Friday, May 20, 2011

The Dream: The Beer, the Food, the Bar

This is for those readers who harbor The Dream - start a bar, serve great food, and pick your beer own selection. Serve it all to great people and live happily ever after. Did I mention rich? (the article also mentioned that one of their other two bars took in $2.6 million last year.)
Disclaimer: My nephew, Beer Boy Anderson, plays softball for the Bulldog. ;o)

  • Article by: TOM HORGEN , Star Tribune 
  • Updated: May 20, 2011 - 11:05 AM
"At his new bar, the Bulldog founder switches up his style with hot Southern food and a lager-dominated beer list.

"I went straight for the crazy stuff at the Bullfrog Cajun Bar last week. Frog legs, alligator, crawdads. Not your typical bar food in the Twin Cities, but in owner Matt Lokowich's world, bar food nonetheless.
It all tasted like chicken, anyway.
Lokowich is the man behind the Bulldog Uptown and the Bulldog Lowertown (he's no longer involved in the northeast Minneapolis location). He opened the Bulldog's Cajun counterpart three weeks ago in downtown Minneapolis, hoping bargoers will take a chance not only on Southern grub, but a beer list unlike any other in this market.
The space, at 11th and Hennepin, was formerly home to Gladius, a short-lived gay bar that had a hard time getting customers to buy into its Roman theme. Lokowich and business partner Jeff Kaster have replaced the gladiatorial vibes with rustic tones.

The two have known each other since their bartending days at William's Pub in the early 1990s. Both started as janitors, hoping to one day call their own shots. Now they're asking people to rip apart crawfish and drink beer they've never heard of.

So what's up with this beer list? It's full of lagers. The pale lager is technically the country's most popular (thank you, Budweiser), but it's not exactly coveted by beer geeks who find nirvana in tongue-lacerating hops (hello, Surly) and the complexity of Belgian brews. As a bar owner, Lokowich has long supported craft and import beer.
But now he wants bargoers to take a closer look at the lager family.
"I'm done with Belgians, I'm done with IPAs," Lokowich told me, sounding like he was talking about an ex-girlfriend. While he'll continue to sell those beers at his two Bulldogs, Lokowich is basing the Bullfrog's list on his personal tastes." continued


Mimbres Man said...

Here in Venezuela, the only beer available are the local brands; Polar, Regional, Zulia, and Brahma (AmBev) and all are pilsners. These are good beers for the tropics, best served icey cold. The special refrigerators at the liquor stores have LED read-outs for the inside tempertures, usually around -5*C.
When in the USA I usually head for the IPAs but never get tired of the pilsners here. I usually drink Polar Solera (light) their premium beer because they are very tasty...better than the other.
When riding in Scotland I drank Guiness at first, then I observed what the locals were drinking. Most were drinking Tennents lager, so I switched and found it quite good and less filling that the Guiness.

Gunnar Berg said...

This is traditionally ale country. Pushing lagers is a ballsy move. But maybe I'm wrong, they can't bottle Grain Belt Nordeast, an amber lager, fast enough .... though IMHO it's not worth a bottle opener. Whadda I know.

Gunnar Berg said...

Usually when people talk about "drinkability" it tastes like nothing to me.

Mimbres Man said...

Its ballsy to serve Cajun food outside certain parishes in Louisiana. Certainly looses a lot of its authenticity/character beyond a certain radius.

Solera. Its the best we got here. Actually has some flavor to it. The other beers I mentioned, are pretty bland in comparison. You can get Heineken if you're willing to pay a super premium price, but I've never been a huge fan of that stuff and only drank it in quantities in a Las Vegas casino bar when I could get it at $0.75 a bottle.

Also a minor correction; InBev not AmBev. Saw that Tennents has fallen prey to InBev.

Gunnar Berg said...

I figure the cajun food is the result of losing a bet.

Chris said...

I stopped at the Bullfrog for the first time this Wednesday. I was blown away by their beer selection (I didn't think lagers could do this). I had a fantastic smoked beer, Helles Schlenkerla and a fresh tap Grolsch (not from a skunky flip-cap bottle). The crawfish po' boy, sweet potato fries, and fried shrimp were better than I had on my last New Orleans visit (I didn't venture out of the business district much). The chef is from way south and did it right the the menu and beer.

Gunnar Berg said...

Thanks for the links.

Sorry to hear about your loss.