Happy Father’s Day Minneapolis / Saint Paul!
If you’re looking for something fun to do this evening, you should head over to Republic at Seven Corners in Minneapolis. You’ll have a chance to enjoy beers and chat with three well-known brewers on a beautiful Sunday evening!
Details for the event:
We’re hitting the big five-oh! We are 50 episodes into our project, and we’re just getting started. As a form of celebration, each of the guests in this episode brought some American lagers to the table. We felt it necessary to pay homage to a few of the beers that introduced so many people to our favorite beverage. Listen up as we go around the table and chime in with your thoughts in the comments below.
TailGate Beer is based out of San Diego, California but currently brews in Monroe, Wisconsin. The company even once considered Cold Spring, Minnesota as home. Shawn got into a conversation with TailGate Beer’s founder Wesley Keegan more than a year ago. Wesley wanted us to try out his current trio of beers: Blacktop Blonde, Hefeweizen, and Session IPA. It’s been a long time coming, but we were glad to get the word out on these beers right before the summer season hits. Right before we recorded this episode we reached back out to Wesley and he responded to a few of our questions.
The Beer Genome Project: What got you into brewing?
Wesley Keegan: Well, I’m still pretty young. We’re talking late teens that I was first exposed to beer and brewing. My buddies in college were my first exposure to homebrewing. I had one friend who was way more into it than I was at the time. It was just something we did casually on the weekends. I loved the opportunity to try different types of beers. I was blown away by all the diversity. Reading books like the story of Brooklyn Brewery and Dogfish Head were what really accelerated my interest in it. That said, it wasn’t until my dad thought of the name TailGate Beer that I started getting real serious.
BGP: What made you decide to distribute in MN?
WK: Over the years I’ve become friends with the family who owns the Cold Spring Brewery. I didn’t know it at the time, but we were talking about expanding and they said something along the lines of, “you know building a brewery the scope and size you’re talking is really hard right? Like, really hard! Why don’t you fly out to our place in Cold Spring?” The model was so similar to what Brooklyn does, 21st Amendment, Sam Adams…other great breweries that it seemed so smart to do it! So, it was originally the brewing that brought us to MN. In doing so we made a great relationship with Bernick’s Beverage and they cover the majority of the state for us! Today we brew in Wisconsin, due to an inability to keep up with our fast growth at Cold Spring, but I love Minnesota and hope we continue to grow. It’s one of my favorite states I’ve ever been to! Great people, great beer, and booyah’s. read more…
Porters and peppers. The theme on this week’s show involves breweries kicking up their porters by infusing pepper and vanilla flavors. Chocolate Sombrero from Clown Shoes is a 9% ABV Imperial Stout that was brewed with ancho chile, chipotle peppers, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Clown Shoes barrel aged Chocolate Sombrero in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels and released it as the 11% ABV Luchador En Fuego for their third anniversary. The second round of beers involves the Smoked Porter by Stone Brewing Company. The brewery went two different directions and created one version of Smoked Porter with chipotle peppers, and a second version with vanilla bean. Each of these two porters hovers at 5.9% ABV.
“War & Peace” from last week, we decided to round up all of Minnesota’s coffee beers for another blind taste testing. At this time of the year, we were able to source six different coffee-infused beers ranging from Brown Ale-styles to Imperial Stouts. The craft brewers of Minnesota have embraced other local coffee companies and roasters to deliver a wide range of coffee influenced ales. In our tasting, we’ll come across Surly Brewing’s Coffee Bender, Fulton Beer’s War & Peace, Flat Earth Brewing’s Black Helicopter Stout, Indeed Brewing’s Burr Grinder, Lift Bridge’s Irish Coffee Stout, and Big Wood Brewery’s Morning Wood. We’ll discuss the differences between beer as breakfast vs. beer with breakfast as we give blind reviews for each of these beers. Stick around to the end to hear how each Minnesota coffee beer ranks against the others.