Newsletter: Hydration science, it’s not just for breakfast

It’s exactly like Batman vs. Superman, but different…

In our continuing saga of when it’s really hot and humid out, there are multiple recommendations as to what someone should do to stay healthy.  From staying in an air conditioned space to working as early in the day as possible to taking frequent breaks in the shade or other cools spaces.  One of the most important things of course is to stay hydrated which brings us to a very interesting debate…

Ask the Brewer

Which is better for staying hydrated, water or beer?

Unsurprisingly, there are two differing points of view on this (maybe more?). There are those that feel beer hydrates better than water and then those who are certain it dehydrates you.  While more research could probably be done (insert air quotes here… “research”), we figured we’d do a run down on what we were able to uncover from both points of view.

In the beer is better camp, we have all of the runners, backpackers, climbers and bicyclists who feel there is nothing better after a hard days workout than a cold beer.  The science supporting this indicates that as long as the beer is less than 10% alcohol, there is a net hydrating effect, or that a moderate amount of beer (22 oz.) has no negative effect on hydration.  In other words, up to 22 oz. of beer that is less than 10% alcohol followed by as much water as a person wants has no different effect on hydration than drinking nothing but water.

In the water is better camp, we have the individuals who point to the actual science behind the supposed diuretic effect of beer.  The hypothesis is that alcohol interferes with the process that regulates the level of water in our bodies. The science here indicates that an anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) made by the pituitary gland called vasopressin gets suppressed by alcohol thereby making you pee more.

Taking this to another level, when you’re really dehydrated and your body is low on water, you can end up with an increased salt concentration.  Your body can detect that increased concentration and will increase production of ADH, slowing down urine output and hanging onto water.  Alcohol does the opposite, reducing the amount of ADH you make, thereby increasing the amount of urine you produce.  It is estimated that each shot of alcohol you drink causes your body to produce an extra 120 millilitres of urine.

Even today it is still not fully understood how alcohol causes excessive urination.  When you add in studies that seem to indicate that alcohol consumed at moderate levels can re-hydrate you when dehydrated, we would say enjoy your after workout beer, but don’t depend solely on that for staying hydrated when it is hot out!

Taproom Tidings

Tap selection for the weekend includes “Pyro” American Pale Ale, “Roasted” Coffee Ale, “Fused” Orange Blossom Honey Ale, “Parched” Lime Shandy, “Raj-Agni” India Pale Ale and Raspberry Infused Pyro.

Food trucks for the weekend are Patacones on Friday (7/22) with their authentic Colombian street food and Crazy Puppy on Saturday (7/23) with their gluten-free fair food!

  • Thirsty Thursdays $1 off pints and $2 off growler fills (no growler or grumbler fills after 8pm on Thursdays)
  • Chocolate-Strawberry and Orange Cupcake from Groundswell includes a moist chocolate strawberry cake with an orange curd center, and a chocolate whipped cream with orange zest and chocolate chunks

Final Thoughts

This Saturday, July 23rd, we will be “up North” enjoying the cool breezes coming off Lake Superior.  Join us in Duluth at Bayfront Park for All Pints North, with over 120 craft breweries/brew pubs participating, food vendors, music and opportunities to learn more about craft beer.

Also, there are still spaces available on the July 30th Beer and Bacon Cruise.  This is a unique opportunity to cruise the Mississippi, sample gluten-free beers, and eat from a bacon-focused, gluten-free menu!

As always, if you have questions, drop us a note via Email, Facebook or Twitter.

Cheers!

Newsletter: When it’s hot out…

When the heat hits…

Summers in the Midwest tend to be hot, and, quite often, humid.  Average temperatures are usually in the 80s or 90s, with occasional peaks up into the 100s.  Toss in the humidity, and you can have heat indexes up to 110 degrees… which brings us to a very interesting question…

Ask the Brewer

Doesn’t it get hot in the brewhouse during the summer?

Well, when you consider it’s a giant unconditioned space with a couple of big ass burners used for heating liquids, yeah it actually gets quite hot.  Temperatures around the brew kettle can be 10 to 15 degrees warmer than the outside temp, and when you consider the humidity from all the liquid floating around (it’s almost like a car wash), it is even worse.

For people who work in breweries, dealing with high temperatures becomes a major issue.  Here are some of the creative ways we’ve come up with to beat the heat!

