Category: contest

Finnegan’s Releases Hoppy Shepherd


Jacquie Berglund founded Finnegan’s back in 2000 with the hopes of turning beer into food. Her organization donates 100% of profits to feed the hungry in the communities where their beer is sold. They’ve made a few different styles over the years (their beers are contract brewed at Summit) and they have all been very solid. The latest from Finnegan’s is a Session Ale called Hoppy Shepherd.

I was impressed with this addition to their lineup (although Dead Irish Poet is still my favorite) as it explores the interesting trend of hoppy session beers. I’m a sucker for these “hop forward” styles and this one lives up to that billing. Think lots of citrus with lightly toasted cracker from the malt. I’d suggest choosing this as you fire up the grill this spring and know that you’re not only feeding yourself, but also members of your community.

Speaking of community, Finnegan’s is partnering with local chefs this month in support of MN FoodShare’s Hunger Awareness Month. The theme….Food Fight. How it works is that chefs are asked to come up with a menu item using one of Finnegan’s beers and sell it at their restaurant for the month of March, and then donating a portion of that to profit. Voting will happen through the entire month with the winner receiving a free weekend at Chase on the Lake Resort. Check out the participants below.

• Bennett’s Chop and Railhouse – Chef Joe Bennett

• The Local – Chef Vincent Francoual

• Green Mill (Uptown, Lakeville, Eagan and Albert Lee)- Chefs Eric Heidelberger, Sammy Gonzalez, Danielle Puhle, Derek Oakland

• Le Town Talk Diner – Chef Ozzy Amelotti

• Pat’s Tap and the Red Stag- David Robinson (Pat’s Tap), Chefs Brian Krouch & Andrew Erenst (Red Stag)

• The Minneapolis Club – Chef Hakan Lundberg

• FireLake Grill House and Cocktail Bar (MOA and Downtown Mpls) Chefs Dinesh Jayawardena and Jim Kyndberg

• Jake O’Connors and O’Donovan’s- Chris Oxley


Calling All Artists: Surly Feature Artist Contest

Surly Call for Artists

Five years ago Surly Creative Director Michael Berglund won a coaster contest. Now he wears a lot of hats and is responsible for all things creative at the shiny new brewery. “It’s all you can eat. It’s a wonderful job” he says. Now he’s in charge of choosing this year’s artist who will create the artwork for SurlyFest, Darkness, and the anniversary beer.

The contest runs through Wednesday, February 17th this year and the process is long. First the major players at Surly get to review the portfolios and whittle it down to thirty. Then they are sent out to the former winners of the contest who will vote on it. Then Omar and Todd get to decide who wins. Berglund loves that it’s the fans of Surly that get this opportunity to create the artwork for these big events. “I think we should see what the fans are doing” he says. “The hardest part is that we can only have one winner. Last year we had to turn down 139 people.”

That’s right, there were 140 entries last year. Every single entry was seen by Berglund and he seems to take pride in that. “It’s a professional call for artists. What’s your connection to Surly?” Surly has always supported local artists and they seem to maintain good standing relationships with them even after their time is up. Some of those talented artists are Adam Turman, Josh “Jawsh” Lemke, Brent Schoonover, Aesthetic Apparatus, DWITT, Nic Skrade, Erica Williams, and Brandon Holt.

Speaking of supporting local artists, when Surly moved into their new markets in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa—Michael came up with an idea where the locals would design the poster in their respective markets. He hopes that artists in these markets will also show their connection to the brewery and what it means to them. “There’s no better way to show the spirit of Surly than allowing local artists to contribute.”

Well stated Michael.

Submit your portfolios here by Wednesday, February 17th:


#MNStateBeer – Tweet from the Fair & Win

drinkbeerWanna’ win a “Drink beer from here” shirt? We’ve got a handful of these shirts from our friends at HopCloth and it’s time we give them away! These shirts are super-soft ringspun cotton and feel really nice.

…so let’s have a contest! And since the State Fair is happening, let’s celebrate our locals! #MNStateBeer

We want to see your Minnesota State Fair craft beer photos! Whether you’re cruising through the Land of 10,000 Beers, bellying up to the BallPark Cafe for a mini donut beer or grabbing some Summit on a Stick, be sure to use the hashtag #MNStateBeer and tag us (@mnbeer) on Instagram or Twitter. We’ll pick a few of our favorites over the course of the fair and hook you up!

Cheers and State Fair Beers…

@MNBeer - #MNStateBeer
@MNBeer – #MNStateBeer

Have a Beer with the Fair State Brewing Coop Tonight

Fair StateTonight from 6-9pm at Republic Calhoun Square in Uptown, the guys from the new Fair State Brewing Cooperative are having a meet and greet event. Go, grab a beer, bring a friend and learn about how you can become a member. If you’re already a member, you can earn a referral bonus worth $10 at the taproom for each friend who signs up. Whoever has the most referrals by the time the brewery opens gets to work with head brewer Niko Tonks to design a special release beer. Check it out!

More info on their Facebook page.


Biscotti Release & Bake-Off at Lift Bridge

Lift Bridge Biscotti Label

Fire up the oven, dig that ugly sweater out of the closet and head to Lift Bridge for their Biscotti Release Party. It’s more than just a beer release though. Throw your hat (cookies or sweet bread really) in the ring to win the bake-off, proudly wear the most hideous holiday sweater or just enjoy the beer, music and games.

There’s too much going on so get the full details here. The quick and dirty is there’s a $5 entry fee and bottles of Biscotti will be $9 each, limit six per person.