Category: Badger Hill Brewing

Badger Hill / Hop & Barrel Collab Release Today

Join us Tuesday, May 21st!

Badger Hill and Hudson’s Hop & Barrel Brewing have collaborated on a new beer and it drops today at Badger Hill in Shakopee. Flip It & Reverse It is  American Wheat brewed with Chinook, Citra and Wakatu hops. Expect a refreshing beer with notes of lemon and orange.

Release details: 3pm, Tuesday, May 21st at Badger Hill in Shakopee.

Autumn Brew Review Recap 2017

An oldie but a goodie. Abr 2006.

By now, everyone who attended the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild Autumn Brew Review should be feeling (more or less) completely recovered. But if not, we can’t blame you. As with every year at ABR, a nearly endless treasure trove of must-have beers were on display, and you could be forgiven for trying to sample just a few too many of the best brews the state has to offer.

There’s something a little strange about writing up the ABR experience, as I’ve done many years in a row for various outlets. I’ve never had anything short of a great time at the Guild’s flagship event, and this year was no different. However, veterans of ABR may have noticed a few differences this year. The layout was different, with Minnesota breweries claiming the outer ring of the event space at the historic Grain Belt brewery, and the national brands more tightly clustered together in the center rows. This was the reverse of the historical layout, and illustrated how large the local brewing scene has grown. The ratio of local to national brands has definitely tipped in favor of the hometown breweries, with many previous national exhibitors nowhere to be seen this year. And finally, perhaps because of a slightly expanded space, or perhaps because there are more beer festivals than ever, the event didn’t seem as completely packed as year’s past. Once an event that reliably sold out in minutes, there were tickets for ABR still available the day before the event.

Of course, the turnout was still very strong, and many of the most popular booths still had impressively long lines for their timed releases. I chose to wait in few of those lines, and still had no trouble sampling impressive beers from all around the event grounds. A few of my standouts:

  • August Schell Lunar Interference: I’m a sucker for the Schell’s Berliner Weiss series, and this was one of the richest, most layered releases yet. Rich, chocolatey, fruity, and complex. The best beer I tried at the event, and I can’t wait to grab a bottle.
  • Badger Hill Tripel Abbey Ale: Belgians are typically not my jam, but this one really worked for me. Smooth, rich, and drinkable. Badger Hill always zigs when you expect them to zag.
  • Barrel Theory DDH Rain Drops: I haven’t tried the standard version of Rain Drops yet, but this double dry hopped version was the best NE IPA I had at ABR, easily.
  • Foxhole Old Snaggletooth: A lovely, drinkable old ale. This was the first beer I’ve tried from Foxhole, and it suggested that a road trip to Willmar may be in order.

I did not have a chance to check out 10K Brewing, who took home the audience choices for both Best Brewery and Best Beer with Loonar Uprising. I guess I’ll have to make a point to check them out next year, when they return as reigning champions. I’m already looking forward to it.

A (Short) Tale of Two Taprooms – Pryes and Unmapped

Two new taprooms Saturday?

Pryes Brewing Co. made their debut in the Twin Cities nearly three years ago. Brewer/owner Jeremy Pryes started with just one beer, Miraculum, which he first brewed professionally at the old Lucid (North Loop BrewCo) facility in Minnetonka under an alternating proprietorship model. You nerds playing along at home may recall that both Badger Hill and Bad Weather Brewing got their start there as well. This Saturday, you’ll be able to enjoy Pryes Brewing beers at their Near-North neighborhood brewery at 1401 West. River Road in Minneapolis. As others have espoused, they have “plenty of parking,” but if you ask this bike dork, it just seems right to bike to the brewery. Bonus (big bonus, really), there should be some excellent food coming out of the kitchen at Pryes Brewing as well… according to our friend Dara, they’ve built a full-on commercial kitchen with Red Wagon at the helm for the first three months. Things are looking good. Congrats Pryes!