1. Drink a lot of…………..water!  And here you thought we were going to say beer.

2. Neck Coolers – it is surprising just how much one of these can help when you are active in a hot environment.  While there are many brands available, they all work on the same principle.  Each one contains polymer crystals that soak up water, which then evaporates, cooling whatever it’s wrapped around.  Most of these fit around the head or neck.

3. Take a break in a cool space.  For us, that can be the air-conditioned taproom, or even a few minutes inside one of the big coolers.

4. While none of our brewers own these yet, they certainly seem like one heck of an idea!   ArmachilloMen's Armachillo Cooling Boxer Briefs underwear, sold by Duluth Trading Company, are supposed to keep things cool where it counts.  According to their website, all of their Armachillo clothing line, including underwear for both men and women, are infused with microscopic jade.  That jade is supposed to feel much cooler on the skin than plain fabric.  Considering it’s 4.7 out of 5 rating, maybe they really work!

5. At the end of a long hot day, nothing beats a cold beer.  We would, of course, suggest a beer made by Burning Brothers, but whatever beer you enjoy works.

Taproom Tidings

Everything is (relatively) back to normal, with our beer menu back to it’s usual self. Tap selection for the weekend includes “Pyro” American Pale Ale, “Roasted” Coffee Ale, “Fused” Orange Blossom Honey Ale, “Parched” Lime Shandy, “Raj-Agni” India Pale Ale and tapping on Friday Raspberry Infused Pyro.

Food trucks for the weekend include Salsa Spot on Friday (7/15) with their authentic Mexican cuisine and Signature on Wheels on Saturday (7/16) with their unique take on American eats.

  • Thirsty Thursdays $1 off pints and $2 off growler fills (no growler or grumbler fills after 8pm on Thursdays)
  • Chocolate-Strawberry and Orange Cupcake from Groundswell includes a moist chocolate strawberry cake with an orange curd center, and a chocolate whipped cream with orange zest and chocolate chunks

Final Thoughts

On Saturday, July 16th, we will be at the Saddle-up Sampler in Medina, which benefits “We Can Ride”, a non-profit organization that provides therapeutic horseback riding.  This event runs from 4 until 7, and features beer, wine, music, food, a silent auction and prizes.

Also of note, there are still a few spaces available on the July 30th Beer and Bacon Cruise!  This unique opportunity to cruise the Mississippi, sample gluten-free beers, and eat from a gluten-free menu is only offered two days this summer, so make sure you get your ticket.

As always, if you have questions, drop us a note via Email, Facebook or Twitter.

Cheers!

Newsletter: Beer Frustrations 😢

Now imagine having to do it on purpose…

Transparency.

If you Google “what is transparency in business” it defines it as a “lack of hidden agendas or conditions, accompanied by the availability of full information required for collaboration, cooperation, and collective decision making…”  Uhm, yeah. That right there is part of the reason we decided to step away from the corporate world.

We say all this because we wanted to take a moment to be transparent with you… our loyal followers.

Beer, for all it’s simplicity, has a lot of variables that go into the making of it. Sometimes, you make a mistake or you miss something. Even worse, sometimes that mistake leads you down a one-way path that has only one solution. Bye Bye Beer!

Earlier this week, we had dump a large quantity of beer because of temperature challenges in our brewhouse. In short, the yeast got stressed and ended up producing some very strong off-flavors in the beer that we just couldn’t shake out. Rather than serving something sub-par, we made the right (albeit hard) choice of letting the beer go.

While the temperature issues have been addressed and there is new beer in tanks, it has created a bit of an availability crunch for this week in our taproom. Bars, restaurants and liquor stores shouldn’t be too affected as our distributors were relatively well stocked.

As always, let us know if you have questions and thank you for your support.

– Dane & Thom

Taproom Tidings

Food trucks this weekend include Wholesoul on Friday, July 8th (wholesome soul food offerings) and Soup Coupe on Saturday, July 9th (summer selection of selection of both hot and cold soups as well as a tantalizing variety of lettuce wraps).

