Category: Fulton Brewing Co.

Northern Lights Rare Beer Fest Saturday

As I write this, tickets are still available for Saturday’s Northern Lights Rare Beer Festival at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul. In its short history, the event has quickly become Minnesota’s premiere Winter (…er Spring?) festival with a finely-curated list of rare, one-off and specialty beers from 30 select breweries from Minnesota and across the country. Suffice to say that this event includes plenty of excellent food, entertainment and more.

I am, of course, a dumbass and won’t be there so here are Five beers I’ll really f&#@ing miss from this year’s Northern Lights Rare Beer Festival:

  • Indeed Wooden Soul: Ephemeral
  • August Schell Electric Empress
  • Fitger’s Brewhouse Tequila Barrel 1100 Wheatwine
  • Bemidji Brewing Flanders Sour Red
  • Steel Toe Brewing Before the Dawn with Tart Cherries

That being said, there are a lot of interesting beers. Learn more by checking out the program or visiting their website.

Download the program here.

Buy your tickets here.

Northern Lights Rare Beer Fest, Saturday, March 11th, 7-10pm.
Minnesota History Center, 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul

Fulton Releases a New Brand Called Standard Lager

Fulton Standard LagerEasy drinking lagers are hot right now in the craft beer world, and Fulton just made a solid statement with Standard Lager. It’s actually a “brand” rather than just a new beer, similar to what Firestone Walker did with 805 Beer.

It’s an all-malt American lager (which means that they don’t use adjuncts such as corn) that’s clean and balanced—perfect for the grill, fishing off the dock, or the last few weeks on the patio.

This will be available in stores (12 packs) across at all of their accounts beginning in October.

Places and Events to Check out Over All Pints North Weekend

All Pints North is one of the best beer fests held here in Minnesota for a few reasons. The first reason is that Duluth is one of the most picturesque cities in all of Minnesota, and there isn’t a better city to host such an event. The second reason is that Duluth is home to my favorite bar scene, partially due to all of the music that takes place on stages big and small across town. The third reason is that the beers that breweries bring to this event are some of the best being made here locally.

While the main event is always going to be the beer festival, you owe it to yourself to make a weekend out of it and check out the town on Friday. If you see me around, be sure to say hello. I’ve highlighted some of the events going on the night before the big event.
All Pints Eve Hootenanny at Bent Paddle – This event starts at 2 pm on Friday and will feature some rare beers which will of course include Double Shot Double Black. There will be a happy hour (3-5 pm) with 90.9 The Current which will be followed by bands from 7-11 pm.

Fulton Beer Presents This is a Cool Party at Pizza Lucé Duluth – Admission to this event (9:30 pm until midnight) is free and it will feature the bands Reflectivore and Dem Atlas. Grab a few beers and some pizza and prepare to party.

All Pints Eve at Sir Ben’s Tavern on the Lake – Live music, a restaurant pop up, and special tapping highlight this event on Friday from 4 – 9 pm. Beers from NorthGate, Bauhaus, Surly, Indeed, Castle Danger, Schell’s, Fair State, Dangerous Man, 612Brew, Beaver Island, and Bent Paddle will all be available for purchase. There will also be games and a kombucha station.

The Rathskeller at Tycoon’s – It’s no secret that this basement hangout is the place to be over the weekend. The Rathskeller is where people in the beer community hang and with good reason. The beer selection is top notch, and the whiskey is some of the best you’ll find around town. One thing to note is that the fire code dictates that only a certain number of people can be down there (it’s in the basement of Tycoon’s) so you may have to wait in a line to get in.

Places to eat over the weekend include Duluth Grill (fantastic breakfast), Northern Waters Smokehaus, Fitger’s Brewhouse, New Scenic Café, Tycoon’s, and Taste of Saigon.

And finally some pro advice: Don’t overdo it on Friday night or Saturday might be daunting. I’ve done this a few times. Perhaps I’ll never learn…

Cheers!

