In largest Great American Beer Festival competition ever, two Minnesota breweries score gold

Out of over 100 categories judged at the 2019 Great American Beer Festival (GABF), Minnesota breweries medaled in four, including two golds. St. Paul’s Barrel Theory Beer Company took a gold medal in the specialty Berliner category for Midwest Exotic, a gose with calamansi, blood orange, tangerine, and peach. “Super cool,” Barrel Theory co-founder Brett … [ Read more]

Now Open: Forbidden Barrel Brewing in Worthington, Minn.

When Worthington, Minnesota, was settled in 1872 by professor and Prohibitionist Ransom Humiston and A.P. Miller, it was meant to be a town free of alcohol. But then, as the town residents tell the tale, Civil War veterans moved to town with a thirst for beer. Next thing you know, Humiston is destroying a keg … [ Read more]

Now Open: Trout City Brewing in Preston, Minn.

A giant trout statue welcomes you to Preston, Minnesota. Downtown, a bicycle rack shaped like the fish jumps out of the sidewalk. The city has dubbed itself “Minnesota’s Trout Capital,” so it’s only natural that its new brewery, opening August 15 next to the National Trout Center, would name itself accordingly—Trout City Brewing—and prominently feature … [ Read more]

Now Open (Or Damn Close): Thesis Beer Project in Rochester

The central thesis of Thesis Beer Project is to make good beer and do good. Located in Rochester’s uptown neighborhood a stone’s throw away from Mayo Clinic’s Saint Marys campus, Thesis Beer Project will be the city’s sixth brewery when co-owners Allyson Palmer and Adam Fredericksen open its doors on August 13. The building is immediately … [ Read more]

Where the Wild Beers Are: More Minnesota brewers are investing in mixed-culture programs

Ten years ago, locally made wild and spontaneously fermented ales were rarities. Most examples found in liquor stores and in beer bars were imported Belgian lambics and Flemish red and browns ales. Local brewers were so reluctant to introduce wild yeasts and bacteria in their brewhouse for fear of contaminating their non-sour beers that it … [ Read more]

Spontaneous Reaction: The Méthode Traditionnelle Society aims to define and brand ‘American lambic’

Belgium has long been regarded as being home to the world’s greatest spontaneously fermented beer: lambic. Fermented with wild yeasts and bacteria falling from musty wooden rafters, blowing in from hay fields, or floating in from the Zenne River, lambic is inextricably tied to the geography of Belgium, so much so that the term “lambic” … [ Read more]

State of Milwaukee Beer: The Brew City’s second coming

Milwaukee—Wisconsin’s largest city—has more than earned its nickname of Brew City. Once home to some beer’s largest players (Miller, Pabst, Schlitz, Blatz), Milwaukee was at one time the king of American lagers. Over the decades it’s seen the rise and fall of beer barons, a revitalization of the beer scene thanks to craft beer, and, … [ Read more]

Government shutdown leaves brewers, distillers, and cidermakers in limbo

Adam Fredericksen, the owner of Thesis Beer Project, is in a tough spot. He has paperwork to file to get his new brewery up and running in Rochester, Minnesota, but because of the partial federal government shutdown, no one is around to process it. The federal agency in charge of licensing breweries, wineries, and distilleries, … [ Read more]

Now Open (Or Damn Close): Half Pint Brewing Company in Waseca

It doesn’t take long when leaving downtown Waseca to find yourself among farm fields and woodland. But drive just far enough on the dirt road that turns from County Road 10 into 150th Street and you’ll come across a farm unlike any others in the area. A small hopyard stands adjacent to a house atop … [ Read more]

Now Open: Gravity Storm Brewery Cooperative in Austin, Minnesota

Jimmy Buffett fans know that his music has a certain vibe, one that evokes escaping to an island to relax. With Gravity Storm Brewery Cooperative, former teacher Brian Davis has created an escape of his own, leaving behind a career in education to open a brewery in downtown Austin, Minnesota, just across the street from … [ Read more]

Now Open (Or Damn Close): Little Thistle Brewing Co. in Rochester

Dawn and Steve Finnie aren’t like most people currently opening a brewery. That’s because Little Thistle Brewing Co., soon to open in Rochester, Minnesota, isn’t their first. Following the elation of opening Grand Rounds Brewpub in 2015, Steve, co-owner, managing partner, and head brewer, and his wife Dawn, who lent a hand with the brewpub’s … [ Read more]

Now Open (Or Damn Close): 608 Brewing Company in La Crosse, Wisconsin

Phil Humphrey doesn’t mince words when he talks about his favorite beer styles and what he wants to brew at 608 Brewing Co. “We’re focusing more on the newer, trendier beer styles—you could say the New England IPA for sure,” Phil says of the soon-to-open La Crosse, Wisconsin, brewery. About four years ago, Phil really … [ Read more]

Now Open (Or Damn Close): Angry Hog Brewery & Taproom in Austin, Minnesota

Angry Hog Brewery & Taproom may be new to residents of Austin, but its location is anything but. The building for a long time was home to Jimmy’s Fish and Seafood and Fine Meats, which sold its products in southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin. According to Angry Hog’s co-owners and brewers, Joe Bower and Kevin Jones, … [ Read more]

Vine Park is now the first majority Hmong-owned brewery

Touyer Moua grew up in the Twin Cities hearing from the elders in the Hmong community about the fermenting traditions they left behind. “Back in our old country, Laos, our elders… they would brew their own rice wine,” Moua began explaining. “From that perspective, there is history as far as making your own alcoholic drink. … [ Read more]

How Minnesota’s breweries fare under new tax rules

Summit Brewing president Mark Stutrud is excited about the new “Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act.” “The tax reform is inclusive and beneficial to all brewers, which is a positive, and we’re eager to put the savings right back into our brewery so our customers can enjoy more Summit beer,” Stutrud says. The way … [ Read more]