It’s that time of year again. Dust off your best outfit and prepare for some of the biggest and most unique beers being made in town. The Union Depot will once again play host to Winterfest, which is the premier beer event and a fantastic showcase of food and beverage featuring only local breweries and restaurants. It’s fitting that the state capital (St. Paul) is home to the premier Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild event.
Winterfest 2019 Preview
The event was held at the Minnesota History Center for years, but the number of breweries has grown exponentially so it moved to the Union Depot a number of years ago. Food has been disappearing from beer festivals over the years to try and keep ticket prices down, but the food at Winterfest is usually very good and worth the bump in ticket prices.
Here are five beers that I’m looking forward to trying at this year’s event:
Ice Cream Social from Barrel Theory Beer Company – This Imperial Stout with strawberry, vanilla, cacao, and marshmallow was aged in Willet bourbon barrels. I don’t suppose this will last very long so you might want to put this near the top of your list.
Brave Woman Scottish Ale from Little Thistle Brewing – Steve Finnie knows his Scottish Ales, and I expect this to be one of my favorite beers at the festival. Named after his great, great grandmother who saved the lives of 15 fishermen in a storm, this beer promises notes of caramel, toffee, and chocolate. It boasts a modest 5% ABV which is always welcome at a festival that features so many heavy beers.
Twelve Parsecs from Junkyard Brewing – Lemonade meets IPA. Flavors of summer are here to save us from this bitter cold weather, and I’m excited to taste and smell those Ekuanot Cryo-Hops that they used at the end of the brewing process.
Munich-Style Dunkel from Steel Toe Brewing – Michael Wagner has been tinkering in the brewery over in St. Louis Park for a couple years now, and the results have been great so far. I’m excited to try out his version of this classic style which is very hard to anywhere these days.
#1225 Cherry Ale from Hoops Brewing – If there’s one thing that Dave and his crew are great at, it’s fruit beers. An unapologetic beer that is supposed to taste like cherry pie, just like your grandmother used to make. Door County cherries are the star of the show and will come through in both the flavor and the aroma.