Category: beer events

Ale Asylum MN Launch

In 2012 we dropped a hint to Madison’s Ale Asylum that maybe they ought to look westward for expansion. Clearly they got the message and have dutifully spent the past five years planning, toiling and experimenting on the willing subjects of Wisconsin just to perfect their beers before their Minnesota release. What an honor. Thanks, guys.

In celebration of the border jump they’ve scheduled a series of events culminating on Friday at Republic in Minneapolis where, starting at 6:00, they’ll tap five of their standard beers along with a pair of rare, barrel-aged ones. Get there early and be rewarded with commemorative glassware. BONUS: the patio will be open and heated so bring your toques and mittens to celebrate outside.


Ale Asylum MN Launch Week
12/13 – Ox Cart Ale House, St. Paul, 6-9pm
12/14 – The Happy Gnome, St. Paul, 4-7pm
12/14 – Kelly’s Tap House & Grill, Red Wing, 5-7pm
12/15 – Republic, Mpls, 6-8pm

Lift Bridge Commander Barleywine Release Party Saturday

Our Friends at Lift Bridge are having a party this Saturday from noon to 10pm. Their seasonal Barleywine, Commander, makes its appearance at the brewery this weekend along with food, prizes and other merriment.
– Commander Mustache Contest and Hairy Chest Contest at 5:45 w/ prizes from Man Cave Precision Hair
– Live Music
– Giant Turkey Legs and other tasty items available for purchase from Big Guy’s BBQ
-Lift Bridge Beer (and root beer)
-Event tickets are $7 and include a beer tooken or 2 root beer tickets.
Commander Barleywine is an English-Style Barleywine ale brewed a ton of malt and a little bit of cardamom, then aged in  bourbon barrels from Heaven Hill Distillery in Kentucky. At 12.5% ABV, you may want to kick back and savor this beer. Maybe. 
Bottles of Commander Barleywine can be pre-ordered right here (limit of 6 per person). You can also use the link to pre-order tickets and/or buy a 5 year vertical (2012-2016) of Commander Barleywine (!). I’d suggest you do it now. Bottles are $18 each after November 10th.

Music Lineup: 
1:30-3:15 Buster Phelan

3:45-5:30 Thick & Tasty
6:00-7:30 Apollo Cobra
8:00-9:30 Candy Shop

*Note that the event is all-ages until 7pm.

Lift Bridge Brewery, 1900 Tower Drive, Stillwater, MN

All Pints North Suggestions

all pints north

All Pints North is Saturday! It’s one of our very favorite festivals for a number of reasons, some of which don’t even involve beer. For me, Duluth holds some amazing memories. My grandpa was a salesman (Glad bags, Old Spice, Del Monte, Air Wick, etc.) who worked with grocery stores in Duluth and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. In any case, a few times a year my family would roll up to Duluth and we’d explore the city and the surrounding area. I love Lake Superior, the city’s rich history and the fact that it’s just a unique place in Minnesota.

If you don’t have tickets for All Pints North on Saturday, you’re too late as it’s sold out. If you’re going, you’re in for a treat – a great festival on the edge of the largest lake in the world. Kick back at Bayfront Festival Park from 3-7pm, partake in some beer education, enjoy some tunes from Viva Knievel and Private Oates, have a bite (I’m partial to The Rambler and of course Natedogs) and have a good time. With over 120 breweries present, you’re sure to find a beer or fifty to enjoy as well.

If you’d like to check out all of the beers available for the festival, download the All Pints North app for IOS or Android. We’ve perused the list and here are just a few that we’s suggest you try. Let us know what you think!

August Schell/Starkeller Framboise du Nord
It’s back! This is a phenomenal beer that we’re glad to see return to All Pints North. Our friends at August Schell have the Berliner Weiss variants dialed in and this will no doubt be a tart and refreshing punch of raspberry bliss. Also try: Tidal Disruption (blackberry Berliner Weiss), Electrik Empress (plum Berliner Weiss).

Bemidji Brewing Honeyberry Sour
Quickly. Guess what’s in this beer… If you guessed “honey” and “berries” you’re wrong. Don’t feel bad, I was too. As luck would have it, honeyberries are blueberry-like fruit from honeysuckle. Make sense right? Bemidji Brewing added locally-grown honeyberries to their barrel-aged golden sour. It’s quite tasty.

