Tag: dangerous man

Ten Iconic Minnesota Beers

Minnesota has a rich brewing history dating back to the mid 1800s. Breweries such as Wolf Brewing in Stillwater, Minneapolis Brewing Company, Schell’s Brewing, and Hamm’s in St. Paul paved the way for the many breweries we enjoy here today.


It’s really pretty incredible to think how large the brewing scene has become once again, especially amid a society so hell bent on counting every calorie they put in their bodies. But here we are in the middle of a pandemic—with nothing but time to reflect on what got us here.


Here are ten beers that have helped define what local brewers are capable of. Some have been around for over 50 years, and some were formulated and brewed within the last ten years.


Schell’s Pils – A classic version of what a German Pilsner should be. One could argue that this recipe was one of the better American-made versions in production the past 30 years. Clean, crisp, and refreshing—this beer could be found in most brewer’s refrigerators across Minnesota. The brewery has since dropped this from their lineup, but here’s to hoping it makes a comeback.


Summit EPA – This is the first craft beer that many Minnesotans were introduced to. Anything outside of a standard American Lager was hard to come by around here, even in the 90s when many across the country were drinking beer from Sierra Nevada, Anchor Steam, Deschutes and many others. Mark Stutrud brought this recipe to life back in 1986 and it’s still every bit as good today.


Surly Furious – Many were skeptical when they saw this beer in 16 oz. cans (thanks Linda Haug) on the shelves of liquor stores. A hoppy red ale in cans? This revolutionized the way people thought about packaging beer here in Minnesota. Oskar Blues had been doing this since 2002, but Surly had the foresight to put their boldest beer in larger cans for sale in four packs.


Dangerous Man Peanut Butter Porter – Often imitated, but never duplicated, this beer has converted plenty of “non-beer drinkers” to craft beer fanatics. This is literally Minnesota’s “dessert beer” and rightfully so. It tastes like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in liquid form, a gem amongst many imposters. Their recipe for success in Northeast is simple. Brew unique beers that people will love, and they will come and spend their money.


Minneapolis Town Hall Masala Mama – Ask any homebrewer, brewer, or beer nerd around town what their favorite IPA was 15 years ago, and they’d say it was Masala Mama. This was the best IPA recipe in the Midwest and was the brainchild of Mike Hoops who still runs the show over at their Seven Corners location. This is easily the most influential IPA ever to be born here in Minnesota.


Fulton Lonely Blonde – The craft beer for your dad, uncle, or cheap beer crushing friend. This beer is full of flavor but is approachable to all who try it. Minnesota patios sell a ton of this from April through October and year-round for that matter. This is your perfect boating beer, and one that I keep in my fridge on the regular.


Fair State Roselle – This is a perfectly executed Kettle Sour that is an ideal choice for any wine drinker or sour beer fan. Roselle is tart, fruity, and floral and it set the standard for what local brewers are doing within the sour beer category.


Steel Toe Size 7 – Before the “haze craze” people actually used to appreciate a good West Coast IPA. There is no better example of the style than the one made in St. Louis Park. This beer is far from balanced with big citrus notes and a clean finish. There’s a reason why this is their number one seller.


Grain Belt Premium – This was once brewed by the Minneapolis Brewing Company right after Prohibition ended. Now this clean, Minnesota classic adjunct lager is made by Schell’s Brewing Company who bought the recipe back in 2002. Corn and blueberry notes come through in this legendary beer which can be found at any dive bar across the Twin Cities.


Barley John’s Wild Brunette Wild Rice Brown Ale – A classic Brown Ale from one of the original brewpubs in town. Roasty malts and subtle chocolate and vanilla satisfy the palate in this classic Minnesota beer. Homebrewers in the Twin Cities have long admired this underappreciated offering, and it’s still being made some 20 years after being introduced. Find this one on tap at the brewpub located in New Brighton.



Surly and Dangerous Man Make a Pakt as Minnesota Collaborations Continue

blutpakt“Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” That’s the motto that Co-Owner Rob Miller at Dangerous Man lives and bleeds day in and day out at his brewery in Northeast Minneapolis. Miller and the crew over at Surly are the latest members of the local brewing scene to team up on a collaboration beer that they are calling Blutpakt which translates to “blood pact.” The beer itself is based on an old recipe that piqued the interest of Dangerous Man brewer John Leingang who was doing extensive research on historic beers. “I was at home doing some research and found some old recipes. I found the old German Porter recipe and I thought it looked awesome” John says.


Dangerous Man and Surly are two of the most popular breweries in the state so this one makes total sense. Collaborations often seem like a good idea, but they don’t always work out. Sarah Bonvallet, the other Co-Owner at Dangerous Man and current Secretary of the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild Board, says that they’ve reached out to a number of breweries in hopes of collaborating—but that doesn’t always work out. “We’ve attempted a bunch, but they sometimes get stuck in the brainstorming phase.” This German Porter’s malt base is primarily Münich and the recipe was brewed at each location with the main difference being that the Surly version used brettanomyces. The Dangerous Man version is nice and toasty, almost marshmallow like. The Surly rendition is less toasty, but it has a nice little funk to it from the addition of brett.


