Tag: minnesota state fair

Beers to seek out at the Minnesota State Fair

The Minnesota State Fair is the place for gimmicky food, and beer of course is no different. This year there will be a couple of new beers that fit this category including a cider and another beer based on a deep fried sugar bomb staple of the fair. We’re not gonna waste any time, so here are some beers that you may want to seek out at The Great Minnesota Get Together.

Mini Donut Beer from Lift Bridge – Yep, this is a huge hit every year at the fair and it’s not going away anytime soon. This malt monster is a real treat, one that I only want once a year. The cinnamon sugar rimmed glass gives a much needed touch to base of this beer. You can find this at Ball Park Café.

Hopmosa from Bent Paddle Brewing – No, this doesn’t taste exactly like a mimosa—but the folks at Bent Paddle know a thing or two about infusing beers. The beer being infused is Bent Hop IPA and the addition of orange zest will only make this more appealing on a hot summer day. Find this over at Ball Park Café.

Sociable Caramel Apple Cider from Sociable Cider Werks – Jim Watkins over at Sociable Cider Werks is known for carefully sourcing the apples that he uses in his products over at the taproom in Northeast Minneapolis. This one is a blend of a few different varieties along with a simple syrup he concocted with a little help from a childhood friend. Expect this to be topped off with an apple slice drizzled with caramel. You’ll only find this at Giggles Campfire Grille.

Red Sangria Lager from Schell’s – Radlers are known for being a tad sweet, yet make for a refreshing summer treat. This one promises to be less sweet but should deliver in terms of drinkability on an 85-degree day in Minnesota. The beer is said to feature flavors of elderberries, pear, citrus, and apples. It’s only 4.8% ABV and will be topped with a Red Citrus Sangria Beer Foam. The Schell’s Stage Stand might be my first stop. It’s also available at LuLu’s Public House.

Funnel Cloud from Bad Weather Brewing – This would seem at first glance to be a sugar bomb. Joe at Bad Weather tells me otherwise stating that this won’t be overly sweet like some of the others. I’m skeptical, but head brewer Andy Ruhland knows what he’s doing over there, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. Expect this to have undertones of vanilla and cinnamon/sugar. This beer is exclusive to Mancini’s Alfresco so it will only be available there.

Your best bet though is to visit the Land of 10,000 Beers Exhibit near the food building where you can purchase a flight of beer to wash down those cheese curds. This is where you will get a real taste of the beer being made here in Minnesota.


#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

Minnesota State Beer… er Fair

gopherIn case you live under a rock, the Minnesota State Fair started Thursday. St. Paul, can I get a collective “Oh shit!”? I used to work on Energy Park Drive and always cringed in the days leading up to the Fair. My company usually had a flood of last minute creative and print work for one of the broadcasting companies AND traffic absolutely sucked. I still can’t figure out why some people choose to go to (or leave) the State Fair during rush hour. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
Hungry? Look no further than HeavyTable (Twitter) for State Fair food information. You really don’t need to go anywhere else. Seriously. Stop typing.
Thirsty? Here are a few of our suggestions. Do you have your own? Leave them in the comments.

Fair Exclusives:

lift-bridge-mini-donut-beer-smLift Bridge’s Mini Donut Beer
Our friends at Lift Bridge have produced what is said to be the first-ever mini donut flavored beer. The fruits of the brewery’s labors will be available exclusively at the Ball Park Café.  Expect a malty sweet sipper that weighs in at about 5% abv. Mini-Donut will be served in a glass rimmed with cinnamon and sugar. Suggest pairing: Mini-donuts. Duh. And while it’s been suggested that perhaps Lift Bridge “jumped the shark” with this one, we tend to think that it sounds tasty enough to try before passing judgement.

Summit State Fair IPA
This beer was brewed by our good friend Jeff Williamson. This beer is full of great Minnesota ingredients like wild rice, honey, pronto pups corn and Cascade hops from Hippity Hops Farms. Look for it daily at the International Bazaar. 95 IBUs and 5.5% ABV.

Great Beer Destinations:

Ball Park Café
The Ball Park Cafe is essentially the Minnesota State Fair’s very own craft beer bar with a strong focus on local beers. It’s the only place that you’ll find the aforementioned Lift Bridge Mini Donut Beer and this year they’re making onion rings with a beer batter made with Indeed’s Day Tripper Pale Ale. Other craft beers at the Ball Park Café include Surly Furious, Bitter Brewer and Hell, Lift Bridge Mini Donut, Hop Dish and Farm Girl, Bent Paddle Black Ale, Third Street Jacked Up, Steel Toe Size 7, Mankato Original, Excelsior Bitterschaple, Badger Hill White IPA, Lucid Dyno, Indeed Day Tripper & Midnight Rider and one out-of-towner, Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale.