Bent Paddle Citrus Party Kanū
I had the pleasure of enjoying this a couple of weeks ago at Rare Beer Picnic. To no one’s surprise, I really enjoy Kanū, Bent Paddle’s Session Pale Ale. I’m a sucker for Citra and Idaho 7 hops. Citrus Party ads citrus (go figure) zest to the mix. The result? Everything I love about Kanū and more. 

Dangerous Man Vic’s Secret Single Hop IPA
Vic’s Secret is an Australian hop that has nothing to do with lacy undergarments. It’s been on my list of hops that need to find their way into my beer for about a year. Dangerous Man suggests juicy melon notes with a citrusy, balanced finish. BSG suggests that the hop has a “clean and bright tropical character (passionfruit, pineapple) with supporting notes of fresh herbs and pine needles.” Sold!

Fair State Barrel-Fermented du Pounde
So I really like blueberries… and beer. This particular beer is a sour version of Fair State’s Saison du Pounde, refermented on blueberries. Fair State is quite making some of the best sour beers around and no doubt this will not be an exception. Cheers!

Hoops Brewing #5050 Hefeweizen
My summer has been a bit short on Hefeweizens. Whether it was my relocation or market availability, I just haven’t enjoyed enough Hefeweizens this summer. So you, dear reader, have been tasked with enjoying some in my stead. The folks at Hoops Brewing know their way around this style, and I can’t think of anything better to enjoy on a warm summer day.

Indeed Wooden Soul #5, Saison de la Pomme
This beer was another standout from Rare Beer Picnic. This is a wood-aged, sour Saison fermented with fresh-pressed Winesap apple juice from Milk and Honey Ciders. Tart, fruity and damned tasty.

Junkyard “Jelly the Nut” Peanut Butter and Jelly Stout
Peanut butter beers aren’t really my thing. I’ll drink a short pour, but usually that’s enough. Much like my dislike for Mosaic hops, it’s a personal preference more than anything. As is the case, I never really order them. So when I had a beer a couple of weeks ago with Joe and Will from Lift Bridge, I begrudgingly tried Will’s beer. I enjoyed it. Suffice to say that if you dig peanut butter porters or stouts, this offering from my new neighborhood watering hole is totally worth trying. Junkyard adds raspberry puree to their take on a peanut stout and it’s nothing short of a peanut butter sandwich gone mad. Dig it.

Minneapolis Town Hall Manhattan Reserve
When you see this on the menu, you shut up and drink it. This is Town Hall’s excellent Grand Cru aged on tart cherries…and in bourbon barrels. It’s really nothing short of amazing and not always easy to come by. Just do it.

Utepils Ewald the Superior
Drink Hefeweizen (see above). This particular Hefeweizen is dry-hopped and created especially for All Pints North. Utepils has making some extremely tasty german-style beers and this should be no exception.

Enjoy All Pints North! Be sure to browse our Beer Festival Survival Guide to help you make the most out of the event!


A Sneak Peek at the Winter Dabbler Lineup

One of the longest running (8 years) winter beer fests in Minnesota is set to take place on February 4th at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Tickets are on sale for $45 in advance, or $55 at the door. The event kicks off at 2:30 pm and ends at 6:30 pm. The Winter Dabbler promises some unique offerings from reputable breweries and new breweries alike. We dove in and found some that should be worth checking out.

Twisted Zweig from Forager Brewing – The version they offered with currants late last summer was one of our favorite beers of 2016. A fantastic version of a Berliner Weiss from the folks in Rochester.

Driftless Dry from Wyndfall Cider – Cider is a beautiful thing, especially when it’s made right. The folks at Wyndfall are very passionate about their products, and a super dry cider made from heirloom apples sounds pretty fantastic.

Winter Flannel from Lucette Brewing – A winter warmer made with chocolate malt. These are typically malt forward and full of flavor. A classic choice for an outdoor event in January.

Salted Caramel Quadrupel from Birch’s on the Lake – It’s hard to find a well-made Belgian here in Minnesota, but when your brewer comes from Schlafly in St. Louis it carries weight. Expect this to be a big beer, rich red or even brown in color, and high in alcohol content but heavy on flavor. This one ought to warm anyone up.

Tuque Black Saison with Juniper Berries from Fair State Brewing Cooperative – What doesn’t Fair State do well? Expect more of the same with this Saison featuring the key ingredient in gin, juniper berries.

