The Mash-Up: Going dark with Insight Gravity Well and more imperial releases

Insight Gravity Well Imperial Barrel-aged Stout // Photo via Insight Brewing's Instagram

Insight Gravity Well Imperial Stout // Photo via Insight Brewing’s Instagram

With well over 100 breweries now pouring their beer in Minnesota, there’s always something new to try. To keep you up-to-date, we present The Mash-Up—our weekly rundown of new beers and seasonal releases in Minnesota from your favorite local and national breweries. Visit growlermag.com every Friday for the latest or sign up for a weekly email.

It’s time to prepare for the holiday season. The big beers are coming fast: the imperial, the barrel-aged, the spiced. This week has bottle releases from many breweries across the state including Back Channel, Indeed, Dangerous Man, 12welve Eyes, HammerHeart, Tin Whiskers, and who can forget Insight, celebrating their third anniversary with five special versions of Gravity Well. Coming soon is Able Seedhouse + Brewery’s BIG BLK WOLF bottle release. 

On the lighter side, Spirit Foul and several other hazy IPAs continue to draw rave reviews, Badger Hill releases an “Astronaut” brew, and new breweries are getting ready to open in Waseca, Ashby, and Superior.

New beers available this week (November 13–November 19)

Badger Hill's Astronaut Brewer Double IPA // Photo via Badger Hill's Instagram

Badger Hill’s Astronaut Brewer Double IPA // Photo via Badger Hill’s Instagram

August Schell Brewing Co.

  • English Style Blonde – One of two new beers in the Brewer’s Stash sampler pack this year.
  • Hoppy Wheat Lager – The other new beer in the Brewer’s Stash sampler.

12welve Eyes Brewing

  • LIL bUZI VERT – 12welve Eyes’ first bottle release takes place on Saturday at 11am, marking their first barleywine release as well. “Lil bUZI Vert is a velvety-smooth barleywine with a lil booziness, intense caramel, and dried-fruit notes. Loads of oat malt, a long boil, and white ash Honeycombs impart toffee sweetness along with a chewy mouthfeel,” the brewery says. 7.9% ABV.

Ashby Brewing Company

Ashby opened its doors on November 12, pouring the following three beers.

  • 109 Main – Bold tropical flavors with a light sweetness in this IPA.
  • Ashby Amber Ale – Light cracker notes, some caramel and little bitterness, the brewery says.
  • Kittson Kölsch – Gold in color with fruity notes and mild sweetness.

Badger Hill Brewing Company

  • Astronaut Brewer Double IPA – A hazy and soft IPA brewed with Citra, Mosaic, and Galaxy hops.

Bald Man Brewing

  • Geoff’s One Hit Wonder #7 – A German-style alt released yesterday.

Barrel Theory Beer Company

  • Edward Nygma – This pale ale featuring Enigma hops debuted last weekend. 5.1% ABV.

Beaver Island Brewing Company

  • Magnolia – Magnolia is #1 in the new Oaklore series. This is a barrel aged stout at 6.5% ABV, limited to 100 bottles that go on sale at 10am on November 18.

Big Wood Brewery

  • Großes Holz

Birch’s on the Lake

  • Double Dry Hopped Black IPA – 5.7% ABV
  • Red Rye Saison Saison – A French saison yeast brewed with Simpson’s Red Rye Crystal Malt. 7.0% ABV.

Cosmos Brewing

  • 3D Lager – An IPL using proprietary hops. “Maize provides well rounded smoothness and levels out the higher ABV and IBUs. Mosaic, Citra and Amarillo hops,” says the brewery. 6.5% ABV, 60 IBU.
  • Apollo Smash – A SMaSH India session ale using Golden Promise malt and Apollo hops. 5.2% ABV, 75 IBU.

Dangerous Man Brewing Co.

  • Belgian Quad aged in French Red Wine Barrels – A new bottle release from Dangerous Man. This Thanksgiving-minded beer is limited to roughly 700 bottles, going on sale at 12 pm tomorrow.

Drekker Brewing Company

  • Whisper Scream – This IPA uses a historical Scandinavian farmhouse yeast passed through the generations (and recently to American brewers as well). Known as Kveik, “It adds a very noticeable orange peel flavor and aroma to the beer,” Drekker says. Releases today.

Earth Rider Brewery

Three new beers are on tap in Earth Rider’s Cedar Lounge taproom.

  • North Tower Stout – This stout is described by the brewery as, “Chocolate and roasted barley aroma with sweet malty flavors of chocolate, dark fruit and coffee perfectly balanced with an unassertive hop presence.” 5.0% ABV, 20 IBU, 10 SRM.
  • Pale Ale – An easy drinking pale ale with citrus and pineapple notes before a clean, dry finish. 5.6% ABV, 40 IBU, 3.3 SRM.
  • Precious Material – A bright and refreshing beer described as “Old Bavarian brewing meets Lake Superior adventure.” 5.4% ABV, 29 IBU, 3.7 SRM.