Also on Friday (the 8th), we’ll be tapping the remainder of our Rad Bromance, a Raspberry Chocolate Strong Ale that was made as a tribute to Lady Gaga for this year’s Beer Dabbler at Twin Cities Pride. updated 7/8/16

  • Tap selection includes Pyro APA(pints & 1/2 pints only), Roasted Coffee Ale, Raj-Agni IPA and Rad Bromance(1/2 pints & grumblers only).
  • Thirsty Thursdays $1 off pints and $2 off growler fills (no growler or grumbler fills after 8pm on Thursdays)
  • Chocolate-Strawberry and Orange Cupcake from Groundswell includes a moist chocolate strawberry cake with an orange curd center, and a chocolate whipped cream with orange zest and chocolate chunks

Final Thoughts

If your weekend plans are still in flux and you are looking to get away from it all, come join us at the nothernmost beer festival in the state! The Hopped Up Caribou Beer Festival in Lutsen, MN features homegrown brewing heroes, live music, chef-prepared barbecue and the chance to rub elbows with superstar brew-talent. Tickets are still available!

As always, if you have questions, drop us a note via Email, Facebook or Twitter.

Cheers!

Newsletter: Happy Summer! Enjoy a cold one… or not. ;-)

Chillsner, one way to keep you beer cold this summer!

Now that we have officially passed the first day of summer, we know that the really hot days are still ahead of us.  With that in mind, we figured a rundown of ways to keep your beer cool was in order.  There’s nothing like getting to the bottom of your favorite beer only to realize that it is uncomfortably warm.

Ask the Brewer

How do you keep beer at a good drinking temperature during the summer?

As with other things in the brewing industry, there are many opinions on this subject.  We are going to skip past the whole style vs. temperature discussion and make the assumption that since we are talking about the summer heat that means we are talking about Lagers, Pilsners and other summer centric styles.

With that in mind, we know that many macro-brews are advertised as being best when served ice-cold, and beer glasses can be found in freezers far and wide because of this. Thermodynamics hold true that a cold liquid poured into a cold container is going to stay colder longer.  However, many craft beer lovers object to frozen mugs for several reasons:

  1. Freezing mugs can create ice crystals (or frozen sanitizing chemicals) on the inside of the glass which may water down the beer
  2. Beer that is really, really cold, can numb the palate and thereby suppress various flavors and aromas
  3. With the air circulation that occurs in modern freezers, you can end up with a lot of bacteria deposited on the inside of the glass

In contrast, having your beer be too warm can also be a problem.  Greg Engert, one of the earliest ‘beer sommeliers’ in the industry, has stated that “It’s a delicate balancing act, since going too warm will rob some beers of their sparkle and the refreshing qualities they provide in congress with their flavor profiles.”

That being said, many people still find a really cold beer more refreshing than a slightly warmer one.  So, what can you do besides freezing the glass?

  1. Keep your beer glass in the refrigerator (instead of the freezer); there are no ice crystals that way, and the beer will stay cooler longer
  2. Koozies can be a good option as they help to insulate the beer from the summer heat as well as help to keep a good grip on your beer
  3. Consider the Chillsner (pictured above); for those who love a good bottle of beer but want to go a bit more high tech, they aren’t so good at getting a warm beer cooled down, however, they can keep an already chilled beer from warming up too fast

When you get right down to it, you should drink your beer at whatever temp you prefer.  Life’s too short to get your undies in a bunch.  Relax… have a beer!

Taproom Tidings

This Friday, June 24th, we welcome R Taco back for their first visit of the summer. A fistful of tacos in one hand and a pint of Lime Shandy in the other sounds like a great start to the weekend!

On Saturday, June 25th, Soup Coupe will be here with their summer selection of selection of both hot and cold soups as well as a tantalizing variety of lettuce wraps.  I can personally attest that the gazpacho pairs perfectly with an IPA…. just sayin!

Also on Friday (the 24th), we’ll once again be tapping a batch of Raspberry Infused Pyro, because you all still keep asking for it.  Not that I blame you, it is a bit of a hot weather quencher.

  • Tap selection includes Pyro APA, Roasted Coffee Ale, Fused Orange Blossom Honey Ale, Parched Lime Shandy, Raj-Agni IPA and Raspberry Infused Pyro
  • Thirsty Thursdays $1 off pints and $2 off growler fills (no growler or grumbler fills after 8pm on Thursdays)
  • Chocolate-Strawberry and Orange Cupcake from Groundswell includes a moist chocolate strawberry cake with an orange curd center, and a chocolate whipped cream with orange zest and chocolate chunks

Final Thoughts

On Friday, June 24th, we are excited to once again be part of the Beer Dabbler at Twin Cities Pride!  The 50+ participating Minnesota breweries will each be serving a special, one-off beer that celebrates and pays homage to the icons and advocates from the GLBT community.  For our contribution, we will be unveiling our “Rad Bromance”, a Raspberry Chocolate Strong Ale in tribute to Lady Gaga.  We hope to see you there!

