Minnesota on Tap

Ryan Tuenge is an avid home brewer and craft beer lover who is not afraid to spend his last $5 on a pint of beer at the local pub. As a member of the Minnesota Home Brewers Association, Ryan has tried a wide variety of beers and has toured many of the local breweries. He also has a blog about craft beer in Minnesota. He likes to read, write and travel with his wife. Follow him on Twitter @lodgefather.

Posts about Food and drink

Hopped Up Beer Festival

Posted by: Ryan Tuenge Updated: July 2, 2014 - 7:22 PM

Grab a ticket and pack your car for this popular beer fest held at Caribou Highlands in Lutsen. It’s happening July 11th through the 13th with a great looking beer lineup and a promising food menu. The food (with premium tickets) at this all weekend event is definitely high end featuring Stout soaked oysters, duck, crab, clam with IPA butter, caribou burgers and much more.

This festival is also a favorite of some local brewers including Dave Hoops from Fitger’s Brewhouse. When asked about it, Dave had this to say. "Yes, for a number of reasons, the amazing treatment of the brewers, the high quality food, the intimate setting to really talk to people, and the beauty of Lutsen. It is one of my faves for sure.”

The smaller crowds are better for festival goers but they are also appreciated by Carmody brewer Jason Baumgarth. "I'm looking forward to spending the whole weekend up there this year, “ said Baumgarth. “The smaller crowd is nice, it allows the brewers more chances to talk with attendees and other brewers,”

With the premium ticket package, this event is more of a weekend getaway than a typical beer fest. On Friday night there will be an Hors d’ oeuvres reception followed by Saturday morning breakfast concluding with the beer fest itself. Ticket prices vary depending on if you want the full package or just festival tickets. They can be purchased here.

The brewery list includes :

Surly

Boathouse

Fitger’s Brewhouse

Town Hall

Summit

Schell’s

Lake Superior

St. Croix

Castle Danger

Bell’s

Carmody

Third Street

Bent Paddle

South Shore

These tickets are selling fast so you will want to grab them as soon as possible.

Cheers!

Pride Dabbler and Notes

Posted by: Ryan Tuenge Updated: June 25, 2014 - 9:17 PM

The third annual Pride Dabbler is happening on Friday from 5:30 PM until 9:30 PM in Loring Park. Tickets are $40 in advance and if any are left on Friday they will be sold for $48 at the gate. This year there will be 27 breweries and 27 food trucks. What sets this event apart from many others is that the food trucks collaborate with the breweries to hatch up some delicious eats. 

Keep in mind that while the beer is included in the ticket price, you will need to pay $3 per item if you want food. Notable food trucks include Nate Dogs, Potters Pasties, Hola Arepa, Cajun 2 Geaux, Rusty Taco and many more. Here are five food pairings to look forward to.

  1. Nate Dogs and Sociable Cider Werks - Classic Nate Dog topped with CiderWerks Slaw and Freewheeler Mustard. Pairs with Freewheeler Dry Apple Graffe.
  2. Scratch Food Truck and Bent Paddle - Black Ale BBQ Brisket Sliders with homemade pickles. Pairs with Black Ale.
  3. Hot Indian Foods and Bauhaus Brew Labs - Butter Chicken Samosa with mint cilantro       chutney. Pairs with Wagon Party West Coast Lager.
  4. Gastro Truck and Flat Earth Brewing - Spent Grain Cake with Black Helicopter Coffee Stout Caramel and All Spice Creme Anglaise. Pairs with Black Helicopter Coffee Stout.
  5. R.A. Mac Sammy’s and NorthGate - Mac N Cheese made with NorthGate ESB and mustard braised pork topped with sweet red cabbage. Pairs with NorthGate ESB firkin with caraway seed and Brewers Gold hops.

Grab your advance tickets here.

News and Notes:

The new taproom at Excelsior is now open. Be sure to get there and check it out. They gained a ton of space and they are now selling their brews in 6 packs.

Indeed Brewing is set to release Mexican Imperial Honey Lager in early July. This will be for sale in 750 ml bottles. The beer weighs in at 7.2 ABV and 17 IBUs. Brewed with Mexican Orange Blossom Honey, Amarillo hops, and Pilsner and Vienna malts.

The Four Firkins selected a location for their second store. The address is 8338 3rd St. North Oakdale, Minnesota located right next to Buffalo Wild Wings. The site was chosen due in part to it’s proximity to I-94.

Badger Hill Brewing is moving to Shakopee where they will begin canning their lineup of beers. They will also be allowing their former roommates Lucid and Bad Weather the opportunity to use the canning machine if desired. Very cool to see them give back.

Cheers!

