I’m originally from Rochester, Minnesota. It was a great city to grow up in as a kid. Every time I go back, I’m flooded with so many good memories… boating on lake Zumbro and getting shrimp cocktail from Fisherman’s Inn, horseback riding at The Paddock, my friends from John Marshall High School, hostessing at the Canadian Honker… and while many things are still the same, a lot of things have changed too.
Much to my excitement, Rochester has become a really fun city to visit as an adult. I’m very excited to feature Forager Brewery, because it’s one of those spots that shows me just how much Rochester has grown up too, especially in the food and drink scene.
Forager is a brewery, a restaurant and also a coffee shop. When I walked in with Mike over Christmas, I was in awe of all the different characteristics of the space. Although the space feels open with their high ceilings, there are several different ‘areas’ where you can cozy up and enjoy yourself.
The coffee shop has several high top tables where you can sip coffee or tea and get some work done. Antique, china and vintage tea cups hang from the ceiling and you can order anything you want from their extensive menu. As you walk in further, there’s a library room to the left where people can sit in more of a living room-style atmosphere near a wall of floor-to-ceiling bookshelves.
When you walk into the main restaurant the long bar is situated ahead. Sit on the far left side of the bar and you can peek through a window that goes ‘behind the scenes’ of their in-house brewery. Look to the right and you’ll see a giant pizza oven with an additional bar-style seating area with a window into their kitchen. If you choose to sit down near the fireplace, you’ll sit at penny-top tables or couches and will be surrounded by small lime trees and herbs that they grow along the walls. I’m telling you, their space is one of the more unique spaces I’ve seen. I don’t think there’s a bad seat in the house.
And, of course, the food and drinks are awesome. I shot their Cast Iron Mac -n- Cheese and The Forager Burger. The beers I shot were the Hot Blonde Belgian Triple and the Flood English Robust Porter. When I was in town for the shoots, my Mom and I decided to grab dinner there on my last night. We enjoyed their Margherita Pizza and a couple glasses of wine. It was really delicious.
I can’t wait to go back this summer and enjoy their outdoor patio, which I hear is going to also include an outdoor bar and live music. If you’re living in or visiting Rochester, this is a place you absolutely must check out.
Thanks for having me, Forager – let’s do it again soon! Happy brewing!
All images © Regan Baroni 2016.