As always, if you have questions, drop us a note via Email, Facebook or Twitter.

Cheers!

Newsletter: Dad is the best, don’t you owe him a beer (or two)?

Growler on Board… a safe way to transport precious cargo

This Sunday, June 18th, is Father’s Day!  While our taproom is open that day and Burning Brothers Beer is an awesome father’s day gift (not so subtle hint), we also know that there are other awesome beer themed gifts out there.  Which (unsurprisingly) brings us to our latest edition of…

Ask the Brewer

Do you have any recommendations on gifts for beer lovers?

Since there are beer lovers who are very serious about their chosen passion and those that are more in it for the fun and flavor, we thought we could highlight some gifts for both.

Almost all taprooms have Growler Gift Packs.  These generally contain a growler of beer (your choice of style) and one or two pint glasses.  If you are undecided as to which beer dad may like best, most breweries have gift cards as well.

If a gift card or a growler gift pack isn’t quite enough, or your dad is a guy who enjoys wearing his love of beer, baseball hats and T-shirts are also available at most taprooms.  If you are internet savvy, you can also find beer themed socks, ties, phone cases, briefcases, holsters, soaps, and all sorts of other crazy… stuff.

Many cities have taproom adventures – things like passports or guidebooks that allow you to gift your dad with a fun activity.  Here in Minnesota we have two that we are participating in: Barventure and the Northern Ale Guide.  There are also beer events going on throughout the summer, that you can buy tickets to.  Beer festivals and beer pairing dinners are just a few of the neat activities going on this summer.  You can even find unique beer activities like the Beer and Bacon cruises that are being run here on the Mississippi.  Burning Brothers is the featured beer for cruises on both July 30th and September 10th.

Taproom Tidings

This Friday, June 17th, we have a brand new food truck, Wholesoul, joining us featuring wholesome soul food.  On Saturday, June 18th, Crazy Puppy will be here with a new menu item, fried green beans, to compliment the usual fair food menu.

  • Tap selection includes Pyro APA, Roasted Coffee Ale, Fused Orange Blossom Honey Ale, Parched Lime Shandy, and Raj-Agni IPA
  • Thirsty Thursdays $1 off pints and $2 off growler fills (no growler or grumbler fills after 8pm on Thursdays)
  • Chocolate-Strawberry and Orange Cupcake from Groundswell includes a moist chocolate strawberry cake with an orange curd center, and a chocolate whipped cream with orange zest and chocolate chunks

Final Thoughts

This Saturday we have two different beer events running, on opposite sides of the Twin Cities.  To the Northwest we will be at the Maple Lake Brewfest, and to the Northeast we will be at the Hay Lake Beer Tasting.  Both of these events look to be a lot of fun, with the Maple Lake Brewfest featuring over 50 breweries, and the Hay Lake Beer Tasting supporting the Washington County Historical Society.  We hope to see you at one or the other of them!

As always, if you have questions, drop us a note via Email, Facebook or Twitter.

Cheers!

Newsletter: Thursday’s newsletter… on Friday! (it happens…)

Piped fermentation tanks on the left, waiting to be piped on the right!

This Saturday, June 11th, is Carl Von Linde day, our June beer holiday (unless of course, you count Father’s Day).  Carl Von Linde is the “father” of the modern lagering process, allowing lagers to be produced year round, rather than having seasonal dependency.  It was in 1871 that Carl created the first large scale refrigerated lagering tanks.  These tanks allowed the beer to be fermented at the relatively cool temperatures necessary to create a good lager, and ushered in a new era of temperature controlled fermentation.

Ask the Brewer

Are all those pipes connected to the tanks used for moving the beer around?

Actually, all of those pipes help to control the temperature of the tanks.  When we move beer around, we use big hoses.  The pipes that you see, wrapped in the black insulation foam, actually carry glycol from tank to tank, maintaining each tank at a specific temperature.  There is a thermostat on each tank, that allows the brewers to set that particular tank’s temperature, depending on where the beer is at in the brewing process.

