This year Winterfest has found a new home at the Union Depot in downtown St. Paul. With so many great new Minnesota breweries opening, more space was needed to host one of the best beer events of the year. As always, you can expect each brewery to bring their very best to this coveted event. Without further ado, and in no particular order, here are some brews to look forward to:
Forest Fire from Big Wood Brewing: One can only guess that this will be a big smoked beer, but with so few details this one is surely intriguing. As you may know, Big Wood Brewery has won a few “Best Of” awards at ABR and it’s only fair to assume that they expect big things from this one.
Raisin Liason Saison from Borealis Fermentery: Displaying what may be the coolest pouring station at every event—a stained glass, wooden bar—Borealis is known for some damn tasty entries, and a raisin flavored Saison sounds very interesting. Belgian yeasts play well with fruity flavors and if there was ever a MN brewery to pull this off it would be the fine folks at Borealis.
Batch 500 from Lift Bridge Brewing: A Double IPA from Lift Bridge sounds great, especially when the IBU’s are listed as “pretty high.” Truth be told, Matt Hall is one of the most underrated brewers around, and it was only a matter of time before he attempted a DIPA.
Dawn Juan from Steel Toe Brewing: A Templeton Rye Barrel Aged Black Barleywine? This one screams “gonna run out fast” and with Jason’s attention to detail this is sure to be a contender for The Great Snowshoe Award. For those who don’t know, Templeton is a distillery in Iowa, famous for Rye Whiskey, which was often enjoyed by Al Capone during Prohibition.
Rum King Imperial Stout from Indeed Brewing: This complex beer is in high demand around town, and it is unique in that Jamaican rum barrels were used as opposed to whiskey barrels. Coming in at 10% ABV this one is sure to please the barrel nerds.
For those who need a ride to and from the event, there will be free rides courtesy of Metro Transit, but you will need to print your ticket from this website. Ramp parking is $3 for those who plan to drive, and cars may be left overnight.
Day Block Brewing has its eyes set on brewing high quality beer and pairing that with great pizza which is a first here in the Twin Cities. This is not your ordinary pepperoni and cheese though, here they serve up unique pies such as the maple soy glazed
Bahn Banh Mizza which as you can imagine is modeled after the popular Thai Vietnamese style sandwich and comes highly regarded. Other varieties include the excellent Taco Truck with radishes and pickled jalapeños and the Hungry Hungarian topped with bacon and dill.
Speaking of bacon they also serve a rotating bacon flight featuring 3 different flavors. This was fantastic and should be mandatory for any meat eating savant. Oh yeah, and they just so happen to brew beer here. The guy in charge of that operation is Paul Johnston who gained brewing experience at Harriet and Lucid Brewing.
The usual suspects show up on the menu which includes an IPA, a Porter, Red Ale, Cascadian Dark Ale. Belgian Wit, and an APA made with locally grown Cascade hops from Hippity Hop Farms in Forest Lake. The Red Ale and the APA were favorites along with the roasty Porter.
One thing to be aware of are the lines for the restroom. Their are two single stall unisex restrooms which could be a problem on busy nights. Other than that this place should do well, especially when Zygi’s Palace is built on top of the nearby Metrodome site.
Dust off that soup pot and demonstrate your culinary skills at the annual Town Hall Brewery Chili Cook-Off on Sunday, February 2nd at 2:30 PM. This year’s event will be hosted at Town Hall Lanes due to the renovation project at the mothership known as Seven Corners—but fear not the competition is sure to remain stiff.
The cost is $10 which will get you a pint of beer and a variety of chili to sample (unlimited) and judge. Prizes will be awarded to first ($300) and second ($200) place plus the winner of people’s choice which will be worth a $50 gift card. On tap will of course be 8 different house beers along with 12 guest taps and 4 ciders.
You can register either in person or over the phone but be sure to do so by Saturday, February 1st. After the event you can check out the big game or perhaps roll a few games with the locals. Keep in mind that if you plan to bowl, be sure to get there early as the lanes tend to fill up fast and plan for street parking.
Today at 5 PM Town Hall Brewery at 7 Corners will be hosting it’s annual Festivus event complete with a bonfire, Festivus Ale (an Imperial Wit) along with Glug (a Swedish Spiced Wine) and a Fesitvus Pole. Also available will be the annual Grinch’s Grog, Elves Elixr, and New Zealand Red Ale.
Attendees can also partake in the Airing of Grievences and Feats of Strength while enjoying a few of these brews. Get ready to harness your inner Frank Costanza tonight!
When: Tuesday, December 17th
Time: 5 PM
Where: Town Hall Brewery
1430 Washington Avenue South
Minneapolis , MN 55454
Want Sunday Sales? Dangerous Man Brewing is hosting a fundraiser on Saturday, December 14th from noon until 6 PM (and also serving a specially brewed beer called Archaic Ale) for MN Beer Activists, a consumer focused non-profit group led by Andrew Schmitt.
This non-profit organization fought to defeat the excise tax that the state was attempting to impose on consumers this past year. They were also behind the Save the Growler movement which increased the amount of beer that breweries were allowed to make while still being able to sell growlers. A silent auction will be held and will feature art, craft beer, craft beer swag, gift cards to local businesses, and event tickets.
The most interesting item is an American Oak Red Wine Barrel which has a retail value of $150 and would really improve that homebrew you have fermenting in the basement. Other items of interest are a $100 gift card to Stinson Wine and Spirits as well as a Northern Brewer Deluxe Starter Kit valued at $170. Also up for auction is an ENKI Brewer’s Reception complete with hors d’oeurvres and beer.
Why do MN Beer Activists need money? It’s simple, it costs money to run the organization, pay third party vendors, and to advertise. With Sunday Sales being discussed again it is important to get out and support organizations such as MN Beer Activists who are working hard to make craft beer even more viable for future generations.
12 PM - 6 PM
Dangerous Man Brewing
1300 NE 2nd St, Minneapolis, MN 55413