778) Bruce's Brewpub
Well, you can't beat this one for its location, right downstairs from where I am sleeping. Once, when I was but a wee Bar Lad, I rented a room above a bar for awhile. That was an interesting experience, believe me. The crowd at this place is a lot friendlier though.
It isn't every day that you visit a brewpub where you actually get to participate in producing the next batch of beer.
Bar Man Working On A Batch Of Smoked Lager
Even the Mysterious Chinese Woman got into the act.
The Mysterious Chinese Woman Adding A Secret Ingredient
Bruce's Brewpub has just a small wooden bar with a narrow wooden foot rest and but two barstools. There is enough room for about four people to huddle around it though if you are all friends. The bar back is largely beer making equipment with an industrial-sized sink against the back wall. Above the sink are windows and next to them is a wooden shelf with a collection of shot glasses and stir sticks. Through the sliding glass doors next to the sink you get a nice view of Rainy Lake, although the view is better if you step through them and take a chair on the deck. Above the doors is a collection of old fishing lures.
To the left of the bar is a refrigerator containing cold beer and who knows what all else. A refrigerator on the deck holds even more beer, both that made in the brewpub and a decent selection of domestic and imported bottled beers as well. Next to the refrigerator inside is a pink stove used in preparing both beer and bar grub. Sitting behind the bar is a large carved wooden bald eagle and a statue of W.C. Fields holding a deck of cards sits on top of the bar.
Bar Man Having A Beer Poured By Bruce, Proprietor And Bartender
Behind the bar and to the right is a highboy with a large, and I do mean large, collection of mugs and drinking glasses. Next to that is a large crock and a couple of five gallon jugs with soon to be beer bubbling away. Next to the highboy is a light hanging against the wall that features a small statue of a greek goddess surrounded by strings that have drops of oil running down them simulating rain.
There is a small putting green if you are inclined to test your skills and a full size pool table. You don't see many bars that have one of those. On one wall is a mounted sailfish, and this is a real one too, not just a fiberglass replica. On the back wall, next to the bathroom, is mounted a small half-barrel that opens to reveal a small supply of liquor and some shot glasses. I guess if you are at the far end of the pool table and need a shot to steady your nerves you can get one from here. Above the pool table is a nice antique style light hanging from the ceiling.
Comfortable chairs are strewn about the place against the walls and there is an old church pew underneath the swordfish. There is ample seating out on the deck as well, a couple of seats being old grade-school desks. There is a table out there too so you can sit and enjoy the view of the lake until the mousquitos come out to get you.
The floor immediately surrounding the bar and the area behind it is light gray tile. The rest of the floor is polished wood with a couple of small rugs, one on each side of the pool table. One features a loon, the Minnesota state bird, and the other has a golf motif. There are windows on the wall opposite the sword fish and the sills are lined with shot glasses, salt and pepper shakers, and tiny bottles of old liquor. A couple of old high-school pennants hang on the wall including one from my old high-school, Patrick Henry. The walls are white plaster and the ceiling is white stucco with embedded "diamond dust" that twnkles like little stars. Spot lights illuminate the bar.
All kinds of other paraphenalia can be found in here as well, everything from old metal banks to little silver cocktail forks in the shape of golf clubs sitting in a small silver golf bag. The more you look, the more you will see.
Altogether a most pleasant place, and how many brewpubs let the customers help determine what the next batch of beer will be, let alone allow them to contribute to it being made. It is a great place to hang out with friends and it certainly helps if you are friends with the owner.
Cubby, Chris, Bruce, Bar Man, and Jon Enjoying A Brew
The beer of the day was a Vienna Sex Lager, and who was I to argue. It was quite good with a nice head. Another slow day with just this one bar hit making 778 for the year and leaving 222 to go. Tomorrow I hope to do a bit better.