You will be able to find both varieties within a couple of blocks of each other when they are released during Art-A-Whirl at noon on Saturday, May 21st. The Dangerous Man version will be released at their taproom while Surly’s version will tap at the 331 Club right down the street.

Surly, namesake of the “Surly Bill” which set the current taproom scene in motion back in 2012 has wanted to work with Dangerous Man on a collaboration for a while. Jerrod Johnson, who represented Surly in this project thinks that it would be nice to see more of these collaborations, but for the right reasons. “The interesting part is seeing the small process differences. It really brings to the forefront the character of the different breweries” says Johnson.

DM collab uno

When asked why the two breweries wanted to collaborate, Miller mentioned that Surly was the right fit for them. “They are good brewing friends, and we have similar interests.” Sarah chimed in and mentioned that both breweries have solid reputations which means that it benefited them both equally. “What I loved about this collaboration is that we both stand on our own. It was fun and I really enjoyed seeing that” she said. The right fit indeed.

Meanwhile, down Broadway, Bauhaus and Fair State have been dreaming up a Münich Helles for well over a year. Both Matt Schwandt of Bauhaus and Niko Tonks of Fair State are very particular about their brewing methods which makes this a fitting collaboration. “This is how people should find common ground” says Tonks.

Bauhaus collab

This is the first Helles that either brewery has done and according to Schwandt, It was Niko’s idea. Helles Lager is the “holy grail” of lagers according Tonks and the ingredients that each brewery used were a little different. For one, Bauhaus used a German Bock yeast whereas Fair State used a yeast called Augustiner.

This “no frills” Helles lager is called Das Homeguys Helles and they are both very clean, crisp, and refreshing beers—perfect for patio season. Lagers are notorious for being tricky to brew because it’s much harder to mask flaws in delicately balanced beers such as these.

Both versions will debut at Republic Seven Corners today (5 pm) just in time for Lagerfest. Both taprooms will also be releasing their versions of the beer today and they hope it will make through Art-A-Whirl which is happening next weekend.

Collaborations such as these, come at a time when large breweries such as AB InBev are buying up smaller craft breweries to keep their foothold on the market. “For the past decade, craft brewers have charged into the market, seeing double digit growth for eight of those years,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association in a press release regarding craft breweries. While “big brewers” are losing market share to the ever-growing craft market (up 16% nationwide in retail dollar value for 2015), craft breweries are popping up all over the country and the camaraderie is stronger than ever.

“It’s starting to happen more and more, and I think it’s a good thing” said Schwandt about local brewing collaborations. This is most likely a product of a close community of breweries who are operating under the assumption that a rising tide lifts all boats. Bonvallet pointed to the fact that Denver hosts Collaboration Fest (149 breweries participated this year) as proof that collaborations are here to stay. Trend or otherwise, we’re likely to see plenty more of these here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

“It’s a sign of a more mature scene” says Tonks.

A scene that is growing together, instead of apart.


Dangerous Man and Electric Fetus Collaborate for Record Store Day


A typical brew day at Dangerous Man starts very early, and if you were to walk in you’d hear music blasting from the speakers. Operations Manager Hilari Bandow loves music so much that she worked with the Electric Fetus to set up a collaboration beer with the Minneapolis institution. “We always have music playing here, so it’s cool to have something [a special beer] to enjoy while you’re listening to music. Music for our brewery is woven in, and we’re all big vinyl collectors.”

The beer this year will be called Record Store Day Organic IPA and it’s brewed with Amarillo and Bravo hops. This beautiful looking beer is super citrusy and very refreshing so it will pair well with this awesome weather. Co-owner and head brewer Rob Miller had this to say about the beer this year. “It is a light refreshing, tropical IPA. A beer you would want to drink sitting outside on a spring day listening to your favorite Peter Tosh vinyl.”

Sarah Bonvallet who also owns the brewery and is the Creative Director loves music, and can often be seen at shows around town—usually with other staff members. “We have a deep love for music at Dangerous Man, whether it is jamming hard at the brewery to P.O.S. or our staff going to see shows together. So it feels like an honor to work with Electric Fetus, such a Minneapolis staple in the music community and be able to support each other.

The artwork for the event can be seen on the new merch which will be available for purchase at Electric Fetus. “We used a local designer and screen printer to create the art. The whole thing has Minneapolis dripping off of it, which we love” says Sarah. “The beer itself pushes that fruity IPA boundary to the max, which I think is indicative of the Electric Fetus and their support of experimental art on all levels” she says.

So when is Record Store Day? Well technically it starts at 9:00 am this Saturday, but according to Electric Fetus owner Aaron Meyerring and Store Manager Bob Fuchs people will start lining up outside the door at 6 pm on Friday night. “It’s like crazy. It has become this national holiday. Last year was the most fun I’ve ever had” according to Aaron.

By lining up, many of the people who show up to Record Store Day are looking for the exclusive releases, but for most people they are just looking to pick up something new and they use the day as an excuse to support their local record shop. At the Electric Fetus they go big for this event with in-store performances from local musicians, food trucks lined up outside, and even a crafting area for kids.

