Category: food pairing

Hygge Hoopla Virtual Beer Fest

This is a very strange time to be alive. We are asking everyone to isolate to stop the spread of COVID-19 which has been sweeping across the country at an alarming rate. While we’d love to be enjoying a beverage with our pals, we know that it’s not smart to be hanging in groups. The best part about uncertain times is the fact that we as humans find creative ways to navigate our current situation. Apps like FaceTime and Skype have been around for a while and were probably ahead of their time, but now more than ever we need to embrace such technology and be thankful for our ability to adapt to change.

Beer festivals are usually about gathering with people in person and sharing beverages but that is not possible during this time. The crew over at the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild has come up with an idea to bring people together virtually and they’re calling it Hygge Hoopla Beer Fest. This event will take place on Saturday, April 18th from 3 pm until 5 pm.

The cost will be $10 and will feature a whole lineup of speakers that will cover a variety of topics such as beer history, tasting notes, and food pairings. Your purchase will support the Silver Linings Fund which benefits industry workers in need. Below you will find the list of speakers for this event.

Featuring:

Jacob Schnabel, Spilled Grain Brewhouse
Linda Rae Holcomb, GLUEK BEER
Eric Harper, Utepils Brewing Co
Ryan Pitman, Eastlake Craft Brewery
Craig Richardson, Day Block Brewing Company
Derek Allmendinger, Unmapped Brewing Co
Ryan Mihm, FINNEGANS
Matt Schwandt, Bauhaus Brew Labs
Ryan Petz, Fulton Beer
Gabe Smoley, Pryes Brewing Company
Jen Fox, Spiral Brewery
Matthew Lange, Lake Monster Brewing
Mike Willaford, Tin Whiskers Brewing Co.
Andy Klockow, Klockow Brewing Company
Dave Hoops, Hoops Brewing
Jeff Zierdt, Lupulin Brewing Company
Brian Schanzenbach, Blacklist Brewing Co.
Tim Wilson, Bent Paddle Brewing Co.
Jace Marti, Schell’s Brewery

To purchase tickets to the event, please visit this link. Be safe, take care of yourselves, and support your local Minnesota breweries. We hope to see you at the event, but if not we’ll have to grab a pint when this is all over.

Cheers!

Indeed and Steel Toe Collaborate for an Old Favorite in Flock Together Series

You know that Black & Tan you used to order? Well two local breweries have collaborated to bring you a local version with the order reversed. A Tan & Black. Indeed Brewing out of Northeast and Steel Toe from St. Louis Park got together and made two beers with the intention that you’ll order them together in the same glass. The Indeed version is a Wood-Aged Blonde Ale and the Steel Toe beer is a Wood-Aged Rye Bock.

Both beers utilize English malts and were aged on honeycomb spirals from Black Swan Cooperage out of Park Rapids, Minnesota. The Blonde will feature notes of bread, honey, and oak while the Bock will add some chocolate, caramel, and wood flavors.

So why did they switch it from a Black & Tan to a Tan & Black? “I’ve always liked Steel Toe,” says Indeed Lead Brewer Dan Stavig, describing how the collaboration formed. “Michael Wagner (Steel Toe Brewer) and I struck on an idea that sounded unique to us: two different beers made at separate breweries, but designed to be blended together.”

Indeed has always been on top of collaborations and frequently joins forces with local and national breweries (Dangerous, Man, Schell’s, Hoops Brewing, Northbound Smokehouse, New Belgium, and more) to bring special beers to life. Steel Toe on the other hand has been rather quiet on that front with only a couple of collaborations under their belt. Sticky Bubbler with Surly last year for the Red Stag Block Party and a version of Sticker Fight with Boneyard Brewing out of Bend, Oregon.

You can get yourself a Tan & Black at Bunny’s Bar and Grill in St. Louis Park (pair it up with their wings) starting on April, 10th and at Pizza Luce in Roseville (try it with the Italian Sausage Parmigiana) on April, 12th.

Cheers!

The Land of 10,000 Beers (and more)

“Four and three and two and one, when I’m on the mic, the suckers run…” Hoops Brewing’s Dave Hoops raps with the audience in the Land of 10,000 Beers.

In case you live under a rock, the Minnesota State Fair starts today in St. Paul. Years ago, I had an office on Energy Park Drive and always cringed as the Fair approached. We usually had a flood of last minute creative and print work for a few big clients and the traffic always sucked. I’ve never understood why people choose to travel to or from the fair during rush hour. You’re smarter than that people!
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Land of 10,000 Beers
The Land of 10,000 Beer exhibit, courtesy of the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild returns to the Ag/Horticulture Building for a 6th year with 300 beers from nearly 70 Minnesota breweries and brewpubs. Try all 300! Or maybe not. This year they’ve revamped the flight categories to align more-closely with Brewers Association beer categories: Crisp and Clean, Malty and Sweet, Dark and Roasty, Hoppy and Bitter and Fruity, and Spicy Tart and Funky. Our friends at Better Beer Society are also curating a “Blue Ribbon Flight” with hand-selected flights from our favorite nerds, BBS’ certified cicerones.

