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, beer, wine events

Northbound Smokehouse Brewpub Celebrates Two Years

Posted by: Ryan Tuenge Updated: September 18, 2014 - 9:54 PM

The brewpub that offered investors free beer for life is turning two years old. Northbound Smokehouse Brewpub is inviting everyone to their celebration at the brewery on Saturday, September 20th which will feature a tap takeover that includes a bunch of special house brews.

They will also be giving away tickets to the always popular Autumn Brew Review put on by the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild along with gift cards to the brewpub. Jamie Robinson and Amy Johnson take pride in their neighborhood establishment and that shines through in the product poured from the draft towers and the food that comes out of the smoker.

Be sure to check this out if you are in town this weekend. Below you will find a list of the beers you will find on tap Saturday.

Anniversary Ale 2014

Anniversary Ale 2013

Fresh Hop IPA

Wild Rice Amber

Bridge Hanger Belgian Dark Strong

Hot Box 2014 (collaboration brew with Indeed)


Clementine Infused Big Jim IPA

Vanilla Bean infused Smokehouse Porter

Big Jim IPA

Light Rail Pale Ale

Honey Wheat

Smokehouse Porter


News and Notes for September 2014

Posted by: Ryan Tuenge Updated: September 11, 2014 - 5:14 PM

Fall is typically a busy time of year for the local craft beer scene and this September is proof of that. First off, SurlyFest is taking place on Saturday September 20th from 2:00 PM until 6:17 PM at the current brewery. Tickets will run you $40 but you get a commemorative stein and four beers. The entertainment features The Bratwurst Brothers, DJ Shannon Blowtorch, Umbrella Bed, and The Pistol Whipping Party Penguins. Food trucks will be there as well and the list includes, NateDogs, Andrew Zimmern’s Canteen, Asian Invasion, Aki’s Backstube, Chef Shack, The Red Pig and Truffle, and Gastro Truck.

  • Bauhaus Brew Labs cans are hitting store shelves this week. The only variety that will be available for a couple weeks is their tasty Wagon Party Lager. They will then start rolling out the other 3 varieties going forward.
  • The Autumn Brew Review is coming up on September 27th from 1 PM to 5 PM. Stay tuned to the blog for my preview next week.
  • The Herkimer is hosting Oktoberfest on Lyndale on September 27th from 5 PM until 2 AM.
  • News broke this week that Bent Paddle of Duluth is facing a lawsuit from Long Trail Brewing out of Vermont over a trademark infringement. I am hearing that talks are positive between the two parties and that both sides are pushing for an amicable outcome. Stay tuned for further details.
  • The new Surly brewery is coming along nicely and their brewery equipment is being installed this week. They are still aiming for a fall or early winter opening. Check out some photos here.
  • Town Hall Brewery is offering brunch ($13) on weekends again before Gophers and Vikings games. Doors open at 9 AM and your first beer, mimosa, Bloody Mary, or screwdriver is on the house. Speaking of Town Hall, Wheat Week starts on September 15th where 11 infused Wheat Beers will be rotated every day to celebrate the end of summer.
  • Fitger’s Brewhouse recently conducted a vote to see which retired beer would make it back on tap and the winner was Wizard of Saaz IPA. Look for this to be released at the end of October.

That’s all for now but stay tuned for my ABR Preview next week.


New Brew: Summit Unchained #16 Herkulean Woods

Posted by: Ryan Tuenge Updated: September 8, 2014 - 2:29 PM

The latest offering in the Unchained series, Herkulean Woods is an Imperial California Common Lager that utilizes some local ingredients such as maple syrup from Lutsen, spruce tips from a farm in Iowa, and even locally grown malts. This brew was created by Christian Dixon and this is his inaugural attempt in the Unchained lineup.

The beer sports a beautiful amber hue with bread and Belgian candy sugars in the nose. The flavor itself starts off a little sweet but finishes with some alcohol and bitterness from the hops and the slightly piney spruce tips. The complex flavors really benefit from about 15 minutes of warming up so don’t be shy in pulling this one out of the fridge a bit early.

Better yet grab this one on your way to a backyard fire and enjoy with friends outdoors under the beautiful stars.

By the numbers:

ABV: 8.2%

IBUs: 77

Malts: Harrington, Lacey, and Caramel

Hops: Hercules, Northern Brewer, and Exp 05256

Yeast strain: California Common

Kettle additions: Maple syrup and spruce tips


Brews and Canoes Tasting Event

Posted by: Ryan Tuenge Updated: September 4, 2014 - 3:54 PM

The entries are in and it’s time to find out who the winners of the Brews and Canoes brewing competition are. This ticketed ($30 in advance, $40 at the door) event will be held at Aria in Minneapolis on Wednesday, September 10th from 7PM until10 PM. Back in May brewers which included Bent Paddle, Big Wood, Dangerous Man, Indeed, Lake Monster, Lift Bridge, Mankato, NorthGate and Summit were asked to submit beers to compete in the below categories and event attendees will get to sample the beers as well as food catered by Chow Girls Killer Catering. Entertainment will be provided by The Roe Family Singers and the Boomchucks. The beer categories are:

·       Best Northern Lights (Light-bodied, light-colored beers including, but not limited to lagers and pilsners)

·       Best Night Skies (Heavy-bodied, dark-colored beers including, but not limited to ales and stouts)

·       Most Pioneering Brew (Local, interesting ingredients and flavor profiles)

·       Best Representation of the Spirit of the Boundary Waters (Name, label design, back story)

·       L’Etoile du Nord  (Best in show)

This event of course celebrates 50 years of the Wilderness Act which was signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson with goal of protecting our natural resources



105 North First Street

Minneapolis, MN 55401


Summer Beer Dabbler - A Farewell to Midway Stadium

Posted by: Ryan Tuenge Updated: September 3, 2014 - 11:00 AM

The Summer Beer Dabbler is set to take place on Saturday, September 6th on the field at Midway Stadium in St. Paul from 5 PM to 9 PM. Tickets are selling for $40 ahead of time or $50 at the door if any remain. St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman will be throwing out the first pitch(er) while bands such as Sonny Knight and the Lakers, Hippo Campus, and Crossing Guards provide entertainment for the crowd.

Seventy-five local and regional breweries will be pouring including Dangerous Man, Clown Shoes, Evil Twin, Kinney Creek, Indeed, Stillwater Artisanal Ales, and more. Food trucks will include Natedogs, Gastro Truck, and Potter’s Pasties. If home brewing is your thing there is a contest for that as well. Entries are due by September 5th and the details for that can be found here.

The Beer Dabbler crew is excited that their event will help close out the 32 year old Midway Stadium complete with a fireworks show at 9 PM.

Grab your tickets here before they’re gone.



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