Rochester, MN was a great spot to grow up in as a kid. Every time I go back to visit, I’m flooded with so many good memories including boating on Lake Zumbro, 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… for the better! It’s official, Rochester has a brewery!? Today, I’m introducing Forager Brewery and I’m so excited to see how my little home town is growing in the food and drink scene.
Located in the heart of Rochester, MN on 6th street, Forager Brewery has a lot of space. It’s a brewery, but it’s also a restaurant and 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.
The Bar & Restaurant
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.
The Food & Beer
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.
All images © Regan Baroni 2016.