When beer first moves from the kettle to the fermenter, it needs to be maintained at a specific temperature for the yeast to get busy, which is what allows fermentation to happy.  Ales are usually around 65 degrees, while lagers are kept in the 50’s, a relatively cold temperature compared to other beers.

Once the beer has finished fermentation, it is “cold crashed”.  This involves dropping the temperature on the tank to between 33 and 40 degrees, with 38 being the most common.  Cold crashing encourages the yeast and any other solids to drop to the bottom of the fermentation vessel, where it can be dumped out as waste (“trub”).  Dumping the trub helps to prevent it from imparting any off flavors to the beer and also makes the filtering process much faster and more efficient.

Taproom Tidings

Tap selection for this weekend includes the usual suspects along with the remainder of our Raspberry Infused Pyro.  This Friday, June 10th, we have Signature on Wheels joining us, with their delicious take on classic American cuisine.  On Saturday, June 11th, Soup Coupe will be here, with soups for hot weather!  Ever tried gazpacho before?  Now’s your chance!

  • Tap selection includes Pyro APA, Roasted Coffee Ale, Fused Orange Blossom Honey Ale, Parched Lime Shandy, Raj-Agni IPA, and Raspberry Pyro
  • Thirsty Thursdays $1 off pints and $2 off growler fills (no growler or grumbler fills after 8pm on Thursdays)
  • Chocolate-Strawberry and Orange Cupcake from Groundswell includes a moist chocolate strawberry cake with an orange curd center, and a chocolate whipped cream with orange zest and chocolate chunks

Final Thoughts

On Saturday, June 11th, we will be in Milwaukee serving up refreshment at Beer Camp Across America.  Join us as we celebrate the craft beer movement with 99 other breweries, and hundreds of beers to try.  Running from 3 to 7PM, with music by Maritime and local food trucks, it is sure to be a good time!

As always, if you have questions, drop us a note via Email, Facebook or Twitter.

Cheers!

Newsletter: Who make the beer? (i.e., Living the Dream!)

Where we store our brewers, when they aren’t working!

It’s actually quite amazing how much work can be done on a brew floor by just a few people.  Of the four full-time and 4 part-time people that we have working at Burning Brothers, only three spend more than half (or close to all) of their time out in the brewhouse itself!  The person who spends the most time out there is our brewer Andrew, pictured above.  Without his hard work, we wouldn’t have nearly so much good beer to drink, which brings us to …

Ask the Brewer

So, who makes all your beer?

It would be fair to say that a huge portion of our beer is made by Andrew.  Without his attention to detail, focus on quality and skill with a squeegee, we would be up the proverbial creek without a paddle.  While Andrew does not spend a whole lot of time in the taproom, he is a regular at beer festivals.  It only seems fair to give people a little insight into what he does, hence, the quick interview, which he managed to do while working the canning line – way to multi-task, Andrew!

What do you do at Burning Brothers?
About 80% of all the physical activity that happens on the brew floor, I’m involved in.  Brewing, cleaning, canning, cleaning, kegging, cleaning, filtering, oh, and cleaning, in case I forgot to mention that.  I’m also the DJ, all those dance parties, those are me!  (A quick note from the interviewer – there is always music going on the brew floor, and it is eclectic!  Anything from movie soundtracks (Jurassic Park?) to musicals (Les Miserables is a fav), bluegrass, industrial, classic rock or alternative).

What’s the best part of your job?
As much as I enjoy shoveling rock while landscaping (his last job), brewing beer is a lot more satisfying.  Being at the beginning of a new business, there from the start, is also a pretty unique thrill.  Also, having a career for the first time in my life, rather than just a job, is really great.  Having a beer at 11AM on a hot day doesn’t stink, either!

What’s the worst part of your job?
I never thought I would be moving water from one place to another as much as I do when I started here.  Brewing is a wet business, so I spend a lot of time with the squeegee, whom I have a love-hate relationship with.

What’s your favorite Burning Brothers Beer?
Oh, they’re all good (Andrew said this with a grin and a glance at Thom, one of the owners who he was working the canning line with).  After a moment of serious thought, though, he replied with “The Belgian Dubbel was really fantastic, we will have to brew that again soon”.

What is your favorite other beer?
I really enjoy brown ales.  You don’t see them all that often, however, you can enjoy them any time of year.  If I could get my hands on a Pliny the Elder, I would drink that! (Editor’s note: this is more of an inside joke)  However, if I am by a lake, I’ll pick up a six pack of a Miller High Life – I’ve grown to appreciate the fact that it’s just not that easy to brew a good lager.