 

News and Notes for Late Fall

Posted by: Ryan Tuenge Updated: November 14, 2012 - 12:25 AM
This is the time of year when we are all reminded of how lucky we are to have such great local beer to enjoy. Late Fall is a great time to get acclimated with a favorite winter warmer or to try something new at your favorite bar or brewpub. Here are some things you can look forward to now and in the coming weeks.
 
At Barley John’s in New Brighton the smooth and slightly sweet Tropical Stout is on tap as well as their Zombie Ale, which is a dark British Mild Ale.  Also on tap: Dark Knight Returns, a Porter that was aged for 18 months in bourbon barrels. Some of you will remember that the original Dark Knight won the Snowshoe award at last year’s Winterfest in February.
 
Chad Hilgenberg, brewer at Great Waters, has been busy concocting some new brews at downtown St. Paul’s beloved brewpub. Right now you will find Canty Smeek, a Smoked Scotch Ale pumped from a cask, which will be featured all winter long. Currently on tap are Figgy Stardust—an American Strong Ale and Madcholly Union Ale—a Belgian Blonde ale brewed with 65 pounds of local honey and created to celebrate Chad and his his wife Molly’s recent nuptials (congrats Chad and Molly). 
 
The time is here again to celebrate the release of Commander, a fine Barleywine made by the fine folks at Lift Bridge. The event will be held at the brewery on Saturday, November 17 from 3 PM to 8 PM. Admission is $10 and you can expect music, games, a mustache contest, an old time circus costume contest, and (of course) there will be food trucks on hand selling some delicious fare.
 

Cheers! 

Badger Hill Brewing

Posted by: Ryan Tuenge Updated: July 28, 2012 - 3:19 PM

 

Located in Minnetonka, Badger Hill Brewing is setting out to create great tasting and well-balanced brews adding to the lineup of successful Minnesota breweries. They are not; however, going the conventional route of producing beer in their own space. Instead, they are opting to share brewing space with Lucid Brewing under an Alternative Proprietorship Brewing Agreement. This will keep start up costs low for both breweries in this tough economy and will help them to expand, if needed, in the future. 

 

The cooperative business model dates back to the Rochdale Pioneers who, in 1844 decided that a grocery store run by its customers would be a much better way to do business than that of a private shop where all profit funneled into one place. The group of 28 pioneers realized that cooperating allowed better control of the quality and allowed the profit to be enjoyed by all who invested in it and not just a single person. 

 

Today there are many examples of cooperatives including; grocery stores, energy companies, farms, and now Badger Hill and Lucid breweries. One can see why a brewery would be concerned about quality and watching operating costs, especially in today’s market, which is chock full of quality craft breweries. 

 

Badger Hill Brewing recently released their MSB (Minnesota Special Bitter) at Señor Wong’s in St. Paul and is currently producing two other varieties; Three Tree American Rye and Foundation Stout. You can try out the MSB next Wednesday at Midweek Beer Geek—an event held at the Nomad World Pub in Minneapolis and hosted by Andy Schmitt, the man behind Minnesota Beer Activists. You can also find Badger Hill on tap at these locations.

 

Cheers!

Hops From Down Under

Posted by: Ryan Tuenge Updated: June 5, 2012 - 11:00 PM

 New Zealand hops are a growing trend in the craft brewing industry where breweries such as New Belgium, Anchor, Odell’s, and many more are using hop varieties from the pacific island to flavor some fantastic brews. 

 
For over 150 years hops have been cultivated in the Nelson region of New Zealand and with good reason. There the weather is mild, around 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and is perfect for growing hops because the sun shines over 2,400 hours per year. Not only is the weather perfect but the whole harvesting process is environmentally friendly due to the fact that, in most crops, no chemicals or pesticides are needed. 
 
Many of the diseases previously found in these hops have been breed out thanks to a world class hop breeding program that has been functioning for over 50 years. Internationally, brewers have long tapped the island for its seedless hop supply, a popular commodity among lager-style brewers.
 
You may start to notice some of these New Zealand hop varieties on ingredient lists:
 
Nelson Sauvin
Hallertau Aroma
Pacifica 
Riwaka
Pacific Gem
Pacific Jade
Motueka
 
On the local scene, Summit chose to use Rakau hops (a rare variety) in their new Saga IPA, which gives the beer a citrus punch and has left the local hop heads buzzing about this new refrigerator staple. Other local breweries, such as Town Hall Brewery and Barley John’s Brew Pub, have also been experimenting with New Zealand hops, often incorporating them into specialty beers. 
 
Home brewers can also get their hands on many varieties of these hops at both Northern Brewer locations and at Midwest Supplies in St. Louis Park. One can’t help but think that these varieties would make a fine addition to your summer homebrew. 
 
Cheers!
 

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