The sun was out, the beer was flowing, and the crowd was abuzz about craft beer on a perfect Saturday in September. Minnesota breweries were well represented with over 35 breweries pouring great new beers from all over the state.
Some new breweries made their ABR debut and this is what they had to offer:
Indeed Brewing was pouring some of the best new beer in Minneapolis including Day Tripper, a Pale Ale that is hopped like an IPA; Midnight Ryder, a hopped-up, roasty black ale; and Shenanigans, which is their summer ale. Their fresh hop ale also made its debut; a very hoppy brew with a nice, dry finish.
Pour Decisions, another new brewery in the Twin Cities area, brought their Scottish session beer Pubstitute Ale and their Patersbier, which is a tasty Belgian monk’s session brew.
Northbound Smokehouse Brewpub was pouring Big Jim IPA, which is named after brewer Jamie’s father. This was a nice, hoppy IPA with big malt character. They were also pouring their Wild Rice Amber Ale, which is not your typical amber style beer.
Here were some of my favorites from ABR:
Day Tripper from Indeed - This hop monster is a real treat from its heavy citrus aroma to its clean finish. The best part about it may be that the ABV is relatively low at 5.4% so you can enjoy a few of these.
Wild Rice Amber Ale from Northbound - This brew was very well-balanced and had a subtle vanilla flavor from the wild rice. It is a very clean beer that would be good in any season.
The Libertine from Fulton Beer - The malts in this one were very well-balanced, slightly but not too sweet, with a noticeable hop character. At 8.5% ABV, drinking a few of these may actually make watching the Twins bearable.
Spanish Fly from Fitger’s Brewhouse - What stood out about this hoppy brew made with cherries was the subtle heat from the hatch chilies in the finish. Dave Hoops is a master of fruit beers and this is no exception. [Correction: I am told that Spanish Fly was dreamed up by cask master Kelly Armstrong]
News and notes from ABR:
Badger Hill Brewing is all set up to bottle and their MSB (Minnesota Special Bitter) brew should be arriving in local liquor stores within the next two weeks.
Northbound Smokehouse Brewpub has a firm opening date: Thursday, September 20th. Two of their guest taps will be from Indeed Brewing—Midnight Ryder and their current seasonal, which is their fresh hop.
Town Hall Brewery will release their Simcoe fresh hop beer this year on Monday, October 8th.
Indeed Brewing hopes to have cans of their beer available in liquor stores in early to mid-October.
That’s all the news and notes from this year – hopefully you can join us next year if you didn’t get a chance. If you want to ensure that you will attend next year the Guild has created a ticket pack option (available December 10th) where you can buy tickets to all 3 of their annual events (Autumn Brew Review, Winterfest, and All Pints North).
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.
Four years ago, if you were heading out to discover a great tap list, you were most likely going to St. Paul. Then, high school pals Matty O’Reilly and Rick Guntzel decided to bring a food-centric craft beer experience across the river in Minneapolis.