Pirates or Ninjas?
Neo, because he’s the one (harking back to his love for the Matrix).  If I could brew a series of cinema themed beers, I would do it!

If you could add one thing to the brewery/taproom, what would it be?
The first thing that comes to mind is a grated floor (see squeegee above)!  A patio would be cool for the taproom.  A centrifuge wouldn’t be too bad, either.  Oh, and a pool table, it would be for our regulars, not just employee use!

Taproom Tidings

Beer for this weekend includes the usual suspects along with another round of our Raspberry Infused Pyro, tapped on Friday, June 3rd (you all keep asking, so we keep making).  Also, on Friday the 3rd we will be joined for the first time by Xstream Cuisine, bringing us their American and Caribbean deliciousness.  On Saturday, June 4th, we will have Patacones back for their second visit, serving their authentic Colombian street food.

  • Tap selection includes Pyro APA, Roasted Coffee Ale, Fused Orange Blossom Honey Ale, Parched Lime Shandy, Raj-Agni IPA, and Raspberry Pyro starting on Friday
  • Thirsty Thursdays $1 off pints and $2 off growler fills (no growler or grumbler fills after 8pm on Thursdays)
  • Chocolate-Strawberry and Orange Cupcake from Groundswell includes a moist chocolate strawberry cake with an orange curd center, and a chocolate whipped cream with orange zest and chocolate chunks

Final Thoughts

This Saturday, June 4th marks the 8th annual St. Paul Summer Beer Fest, taking place from 2-5pm (VIP at 1pm) at the MN State Fairgrounds – International Bazaar.  This outdoor craft beer festival will feature sampling from over 100 breweries in a commemorative tasting glass, live music, tasty food, educational seminars, a silent auction benefiting the YMCA of St. Paul, and the fun atmosphere of MN State Fairgrounds.  We hope you will join us there!

In other news, we thought we would share the fact that we are one of the 18 recommended projects for this year’s Neighborhood STAR program.  This means that if we get approval from both the City Council and the Mayor, we will have funding for the patio we are hoping to build.  We find out what the final word is sometime in July.

As always, if you have questions, drop us a note via Email, Facebook or Twitter.

Cheers!

Newsletter: Beer and Zombies, it’s a thing…

The World’s End Zombie Fighting Pub Crawl…

As the weather warms up, more and more people are getting out and about and doing the things they love.  They walk, they bike, they use buses and light rail… all in search of delicious beer! (OK, maybe not ALL of them)  Throughout many cultures, beer lovers will get together in groups to search out new styles (or fight zombies) and also enjoy well-known favorites.  That camaraderie (AKA bar/beer crawl) brings us to today’s edition of…

Ask the Brewer

What’s with beer crawls anyways? Aren’t they just a way to get drunk?

Beer crawls (or whatever you want to call them) actually have a rich and varied history, starting in the Basque region of Spain with the first mention of a beer or pub crawl in the 1915’s.  Basque tradition has groups of male friends roaming the streets, going from pub to pub, having a short glass of wine and a pintxos (small bite to eat) while singing traditional songs.

This happy traveling while socializing, called txikiteo or chiquiteo, can occur night or day and eventually expanded to include women.  It is as much about drinking and socializing as it is about trying new and different foods made specifically to be eaten in a couple of bites while standing up. (think something like our appetizers or Spanish tapas)

According to the New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, by 1915 the word Pub Crawl had entered popular usage as a noun, and in 1937 as a verb.  The noun was defined as “a drinking session that moves from one licensed premises to the next, and so on”, and the verb as “to move in a group from one drinking establishment to the next, drinking at each.” The term is a combination of “pub (a public house, licensed for the sale of alcohol) and a less-and-less figurative sense of crawl“.

Some other interesting similar terms include bar crawl, bar tour, bar-hopping, gin crawl, and our favorite, in use since the late 1900’s, Bohemian death march! (Truth is stranger than fiction)

Bringing things into the modern day, there are multiple epic pub crawls that come to mind:

  • The “World’s Greatest”, held in Australia and holding the 2009 Guinness World Record for largest crawl
  • The “Manly Man” in Cheltenham, England, where teams participate in specific tasks at each location over a twelve hour period
  • The “Zombie Crawl”, started in 2005 here in Minneapolis, and attracting over 30,000 Zombies in 2012

For at least one member of the Burning Brothers crew, their favorite crawl is in the movie “The World’s End” occurring in the town of Newton Haven.  This pub crawl involves zombies (sort of), but unlike Minneapolis’ Zombie Crawl, the participants have to fight them at each pub, rather than getting to join them!