Pryes Brewing Taproom Grand Opening
Saturday, June 17th, 11am – midnight
Regular taproom hours: Thursdays 4-11pm,  Fridays 3-midnight, Saturdays 11-midnight
1401 West River Road N, Minneapolis, MN 55411



Unmapped Brewing Company will also have a soft opening on Saturday. Unmapped has quietly been building out a brewery in place of the century-old Kraemer’s TrueValue Hardware in Minnetonka. Minnetonka’s first taproom is located near the intersection of Excelsior Blvd. and Eden Prairie Road, not far from Gold Nugget. Husband and wife team JD and Megan Park are Minnetonka natives and aim to offer a “year-round lineup of flagship ‘Belgian & Stateside Ales'” as well as a variety of other special and limited-release beers.

At the helm of the brewery is our old friend Derek Allmendinger (@lutherhaus) who was an old-school Minnesota beer blogger and homebrewer.  Derek went to brewing school and then jumped into professional brewing, cutting his teeth at Summit Brewing, Schell’s, Surly and Excelsior Brewing. Derek brings a wealth of experience to this new brewery and we’re excited to see what he cranks out at Unmapped!

Unmapped Brewing Company
Opens Saturday, June 17th, noon-11pm, Sunday noon-8pm.
Regular taproom hours starting June 20th: 3-10pm Monday-Thursday, noon-11pm Friday and Saturday, noon-8pm Sunday
14625 Excelsior Blvd., Minnetonka 55345

Town Hall Lanes Fresh Hop Fest


Fresh hop beers are very popular these days, and the folks over at Town Hall take their hops seriously. This is why they are hosting the fourth annual Fresh Hop Fest on October 22nd from 1 – 5 pm at the bowling alley in south Minneapolis.

Fresh hop beers are expensive to make in that the demand is so high for them, and the timing (should be used within 24 – 48 hours) from bine to brew kettle is so crucial. The hops are in fact still wet (and can be quite a mess) so brewers need a larger volume of them than with dry pellets. We’d actually be better off defining these as wet hop beers.

The brewery itself consistently brews one of the best fresh hop beers every year, and they enjoy celebrating with other breweries—local and national. Fresh Hop 100 and Fresh Hop Dry will be available along with offerings from Badger Hill, Bad Weather Brewing, Castle Danger, Dark Horse Brewing, Indeed, Founders, Lagunitas, Sierra Nevada, Northbound Smokehouse, Odell, Lift Bridge, North Loop, and more.

Tickets are available for $7, but you’ll need tasting tickets ($2 each) if you want to enjoy the beers. VIP tickets are the way to go for this event. They’ll run you $37—but you get unlimited tastings, a tasting glass, exclusive VIP beers, a game of bowling, and a t-shirt.

If you’re a fan of hops, you should really check this out. These beers are only available once a year.


Saturday, October 22nd from 1 – 5 pm
Town Hall Lanes
5019 S 34th Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55417


Badger Hill Brewing and Valley Fair Team Up for High Roller Extra Park Ale

High roller tap handle

Valley Fair is turning 40 this year and they wanted to celebrate with a special beer offering at the park. The folks at Badger Hill met up with Valley Fair last month to come up with a beer (Extra Pale Ale) that will be available at 3 locations within the park. Those locations are Atomic Beer, Chickie’s and Pete’s, and Depot Refreshments.

The beer will be called High Roller Extra Park Ale and will also be available in the Badger Hill Taproom when the beer is officially released on Friday, May 13th. Oh, and the tap handles are made out of reclaimed wood from the famous High Roller ride that was built back in 1976. The beer checks in at 5.2% ABV and hits 43 on the IBU scale.

Who says that kids get to have all the fun?

Also, The Curious Goat’s little brother The Smoking Cow will be debuting at the Badger Hill Taproom tomorrow (Friday, May 5th) from 4:30 until 8 pm. Ian Gray and Kiri Anderson are the ones behind both of these trucks, and they are known for serving up some of the best locally sourced food around. Heads up: If there’s brisket on the menu, order that. You’ll thank me later.