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 Local business

Six Minnesota Breweries Take Home Awards at GABF 2014

Posted by: Ryan Tuenge Updated: October 8, 2014 - 6:24 PM

Minnesota breweries achieved great success at the Great American Beer Festival this year. Six different breweries earned medals this year including Summit Brewing, Town Hall Brewery, Indeed Brewing, Badger Hill Brewing, Bent Paddle Brewing, and Steel Toe Brewing.

Just to show you how prestigious these medals are, 268 are awarded in 90 different categories covering 145 styles. There were 5,507 commercial entries this year from 1,309 breweries hailing from 50 states. The Great American Beer festival has been going on for 28 years and is considered the largest commercial brewing competition in the world.

Summit and Town Hall Brewery are no strangers to winning medals having earned 9 and 15 respectively while the others earned their first piece of hardware at GABF. Here is a breakdown of the beers that earned medals this year.

Indeed Brewing Mexican Honey Imperial Lager - Silver in the Specialty Honey category

Steel Toe Brewery Wee Heavy - Gold in the Scotch Ale category

Summit Brewing Extra Pale Ale - Bronze in the Classic English Style Pale Ale category

Town Hall Brewery Buffalo Bock - Bronze in the Wood and Barrel Aged Strong Beer category

Badger Hill Brewing White IPA - Gold in the American Belgo Style Ale category

Bent Paddle Brewing 14° ESB - Bronze in the Extra Special Bitter category

A big congratulations to all of the winners this year. Minnesota’s reputation for quality beer is on the rise.

Cheers to Minnesota Beer!

Photo Credit: Photo © Brewers Association

The Four Firkins in Oakdale Sets October 11th Grand Opening Date

Posted by: Ryan Tuenge Updated: September 22, 2014 - 11:14 PM

The Four Firkins Oakdale location opened last Thursday at 4 PM after months of hard work put in by owner Jason Alvey and his herd of beer nerds otherwise known as The Four Firkins Crew. “It’s a hell of a lot of work” says Alvey. “It takes a lot of work to do this.” By his count he hasn’t had a day off since August, often working 14 hour days preparing for the new location to open.

The hard work paid off with a packed house on Thursday and the locals seemed to take a liking to the craft beer only store. “It’s been a great happy vibe” according to Alvey. “A lot of locals stopped in that didn’t even know about us.” Although the work is not complete (there is still more decorating to do) it feels very similar to the St. Louis Park location with deep red walls and dark woods with exposed ceilings. This was of course by design.

“It is branding and we understand the importance of branding” said Alvey. “This is all custom stuff. If you want the same feel you have to make it yourself. It doesn’t just come out of a box.”

When you go to the Four Firkins in St. Louis Park you expect a certain kind of experience—one where both beer geeks and newbies to craft beer feel welcome. The same experience will also be felt at the brand new Four Firkins location right next to Buffalo Wild Wings in Oakdale. Their “Oakbury” location (coined by Sales Manager Michael Wagner) will be staffed by some of the same people as the SLP location and yes they will be doing in store tastings as well.

To celebrate the crew plans to throw a Grand Opening shindig on October 11th where they hope  to serve food cooked on grills outside of the store. They also invited some breweries to pour beer (inside only) for thirsty beer shoppers who plan to celebrate with them.

Be sure to stop in and pick up something from Bauhaus Brew Labs or Steel Toe Brewing which aren’t currently available anywhere else in the area.


Four Firkins

8338 3rd St. N

Oakdale, MN 55128


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


New Brew: Summit Union Series Southern Cape Sparkling Ale

Posted by: Ryan Tuenge Updated: June 17, 2014 - 9:39 PM

Head Brewer Damian McConn is the man behind Summit’s latest brew in the Union Series Southern Cape Sparkling Ale. For this small batch he sourced ingredients from all over the Southern Hemisphere including malts from Australia (Gairdner Pale), Chile (Sebastian Caramel), and hops from both New Zealand (Waimea) and South Africa (Southern Passion.)

Southern Cape Sparkling Ale is the third beer in the series following Meridan Session Ale and Rebellion Stout. The beer itself is very refreshing given the lighter malt and the high carbonation level. Tropical fruit comes alive in the nose and on pallet thanks to the Waimea hops from Down Under. This one is best enjoyed out on the deck while grilling and listening to your favorite tunes.

The Union Series was born with idea that their brewers will discover new ingredients and apply their creativity to create new and exciting beers brewed in small batches. You can find Southern Cape Sparkling Ale at many liquor stores throughout the Twin Cities.

Beer specs:

ABV: 4.4

IBU: 47

Malts: Gairdner Pale and Sebastian Caramel

Hops: Waimea and Southern Passion

Yeast: Australian Ale


Adam Turman and CHUX Print Garage Sale

Posted by: Ryan Tuenge Updated: June 12, 2014 - 2:35 PM

On Saturday, June 28th CHUX Print and Adam Turman are hosting a garage sale from 9 AM to 5 PM where you can find $5 prints and $10 test prints along with t-shirts (designs are yet to be determined) made to order. This is your chance to dress up that fancy home bar or living room with some cool stuff from the best print shop in town and one of the most talented artists out there.

Adam’s work can be seen all throughout the beer community (posters, shirts, etc) as well as on the side of local buildings such as The Butcher and Boar, 612 Brew, and Yamamoto. Check out his portfolio here.

CHUX Print has been a staple in the St. Louis Park community since 2005 working with many Twin Cities businesses, high school sports teams, food trucks, breweries, and artists. Check out some of their apparel work here.

Details of event below.


CHUX Print

3316 Gorham Ave.

St. Louis Park, MN 55426


Saturday, June 28th

9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

What to Bring:

Cash or plastic



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