Historic Third Street in downtown Rochester has become a haven for imbibing aficionados of every stripe.
At Half Barrel, you can enjoy rare and small-batch whiskey. Just down the street, at The Doggery, they serve up fine prohibition-era craft cocktails. Upstairs and next door at The Tap House, there’s a beer list long enough to quench the thirst of any brew nerd, and a few paces away, Grand Rounds Brewpub serves some of the finest locally brewed beer around.
So today, when two of them join forces, you might have to blink back tears for the beauty of it all.
Starting at 7 p.m. and continuing through 11 p.m., Grand Rounds and The Doggery are co-hosting a unique event in both of their establishments called “Craft Conversion.” When you walk in to one or the other location, you may think you have the wrong spot — because Doggery mixologists will be stirring things up at the Grand Rounds bar, and Grand Rounds will be pouring and serving their beer and food at the Doggery.
“Both of us are craft-focused, so it makes sense to team up,” said Doggery owner Aynsley Jones in a statement. In fact, the two establishments’ partnership will continue after this event in a few ways.
First, you’ll be able to order Grand Rounds food at the Doggery by simply picking up the phonebooth phone at the Doggery, which is connected directly to Grand Rounds. Place your order, and the food will be delivered to your Doggery table.
Side note: If you ever loved me, you will immediately order the duck confit nachos. I dream of those nachos, man. It might be my favorite date night dish in the entire city right now. In fact, maybe I’ll go to The Doggery and order it just because I want to check out their phone booth, and then I’ll go upstairs for an after-dinner cocktail at Grand Rounds and order it again.
In addition, Doggery staff have created several cocktails that incorporate Grand Rounds beers, and those will be served at the Craft Conversion — then stay on the Grand Rounds drink menu throughout the year. And if you want to create those cocktails at home, in-house liquor boutique Tessa’s Office will stock all the ingredients you need.
New brews on tap
If you want to broaden your flavor profile further today, stop by LTS Brewing (2001 32nd Ave. NW in Rochester). From 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., they’re tapping up an infusion of their Saison d’Vie, a Belgian-style saison bittered with German hops. The infusion today is blackberries, raspberries and blueberries for a full, fruit-forward flavor.
LTS also is featuring a new brew on tap. It’s call Introspection, and it’s an American IPA. Get you some.
Grand Rounds also has a couple new ones, including a peanut butter cup porter (sweet and rich) and a chipotle porter (spicy and rich).
The chipotle porter won the Homebrew Challenge competition at the Boys & Girls Club Chili Challenge — and the winning homebrewers got to brew up a batch with Grand Rounds master brewer Steve Finnie. That beer is now available, and for each pint sold, Grand Rounds will donate $1 to the Boys & Girls Club.
A burger and a getaway
To heat up these bitterly cold winter days, The Tap House has introduced Vegas Night every Wednesday during January, February and March. Every half hour on Wednesdays starting at 6 p.m., someone’s ticket is called to spin the wheel for prizes, which include Tap House T-shirts, hats and glassware, free beer, as well as a grand prize, which is given away every Wednesday — a two-night, three-day stay at the new Tropicana in Vegas, along with a free companion airfare.
You get a chance to spin just by coming in the door, but you can earn extra chances by ordering a Summit beer or ordering a burger.
I’d say it’s worth a burger to take your chances on the wheel.