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!

Newsletter: Buy Mom a Beer! No, Seriously!

Beer, a lovely beverage enjoyed by women…

This Sunday is Mother’s Day, so we wanted to offer a great big “Thank You!” to our mothers, our wives, our partners, our daughters and our female friends!  We couldn’t do it without you.  As part of our salute to the women in our lives, we wanted to take a look at women and beer, because a lot of women love beer (a societal perception that is changing… thankfully!), and a lot of women have been influential in this still very male dominated industry.

Ask the Brewer

How long have women been involved in the beer industry?

While the current beer industry is very male dominated, the earliest brewers were women with documentation going as far back as 3500 B.C.  The women of Sumer brewed low-alcohol beer both for religious ceremonies and for daily consumption. These Sumerian brewers enjoyed tremendous respect, in part due to the likelihood they served as priestesses of the revered beer goddess, Ninkasi (so that is where that brewery got their name). Sumerians believed Ninkasi oversaw the brewing process and “worked” as head brewer to the gods, who’d gifted beer to humans to preserve peace and promote well-being. Their reverence is illustrated in the Hymn to Ninkasi, history’s oldest written beer recipe.

There is also compelling evidence that women were the ones who invented straws for drinking beer in Babylon between 1900 and 1600 B.C. (probably to get through the fermentation scum that formed on top of the earliest brews)  By 800 A.D., brewing had spread to Europe, and Germanic women were brewing in the clearings of the forests.  In 1150 A.D., the German Abbess Hildegard recommended hops as a preservative, and from 1600 to 1800 women in America were serving “small beer” to their families.  With the advent of the industrial revolution and commercial brewing, women were forced to take a step back from their traditional roles.  However, with Prohibition, many of them revived old recipes, and went back to brewing in their kitchens.  When Prohibition was repealed, beer was back in business, in large scale, with men at the helm.

It wasn’t until 1986 that things began to change, with Mellie Pullman helping launch Wasatch Brewery; becoming the first female brewmaster in Modern American history, and ushering in a new era of women working in the beer industry.  From there, women have become more and more involved, with Carol Stoudt of Pennsylvania becoming the nation’s first female sole proprietor (and brewer) in 1987, and Barbara Groom and Wendy Pound opening Lost Coast Brewing in Eureka, California, in 1990, as the first female ownership team.  In 2008, the Pink Boots Society was formed by Portland-based craft brewer Teri Fahrendorf.  The Pink Boots Society is dedicated to mentoring and supporting women working in all aspects of the beer industry.  In February of 2011, Barley’s Angels was founded, providing a forum for women who love craft beer.  Barley’s Angels focuses on creating a safe space for women who “respect beer and brewing, have a thirst for education, enjoy beer responsibly and act appropriately at all times.”  And, in 2013, Minnesota got it’s first women owned brewery in Urban Growler, founded and owned by Deb Loch and Jill Pavlak.

Taproom Tidings

Brewer’s Choice being tapped on Friday, May 6th is Andrew’s Maibock. This German substyle of Bock (shocking, right?!) is a stronger, yet paler lager that is more hopped than it’s cousin and is traditionally served at Spring festivals.

On Friday, May 6th we welcome the return of Crepe and Cake with their delicious French crepes, and on Saturday, May 7th we are excited to be joined for the first time ever by the Salsa Spot, serving authentic Mexican cuisine on wheels.

  • Tap selection includes Pyro APA, Roasted Coffee Ale, Fused Orange Blossom Honey Ale, Raj-Agni IPA, Parched Lime Shandy, and Maibock 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

Beer festival season is only a few weeks away. That means we are getting ourselves ready to start slinging beer here, there and everywhere in between!

To start the season off, the City Pages Beer Fest will continue with its tradition of kicking off summer in the Twin Cities on May 21st.  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 aficionados who can enjoy a variety of brews, food vendors, live music featuring Free and Easy, hammerschlagen, accordionist Bill Koncar and the ever-popular Brian Boru Irish Pipe Band!

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

Cheers!

Newsletter: Reinheitsgebot – gesundheit?

The Reinheitsgebot (i.e., German Beer Purity Law)

This past weekend marked the 500 year anniversary of the Reinheitsgebot (i.e., the German Beer Purity Law) and multiple articles and opinions on it have been circulating throughout the beer community as a result. This brings us to our…

Ask the Brewer

…where we ask “What the heck is the Reinheitsgebot, anyways?”