New this year is a refreshed rotation of beer flight categories that align with the Brewers Association of beer categories: visitors to the exhibit can select among different flights of beers — Crisp and Clean, Malty and Sweet, Dark and Roasty, Hoppy and Bitter and Fruity, Spicy Tart and Funky. Also new, the Guild’s partner, the Better Beer Society (BBS), is curating the “Better Beer Society Blue Ribbon Flight” comprised of beers selected by BBS’ certified cicerones.

In addition to the beer, the Guild offers daily education programs at 3 and 6pm on weekdays and noon, 3pm and 6pm on weekends.  And if you want to step up your edumacation, BBS’ cicerones will also be conducting Fair food and beer pairing ideas.

Ballpark Cafe
This is a required stop in my book. The Ballpark Cafe has been slinging good beer longer than some of you have even cared. Along with some State Fair classics like Summit Oktoberfest, Lift Bridge Mini Donut and Steel Toe Size 7, the Ballpark Cafe also offers up a variety of beers from Bauhaus, Bent Brewstillery, Bent Paddle, Castle Danger, EastLake, Excelsior, Hoops Brewing, Indeed, Modist and Surly. You can also check out some ciders from Sweetland Orchard and an IPA from War Pigs (3 Floyds, Mikkeller).

Other Beers to Seek Out

Insight Duke of Cuke – Insight’s light lager infused with cucumber. (Lulu’s Public House)

Barley John’s Pickle Beer – Dry-hopped with fresh dill, horseradish and spices. Garnished with a dill pickle and havarti dill cheese. (Giggles)

Mini Donut Beer from Lift Bridge – this State Fair classic is a real treat. We’ve often joked that State Fair beers occasionally “jump the shark,” and this was the first. We really only need one of these per year, but still can’t help but enjoying it. (Ballpark Cafe)

Freehouse Caramel Apple π  -It’s like a little shot of apple pie. Much like Fair food, once a year is enough… but you may as well enjoy it while it’s there. (Blue Barn)

 Bad Weather Lemon Sunshine – a Limoncello-inspired ale brewed with lemons and lemon zest. (Mancini’s)

Summit Lazy Slipper – a Kolsch style beer brewed with ingredients sourced in Minnesota.  (Shanghaied Henri’s)

Follow this link for a list of all of the State Fair specialty beverages. Enjoy!

Got the Winter Blues? Modist Has You Covered

Summer festival season is still months away and the Modist crew wants to fill the void on February 18 from 5 pm until 10 pm with music, food, and beer. They’re partnering with ZZQ Smokehouse and Genius of Fun Promotions for the event which will feature music from Hurricane Harold & Doug Otto, Brothers Band, Black River Review, and Jorgensen Tagg Band.

Tickets will cost $39 and include:

3 pints of beer (see list below)
2 BBQ (pulled pork or chicken) sliders and a side (potato salad or coleslaw)
Live music
Specialty beers
Discounted room rate ($149) at Hewing Hotel

Modist will be serving their flagships TOATS, Smoove, Wasteland, pHresh, and First Call—as well as something from their Deviation Series and several specialty beers. Additional food and beer will be available for purchase at the event.

Cheers!

Bauhaus Bringing a Taste of Kentucky to US Bank Stadium

Bauhaus is teaming up with Revival to bring a taste of the south to US Bank Stadium this fall in the form of a beer called Slawhammer—a Kentucky Common Style Ale. Matt Schwandt who is the President and head brewer at Bauhaus spent some time living down in Nashville and was excited to work with Revival on this beer which will also be featured at their restaurants. “When I lived in Nashville, I learned that there are really only two beverage options for Tennessee hot chicken: sweet tea or a cold beer. So we figured, why not marry those ideas” he says.

Kentucky Common Style Ales were brewed pre-prohibition and they were  popular in that region of the country. They were also cheaper than other styles being sold in and around Kentucky during that time period, sometimes selling for half the cost of other varieties such as Stock Ale.

The Bauhaus version will have some citrus and black tea notes from the hops that were used in the brewing process. It’s extremely drinkable at 4.8 % ABV and should pair nicely with that phenomenal chicken sandwich offered at the stadium.

SlawhammerStadium
Nick Rancone who is a co-owner of Revival was happy to align with Bauhaus due to the product they put out, and their similar values. “We are thrilled about the partnership. Revival is all about tradition and modernity, and that is the same way we view Bauhaus. It’s so important to align with people that you respect and adore, and share values with, and it was most excellent that this collaboration came to fruition in the way that it did. We couldn’t have asked for a better partner” says Rancone.

Look for this beer to debut at US Bank Stadium in 16 oz. cans on August 10th, and on tap at The Revival/Corner Table family of restaurants in the Twin Cities in the following weeks.

Cheers!