One of Minnesota’s most award-winning brewpubs, Barley John’s, lays out plans for expansion in Wisconsin. Hometown hero Surly brews a collaborative beer with Texas’ Real Ale and the Indiana juggernaut Three Floyds. Colorado’s Oskar Blues is now available in cans in Minnesota. And half-growlers make it easy to bring fresh beer home from Iowa. (more…)
Mike, Shawn, Tony, and Gretchen are joined by Stu for an extra-long episode featuring beers from Confluence Brewing of Iowa, Dangerous Man Brewing, AleSmith, and a Deschutes Brewery collaboration with Great Lakes Brewing. (more…)
Mike, Shawn, Gretchen, John, and Tony attack the summer sippers known as shandies and radlers. These are beers that are truly a cocktail of approximately half beer and half lemonade or soda. Some breweries, such as Leinenkugel’s, pre-mix a shandy and make it available in bottles. Stieglbrauerei of Austria makes a similar beer called radler that uses grapefruit soda in a concoction with beer. With industry examples to set the stage, we make our own versions of the radler while discussing the role beer cocktails can play for those learning about beer. (more…)
Mike, Shawn, Gretchen, John, and Tony discuss four beers from Fitger’s Brewhouse: Apricot Wheat, XXX, Starfire Reserve, and Superior Trail IPA. The tap list at Fitger’s is constantly rotating, so make sure you stop in to get a growler fill when driving through Duluth.
On Thursday and Friday, the Urban Growler Brewing Company hosted an open house at their new facility. Urban Brewing Company is a brewery in planning with the stage being set for a late-2013 launch. The open house allowed for the public to tour the brewery’s new space, sample a variety of the brand’s upcoming beers, as well as look into helping fund the new brewery.
Urban Growler Brewing is crowdsourcing the needed funding for their SBA loan. In exchange for sponsoring the brewery, investors gain different levels of membership depending on the amount invested. Followers of the Minnesota craft beer scene may remember a similar fundraising effort from Minneapolis’ Northbound Smokehouse and Brewpub.
When the Urban Growler Brewing Co. opens later this year, the facility will use locally sourced ingredients for small batch beers in addition to the food the brewery plans to offer onsite. An example of their efforts was evident in a sample of their Rhubarb Wit.
A Belgian Style Wheat Ale that’s very pale and cloudy in appearance. The crispness and twang comes from wheat. The slight tartness in the background comes from Minnesota Rhubarb. Highly carbonated and lightly spiced with orange peel and coriander, this is a refreshing early summer favorite.
I felt the beer had a subtly clove, sweet aroma, while the tartness that was contributed by the rhubarb was an absolute sleuth upfront. The wheat lends a medium body to the beer, while the rhubarb’s tartness makes your mouth water and finishes in a balance with floral flavors.
The official sampler lineup also included:
+ Cowbell Cream Ale – medium bodied and slightly malty; flavor sticks to your tongue and bitterness rolls off the sides.
+ Everyday Ale – in the style of Kentucky Common Beer – medium bodied with a spruce like spice, with the hops imparting a dry bitterness
+ Graffiti Rye IPA – spiciness from the rye, but intense citrus flavors from the hops
+ Midwest IPA – 2012 Minnesota State Fair Blue Ribbon winner that will punch the back of your throat with hops
+ Endicott IPA – dank, resinous aroma that gives way to a pleasant and juicy mouthfeel
+ Patio Porter – served on nitrogen; tastes like cold coffee upfront with chalky roast and dry bitterness towards the end
+ Wild Rice Ale – another example of locally harvested ingredients, but ran out before sampling
The facility currently makes good bones for the future brewhouse. Throughout the tour, the public was able to view artistic renderings of what the future taproom would look like. Additionally, there are plans to create a beer garden for the outdoor patio. The location of the brewery is in close proximity to the proposed location of Surly Brewing’s future destination brewery, which will be 5-minutes away on the west side of MN-280. The open house was a busy time at the facility, but there seemed to be ample parking as well as ready bike racks.
In addition to the taproom, UGBC will be packaging their beer in bottles as well as offering it around town on draft. We’re going to hear more about Urban Growler Brewing Company as we get closer to the opening. In the meantime, check out the sponsorship program on their website, and watch for updates through Facebook and Twitter.