, beets and goat cheese salad, jalapeno hush puppies with molasses and cinnamon butter and a host of fabulous appetizers.
There are ten elixirs readied for my gullet this cold Saturday evening in November ’16. First up, tangy citrus briskness and pasty caramel malts sweetened moderate-bodied Pre-Prohibition Lager. Next, dry Hallertau hops and tropical Mosaic hops befit Main Street Mosaic Pilsner, a crisp light body with polite grapefruit, lemon and berry illusions.
Easton Farmers Market Festbier tossed autumnal leafy hop crisping at orange-oiled opulence and mild herbal nuances. Pumpkin pie-spiced Seven Spirits Pumpkin Ale picked up light cinnamon-nutmeg-clove-allspice seasoning above sorghum-syruped lemon-soured pale malts.
Spritzy lemon sourness picked up salty coriander-clove spicing, mild banana sweetness and earthen barnyard funk for Five Acre Saison. Lilting lemon-limed souring gained resinous Cascade-hopped tropicalia and white-peppered herbage to propel oats-dried hybrid Aaron’s Bugle Farmhouse IPA. Lemony banana and clove fronted Pine Street Belgian Blonde, sprinkling white-peppered goodness atop candied sugar spicing while leaving a frisky carbolic spritz.
Meanwhile, fruitful Gallows Hill Red IPA allowed tangy grapefruit, orange, tangerine and peach spicing to caress its toasted caramel spine.
For dessert, dark chocolate and coffee tones decorated the ashen nuttiness and light caramel malting of Bankers Brown Ale.
As an extraordinary nightcap, Easton Assassinator Doppelbock (named after local boxing legend, Larry Holmes) brought ripe raisin-prune-plum overtones to chewy toffee malting.