Beer and Food Options at US Bank Stadium

Gone are the days of the humble Dome Dog and a Budweiser, after all it is 2016. The inaugural lineup of food options at US Bank Stadium are gonna be a hit, especially the local options. The beer….well that wasn’t available today. This is most likely due to the MillerCoors sponsorship which I’m guessing doesn’t allow for them to showcase the wonderful craft beer we have here in Minnesota.

But we were given a list of the local beer options that will be available. Summit, Surly, Fulton, Lift Bridge, Bauhaus, Castle Danger, Fair State, NorthGate, 612 Brew, Lake Monster, Sociable Cider Werks, Insight, and Finnegans will all be sold at the stadium in its first year of operation.

Local food partners featured at the stadium will be AZ Canteen, Be Graceful Bakery and Catering, Cinnie Smith’s, Curds and Cakes, Ike’s Food and Cocktails, Kramrczuk’s Sausage Company, Lola’s Cafe, Prairie Dogs, R Taco, and the much anticipated Revival Restaurant.

So how was the food? Well let’s dive in to some of today’s winners:

First up were the Lemongrass Meatballs from Rainbow Restaurant. These were tasty and will be a welcomed treat for those trying to avoid typical stadium fare.

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Next were the Smokey Nachos from Icehouse Minneapolis. A nice take on a stadium staple that would pair well with a Lonely Blonde from Fulton. Smokey meat paired with real cheese sauce. If the price is right, this might the item to get if you’re planning to share.

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The Jerk Bacon Sammie from Smalley’s Caribbean might go overlooked with all of the options. Our advice, don’t sleep on this slaw topped, thick-cut bacon sandwich. One of the best items on the menu today. Pair this spicy treat with a either an EPA or Saga from Summit.

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Prairie Dogs is offering a Chicago Dog and a Skol Dog. The Chicago Dog (pictured below) was pretty standard while the Skol Dog (topped with purple potato chips and bacon jam) impressed with its presentation and the smoke infused jam. Go with the Skol Dog and pair it with a Farm Girl from Lift Bridge.

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Kramarczuk’s makes amazing sausage so these (Andouille, Cheddar Wurst, Bratwurst) are a no brainer if you’re looking for standard stadium food. Get the standard brat topped with kraut and pair it with a Wonderstuff from Bauhaus. This is guaranteed to make any Packer fan jealous.

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The Italian Porchetta Sandwich from AZ Canteen is something you don’t wanna miss. A top 3 menu item today. Perfectly seasoned and topped with enough greens to make up for the saturated fat. This would pair up nicely with a Parapet ESB from NorthGate.

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The much anticipated Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich from Revival is the real winner today. This juicy chicken sammie is delightfully crunchy, and is plenty spicy for those who have a palate for that sort of thing. Pair this up with a Surly Furious which will stand up tall to the heat. Be sure to order the mild if you are sensitive to spicy foods.

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Now for the not so great:

The Murray’s Short Rib Sandwich was a bit disappointing. This was tasty but was fairly dry. Dry enough where the coleslaw it was topped with couldn’t save it. The cost is probably also going to be a factor with this one.

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The R Taco is a good option if you are looking for something a bit lighter, but this thing is messy. The last thing you want to deal with while rubbing elbows with drunk strangers is pulling shredded pork and diced onions out of your beard. If you do go with this, wash it down with a Hell Chicken from Insight. The citrus from the yuzu fruit will play well with the shredded pork and accompaniments.

The Gramsky’s Italian Grinder Sandwich was served at room temperature and was very heavy on the bread. By the time we got to this it was rather soggy and aside from the meat, was fairly bland.

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All in all, these were the best offerings of a stadium in town. Pricing will also be a determining factor when purchasing these menu items so you’ll want to keep that in mind, especially if you’re bringing a family of four. So what was missing? I think there are a few vendors out there that would be nice little additions to the lineup. All of them would be a great branding fit as well.