On the collaboration, Meyerring says that the fit just makes sense. “Two years ago on Christmas, I wanted to carry some craft beer merch and they [Dangerous Man] wanted to sell their stuff here. We crossover pretty well.”

“There’s no shortage of love for beer around here.”

Here’s how it works. You show up and shop around, maybe hit a food truck or two and hang out for a while. Make a purchase and bring your receipt to Dangerous Man for $1 off your Record Store Day Organic IPA purchase. Please note the beer is NOT available for purchase at the Electric Fetus.

Here are the details:

Saturday, April 16th 2016 at 9:00 am

Electric Fetus

2000 4th Ave. S

Minneapolis, MN 55404

Food trucks will show up at 10:00 am and they will be Natedogs, Chef Shack, and Bubble Boy.

The music lineup will be:

10:30 am – DJ Jake Rudh of Transmission
Noon – The Honeydogs
1:30 pm – Prairie Fire Lady Choir
3:00 pm – I Self Devine/Muja Messiah
4:30 pm – Magic Castles


MN Beer Notebook: News From Around Town

Dangerous Man

Here are some tidbits from around town as the holidays wind down.
Dangerous Man has just released their SMASH IPA and it’s fantastic. Citra lovers will rejoice over this one as it’s composed of 100% Citra hops and Simpson’s Golden Promise malt. It’s available on tap and in the growler room. Also on tap is Sour Delores #2. This kettle sour was brewed with raspberries and it is also available both on tap, and in the growler room.

The Belgian Pale Ale I helped brew over at Bad Weather Brewing is now on at their St. Paul taproom. I’ve yet to try it but I’m hearing good things. This means I may not have messed it up after all.

Surly canned more Abrasive recently and it should be available in stores throughout January 2016. Now if they’d only can Todd the Axe Man all year long….

Buffalo Trace is on the Barrel Reserve line at Town Hall Brewery. The brewery recently decided to dedicate a draft line to their spectacular barrel aged program. They’ll even have some 750 ml bottles for sale starting today at the brewery.

The popular Double IPA they call Size 11 is making a return mid-January at Steel Toe Brewing. They also have 750 ml bottles of Wee Heavy ($10) and Lunker ($20) for sale in bottles at the taproom. I’m hearing whispers that the supply of Lunker is getting pretty low, so you’d better act quickly if you’re looking to get some.

Schell’s is releasing a Bock sampler pack that is available now here in the Twin Cities. It consists of a pre-prohibition style, heirloom wheat, a 90s version, and their current variety.


Looking Ahead: Predicting 2016


This was another great year for our local beer scene where we saw breweries such as Able Seedhouse, Lake Monster, Lakes and Legends and many more open their doors for business. We saw Dangerous Man introduce their barrel aging program, Fair State and Indeed brought forth their sour programs, and Bad Weather got themselves a new home in St. Paul. With 2016 right around the corner, I decided to look ahead and forecast what we might see happen in the next 12 months.

1. Local collaborations: We haven’t seen a ton of this in previous years, but I think we’ve come to a point where we will see some breweries putting their best foot forward in unison to bring us some lively brews. Our friends over at the Growler have been hard at work putting together “In Cahoots” which is an event that they host every summer encouraging which encourages local breweries to collaborate on brews that people can enjoy at the event itself. Can you imagine the Hoops brothers collaborating on one? Now that would be one tasty beverage.

2. Special beer verticals in taprooms: Now that some of these breweries have been in operation for a couple years, I think we will begin to see “mini-events” that feature verticals of vintage specialty beers. Take Steel Toe for instance. They held an event back in November called “A Barrel-Aged Trifecta” which featured 2015 Barrel-Aged Dissent, 2012 Barrel-Aged Lunker, and 2014 Barrel-Aged Lunker available as a flight or on their own. I could see breweries like Surly or Indeed doing something similar with Rum King or Darkness, and the turnout would be huge.

3. Locally made cocktails on tap lines at notable bars around town: Technically this is already happening at Republic Seven Corners right now where Tattersall has a couple different “pre-mixed” cocktails available on tap. This is certainly a way for local distilleries to get their products into popular bars around town and showcase some of the flavors, all while maintaining the consistency by eliminating poorly made drinks. I could see this gaining momentum as the popularity of locally made spirits seems to be on the rise.

4. The rise of the Lager: Lagers have a bad reputation over the years thanks to large breweries that are more interested in volume than flavor. This is a big misconception in that you can make some damn tasty Lagers without sacrificing quality or flavor. Expect to see a rise in Lagers (such as Pilsners, California Common, Amber Lagers, etc) being brewed around town and maybe with a little twist—especially at smaller breweries (think Town Hall) where they have more freedom to change up their beer menus frequently.

5. The “death” of struggling breweries: No one wants to think this will happen, but it is inevitable that at some point some of these breweries will not make it. I honestly don’t think there will be a lot of this going on at this point, I just feel that this might be the year we see one or two turn off the lights. This should also serve as a reminder to support your local brewery and give them honest feedback so that they can fix any issues with their beer, service etc. Trust me, they’d rather hear that than close up shop.