Flat Earth Brewing Company

Flat Earth is making something a little different each Wednesday for the rest of the year. The #PORTERFEST series will have a new version of flagship Cygnus X-1 each week through 2017.

  • The Trees – Hazelnut porter, released on November 15 at the taproom.

Foxhole Brewhouse

  • Gatewood Electric IPA – A hop bomb brewed in a five-barrel batch. “Flavors are similar to a dank tropical fruit smoothie with a firm bitterness,” the brewery says. 6.5% ABV, 77 IBU.

HammerHeart Brewing Company

Three new versions of HammerHeart beers come out in 750-milliliter bottles on Saturday.

  • Barrel Aged Thor’s Porter – Aged in bourbon barrels.
  • Hokan’s Brown (Fatherhood Edition) – Hokan’s brown with the addition of coffee from UP Coffee Roasters.
  • Thor’s Fury – Unlikely to be released again, this version of Thor’s porter was aged in hot sauce barrels.

HeadFlyer Brewing

  • Wicked Jump Shot – A new England-style IPA featuring Mosaic and Amarillo hops. 5.4% ABV.

Hoops Brewing

  • #88 Stout – “Notes of dark chocolate and coffee, balanced by Pacific Northwestern hops. The best description I can give is a cross between an Irish stout and a robust American stout,” the brewery says. Made with wheat for a unique mouthfeel. 6.0% ABV.

Indeed Brewing Company

  • Mango Helio – Released on November 16, Indeed says, “Mango Helio is a variant of Indeed’s Heliotropic Brett Saison in a fruity parallel universe. After being aged for five to six months in oak barrels, Heliotropic was refermented on fresh mango for an additional two-plus months. Flavors of ripe mango, funky Brett, and an extra layer of acidity adorn the usual cast of Helio flavors and aromatics.”

Insight Brewing

Insight will celebrate three years in business with a bottle release party on November 18, including original Gravity Well, five barrel-aged renditions, and a new hazy IPA.

  • Bourbon Barrel Aged Gravity Well – In this version, the bourbon sweetness counters the bitter hops, accenting chocolate and vanilla notes. 12% ABV.
  • Double Barreled Gravity Well – Aged in both rye and bourbon barrels, this offering has spicy and earthy undertones in addition to its high alcohol. 12% ABV.
  • Rum Barrel Aged Gravity Well – Sweet sugarcane and rum along with dark fruit character. 12% ABV.
  • Terror Bear – A new Northeast IPA from Insight, Terror Bear features Citra and Mosaic hops for an aroma of mango, pineapple and passionfruit paired with flavors of orange, tangerine, and grapefruit zest, the brewery says. 7.5% ABV.

Junkyard Brewing Co.

  • Exp. New England IPA – This IPA was brewed with lactose and then double dry-hopped with Citra.

Klockow Brewing

  • Olwyn

Lakefront Brewery

  • S/HOP Denali – Part of Lakefront’s single hop series, this IPA has strong citrus and tropical fruit flavors. 7.0% ABV, 55 IBU.

LTS Brewing Company

  • Saison d’Vie with Blood Orange – An infusion of LTS’ Belgian-style saison taps in limited supply on November 16. 7.5% ABV, 26 IBU.

LynLake Brewery

  • Hunter’s Paradise – A wild rice red ale at 5.1% ABV, 25 IBU.
  • Windmill Wheat – An American wheat ale at 6.2% ABV, 23 IBU.

Montgomery Brewing Company

  • Pheasant Hill – This imperial brown ale came out on November 6 in limited supply. “Packed with sweetness, bourbon, oak, and nuts,” the brewery says. 10.8% ABV.

Oliphant Brewing

  • Lazerhawke – A new hazy IPA out of Somerset, featuring Citra, Centennial, and Cascade hops. 7.4% ABV.

Pryes Brewing Co.

  • Raspberry Sour Ale – The second sour in Pryes’ Small Batch series, this beer is “tart, ripe and fruity,” the brewery says, with a passionfruit flavor in the middle.
  • Stout Four Ways – Foreign Extra Stout gets a flight of different infusions. Available on Sunday.
    • Raspberry Chocolate Stout
    • Espresso Chocolate Stout
    • Coconut Chocolate Stout
    • Foreign Extra Stout

Stone Brewing

  • Miguel Ceja Andrade / Brandon Berube / Stone Merc Machine – New in the Spotlight Series, this limited time beer is described as having New England haze and West Coast hops. 9.0% ABV, 48 IBU.

