The Minnesota State Fair will serve strange new brews inspired by flavors from lingonberries, apples and cucumbers to cotton candy, Red Bull and limoncello.
Get a morning jump-start or midday jolt with the Red Bull Slushie from LuLu’s Public House in the West End Market. The energy drink gets whirled through a slushie machine with noncarbonated beer from Insight Brewing in Minneapolis. At 8 percent alcohol by volume, the slushie ties with another new LuLu concoction for the most potent potable. The Ordinary Mary (Insight’s noncarbonated beer with Bloody Mary mix) also comes in at 8 percent alcohol by volume, according to a news release Friday from the fair.
Coasters on Carnes Avenue and Liggett Street will stir up beer malts, blending vanilla ice cream with malt powder, vanilla bean and Boulder Beer’s Shake Chocolate Porter for a finishing kiss of cocoa.
The new concoctions, including Cotton Candy Bubble Trouble (State Fair cotton candy in a champagne flute mixed with Cannon River Winery’s Sparkle Edelweiss) and Lingonberry Lager (sweet and tart from the 612 Brewery in Minneapolis and available at Coasters) join returning creations such as Lift Bridge Mini Donut Beer, Chocolate Chip Cookie Beer and Maple Bacon Brown — because every food and beverage at the fair must have at least one variation featuring cured pork.
A handful of the newer brews are flavored with fruits and veggies, such as the Dill Pickle Beer from Barley John’s Brew Pub in New Brighton to be served at Giggles’ Campfire Grill. The American-style ale has a dry hopped “bright minerality” with fresh dill horseradish. Each serving is garnished with a dill pickle and a slice of dill Havarti.
LuLu’s Public House will be pouring the beer with the best new name: Duke of Cuke, a light lager infused with cucumber also from Insight Brewing.
Mancini’s al Fresco will serve Lemon Sunshine created by its St. Paul neighbor Bad Weather Brewing. It’s a limoncello-inspired pilsner for sipping on summer days. Proceed without caution — at 5.1 percent alcohol per volume, the pilsner doesn’t pack the knockout punch of real limoncello, which comes in at 32 percent.
Honeycrisp, Haralson and SweeTango apples combine to create the Raspberry Hard Cider at Giggles’ Campfire Grill. Fresh raspberry purée goes in during the brewing process at Sociable Cider Werks in Minneapolis to create a “tart, crisp” flavor that is gluten-free.
Something for everyone means purists get a brew, too. St. Paul’s Summit Brewery has created the “Summit Lazy Sipper” available at the International Bazaar.
The blonde ale combines malty notes of toast, breadcrumb and graham cracker with hop flavors of lemon, green tea and grapefruit. The Lazy Sipper features Minnesota ingredients: Lacey barley comes from Rahr Malting in Shakopee. Mighty Axe in Ham Lake made the Cascade and Crystal hops. The fresh strawberries come from the University of Minnesota.