With over 3,500 beers from 750 breweries being poured at this year’s festival, it’s impossible to try everything so I went through my notes and found five that stood out.

  1. Ching Ching from Bend Brewing - This sour treat reminded me a lot of Sissel from Steel Toe except this one was brewed with pomegranates. Not too acidic yet very tart with floral notes from the addition of hibiscus.
  2. Trois Vies #2 from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery - This is a version of their Foolish Belgian Quad aged in a Woodford bourbon barrel which was previously used to a Pinot Noir. The character of the barrel really shined through in this brew which will hopefully see its way onto the tap line at the brewpub.
  3. Hop JuJu from Fat Head’s Brewery - This 100 IBU monster took home Gold in the Imperial India Pale Category and rightfully so. Winning a medal in any IPA category is a huge accomplishment .
  4. Pivo from Firestone Walker -  If there is a better example of an American made Pils out there, let me know. This is absolutely one of my favorite beers and if it ever shows up in Minnesota, it will have a regular spot in my fridge.
  5. Graham Cracker Porter from Denver Brewing - Subtle smoke and hints of vanilla come through in this chocolatey dream of a brew. Think about a cold fall night around the fire and this is the beer you’d want.


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Seven Minnesota breweries take home hardware at the Great American Beer Festival

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New beers from Fair State Brewing in northeast Minneapolis