News & Updates

Finally, Something to Get Bitter About!

Finally certain Tweets from certain brewers about their “gimmicky” beers makes sense!!!  The June 2010 issue of Twin Cities Business (hard copy only for now, Dan Haugen authored it) has a brief  but interesting write-up on Minnesota’s bitterest beers (yeah, yeah, I’m sure YOU’VE made a more bitter beer, but you ain’t selling it in stores, is ya?).  You’ll have to track down a hard copy of the rag to read the article, but let me play spoiler for you.  Wondering what, per this article, Minnesota’s top five bitter beers (by IBU, of course) are?

5)  New-comer Fulton’s Sweet Child of Vine grabbed the 5th spot at 70 IBUs, just edging out Summit’s IPA and Horizon Red at 65 IBUs.

4)  Dem dere Brau Bros. oudda Lucan hold de 4th spot wit dere Sheep Head Ale at 88 IBUs.

3)  Wondering why you can’t taste your lutefisk after drinking Surly’s Furious?  Well, it’s position in the 3rd spot at 99 IBUs should answer that question.

2)  Living in the Limelight with the 2nd most bitter beer in Minnesota (after recently holding the first spot until #1 was brought back to the market as a retail-available beer) is Flat Earth’s Northwest Passage IPA at 115 IBUs.  Yup, it curls toes.

1)  And sitting firmly atop the bitter pig-pile is Surly’s Abrasive at 120 IBUs.

Anywho, find a copy of the June issue to see the who holds the 8th-12th spots.


  1. al says:

    Shouldn’t Town Hall’s Masala Mama, at 85 or so, be in there somewhere?

  2. Trav says:

    Abrasive may be 120 and the most ‘bitter’ on paper, but the late hop additions, increased malt and DH wipe out much of the bitterness. Just because it has 100+ IBU’s, doesnt mean its going to shear your taste buds off.

  3. Mag says:

    Yeah, Al, I would think if beers from brewpubs had been included, Great Waters and Fitger’s would have also made a showing in the top 10 for sure.

  4. David Berg says:

    IBUs purely quantify how many mg/l of iso alpha acids are present in a beer. The perceived bitterness is influenced by many other factors–malt types, original gravity, attenuation, yeast used, etc. As a stand alone number, it is quite meaningless.

  5. Erik Molin says:

    I have to admit that in this article I was a bit taken by Mark Stutrud’s arrogance. Maybe I am reading it wrong, but calling a fellow LOCAL brewer (Surly) gimmicky seems “bush league” to me. Take note Stutrud, you are now the dinosaur. You must evolve with the times! To give him credit though, Horizon Red and the smaller batch stuff has been a good move.

  6. al says:

    Trav, what does DH stand for?

  7. Trav says:

    Al–Dirty Hooker. Wait, no, no, no. Dry Hop

  8. Mag says:

    Dry Hop aroma can disappear quickly. Dirty Hooker, however…

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