Surly Brewing Company

  • Overrated – Cask Tuesday at Surly Beer Hall this week featured Overrated.

Talking Waters Brewing Co.

  • Pineapple Express

Tanzenwald Brewing Company

  • Schnaberltier – A chocolate raspberry stout available on CO2 and nitro. 6.3% ABV, 25 IBU.

Urban Growler Brewing Company

  • Amber Skyline – A classic, balanced amber ale from Urban Growler debuted on Wednesday. 6.1% ABV, 29 IBU.

Ward House Brewery

Ward House in Waseca opens today. Beers in development include:

  • Abbey Ale
  • IPA
  • House Kolsch
  • House Stout

Wicked Wort Brewing Co.

  • Bottle Release #3: Barrel Aged Scotch Ale – Released on November 18, this is Wicked Wort’s Highlander Strong Scotch Ale aged in High West double rye whiskey barrels. 9.3% ABV, 27 IBU.
  • Pine Overcoat APA – 5.5% ABV, 42 IBU.

Seasonal or rotating returns

Bemidji Holiday Ale // Photo courtesy of Bemidji Brewing

Bemidji Holiday Ale // Photo courtesy of Bemidji Brewing

Badger Hill Brewing Company

  • Blood Orange Traitor

Barrel Theory Beer Company

  • Black Lotus – The milk stout with coconut returns.

Bauhaus Brew Labs

  • Winterloper – This smooth and silky Baltic Porter fuses influence from English porters and Russian imperial stouts for a rich blend of malty goodness. 8.0% ABV, 35 IBU.

Bemidji Brewing

  • Holiday Ale – Bemidji’s Export Stout infused with cherries and cocoa nibs, inspired by Black Forest Cake.

Bent Paddle Brewing Co.

  • Double Shot Double Black – The bourbon barrel-aged double black ale with vanilla and cold press coffee hit area stores this week.

Big Wood Brewery

  • Jack Savage Pale Ale

Boom Island Brewing

  • Yule – Boom Island’s 2017 Christmas beer will be lightly spiced and brewed with sweet cherries and vanilla beers. 11% ABV, available today at 4pm. Limited vintage Yule offerings from previous years will also be available: 2012 (Tart cherries), 2013 (Italian plum), 2014 (Black Currant), and 2015 (Tart cherries).

Drekker Brewing Company

  • Coffee Rudder – Drekker’s Irish red, with added coffee.

Excelsior Brewing Company

  • Shattered Solstice Ale – This spiced amber ale makes its seasonal return. With ginger, orange peel, coriander, Egyptian chamomile, and candi sugar, it is a unique holiday ale that pairs well with most decadent meals.

Fair State Brewing Cooperative

  • Spirit Foul – A hazy IPA originally made with San Diego’s Modern Times Beer. “Super juicy, tropical, and dank,” says Fair State. Back in cans for a limited time 6.3% ABV.

Forager Brewing Company

  • IPA – Forager IPA with a tweaked recipe. “Maltier, more bitter and hoppier than its predecessors all while maintaining a nice balance,” the brewery says. 7.6% ABV, 69 IBU.

Fulton Brewing

  • War & Peace – Fulton’s big winter imperial coffee stout is back (and not just in Jameson barrels).

Tin Whiskers Brewing

  • Phase Shift 02: Isanti Spirits Rye Whiskey Barrel-Aged Porter – Local rye whiskey barrels from Isanti Spirits in Isanti, Minnesota, contribute rich, complex malt and wood characteristics to a porter previously aged on white oak and cherry wood. Available Saturday in 750-milliliter bottles.

Town Hall Tap

The Tap finished off anniversary week last Friday with two more limited beers.

  • Mango Mama
  • Six Hour Tour – A barrel aged version of Three Hour Tour coconut milk stout.

Beers just announced

Able Seedhouse + Brewery's BIG BLK WLF // Photo courtesy of Able Seedhouse

Able Seedhouse + Brewery’s BIG BLK WLF // Photo courtesy of Able Seedhouse

Able Seedhouse + Brewery

Able just released their first in-house malt bill beer last week (Seeded) and now they’re making plans for their second anniversary party on November 22.

  • 2016 Bourbon Barrel-Aged Big BLK WLF Imperial Stout – Available in bottles, this big beer has been aged in Wild Turkey barrels for a year.

The anniversary will also feature other versions of BLK WLF, collectively referred to as the WLFPACK:

  • 2016 BIG BLK WLF Imperial Stout
  • 2017 BIG BLK WLF Imperial Stout
  • BLK WLF with Cocoa + Cherry
  • BLK WLF with Nitro Coffee

Back Channel Brewing

  • Soviet Slayer Imperial Stout – Back Channel is officially celebrating their grand opening on November 25. Their imperial stout (bottle release) will help work off the Black Friday shopping hangover.

