Sherlock's Home Restaurant and Pub

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A summer trip took me away from the desert southwest and to the "Land of 10 Billion Mosquitoes." While in Minnesota I visited the state's sole surviving brewpub, Sherlock's Home, at 11000 Red Circle Drive in Minnetonka. The elegant restaurant is attached to Watson's Pub where the 9 bbl. Canadian-built system is kept very busy. Tours are available Saturdays by appointment. The decorum is English, all of the furnishings are English; the malt, hops, most of the yeast, and definitely the 20 ounce "pint" glasses. Hop pellets are utilized for all additions except dry-hopping where whole leaf hops are used. The malts are ground on the premises.

The Bishop's Bitter was cask-conditioned, light-bodied, offered a very hoppy bouquet and finished with a smooth, continued hoppy aftertaste. The Queen Anne Light was a pale straw color, displayed a good head, demonstrated a pronounced wheat flavor and was, overall, a nice summer beer. The Gold Crown Lager was amber in color and had a hoppy flavor. The Star of India IPA was a dark golden color and its aroma combined subtle hops with noticeable malt. The Piper's Pride Scottish Ale was cask-conditioned, a deep red color, with a powerful malt aroma and a very assertive malt flavor. The Palace Porter, also on cask, appeared very dark yet was light-bodied and had a balanced malty/bitter flavor. The Stag's Head Stout, from cask, was opaque, showed good head retention, and had a medium body accompanied by a nice dry malty taste. The seven standard and one seasonal brews allowed a good variety in styles and flavors and the surroundings provided the setting for patrons to picture themselves enjoying an authentic English pub, without the eye-watering pipe smoke. Minnesota boasts six breweries at the moment but only here can you enjoy a $2.25 pint during weekday happyhours.

For an above average selection of draught beers, along with food and prices fit for a king, try Shelly's Woodroast at 6501 Wysetta Blvd. in St Louis Park. The Birch Bay Brown Ale was contract brewed by Schell solely for the restaurant. It was opaque, light-bodied and the hoppy aroma led into a dry, malty flavor. Another local among the nine taps was Summit Extra Pale Ale, dark in color, it had a nice hoppy flavor which carried into the aftertaste.

TRIVIA: Minnesota brewpubs may obtain a "hard liquor" license but they are not allowed "off sale" (beer to go) sales.

Reviewed by Tom Ciccateri - July, 1994

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