News & Updates

ABR Returns to Boom Island Park

The Autumn Brew Review is back and it returns to a familiar spot along the Mississippi River in Northeast Minneapolis. Proof of vaccination will be required to attend the event which will almost certainly leave some upset, but the health of the attendees and vendors is being put first during this uncertain time.

“The health and wellness of craft beer employees and customers is extremely important to the Guild, and so is continuing to host the festivals that energize and connect the craft beer community. As COVID continues to be a concern throughout the state, we felt it was our responsibility to do what we could to support community and industry safety at ABR,” says Bennett McGinty. “We know not everyone will be happy with the vaccine requirement, but our goal is to limit the potential negative impact our festival could have on community health, and allow people to be more confident in working, attending, and volunteering at ABR.”

This event will once again showcase Minnesota breweries and some of their finest creations on Saturday, October 16th beginning at 1:30 pm and going until 5 pm. These Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild events are often the best way to sample beers from breweries all across Minnesota without the long drive. “We hear from attendees all the time that they love how they actually get to talk with the head brewers and owners of Minnesota’s breweries at our festivals. Our fests are a great way for craft beer fans to connect in a new way with some of their favorite local businesses, and discover new places they haven’t been able to try yet,” said Lauren Bennett McGinty, Executive Director of the MNCBG.

One of those breweries is Hoops Brewing in Duluth. Dave Hoops who founded the brewery is known for his fruit concoctions as well as his ability to utilize hot peppers in a subtle way. Some of the beers he plans to bring include a Raspberry Wheat Ale, Bamberg Lager, Wood Smoked Hefeweizen, and a Pepper Ale.

Many of the local breweries will bring a special beer or two to spice things up and show attendees what they are capable of. One such beer that will be worth seeking out is the 2021 version of Lost Moon from Pryes Brewing in Minneapolis. This Russian Imperial Stout won Silver at the U.S. Open Beer Championship. Expect rich, roasted malts with Belgian candy sugar and notes of chocolate and caramel. Perfect for a fall day in the Twin Cities. They will also bring Cartographer, Star Seer, and a triple hopped honey DIPA featuring locally sourced honey.

The folks at Steel Toe haven’t solidified their choices yet, but expect to see Size 4, Provider, and Rainmaker on their menu. Rainmaker is one of the most underrated beers made in town. Classified as a Double Red Ale—this beer brings piney hops to the table with toasty caramel malts—and sports a lovely red hue when poured into your favorite glass. Be sure to seek this one out.

Tickets will cost $60 to attend, and $15 for sober drivers. ABR will happen rain or shine so be sure to keep an eye on the forecast. You can purchase tickets here.

Cheers!

Congrats Minnesota GABF Winners

Like everything this year, the Great American Beer Festival looked a little different this year. Breweries from all 1720 breweries in all 50 states submitted more than 8,800 beers to the competition. Out of all of those beers and breweries, four Minnesota breweries took home medals.

Gold:
Hoops Brewing – 325 Pineapple Chili
The Freehouse – No. 17 Scotch Ale

Silver:
Waconia Brewing Co. – Cookies and Cream Milk Stout

Bronze:
Lupulin Brewing – Doppelbock

Additionally, The Freehouse was named the winner of the Large Brewpub and Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year. Congrats!

Don’t Be a Dick

If you’re going to be a dick to brewery staff, stay home.

If you’re going to argue about the rules, stay home.
These things are entirely out of the hands of brewery staff and attempting to give them any sort of shit about it just makes you look like an asshole.
 
Sadly this behavior isn’t unique to Urban Growler Brewing Company. We’ve heard of similar situations at other great breweries as well. Knock it the hell off.

Updates and Random Thoughts

Hey all. It’s been a crazy year, has it not? Covid. The murder of George Floyd. An upcoming election. Closures. etc. It all sucks, albeit some things are obviously worse.

As always, we’re quietly churning along, attempting to keep the brewery directory up-to-date, and sharing the occasional blog post. We will continue to do so! And we appreciate the kind words, beer samples, and friendships.

Like everything beer-related, our “revenue” has taken a hit. It’s tough out there for hundredaires like ourselves. We’ve also realized that the Google ads, which once provided some extra beer money aren’t really worth the hassle. They look ugly and their payout isn’t that great. So we’ll slowly be dumping the Google ads and maintaining our square sidebar ads for a cleaner look.

We’re also looking at using Patreon to generate a few $$ to help cover the cost of hosting. This summer I took on the massive project of moving the entire site (15 years of posts, images, pages, etc.) to a new host. We’re not losing money, but we’re really not making it either.

Industry friends – we’re thinking about you. We don’t envy anyone who owns, runs, or works in our local taprooms. These are tough times and we hope you all look out for each other.

Cheers-

Ryan, Ryan, and David

Drink Minnesota Beer Posters

I’ve decided to do a limited run of my take on a “Keep Minnesota Brewing” poster. Let me know if you’re interested. The print will be 18″ x 24″ on a heavy matte paper. I’ll plan to have them drop-shipped from the printer and go directly to you.

This fine piece of swag featured a gigantic “Hopisota” surrounded by bottle caps featuring cities that are home to Minnesota breweries. $30 shipped.

ryan@mnbeer.com

Breweries: feel free to drop me a line with custom requests. (i.e. your logo “starred or capped” on its place in Hopisota.