The Reinheitsgebot dictates that only 4 ingredients are allowed to be used in making beer.  Those ingredients are water, barley, hops, and yeast.

Preliminary versions of beer laws were passed in Augsburg in 1156, Nuremberg in 1293, Munich in 1363 and Regensburg in 1447.  Most of the laws focused on either preventing the addition of harmful ingredients to beer as either flavorings or preservatives (such as pitch, soot or henbane) or limiting brewing to using barley so that wheat and rye were reserved for bread.  In 1487 the direct predecessor to the Reinheitsgebot was passed in Munich by Duke Albrecht IV.  This law stated that only barley, water and hops could be used to make beer.  In 1516 this law was expanded by Bavaria’s Wittelsbach Duke, Wilhelm IV, to cover all of Bavaria.  Yeast was not added to the list until centuries later, when it’s role in brewing was discovered and understood.

The Reinheitsgebot matters because it is still in active use.  There are over 5,000 different beers (primarily produced in Germany) that still adhere to this law and carry it’s seal.  Many brewers in Germany feel that this law represents the purity and high quality of German beers, and is enough a part of their cultural heritage that it should be part of the UNESCO World Heritage List, as are the Argentinian tango, Iranian carpet weaving and French gastronomy (all considered unique and worth protecting).  While many German Brewers are being more creative with their beers by using more aromatic varieties of hops while still holding true to the Reinheitsgebot, other German Brewers feel that it is outdated and restrictive.

Under the Beer Purity Law, beer made in Germany with anything other than the approved ingredients cannot be labelled “bier”.  This stance is being challenged by German breweries, such as Klosterbrauerei-neuzelle, which has been brewing the same beer recipe since 1410, but falls afoul of the Reinheitsgebot because they add sugar to their brew.  Small brewers like Neuzelle, who produces 6 million pints a year, and a growing number of craft beer producers who are keen to experiment with different ingredients such as fruits and spices, say the purity law stifles creativity and innovation.

As gluten-free brewers who can’t use traditional ingredients, but who also re-create traditional beer profiles, we can see the value of both points of view.

Taproom Tidings

We still have a partial keg of Raspberry Pyro on tap for Thursday, but will be switching that out for the Belgian Dubbel on Friday, April 29th. For those who don’t know, a Belgian Dubbel is a mid-strength Belgian style beer with slight spicy notes.  The style was originally brewed in the Trappist Abbey of Westmalle in 1856. (updated 4/30/16)

Food on Friday, April 29th brings us the Native American flavors of the Tatanka crew, and Saturday, April 30th we are joined by Signature Cafe, and their unique take on American classics.

  • Tap selection includes Pyro APA, Roasted Coffee Ale, Fused Orange Blossom Honey Ale, Raj-Agni IPA, Parched Lime Shandy, Raspberry Pyro on Thursday and Belgian Dubbel 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

There are two events going this weekend, join us at either.

For those who like to keep it local (as in, your neighborhood local), we will be at Yarmo Liquor in Highland Park doing a tasting on Thursday, April 28th.  They specialize in local and unique craft beers, and their Thursday tastings (from 4 to 6pm) are a chance to try something new.

On Saturday, April 29th we will be at the SNIT of MN.  This event hosted by the St. Michael’s Lions Club at the Fox Hollow golf course runs from 7 to 9:30PM, and features only Minnesota breweries, distilleries and wineries.  Why SNIT, well our understanding is that a Snit is the little glass of beer, served next to your Bloody Mary – who knew!

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

Cheers!

Newsletter: Earth, the only planet with beer

One heck of a good reason to celebrate Earth Day!

This Friday, April 22nd, is Earth Day. At Burning Brothers, we feel this holiday is important because it helps to focus attention on our society’s use of natural resources, including one of the most important for beer which is water. Good beer requires good water, so, on Friday, we’ll be raising a glass to Earth Day, abundant clean water, and great beer!

Ask the Brewer

How important is water to the brewing process?

Considering that beer is 90% water (or more), the quality of the water is incredibly important.  While you can’t brew a good beer with bad water, it is also possible to brew a bad beer with good water!  Good water comes in a wide range of hardness, alkalinity and mineral content, and all of these can affect how a brewer in one location can brew a specific style of beer successfully, while a brewer in another may not.

One simple truth when it comes to brewing is there is no one water that is ideal for all beer styles. That is why you end up with certain regions that are known for producing a specific style of beer really well.  For example, water in Dublin, which has high alkalinity, is best suited for brewing stouts and other dark ales, while in Pilsen, the water has very low mineral content, making it perfect for Bohemian Pilsners.