Taproom Tidings

Beer for this weekend includes the usual suspects along with the last of the Dry Stout on Thursday, May 26th, followed by our Raspberry Infused Pyro once the stout is gone. On Saturday, May 28th, we will be tapping our Mighty Axe Imperial IPA, made with MN grown hops by Mighty Axe.(Updated 5/27/16)

The story on food is that on Friday, May 27th, we will be joined by Signature on Wheels, with there unique take on American classics.  On Saturday, May 28th, we will have the Tatanka Truck, serving traditional Native American foods for both the taproom and the Brews & Buses participants.

  • Tap selection includes Pyro APA, Roasted Coffee Ale, Fused Orange Blossom Honey Ale, Parched Lime Shandy, Raj-Agni IPA, Dry Stout on Thursday until gone, then Raspberry Pyro, and Mighty Axe Imperial IPA on Saturday.
  • Thirsty Thursdays $1 off pints and $2 off growler fills (no growler or grumbler fills after 8pm on Thursdays)
  • Chocolate-Strawberry and Orange Cupcake from Groundswell includes a moist chocolate strawberry cake with an orange curd center, and a chocolate whipped cream with orange zest and chocolate chunks

As always, if you have questions, drop us a note via Email, Facebook or Twitter.

Cheers!

Newsletter: When in doubt, drink a stout!

Mmmmm, Stout!

This weekend finishes out American Craft Beer Week, and we are celebrating in style.  Not only are we tapping the Dry Stout that we have waited so patiently for, we are participating in the City Pages Beer Fest on Saturday.  Join us in sending Craft Beer Week out with a bang!

Ask the Brewer

Stout is just one style of beer, right?

Stouts are known for their dark color, rich texture, roast aroma, and malty — sometimes sweet — flavor.  However, there is more than one variety of Stout out there.  Stouts actually originated as an off-shoot of Porters, which were popular in the 1700s among “porters” who carried heavy loads of dry goods from warehouses to markets.  Around the same time, stout was a term applied to any beer that was strong with a higher alcohol content, darker color, and bolder taste.  It was often used to describe the stronger and darker porters, as in a “Stout Porter”.  By the time the 1820s rolled around, brewers began to drop the term porter, and specifically produce a beer style called Stout.

Fast forward to today, and the first style of Stout we’re touching on is a Dry Stout.  This stout has the characteristic stout color, with an aroma that is dark-roasted, sometimes toasty or bready, and often coffee-like. Unlike most other styles of stout, this one has little to no chocolate or cocoa notes. The flavor is dry, not sweet, with a roasted malt and hop bitterness that is moderate to high, leading to a smooth and drinkable beer.

The second style of Stout is a Sweet Stout, also called a milk or cream stout because it is brewed with lactose, or milk sugar.  This sugar is one of the sugars that doesn’t get consumed by yeast in the fermentation process, so it adds extra body and sweetness to the finished beer.  It has a milder roasted aroma than other stouts, while still holding onto the coffee or chocolate notes, in some cases even being reminiscent of chocolate milk.

The third stout is Oatmeal Stout, which is brewed from up to 20% malted oats.  It was also brewed in the late 1800s, with people perceiving it as being nourishing and healthier.  The oats can add a nutty aroma, and help with head retention, providing for a rich malty beer with very mild hop aroma and flavor.

The fourth stout is the Imperial Stout, originating in the late 1700s, with the first batch purportedly brewed for Czarina Catherine the Great.  This beer was made specifically for export to Russia and the Baltic States.  Imperial Stouts are basically a stout on steroids.  They have the traditional stout flavors, as well as flavors that are described as toffee-like, burnt, barleywine-like and port-like, with notes of bittersweet chocolate, fresh ground coffee, espresso, prunes, plums, raisins, currants and more.

The fifth, and final stout on our list, is the American Style Stout.  American stouts have the same dark color and rich flavor of other stouts, but the hops are more predominant.  While not as hoppy as a Black Ale or an IPA, American Stouts have a higher bitterness, hop aroma and more citrus notes than other stouts.