Calamity Russian Imperial Stout from Bad Weather Brewing – Andy Ruhland is running a great brewing program over on West 7th, and this chocolate forward Russian Imperial Stout should be sought out by fest goers. Originally released in their taproom in late October, this beer is designed to get you through winter. But be careful, this will sneak up on you.

Last Fathom Dark Lager from Lake Monster Brewing – This looks to be another somewhat sessionable go-to weighing in at only 5.5% ABV. We’re suckers for a good Dunkel, and this one features wild rice and is low on the bitterness.

Golden Nugget from Toppling Goliath Brewing – This hop heavy beer features Golden Promise malt (a favorite for showcasing hops) along with the classic hop variety know as Nugget. Nugget hops tend to have earthy/herbal tones and serve as great bittering hops. IPA lovers rejoice!

Warm Beer with Mulled Spices from Olvalde – If you haven’t tried any of the offerings from Joe Pond and his brewery based in Rollingstone, MN—you’re really missing out. This small operation puts out fantastic beer made with ingredients found on his farm. This warm beer will serve as a nice change of pace and should warm you up from the inside-out.



Northern Lights Rare Beer Fest Announces Breweries and Ticket Sales

Mark Opdahl and Juno Choi of Chop Liver Inc. decided four years ago that the Twin Cities needed a rare beer festival. Something similar to the Firestone Walker Invitational, Denver Rare Beer Fest, and the Festival of Barrel Aged Beers. Their solution was a rare beer festival held at the beautiful Minnesota Historical Society called Northern Lights Rare Beer Fest. “We wanted to take those ideas, hand select the breweries, and give the beer community what they want” says Opdahl.

Olympus OMD EM1

The breweries (30 in total) are a mix of local and national, which provide a nice variety of beers that are hard for Minnesotans to get their hands on. “We’re pretty lucky too” says Opdahl. “It’s a testament that they want to have some of their beers up against the best in the country. It really shows that they appreciate what we do the rest of the year with Chop Liver Inc. events.” This event is also rare in that food is included in the cost of the ticket ($100 with a portion of the proceeds going to Pints for Prostates) and is often better than you’ll find at other beer events around town. “It’s not just deli sandwiches and potato chips” he says laughing. For example, last year they served pork belly sliders, beer cheese soup, along with all sorts of snacks.

Northern Lights Rare Beer Fest

Another thing that sets this event apart from others is the venue. The Minnesota Historical Society hosted Winterfest for years before they outgrew the space with so many new local breweries. “The venue is really what makes this event what it is” he proclaims. “Marble top to bottom, and a view of the capitol from the 3rd floor. We only sell 750 of these tickets so it’s easy to get around. If you spend this kind of money, you should be able to move around.” So how do they get so many of these breweries on board? Experience. They had been running beer events for 6 years before the first Northern Lights Rare Beer Fest giving them the opportunity to meet representatives from many of these breweries. The other co-founder Juno Choi has been working at Brewers Supply Group for years where he’s built relationships with some of the most notable people in the industry.

Northern Lights Rare Beer Fest

This year’s event will take place on March 11th with tickets going on sale this Friday at 10 AM, just in time for the holidays. The festival provides attendees the chance to try a lot of these beers without committing to full bottles and long lines outside of liquor stores. “Its a great opportunity to try unique beers that are often not found in stores. If you go into a normal bar and pay for a single flight, you’re already at $15” states Opdahl.


All in all this is one of the best beer festivals held here in Minnesota, and a ticket to this event is a great gift idea for those who seek out hard to find beers.

So which breweries are gonna be there? We at are proud to announce the brewery lineup which can be found below:

unnamedAugust Schell Brewing Company (2015 winner)
Avery Brewing Company
Ballast Point Brewing Company
Bells Brewery
Bemidji Brewing Company
Bent Paddle Brewing Company
Boulevard Brewing Company
Central Waters Brewing Company
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Deschutes Brewery
Elysian Brewing Company
Fargo Brewing Company
Fitgers Brewhouse (2016 winner)
Forager Brewing Company
Fulton Brewery
Goose Island Beer Company
Grand Teton Brewing Company (2014 winner)
Great Divide Brewing Company
Great Lakes Brewing Company
Indeed Brewing Company
Lagunitas Brewing Company
Left Hand Brewing Company
Lift Bridge Brewing Company
Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
Oskar Blues Brewery
Steel Toe Brewing Company
Stone Brewing Company
Surly Brewing Company
The Bruery
Toppling Goliath Brewing Company