Vikre Distillery out of Duluth. Aquavit cocktails showcasing flavors of cardamom and caraway seed would be a welcomed addition to the nordic themed stadium shaped like a viking ship.

HammerHeart Brewing out of Lino Lakes makes bold, smoky beers that would take fans out of their comfort zone and introduce them to an old-world method of beer crafting. A crowd people head banging to Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song with a Hammerheart beer in hand would be a sight to behold.

Northern Waters Smokehaus from Duluth. Imagine being able to order smoked fish and charcuterie made right here in the north country. It seems silly that we always go back to the standard stadium fare when these ingredients are sourced and readily available on the local level.

Whatever your tastes are, you’re sure to find plenty of delicious heart stopping food on the menu at US Bank Stadium. But just know that nothing will stop your heart faster than a field goal that goes wide left.

Thanks Gary…

Cheers!

Five Beers to Try at Winterfest

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If you are fortunate enough to attend the 15th annual Winterfest on either Friday or Saturday, you are sure to get a taste of some of the best locally made brews. Here are some of the highlights for both nights.

Friday:

Apricot Vista from August Schell Brewing Company – The latest in the Noble Star collection was aged for a year before Jace dropped 4,800 pounds of apricots in the tank. That tank by the way is from 1936 and will be on display at Star Keller when it opens in May.

Cherry Double Shot Double Black from Bent Paddle Brewing – This Bourbon barrel-aged version of their Black Ale received an infusion of cherries along with double shots of Madagascar Vanilla and Cold-Press. Have we mentioned that the Cold-Press comes from Duluth Coffee Company? Enough said.

Cabernet Barrel-Aged Belgian Dark Strong Ale from Dangerous Man – This is one of my favorite beers that they’ve made over at their Northeast brewery. Stone fruits and sweet caramel are prominent in this complex brew that was aged for almost a year in an oak Cabernet barrel. Let this one warm up a bit in your hand a little while and you’ll be rewarded.

300 from Fulton Brewing – All that really needs to be said about this brew is that it’s one of the best locally made IPAs. Expect blueberry and tropical fruits on top of a clean Pilsner malt base. Somehow the folks at Fulton are making this happen year-round and you won’t hear me complain.

Blackberry Gose from Junkyard Brewing – This Blackberry Sour Ale looks interesting and will be a nice change of pace from all of the really big beers being poured at the festival. Gose is an ancient German style of beer that goes back 1,000 years, and is unique in that it was traditionally brewed with salty water. Junkyard is based up in Moorhead so this also serves as a grand opportunity to get an introduction to their brews without the drive.

Saturday:

Imperial Cocoa Hefe from Blacklist Brewing – Chocolate and bananas will be the theme with this German-style Hefeweizen. Blacklist has always made interesting beers and they will now be able to better showcase them in their new space located in downtown Duluth.

Imperial Raspberry Truffle from Lupulin Brewing – I was able to try this version of their Porter at an event recently and I was impressed. The name of this one sums it up, big time chocolate with loads of raspberries. Who needs dessert?

2016 Fiddle Smasher from NorthGate Brewing – NorthGate is now 3 years old and they celebrated by releasing this Scottish Wee Heavy Ale. This version will be served from a cask and it tips the scale at over 8% ABV.

Saaz Pils from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery – Sometimes there is nothing better than a clean Bohemian style Pilsner, especially when it’s made by someone who loves them as much as Mike Hoops does. Saaz hops are known for their spicy and earthy characteristics and they are what define this style of beer. This is one of my favorite styles of beer hands down.

Gin Botanical Freewheeler from Sociable Cider Werks – This cider looks interesting on many levels. For one, this sat in Wander North Distillery’s botanical basket and also on top of a bed of fresh spruce needles. Nothing says Minnesota like evergreens and apples.

Cheers!