Here in St. Paul, multiple factors came together in the mid 1800’s to fuel a beer boom.  There were lots of German immigrants, with a love of “bier”, and the knowledge necessary to brew it well.  There was fertile soil for growing the necessary ingredients, sandstone caves for cold aging lagers, and a well balanced water profile, especially suited to lighter beers.  The water was also plentiful.  This wonderful congruence can be seen in the fact that breweries have existed here in one form or another since the mid 1800s.

Taproom Tidings

Back by popular demand… (no, really, we get asked about it all the time) our brewer’s choice for this weekend is our Raspberry Infused Pyro. We’ll be tapping it on Friday, April 22nd, so plan to stop in, have a pint and grab a growler before it’s gone.

Food options on Friday, April 22nd brings us our first seasonal visit of Crazy Puppy G.W. and their Gluten-Free fair food.  On Saturday, April 23rd, Signature Cafe will be here with their unique take on American classics.

  • Tap selection includes Pyro APA, Roasted Coffee Ale, Fused Orange Blossom Honey Ale, Raj-Agni IPA, Parched Lime Shandy, and Raspberry Infused Pyro
  • 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

There are three (count them, 3) events going this weekend.  We would love to see you at any or all of them.

On April 23rd, we have both the MN Craft Beer Fest and the Second Annual Arts & Crafts. The MN Craft Beer Fest benefits Habitat For Humanity, while the Second Annual Arts & Crafts benefits COMPAS.  Whichever one you are going to, you can drink beer and listen to music while supporting an organization that provides housing for all, or arts for all!

On Sunday, April 24th the second ever gluten-free beer dinner pairing Burning Brothers Beers with Signature Cafe foods is happening.  Seats are still available, so call Signature Cafe at 612-378-0237 to make your reservation!

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

Cheers!

Newsletter: Beer Garden?

Beer garden… I do not think it means what you think it means

Goodbye Sprinter. Hello Spring!

This weekend is going to be absolutely lovely, which of course makes us think of being outdoors and of course, beer drinking weather! (If you think about it though, is there a time, atmospherically speaking, when it’s not beer drinking weather? Just sayin.)

Whether it’s getting together with family or friends, running errands or even getting your hands dirty in the yard, you should definitely pick up some  beer to enjoy outside.

Ask the Brewer

What are some good uses for beer in the garden?

Not one… not two… not three… but four! Four awesome uses for beer in the garden.

First and potentially most commonly known, is the use of beer as a slug and snail killer. Both are as attracted to beer as we are (it’s too late for you to deny it), so setting out a dish of it is a great way to catch and eliminate these garden pests, without the use of pesticides. Make sure the dish is deep enough for them to drown in.

Our second way is to use beer as food for butterflies. (Yup, they like beer too!) For this, you can use a pint or two of flat beer along with the following:

  • 1 pound sugar
  • 1 or 2 pints stale beer
  • 3 mashed overripe bananas
  • 1 cup of molasses or syrup
  • 1 cup of fruit juice
  • 1 shot of rum

Mix all of the ingredients together and then put it in a butterfly feeder or paint it onto flat rocks, trees, fence posts or stumps.

Our third use for beer in the garden is as a fertilizer and growth accelerator for those brown spots in your lawn. Supposedly, the fermented sugars in beer can stimulate plant growth and kill fungi. So, if you have leftover beer in your glass that has gotten too warm, you could just pour it out on your lawn.

Our final and of course best use for beer in your garden is to drink it! There is nothing quite like a cool beer on a warm day as you lean back and survey the results of your hard work!

Taproom Tidings

We are still working our way through the latest batch of American Lager. We are predicting it will probably run out on Thursday, so get here early if you want some before it is gone!

Food options this weekend include Soup Coupe on Friday, April 15th and Tatanka Truck on Saturday, April 16thWhether you are in the mood for a cup of deliciousness or a plate of authentic Native American cuisine, we’ve got you covered.

  • Tap selection includes Pyro APA, Roasted Coffee Ale, Fused Orange Blossom Honey Ale, Raj-Agni IPA, Parched Lime Shandy, and American Lager
  • 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

The Brewer’s Ball is happening this Friday, April 15th and your favorite brewers will be there. This unique tasting event offers a variety from over 30 of the region’s best breweries, wineries and distilleries as well as fantastic food from D’Amico Catering. The Minnesota Brewer’s Ball is all about good people, drinking good beer, for a great cause – to help find a cure for cystic fibrosis!

