The Citra IPA makes it’s debut on tap this week, and the Amarillo IPA - next in the series - is fermenting away. Pictured above is the Amarillo IPA as I found it this morning. The cellar smelled so good Chef Jon came all the way down from the kitchen to see what was going on. After getting all that beer cleaned up I sat down with Brennan to try the day’s lunch special. A Kramarczuk’s sausage with fried pickles, and melted gruyere. Brennan got extra cheese for dipping his french fries, and with a glass of our new Citra IPA in hand we started talking about it’s description for the blog. We talk about liberal dry-hopping, over a malt bill of Victory, 60L, and Cara Ruby. We go on about it’s characteristics of grapefruit with lemon peel. We talk about ABVs, and IBUs. We knew we’d written something that would make sense to someone who was already familiar with beer, but we both felt the article was lacking. Enter Burt Joseph, co-owner - After reading the first draft he immediately shared our opinion, and suggested that we broaden the scope. Everything about Birch’s has style, and atmosphere.

“When you’re writing this,” he said, “I want you to think about walking in here. Think about cabins, and fireplaces. Be thinking about the lake, and big windows. Write about what you like about this place ... I’m an idea man. - You’re the writer.” That really spoke to me. We’re so wrapped up in talking about the blog we’ve started talking about pairing our dishes with beers, and what our favorite combinations are. The new Citra IPA, and some of our hot wings would go great together. Or one of my usual lunch combinations, the fried chicken sandwich with a Vanilla Milk Stout. Comfort food for a cold Minnesota day. Afterwards Brennan tells me to just try to take all of what we talked about, and make it my own. I think what I like best about Birch's’ is the dedication, and passion each person here has. The ownership at Birch’s really believes in providing a quality service in a way that is genuine and personal. We make what we love, and we hope you love it as much as we do. Brennan says something similar about our beers in this CBS Morning news segment.

Click to view: http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2015/12/17/derusha-eats-birchs-on-the-lake-in-long-lake/

I take a break from writing to go sit by the fireplace in the brewpub, and finish a game of cribbage with Brennan. Strange to think how less than a year ago this building stood abandoned. Our location has a long history of serving Long Lake and the surrounding area as it previously housed Billy’s Lighthouse, and before that the Hanson House. This iconic building was nearly demolished. In 2008 the land Birch’s stands on was approved to become townhomes. Instead it has been given new life again as a restaurant. Now we look forward to meeting, and surpassing all of the expectations of the patrons of the original Birch’s, and Billy’s Lighthouse as well as all the newcomers. And making some great beers.

We were recently approved for growler sales! Just in time for the holidays. If there is a beer-drinker on your holiday list, come on down and grab a growler of our Vanilla Milk Stout, seasonal Pumpkin Spice Ale, or Coffee Chocolate Golden Ale.

Happy Holidays from all of us at Birch’s on the Lake, Cheers!

Please feel free to e-mail your questions, comments, or suggestions to: info@birchsonthelake.com