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 Beer

Festivus Celebration at Town Hall Brewery

Posted by: Ryan Tuenge Updated: December 15, 2014 - 11:58 AM

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


Holiday Gift Ideas For The Beer Lover 2014

Posted by: Ryan Tuenge Updated: December 11, 2014 - 8:06 AM

The holidays are here and many of us still need to do some shopping. Here are some ideas for those beer loving friends and family members of yours. Prices are current as of the posting of this blog and are of course subject to change at any time.

BACtrac Vio Breathalyzer $52.02 on Amazon

This is one the better purchases I’ve made in recent memory. This device works with a free app via bluetooth using either Android or iOS. Guess your blood alcohol content checking it periodically and you’ll be surprised at how quickly you actually get to the legal driving limit. Be sure to drink responsibly and never drive intoxicated.

Wooden Six Pack Holder from B.Y. Arcand of Minneapolis available at The Four Firkins for $32.99

Tired of all those empty cardboard six pack holders hanging around the house?  Check out this beautiful hand crafted wooden beverage transportation device available at The Four Firkins. The built in bottle opener is a nice feature for those sick of asking for one. These are available in both cherry wood red hue stain, and teak dark wood stain.

Spiegelau Beer Classics Connoisseur Gift Set available on Amazon for $45.99

One of the best beer related gifts I have ever received. I got this set at the Beer Bloggers Conference a couple years ago and I can’t get over how great these are. High quality and made of thin crystal, these four different glasses give you a unique beer drinking experience. The one and only Garrett Oliver (author and brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery) explained to us that the glass you use matters, especially when it comes to tasting beer. These vessels are designed for you to stick your nose in and explore the many aromas, flavors and colors that beer has to offer.

A Perfect Pint’s Beer Guide to the Heartland available from A Perfect Pint website for $25

About 4 years ago local/national beer writer, Cicerone, educator and overall good guy Michael Agnew set out to visit every brewery in the region and live to write about the experience. As he found out it was a tough task and after a few revisions it was finally published this year. I keep this well written reference guide on my coffee table and guests seem to enjoy paging through and checking out the local breweries. Michael offers his favorite choices at each brewery (over 200 of them) along with notes and brewery info such as contact information, hours, and nearby attractions. I don’t even want to see that four year credit card statement.

Brewed in MInnesota T-Shirt available at brewedinminnesota.com for $20

Surely you have see this shirt around town. First printed by CHUX Print shop in St. Louis Park, this classic bottle cap log shirt is now being made by the Minnesota Craft Brewer Guild. There is something iconic about this logo set against a black background and it’s worn proudly by brewers and beer geeks alike.

What are some items on your wish list? Share them in the comments below.

Cheers and Happy Holidays!

Surly and Doomtree Collaborate For Pub Crawl

Posted by: Ryan Tuenge Updated: December 3, 2014 - 4:47 PM

Surly and Doomtree (a local hip hop collective for those who don’t know) brewed up a partnership over the summer and on December 7th you’ll be able to celebrate by participating in a pub crawl curated by both parties. Todd Haug has brewed up a batch of beer called Surly Doomtree but the details of this brew are being kept under wraps.

Surly is in the process of opening their destination brewery and Doomtree is about to kick off a week long concert series called Last Blowout Ever so the timing is just right for both parties. Both Surly and Doomtree have always been about quality and doing things their own way so the marriage makes sense.

Details of this event are as follows:

On December 7th there will be a bar crawl spanning both Minneapolis and St. Paul. Surly and Doomtree will take two busses of fans, VIPs, and friends to these bars where fans can purchase merchandise and try the new and exclusive beer beginning at 2:30 PM. The crawl will finish up with an intimate show (invite only) at an undisclosed location. Don’t worry there will be a chance to win some tickets if you show up at any one of these locations and help them celebrate.

Minneapolis bar crawl:

- 2:30pm, Muddy Waters (2933 Lyndale Ave. S.)

- 4:00pm, The Depot Tavern, (17 N. 7th Street)

- 5:30pm, Red Stag Supper Club (509 1st Ave. NE)

St. Paul bar crawl:

- 2:30pm, Billy's on Grand (857 Grand Ave.)

- 4:00pm, Pizza Luce (1183 Selby Ave.)

- 5:30pm, Grumpy's Roseville (2801 Snelling Ave.)

- 7:00pm, Exclusive Doomtree Show (invite only)

Follow @surlybrewing and @DOOMTREE for further details on the event and for a chance to win seats on one of the busses.


Northern Lights Rare Beer Fest Tickets on Sale Friday

Posted by: Ryan Tuenge Updated: November 26, 2014 - 9:52 AM

Tickets will go on sale for the Northern Lights Rare Beer Fest on Black Friday at 10 AM. This festival taking place on Saturday, March 28th 2015 features rare beers from around the country and is going to be worth every penny.

This is going to be one of the best beer festivals in town for years to come and I would imagine that starting this year tickets are going to be hard to get. I heard only great things about last year about the beer and about how short the lines were. I will not miss this event going forward.

For one, the location is as good as it gets with the Minnesota History Center and with a brewery lineup featuring Deschutes, Lagunitas, Fitger’s Brewhouse, Surly, and Steel Toe bringing some rare beers you can’t go wrong. On top of all of this some of the proceeds will be donated to Pints for Prostates.

Tickets are going to run $100 and will include a catered meal and the opportunity to try a ton of rare brews.


Bauhaus Introduces Jingle Fever

Posted by: Ryan Tuenge Updated: November 18, 2014 - 6:28 PM

On November 19th, Bauhaus is introducing their first winter seasonal offering Jingle Fever. This 8% ABV Baltic Porter will be available in bombers (22 oz bottles) and is described as smooth with flavors of chocolate, dried fruit, licorice, earthy spice, and toast.

Why did they choose a Porter? “We really want to make our seasonal releases special, not just beers that could be part of our year-round lineup” said President and Head Brewer Matt Schwandt. Most of their beers are sessionable lagers and this one will definitely stand out.

It was also announced that Bauhaus will be expanding by 50% in the next few months which is a sign that they have struggled in keeping up with demand for their unique local brews. “We can’t put our beer in cans fast enough,” said Schwandt. “But when we get the additional fermenters and a second brite tank, we’ll be able to keep pace with demand and experiment even more with seasonals and one-off batches.”

Be sure to stop in at the taproom if you haven’t been there yet. They definitely have one of the coolest taprooms in town and it would be a good excuse to try Jingle Fever on tap.



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