10kbeersThe Land of 10,000 Beers
The Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild returns to the Agriculture/Horticulture building with an expanded “Land of 10,000 Beers,” featuring beers from 26 Minnesota breweries. Once again the exhibit will showcase craft brewing in Minnesota with brewers, displays and presentations throughout the duration of the Fair.

This week’s presentation schedule:

Thursday, August 22

  • 3pm – Getting to Know the Guild: Clint Roberts, Guild Executive Director
  • 6pm – Beer Tourism: Dan Justesen, Guild President, Vine Park Brewing Co.

Friday, August 23

  • 3pm – Member Showcase: 612Brew, Indeed Brewing Co.
  • 6pm – The Art of the Cask: Tony Digatono of Great Waters Brewing Co.

Saturday, August 24

  • Noon – Homebrewer Award Program
  • 3pm – Primary Fermenter Showcase
  • 6pm – Member Showcase: Surly Brewing Co., Fulton Beer

Sunday, August 25

  • Noon – A Historian’s Perspective: Craft Beer with Doug Hoverson
  • 3pm – Minnesota Hop Star: The U of M’s Charlie Rohwer, Ph.D.
  • 6pm – Member Showcase: Third Street Brewhouse, Boom Island Brewing Co., Flat Earth Brewing Co.

Tracking Down Your Favorite Beers:

Summit Brewing Company’s State Fair Guide

Fulton Brewing Company’s State Fair Guide

August Schell State Fair Beer Guide

Ten State Fair Beers You’ll Never See…

Years ago, I used to be a part of a couple of well-received music-related print ‘zines. At the time, the zines’ focus was on punk & indie rock (or whatever they were calling it in the 90s… alternative?), the writers’ own lives and idiosyncrasies and the fact that our cozy little scene was blowing up thanks to acts like Nirvana and Green Day becoming household names. Does that sound vaguely familiar? In any case, one of the things that we liked to do to inject a little humor into a scene that, on occasion, took itself a little too seriously.

Inspired by the past and looking for a break in the mold of craft beer coverage, let’s spin the Ferris wheel and see what we can see.

Ten State Fair Beers You’ll Never See:

1. Indeed Brewing Co. Carnie. A deceivingly strong brew with notes of sulfur, tobacco and bourbon.

2. Pour Decisions Écurie. Brewed with wild yeasts cultured from actual horse blankets.

3. Bad Weather Heat Lightning. Banned from the Fair due to safety concerns.

4. Surly Yardstick Belgian Pale Ale. Aged on genuine State Fair yardsticks and dry-hopped with tiny leather straps.

5. Badger Hill Grandstand. Market research found that this particular recipe would only taste good on Friday, August 30th. Nixed. Side note, Sugar Ray is still a band? Oh, and #RothNotHagar.

6. Jack Pine Home Depot Bucket Small Batch Cream Ale. This nano brewery just got nano-ier.

7. Lucid Seed Art IPA. Gluten-free and earth-friendly – brewed with germinated seeds left over from a seed art project depicting former Minnesota governor Wendell Anderson.

7. HammerHeart Deep Fried Habanero Imperial Coffee Stout. Yow.

8. August Schell Roasted Corn “Crafty” Altbier. Scrapped after a tussle with the Brewer’s Association. Texas’ Spoetzl Brewery rumored to be working on a similar recipe.

9. Olvalde Purple Prince Heirloom Belgian Strong Golden. Absolutely delicious. Concept scrapped due to trademark concerns.

10. Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery State Fair Mama. Shelved until brewpubs in Minnesota are allowed to sell their beer to distributors. Wouldn’t you like to know what this one tastes like! We would!

State Fair Guide for Monday

There’s your tip of the day. The Fair does have drinkable water, and as much as we respect (and often support) your right to substitute water with beer, it may hurt the next day, even at 2.8%. Thanks to Joe for willingness to serve as a guinea pig.

Check out the Minnesota Craft Brewers Exhibit in the Ag. Building.

3:00pm: Hop Agriculture in Minnesota – Charlie Rohwer, PhD, U of M Scientist. Charlie’s job is cooler than your job. Among other things, he’s a hop researcher with the U of M. You can read more about him here.

6:00pm: Beer Tourism – Dan Justesen, Vine Park Brewery. This is another presentation that’s definitely worth checking out. Dan is no stranger to beer tourism. For the

Today’s beer flights in Land of 10,000 Beers:

Summit Horizon Red Ale
Indeed Brewing Midnight Ryder
Third Street Bitter Neighbor
Excelsior XLCR

Fulton Lonely Blonde
Mankato Original
Schell’s Pilsner
Brau Brothers Old 56

Lucid Summertide,
Flat Earth Belgian Pale Ale
Flat Earth Bermuda Triangle Tripel
Surly Cynic Ale

Flat Earth Cygnus X1
Third Street Brewhouse Brown Trout
Schell’s Firebrick
Finnengans Irish Amber

To keep up to  date with Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild events, speakers, flights and other fun things at the Fair, be sure to follow @mncraftbrew on Twitter and check out their Facebook page!