The 7th annual Town Hall Brewery Festivus celebration takes place on Tuesday, December 16th at 5 PM on the patio at the Seven Corners location. Bring your grievances and submit them to the suggestion box as you sip complimentary mulled wine and whiskey apple cider by the bonfire. Owner and Seinfeld fan Pete Rifakes is the one who will be hand ladling the mulled wine which he prefers to the mulled ale served in years past. The show obviously inspired this event and he still sets the TiVo to record re-runs of the show every week.
Pete is used to hearing some grievances and this year he expects to hear about a hot topic on the Beer Advocate Midwest forum board. “I won’t be surprised if I hear about growler refills” he said. This is of course in reference to the fact that many breweries (but not yet Town Hall) are now considering filling growlers purchased from other breweries as long as they are properly labeled.
This is one of Pete’s favorite events (along with Blessing of the Maibock) that the brewery hosts pointing to the intimate setting of regulars and the relationships that are formed with brew master Mike Hoops. “They always put this on their calendar” says Pete. “Hoops is usually there and it’s nice to see them interact with him.” When asked about his favorite memory he reminisced about a couple of regulars he enjoys seeing Phil and Patty. “Patty makes these cinnamon crusted pecans and she always makes sure that I get some” said Pete.
The Festivus beer this year will be a Double Red completely void of hops, full of spruce tips, and aged on cedar. Hoops is typically not fond of “special” ingredients but knowing his history, he most likely nailed this one. It’s also worth noting that both Grinch’s Grog and Elves Elixir (the other two holiday brews) will be available on Tuesday as well.
If you go:
Town Hall Brewery Seven Corners
1430 South Washington Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55454
Tuesday, December 16th at 5 PM
For the third straight year, the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild is hosting the Land of 10,000 Beers exhibit in the Horticulture/Agriculture Building daily (Aug 21-Sep 1st) from 9 AM till 9 PM. The exhibit has been a huge hit over the past couple years which has been attributed to the educational nature of the hall and thirsty crowds of people.
There will be four different flights available for purchase including Belgian, Hoppy, Dark, and Light with special cask releases on Fridays throughout the fair. There will be a stage in the exhibit hall where a host of different people from throughout the industry will speak about various topics such as distribution, brewery expansion, marketing, ingredients, contract brewing, and more. Check the schedule below.
Thursday, August 21
3:00pm Member Profile: Behind the Beer, John Klick & Bob DeVernois of Excelsior Brewing Co.
6:00pm Barrel-Aged Beer and Cask Beer, Frank Kaszuba of Fitger’s Brewhouse and Matt Hall of Lift Bridge Brewing Co.
Friday, August 22
3:00pm Running a Brewpub, Tim Nelson of Fitger’s Brewhouse and Pete Rifakes of Town Hall Brewery
6:00pm Beer Tourism, Dan Justesen, Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild Board Member
Saturday, August 23
3:00pm Member Profile: Behind the Beer, Dustin Brau of Brau Brothers Brewing Co. and Dave Hoops of Fitger’s Brewhouse
4:30pm Brotherly Brewing: Dave Hoops of Fitger’s Brewhouse and Mike Hoops of Town Hall Brewery
6:00pm Homebrewing 101: Jeff Merriman of Northern Brewer
Sunday, August 24
12:00pm The Craft Beer Consumer, Michael Wagner of the Four Firkins
3:00pm Member Profile: Behind the Beer, Jamie MacFarlane of Castle Danger Brewery and Robert Kasak of 612Brew
6:00pm What It Takes To Open a Brewery, Dane Breimhorst of Burning Brothers Brewing Co. and Adam Sjogren of NorthGate Brewery
Monday, August 25
3:00pm Beer Distribution 101, Joe Falkowski of JJ Taylor and Griffin Lewis of Dahlheimer Beverage
6:00pm Marketing to the Craft Beer Consumer, Brad Nelson of Fitger’s Brewhouse, Bartley Blume of Bent Brewstillery and Ryan Widuch/Tom Boland of Elevated Beer Wine & Spirits
Tuesday, August 26
3:00pm Member Profile: Behind the Beer, Mark Stutrud of Summit Brewing Co.
6:00pm Member Profile: Behind the Beer, Jim Diley, Brian Hoffman and Ben Flattum of Fulton Beer
Wednesday, August 27
3:00pm Brewery Expansion and Beer Styles, Broc Krekelberg of Badger Hill Brewing Co. and Tim Tupy of Mankato Brewery
6:00pm Member Profile: Behind the Beer, Franco Claseman and Bob Roepke of Flat Earth Brewing Co. and Jeff Moriarty of Tin Whiskers Brewing Co.
Thursday, August 28
3:00pm Member Profile: Behind the Beer, Joe Pond of Olvalde Brewing and Jace Marti of August Schell Brewing Co.
6:00pm Family Business: A History of Beer, Ted and Jace Marti of August Schell Brewing Co.
Friday, August 29
3:00pm Liquor Laws and Big Breweries, Justin Weinberg, Briggs & Morgan
6:00pm Member Profile: Behind the Beer and Contract Brewing, Doug DeGeest of Third Street Brewhouse
Saturday, August 30
12:00pm Malted Barley and Beer, Chris German of Brewers Supply Group/Rahr Malt
3:00pm Member Profile: Behind the Beer, Spencer Anderson of Surly Brewing Co. and brewers from Dangerous Man Brewing Co.
6:00pm All You Need to Know About Hops, Eric Sannerud of Mighty Axe Hops
Sunday, August 31
12:00pm Member Profile: Behind the Beer, Duluth Beer City, Colin and Laura Mullen of Bent Paddle Brewing Co.
3:00pm Member Profile: Behind the Beer, Jason Medvec of Big Wood Brewery
6:00pm Member Profile: Behind the Beer, Business Side of Brewing, John Hayes of ENKI Brewing
Monday, September 1
3:00pm Member Profile: Behind the Beer, Canned Beer 101, Tom Whisenand of Indeed Brewing Co.
6:00pm Craft Beer in Minnesota, Clint Roberts, Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild
The Ballpark Cafe will once again be pouring craft beer from many of the local breweries including Lift Bridge, Lucid, Bauhaus, Indeed, Surly, Excelsior, Badger Hill, Steel Toe, Third Street, Summit, and Bent Paddle. Mini Donut Beer from Lift Bridge will again be available this year and the supply is much larger than it was last year.
New to the fair this year is the Shell’s bar and stage at the West End Market. There you will be able to purchase the fair exclusive Grain Belt Blu which is a Blueberry Radler style beer (a gallon of blueberries per half barrel) and a fun twist on one of Minnesota’s most beloved brews.
You will also be able to try one with frozen foam (called Frozen Blue) which is supposed to keep your beer colder longer. Oktoberfest with blueberry foam will also be available and will be called Black and Blu.
One final note, Summit will be offering a fair exclusive brew called The Villian this year. This is a Black Lager brewed up by Gabe Smoley and it will only be available at their Summit on a Stick booth located in the International Bazaar.
Stay tuned to my Twitter handle @lodgefather for the latest craft beer news from the fair.
Over the past few years our local craft beer market has grown considerably. In 2010 alone, our market produced 386 brewing jobs—providing 23.5 million dollars in wages. With this growth, opportunities have opened up for understudies to take their skills to the next level.