Pros: Welcoming vibes, great shandy
Cons: Traditional beer styles just don’t taste that great
Number one reason you should go: If you love beer but never tried the gluten free stuff, it’s an initiatory rite. If you have tried gluten free stuff but hated it, go to try the lime shandy
I’ll be honest: I wasn’t excited to go to Burning Brothers Brewing. To me, their flagship Pyro tasted like licking an envelope and the Raj-Agni IPA was downright undrinkable. They’re a gluten-free brewery, I thought, and that’s great for those with celiac disease. They fill a needed gap in the market. But it wasn’t for me.
Well, I was wrong.
Burning Brothers is located in what I would consider the second most popular hot spot for breweries after Northeast: the no man’s land in between Minneapolis and St. Paul flanked by the University of Minnesota to the west, Snelling to the east, the Minnesota State Fairgrounds to the north, and I-94 to the south. The same stretch of land is home to our beloved Bang Brewing, the Urban Growler, Lake Monster Brewing, and Surly’s “destination brewery.”
The best way I can describe the vibe of Burning Brothers is “finished basement.” Nothing too crazy, nothing too fancy. Just well-furnished with the occasional exposed set of pipes over by the water softener. It feels orderly and welcoming. A room off to the side houses the brew tanks as well as a set of graduation party-type plastic tables where families can sit and play one of Burning Brothers’ many board games.
Burning Brothers seems to have a number of regulars – the only brewery providing gluten-free beer has a devoted cache of clientele, no doubt. They also have something I’ve (surprisingly) never yet seen from a brewery: free popcorn (another gluten free treat), served up in a cool old-style carnival popcorn maker.
But what of the beer? Well, here is where I was surprised. Burning Brothers may struggle with traditional beer styles, but they make an amazing shandy/infusion. Their “Parched” Lime Shandy was fresh, bubbly, and tasty, and I loved the layered complexity of their “Fused” Orange Blossom Honey Infusion. And the Pyro Raspberry had the perfect balance of beer and tangy raspberry flavor – not too sweet at all. You can see my Untappd reviews of those and the other two beers we tried at the following links:
- “Fused” Orange Blossom Honey Infusion (3.75/5)
- “Parched” Lime Shandy (4.25/5)
- “Pyro” American Pale Ale (1.75/5)
- Pyro Raspberry (3.5/5)
- “Roasted” Coffee Strong Ale (2.75/5)
All in all, Burning Brothers exceeded my expectations and I would definitely go back. Their beer is a great option for those trying to avoid gluten, but their shandy and infusion styles are good in their own right. Plus, they have this: