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

No Shave November at Town Hall Brewery

Posted by: Ryan Tuenge Updated: November 6, 2014 - 6:09 PM

Town Hall Brewery is partnering with ESPN 1500 to fight prostate cancer in the month of November. Here is how it works. Go in to any Town Hall location with a clean face and donate $10. In return you will get a card that permits you $2 pints at any location (must present card) all month long as long as you don’t shave.

If you can’t grow a beard you can always donate $10 and get a free pint at any location. Then at the end of November you will have a chance to compete for prizes if you are still sporting that nice foam catcher.

One has to wonder if Town Hall brewer Mike Hoops is participating. He was looking a bit grizzly last time I saw him but that was a couple weeks ago. I do know that owner Pete Rifakes is participating and he was looking quite baby faced in a recent photo.

The ESPN 1500 crew is also participating and it will be interesting to see my two favorite sports writers and radio personalities Reusse and Judd grow beards. Twins closer and now homebrewer Glen Perkins is also participating and here’s to hoping for another fabulous neck beard. You can follow their progress here.

Happy beard growing!


Surly Eight Release Party Set

Posted by: Ryan Tuenge Updated: October 30, 2014 - 5:20 PM

Surly has been around for 8 years and they plan to celebrate in style at The Dakota Jazz Club on Sunday, November 9th from 5 PM to 10 PM with the release of Surly Eight. As you know the brewery has come a long way in 8 years growing steadily into their beautiful destination beer hall in Prospect Park.

Production is set to exceed 3 times what they are already producing and the structure itself is one that won’t disappoint, complete with a massive outdoor patio and a beer hall with seating for 300. The plan is to have beer ready sometime in early December and then open the doors to the beer hall.

This year Surly’s potion is an Oat Wine Ale aged in High West Rye Whiskey barrels and utilizes milk sugars, Golden Promise malt and of course oats. The beer is dressed with a haunting label that depicts a woman holding a skull in a room surrounded by whiskey barrels. The artwork was created by Jawsh Lemke in collaboration with brewer Todd Haug.

The event showcase a lineup of Surly beers (list below) and there will be a menu item specifically made to pair with Surly Eight. DJ Paper Tiger will be performing with special guests and rumor is that some of the details of the DOOMTREE/Surly Brewing event on December 7th will be announced. If you plan to go know that the event is free but the space is very limited. Your best bet is to call The Dakota at 612-332-1010 and make a reservation.

If you go:

Beer List


Todd the Axe Man

Devils Work





The Dakota Jazz Club

1010 Nicollet Mall

Minneapolis, MN 55403


5 PM until 10 PM


Metered street parking. It sucks, take the bus (the 17 from Uptown) or ride your bike.


Summit Unchained #17 Harvest Fresh IPA

Posted by: Ryan Tuenge Updated: November 3, 2014 - 2:55 PM

Count me as someone who was excited to hear that Summit was releasing a Fresh Hop IPA for their next beer in the Unchained Series. Summit brewer Tom Mondor took on the task of brewing the very first Fresh Hop beer to come out of Minnesota’s pioneering craft brewery.

He accomplished this by sourcing freshly pelletized Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook hops from Roy Farms in Moxee, Washington. Wet Chinook hops were brought in from Michigan as well which contribute a nice piney flavor to the Caramel Malt based beer. The Cascade and Centennial hops give a nice citrusy aroma and flavor to this well balanced brew which clocks in 70 IBUs and a surprising 7% ABV. Anyone who knows anything about fresh hops knows that this beer was not cheap to make.

This offering is one of my favorites in the series and it makes me want to smoke one last brisket to pair it with before the snow starts flying. While I wouldn’t put this up against Surly Wet, rest assured I will buy the hell of out this until it’s no longer available.

Fresh Hop Pellets: Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook

Wet Hops: Chinook

Malts: Full Pint 2 Row, Munich, Caramel Munich, Best Caramel Malt Light

Yeast: American Ale

IBUs: 70

ABV: 7%


Waconia Brewing Set to Open Wednesday

Posted by: Ryan Tuenge Updated: October 20, 2014 - 6:12 PM

On Wednesday, October 22nd at 2:00 PM Waconia Brewing will open it’s doors to the public. Tom Schufman will be the Head Brewer after spending time at Fulton and Northern Brewer. He plans to brew a Kolsch, an Amber, and an IPA. A Belgian Wheat and Belgian Pale are also in the works but will not quite be ready for the opening day.

Owners Pete and Dee DeLange and Bob and Kaye DeLange are excited to open the first Waconia brewery in over a hundred years. The brewery itself will be located downtown at 255 Main Street West and the building measures in at 5,500 square feet and includes a taproom.

If you go:


2:00 PM on Wednesday, October 22nd


Waconia Brewing Company

255 Main Street West

Waconia, MN 55387



Surly Beer Hall Set to Open in December

Posted by: Ryan Tuenge Updated: October 17, 2014 - 8:52 AM

Dara Grumdahl of Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine and WCCO Radio reported on Monday that the new Surly Beer Hall will open in December. It sounds as if chef Jorge Guzman (who was on her radio show Saturday) will have a full menu ready to go but he did not reveal a whole lot about what will be on it. News also broke that Surly has hired another famed local chef to help out Jorge in Brian Hauke whom you may know from Spill the Wine.

The massive 300 seat hall will be permeating with the smell of pizzas and pretzels and plenty of new dishes (none of which he talked to Dara about) to pair with the bold Surly beer lineup.It will be located in the Prospect Park neighborhood right along the Green Line making it easy for commuters of all sorts to stop in for a pint and a bite to eat.

Events such as Darkness Day will remain at the Brooklyn Center location but the taproom there will close for good on Thursday, October 23rd so you may want to get there while you still can.

Speaking of Darkness Day, be sure to get there this year if you haven’t been. It takes place on Saturday, October 25th from 11:00 AM until 5:30 PM but if you want to buy bottles of Darkness you’ll want to get there much earlier. How early? Try the night before (camp out) otherwise known as Darkness Eve. Here you will witness what is essentially a giant bottle share where people play video games on big screen TVs outside of tents and imbibe with one another into the wee hours of the night. Trust me on this, you have to see it to believe it.



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