Bad Weather Brewing Company

  • Neck Tat That Says “Evil” Black IPA – Note: This is not your conventional beer release. Bad Weather, in collaboration with “Mashmaker: A Citizen-Brewer’s Guide to Making Great Beer At Home,” is hosting the Black Ale Friday Mash Rally on November 24. Homebrewers can register to fill a clean, empty carboy with five gallons of unfermented black IPA based on author Michael Dawson’s homebrew recipe, take the wort home, and finish the beer. Find more information about the Mash Rally at mashmakerbook.com/events.

Beaver Island Brewing Company

  • Sterling Pounder Maibock – Note: This is not your conventional beer release. Beaver Island, in collaboration with “Mashmaker: A Citizen-Brewer’s Guide to Making Great Beer At Home,” is hosting a Mash Rally on November 30. Homebrewers can register to fill a clean, empty carboy with five gallons of unfermented maibock based on author Michael Dawson’s homebrew recipe, take the wort home, and finish the beer. Find more information about the Mash Rally at mashmakerbook.com/events.

C Squared Ciders

  • Cousteau – This cider introduces C Squared’s Sailor Series. It’s a French-American hybrid cider with mixed culture fermentation. “Cousteau is crisp, tart, and dry from the bittersweet apples, with aromas of stone fruit and a hint of toasted oak,” the cidery says. 6.9% ABV and coming to Minnesota stores the week after Thanksgiving.

Disgruntled Brewing

  • Barrel Aged TBD – Something big is coming on November 22, according to a mysterious Facebook post.

Flat Earth Brewing Company

Flat Earth is making something a little different each Wednesday for the rest of the year. The #PORTERFEST series will have a new version of flagship Cygnus X-1 each week through 2017. Expect new porters on November 22 and 29, plus December 6, 13, 20, and 27.

Forager Brewing Company

  • Currently unnamed – Imperial stout aged on whiskey and rye barrels. “This blend of barrel-aged beers will condition on massive amounts of vanilla beans sourced from five different growing regions before release, stay tuned for details,” the brewery said on Facebook.
  • Minnesota Weisse* – Note: This is not your conventional beer release. Forager Brewery, in collaboration with “Mashmaker: A Citizen-Brewer’s Guide to Making Great Beer At Home,” is hosting a Mash Rally on November 28. Homebrewers can register to fill a clean, empty carboy with five gallons of unfermented Berliner weisse based on author Michael Dawson’s homebrew recipe, take the wort home, and finish the beer. Find more information about the Mash Rally at mashmakerbook.com/events.

Hayes’ Public House

  • Eye of Balor – A barrel aged Russian Imperial Stout, coming to 750-milliliter bottles soon. 9.7% ABV.

Hoops Brewing

  • Motorboat Extra Oatmeal Stout – Note: This is not your conventional beer release. Hoops Brewing, in collaboration with “Mashmaker: A Citizen-Brewer’s Guide to Making Great Beer At Home,” is hosting a Mash Rally on December 1. Homebrewers can register to fill a clean, empty carboy with five gallons of unfermented oatmeal stout based on author Michael Dawson’s homebrew recipe, take the wort home, and finish the beer. Find more information about the Mash Rally at mashmakerbook.com/events.

Surly Brewing Company

  • Abrasive with passion fruit tea bagged with Citra – Cask Tuesday’s special pour on November 21. Limited supply.
  • Schadenfreude – This Munich-style dark lager was aged on Red Oak Honey Comb. Beer Hall only, starting the week of November 20.

Urban Growler Brewing Company

  • Schwarzbier – This one releases on Wednesday November 22. 5.0% ABV, 22 IBU.

In addition to their barrel aged imperial porter, Urban Growler will celebrate Black Friday with several dark colored beers.

  • Hayloft Series Brownie Porter
  • Hayloft Series A Yam Good Beer
  • Hayloft Series Cherry Porter
  • Hayloft Series Coconut Porter
  • Hayloft Series Black IPA​

Utepils Brewing Co.

Utepils has two taproom only beers coming to cans soon.

  • Glocal IPA – A Belgian-style IPA. 6.5% ABV, 64 IBU.
  • Pils – A Czech-style pilsner. 5.0% ABV, 37 IBU.

Wayzata Brew Works

  • Old Wooden Ship IPA
  • Twin Screws Double IPA

Curious about recent releases? Peruse our Mash-Up archives. Did we miss a beer release or announcement? Email us at newbeer@growlermag.com to let us know about new beers from this week and beyond. Or let us know what new beer you’re enjoying by using #TheMashUp on Twitter and Instagram.