While these are the main styles of Stouts available, there are as many variations available as there are craft breweries.  Many of these styles get paired with fruits or aged in barrels to highlight specific flavors.  Additional flavors that can be added are coffee, chocolate, or even oysters, which bring out a slightly salty note.

Taproom Tidings

Beer options this weekend include Raspberry Pyro on Thursday, May 19th and the aforementioned Dry Stout starting Friday, May 20th.

Food choices bring us Crazy Puppy on Friday, and Soup Coupe on Saturday.

  • Tap selection includes Pyro APA, Roasted Coffee Ale, Fused Orange Blossom Honey Ale, Parched Lime Shandy, Raj-Agni IPA, Raspberry Pyro on Thursday & Dry Stout starting on Friday
  • Thirsty Thursdays $1 off pints and $2 off growler fills (no growler or grumbler fills after 8pm on Thursdays)
  • Coconut Turtle Cupcake from Groundswell includes a coconut chocolate fudge cake with pecans, whipped cream, honey caramel sauce, and chocolate ganache

As always, if you have questions, drop us a note via Email, Facebook or Twitter.

Cheers!

 

Newsletter: 4,200 and Counting

A small celebration, with a few (thousand) breweries

This next week, from Monday May 16th through Sunday, May 22nd, is American Craft Beer Week!  This year marks the tenth anniversary of this celebration, with over 4,200 craft brewers in all 50 states participating.  We hope that you will take time to get out, visit a new brewery or taproom, or an old favorite, and join in the celebration.

Ask the Brewer

How did the modern craft brewing movement get started?

Picture yourself in the late 1970s, standing in the beer aisle, staring at your choices.  Lager, lager, light lager, and lager (“…Check it out! They’ve got both kinds of beer, Bud AND Bud Light…”).  At this point, the US beer industry was down to just 44 brewing companies, beer imports were at an all time low, and industry experts were predicting that soon there would be only 5 brewing companies left operating in the United States.

Now, picture the advent of the home brewer.  The individual who wanted to be able to taste the beers of other countries, and other times.  These early home brewers, and the microbreweries and brewpubs they started, were some of the first craft beer pioneers of the modern movement, fighting their way through the 1980s, when industry experts flat out refused to recognize their existence as anything serious.  These early brewers emerged with their passion and vision, serving their local communities a taste of full-flavored beer and old world traditions; all with a uniquely American character.

The expansion of the craft beer movement has truly been an explosion, with 8 craft brewers in 1980, 537 in 1994, over 2,800 in 2013, and now over 4,200 in 2016.  At this point, the majority of Americans live within 10 miles of a local brewery or brewpub.  There has never been a better time or place to be a craft beer lover than right now in America.

Taproom Tidings

Apparently, once was not enough. 😉 This Friday, May 13th brings the return of our Raspberry Infused Pyro.  This tart favorite has had so many requests since we last served it that we decided to bring it back yet again.

Also on Friday, May 13th we are pleased to welcome back Hot Indian Food (Yes, we are down with the brown!).  On Saturday, May 14th Signature on Wheels will be joining us with their unique take on American classics.

  • Tap selection includes Pyro APA, Roasted Coffee Ale, Fused Orange Blossom Honey Ale, Parched Lime Shandy, Raj-Agni IPA, and Raspberry Pyro starting on Friday
  • Thirsty Thursdays $1 off pints and $2 off growler fills (no growler or grumbler fills after 8pm on Thursdays)
  • Coconut Turtle Cupcake from Groundswell includes a coconut chocolate fudge cake with pecans, whipped cream, honey caramel sauce, and chocolate ganache

Final Thoughts

ATTENTION DARK BEER LOVERS!!

Next Friday, May 20th at the taproom, we will be tapping our Dry Stout that we have been waiting so patiently for (well, somewhat patiently) as part of American Craft Beer Week.

Following that, on Saturday, May 21st, we will pouring beer at the City Pages Beer Fest to close out American Craft Beer Week and kick off summer in the Twin Cities.  One of longest running events of its kind in the Midwest (24 years and counting!), this outdoor festival has become a yearly tradition for beer lovers, food lovers, and music lovers alike.  We hope to see you there!

As always, if you have questions, drop us a note via Email, Facebook or Twitter.

Cheers!