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

Cheers!

Newsletter: Sprinter is still here

King Gambrinus – Patron Saint of Beer!

We keep waiting for serious beer drinking weather to get here, and it keeps sliding from spring back into winter, (like this upcoming weekend) but we know it will warm up sooner or later.  In the meantime, we thought it would be good to celebrate yet another beer based holiday, which brings us to this week’s edition of…

Ask the Brewer

What’s a good day to celebrate beer in April?

While today (April 7th) is National Beer Day, we decided to go with a more obscure, lesser known beer holiday. (Although, there is nothing stopping you from celebrating both!) King Gambrinus Day is celebrated on April 11th and it honors Gambrinus, the supposed King of Flanders, who, in the late 13th century is credited with first adding hops to beer. As such, he is considered one of the “unofficial” patron saints of beer.

A look at the history behind this suggests that the addition of hops can be ascribed to either John the Fearless, AKA Jean Sans Peur (1371-1419), otherwise known as Ganbrivius, or, earlier in history, Jan Primus – John I (around 1251).  Either name can plausibly have evolved over the centuries into Gambrinus, the King of Beer.  While John I was a scion of the burgundy line of princes, neither he nor John the Fearless was a king.  However, when you look at how important beer is to human development, nothing less than king-hood can be bestowed on this man.

Taproom Tidings

We are down to our final keg of Cranberry Shandy for the season. We know many of you may be sad about this, but don’t worry, we’ll have it back before long. (It is the Midwest after all, and winter is coming… I swear I saw snow this morning… WTF?!) Come on down to the taproom and help us kill the keg so that we can make room for tapping Dane’s latest version of our American Lager. This version is a little drier than our last, so the hop flavor is more pronounced.(Updated 4/9/16)

This weekend also brings us a brand new food truck on Friday, April 8th with the arrival of Patacones and their enticing Colombian Street Food. Saturday, April 9th we’ll be featuring Tollefson Pork Farm and their fusion of farm fresh offerings and pork deliciousness. (per usual, both menus are exclusively gluten-free, but you’re not really surprised by that…)

  • Tap selection includes Pyro APA, Roasted Coffee Ale, Fused Orange Blossom Honey Ale, Cranberry Shandy, Raj-Agni IPA, Parched Lime Shandy, and American Lager
  • 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

While we have no events running this weekend, we want to mention that there is an upcoming event that people may want to check out.  Our second ever gluten-free beer pairing dinner in partnership with the Signature Cafe!  This event is occurring on Sunday, April 24th, and will feature Dane pairing five of our beer styles against five gluten-free dinner courses prepared by Signature’s own Derek Grams. If you were on the wait list for the first dinner, give Signature Cafe a call, 612-378-0237, as you will have preferred placement for this second dinner!

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

Cheers!

Newsletter: Happy Birthday to us!

2 years and still making great beer!

April 4th of 2014 was the opening day of our taproom, and it seems like so much has happened since then!  We have met so many interesting and wonderful people, served so many delicious beers, participated in so many great events (trains, buses and festivals, oh my!) and eaten some awesome food from so many food trucks.  We hoped to throw a party, but alas, we’ve been up to our eyeballs in making beer and obviously we need to keep our priorities straight.

We’ll try not to get too sappy here, but we would like to pause for just a moment and say thanks. You all make this crazy adventure worth while. Cheers!

-Dane & Thom

Ask the Brewer

What are some fun books for brewers?

With April 1st being April Fools Day (i.e., a day for fun), it seems only right to celebrate the fun that is beer!  There are many jokes, songs, and limericks about beer that celebrate the humorous, but here we’re going to focus on books today.

Goodnight Brew: This “children’s” book is a delightful way to introduce beer and brewing to the next generation (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) or for adults who love beer so much they want it as their bedtime story.

Beer is the Answer… I don’t remember the Question is a book full of bar jokes, quotes and cartoons – over 1,000 of them, collected by the publishers of Bartender Magazine!

Beer & Philosophy: The Unexamined Beer isn’t Worth Drinking: The contributors to this volume present intriguing and often humorous arguments for how complex philosophical concerns are intrinsically linked to something as prosaic as quaffing a pint with friends.

