Tag: saison

Insight Dedicates a Day to the Saison

Insight co-founder and head brewer llan Klages-Mundt is a very interesting guy. Spend five minutes with him and you’ll gather that he’s big on doing things the right way. In fact, he’s spent plenty of time over in Europe seeing how they do things in countries such as England, Denmark, France, and Belgium. So it’s no surprise that he’s a fan of making beers rooted in those regions. “Every time you go somewhere, you know you’re going to take something back with you. You don’t always know what that is” says Ilan.

It’s no coincidence that he’s a fan of the Saison which was originally a farmhouse style beer brewed during the winter months in the Belgian countryside. “I like that guidelines for the style are so wide. It’s like the Sauvignon Blanc of beer. You can sour them, or add fruit and spices” he says.

This year Insight is dedicating an entire day to it. The date is Saturday, July 30th from noon until 10 pm at the brewery. The plan is to release and showcase their stellar iteration of the Saison style they call Doe Eyes. This ruby red colored beer is packed with cherries and is refreshingly tart with a dry finish. This is always one of their most popular beers at festivals and with good reason — it’s one of the best made fruit beers in town. He tells us that there are about 1 lb of cherries in a pint. In fact they sourced about 15,000 lbs for the entire batch.

Also being featured at the event will be a Blackberry Saison (Lost Satyr) and Raspberry Saison (Frugivorous) to go along with a list of cask releases. Bottles (750 ml) of Doe Eyes, Lost Satyr, and Frugivorous will be on sale for $15 each with a limit of 6 total. Casks will be released as listed below:

2:00 – Cucumber Saison
4:00 – Pineapple Saison
6:00 – Juniper Citrus Saison


You can also expect a list of local 90s tribute bands:

1pm Lithium (Nirvana)
3pm Trompe le Monde (Pixies)
5pm Muzzle – A Tribute to Smashing Pumpkins
7pm Pleezer (Weezer)
9pm Alive-Tribute to Pearl Jam

Food trucks on site include:

El Taco Riendo, Peeps Hot Box, and O’Neil’s Cheese Curds.
Basically if you’re a fan of beer, you should swing in and find out what Ilan has learned since his trip to Belgium. For as Ilan says “You can never learn enough.”


Wild Mind Ales Brewing Up Something Different


It all started back in college when Mat Waddell tried a Saison for the first time. “That got me into fermenting with fruit” he says. Next were a series of internships at breweries like Summit and Badger Hill where he says he learned the importance of quality when it comes to making beer. Now Mat finds himself taking the ultimate risk in opening his own sour brewery in south Minneapolis.

This isn’t just any brewery though. His beers are going to fall under the category of “coolship” which by definition are fermented in open vessels—meaning that they utilize wild yeast to munch on the sugars instead of those cultivated and sold to the masses. There are a number of breweries out there currently practicing this including Allagash Brewing and Jester King. This of course involves a lot of risk in that one beer won’t taste the same as the last. “I love the wild, uncontrolled risk” says Waddell. “You get a nice reward.”

There are two ways of making coolship beers. The traditional way with open fermenters sitting out doors which would ideally happen in late winter and spring, and what is called wood cellaring (Jester King does it this way) which is where the wort is inoculated with wild yeast after it has been transferred into wooden barrels.

The space currently is not much to look at with all of the construction going on. Eventually though, there will be windows throughout the brewery where you can peek inside the production area, and picnic tables to sit at while you sip your brew. There will also be an indoor projector and screen where you will be able to watch the Olympics all summer long.

The outdoor beer garden will need plenty of work (currently a barren slab of busted concrete) but in the end will be home to some fire pits and a nice plot of grass complete with trees and hopefully hops. Mat also plans to screen some outdoor movies on the wall out in the beer garden where he hopes people will gather and enjoy the beer and weather. In fact, the goal is to keep the glass garage doors open all summer so the entire space will feel open. “We’re going for light and bright open space” according to Mat.


Upon opening he plans to have his House beer (and a Spanish cedar version), a Pale Ale using Conan yeast, and a House Stout that showcases bourbon sugar. After a couple of months you can expect to see some of the Barrel Fermented Saisons come out followed by their sours in about 6 months. Mat is hoping for an early summer opening.

Wherever there is risk, there are often rewards.

Wild Mind Ales

6031 Pillsbury Avenue

Minneapolis, MN 55419


Bauhaus and Fair State Set to Release New Beers This Week

Scottish Ale

When you think of a Scottish-Style Ale you tend to think of a peaty beer backed with a boozy punch. Bauhaus broke down some of those walls with their brand new Scottish-Style Dark Ale named Tallander. First of all, the name (in Bauhaus fashion) is a nod to the 1986 movie “Highlander” that we all know and love. The beer itself is different in that it’s very drinkable at 6 % ABV and has some of those nice caramel notes typical of Scottish malts while teasing the palate with a tiny bit of smokiness. While sampling this one I couldn’t help but think of standing around a backyard fire pit with a Tallander in hand.
This brew can be found in 4 packs of 16 oz. cans at your local bottle shop, and on tap at the “Haus” in Northeast Minneapolis. Growlers will also be available.

Fair State’s first bottle release went so well that they decided to do it again. This time they are bringing Saison Drei to market which is a Brettanomyces Aged Saison. Expect some funky characters from the Brett that will mature over time—which means you can sit this one down in your cellar for a while. Brewer Niko Tonks had this to say about their latest release. “We modeled this beer after some of the beers we enjoy drinking the most. We hope you will enjoy it this holiday season, and down the road as well.”

This 5.7 % ABV will be on sale in the taproom ($11 per bottle) on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 4:00 PM on Thursday, December 17th in 750 ml bottles. I’m told that they will have more bottles for sale this time around and that the brew will also be on tap that day.


Chop & Brew # 34: Bad Ass Saison with Nathan Smith

Our homebrewing friends at Chop & Brew are back in the Bad Ass Brewery with a bad ass guest host and co-brewer – Nathan Smith! Nathan is an awarding-winning homebrewer who calls the Bay Area home, but he’s originally from Minnesota — which is why he’s such a great brewer, of course. During a recent trip home, the Chop & Brew krewe invited Nathan to take the helm of the Bad Ass Brewery. The result: a split-batch of saison, lessons on mash efficiency, making brew day changes on the fly, and some schooling on farmhouse ales.

Some other recent Chop & Brew episodes that homebrewers may appreciate:
Episode 33 – Belgian Dark Strong Ale (Part 2)
Brewing with New Hop Varieties (Nathan Smith presentation from NHC 2014)

A Few New Chop & Brew

We’ve fallen a bit behind on posting new Chop & Brew episodes — so here’s a quick update for the homebrewers out there!

Episode 28 “AHA Wort Rally Beer Tasting Notes” features a taste panel on four very different beers made from the same Double Black IPA wort donated to homebrewers by Lucid Brewing Company at this year’s AHA Wort Rally. See how much impact the changes in dry hopping and yeast made to the beers.

Episode 29 “Bad Ass Barrelfied Imperial Porter” finds the krewe of Chop & Brew homebrewing a wicked Imperial Porter and conditioning half of the batch in a recently-emptied Woodinville Whiskey Company rye whiskey barrel. Tasting notes and discussion includes advice on barrel-aging in second-use barrels.

Episode 30 “Rhubarb Saison” features a homebrewed saison that includes four pounds of rhubarb throughout the brewing and fermentation stages for a dry, tart saison.