B is for Beer is as charming as it may be subversive—B Is for Beer involves readers, young and old, in a surprising, far-reaching investigation into the limits of reality, the transformative powers of children, and, of course, the ultimate meaning of a tall, cold brewski.

The Comic Book Story of Beer: No boring, musty, historical text here!  An informative and humorous mix of words and pictures to please the beer lover and comic book geek alike.

Taproom Tidings

With the arrival of spring, we are happy to be bringing our Parched Lime Shandy back to the taproom!  For those of you still clinging to the Ides of March (or the rest of the winter season), you have one last weekend to get your fix of our Cranberry Shandy before it takes a well deserved break.

Foodwise, on Friday, April 1st we will have the Tatanka Truck crew with us slinging their native American deliciousness, and on Saturday, April 2nd we’ll our friends from the Soup Coupe bringing you their hearty varieties in a bowl.  Nothing goes better with a cold pint on a cool spring evening than hot food! (except maybe another pint?)

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

Final Thoughts

https://beerfests.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/JACKPINT-BEERFEST.jpg We have two events running this weekend! On Saturday, April 2nd, Thom will be at Jackpot Junction for the Jackpint Beer Tating.  This is a chance to get acquainted with the beers and brewers of some of the delicious beverages produced right here in Minnesota.

Our second event is our gluten-free beer pairing dinner in partnership with the Signature Cafe!  This event is occurring on Sunday, April 3rd, will feature Dane pairing five of our beer styles against five gluten-free dinner courses prepared by Signature’s own Derek Grams. Unfortunately, tickets are completely sold out.  However, a second dinner is being planned for April 24th.  If you were on the wait list for the first dinner, give Signature Cafe a call, as you will have preferred placement for the second dinner!

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

Cheers!

Newsletter: Happy Springiness!

Malt of different roasting levels

While many people celebrate spring, or Easter, around this time of year, we celebrate Daniel Wheeler Day! On March 28th of 1817 Daniel Wheeler received a patent for his malt roaster. This roaster allowed brewers to consistently and efficiently roast pale malts to create a darker brew, paving the way for the modern porter.

Ask the Brewer

How were Porters colored prior to roasted malts?

Initially when Porters were made, the brewers would create the deep rich colors by prolonged roasting of the grains between 392 degrees Fahrenheit and 608 degrees Fahrenheit.  It was soon realized by doing this that the majority of the sugar in the malt was destroyed, and that affected both the fermentation process and the richness of the beer.  Brewers then switched to adding various coloring agents to maintain the deep, rich colors associated with that type of beer.

In 1816, when an act of parliament made all forms of coloring in beer illegal, Porter brewers had a big problem. How could they brew a beer of the right color when using mostly pale malt? The answer was provided by Daniel Wheeler, who, by roasting malt in a way similar to coffee beans, created a malt capable of coloring a large quantity of wort. Pale malt was roasted at 360 to 400º F in metal cylinders, which revolved over a furnace.

By adding a portion of this dark malt to the pale malt, a beer could be crafted that had the rich roasted flavor, deep color, and full body of a Porter.  Wheeler acquired a patent for the process, hence the name patent malt. It was also known as black malt, porter malt or roast malt.

Taproom Tidings

We are going to be closed on Sunday in order to celebrate Easter with our families, and hope that all of you get to spend some time with friends and family as well.

On Friday, March 25th we are happy to have the Signature Cafe crew on hand, and Saturday the 26th features the Tatanka Truck.  Either day you join us, you will be assured of something delicious to eat with your beer!
Speaking of beer, we still have a small amount of the Irish Red Ale on tap for Thursday night, and then on Friday we will be tapping our latest batch of Dark Lager (or as Dane likes to call it, our good fishing beer).
  • Tap selection includes Pyro APA, Roasted Coffee Ale, Fused Orange Blossom Honey Ale, Cranberry Shandy, Raj-Agni IPA, Irish Red Ale on Thursday and Dark Lager on Friday and Saturday
  • Thirsty Thursdays $1 off pints and $2 off growler fills
  • Coconut Turtle Cupcake from Groundswell includes a coconut chocolate fudge cake with pecans, whipped cream, honey caramel sauce, and chocolate ganache

Final Thoughts

Stop in on Saturday March 26th to meet the minds behind the MN Craft Beer Passport & buy your own copy.  They help taprooms and craft beer drinkers find each other to build a community around a shared pride in good beer.  By purchasing the Northern Ale Guide for only $25, you get BOGO pints (Buy One Get One) at their 35 partner taprooms.

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

Cheers!