The Mash-Up: Barrel-Aged Darkness, anniversary parties, and doppelbocks galore

Surly Barrel-aged Darkness is here // Photo courtesy of Surly Brewing Company

Surly Barrel-aged Darkness is here // Photo courtesy of Surly Brewing Company

With over 150 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 every Friday for the latest or sign up for a weekly email.

LII is over and forgotten. The Eagles have soared away. Now, Minnesota can focus on what’s happening locally again. For starters, 612Brew turns five today with several big releases including a new cypress-aged beer on tap and available in bottles. Up north, Disgruntled is wrapping up year one, and Montgomery just celebrated their third year last weekend.

Barrel-aged releases fill up much of this week’s edition of The Mash-Up, including the whopping 12% ABV Barrel-aged Darkness, following the release of regular Darkness back in October. This one has added character from Woodford Reserve. There are also plenty of doppelbocks hitting the market.

In packaging news, Barrel Theory will release their second bottled beer on Sunday, a Mexican stout, Hallock’s Revelation Ale Works has a new Crowler machine up and running, Utepils added two new beers to their liquor store lineup, and Badger Hill and Schell’s will return familiar beers to shelves later this month.



Each week, The Growler’s editorial team highlights five of the most tantalizing new beers hitting taps and store shelves that we’re most excited to try.

Surly Fernet Barrel-aged Darkness

This version of Darkness, Surly’s massive Russian imperial stout, was aged in a fernet cask. Expect the fernet, an Italian amaro that is made with a mix of herbs and bitters, to impart notes of black licorice to the beer. This rare cask will be tapped at the Beer Hall this Saturday.

Urban Growler Wild Rice Brown Ale // Photo via Urban Growler Brewings website

Urban Growler Wild Rice Brown Ale

The newest release in the brewery’s Plow To Pint series is available now at the taproom. “An inventive brew that reminds you we’re in the great state of Minnesota!  This is a fun twist on a brown ale. The Minnesota wild rice was harvested by Red Lake Nation Foods located in Red Lake, Minnesota. The wild rice adds complexity to the brown ale grain bill with a nutty, malty, chocolaty and earthy finish,” says the brewery.

Montgomery Jackalope

Montgomery Brewing turned three years old last week and celebrated by releasing a special cherry-smoked Jackalope. Being a limited release at the taproom, we may need to hit the beer forums to trade for a bottle of this imperial smoked porter.

Wild Mind Dante labels // Photo via Wild Mind Artisan Ales InstagramWild Mind Dante

Whether named after the “Divine Comedy” or the Pierce Brosnan classic, “Dante’s Peak,” this beer promises to bring the heat. “Dante melds together sweet, sour, and spicy in a barrel-aged dark sour blend with raspberry, cocoa nibs, and ancho chiles added post-fermentation.” This dark sour was barrel-aged for 18 months on Wild Mind’s mixed-culture yeast. “Sweet and tart with a little spice,” says the brewery.

Badger Hill Tiny Tanks NEIPA

With the impending opening of FINNEGANS’ new brewery in downtown Minneapolis, Badger Hill is preparing to say goodbye to its five-barrel fermenters, which will be installed at FINNEGANS, with one last batch of beer. Tiny Tanks is a New England-style IPA available at the taproom in Shakopee.

New beers available this week (February 5 – February 11)

Three Twenty Brewing Company's Rank and File Blonde Ale // Photo via Three Twenty Brewing Company Facebook

Three Twenty Brewing Company’s Rank and File Blonde Ale // Photo via Three Twenty Brewing Company Facebook

12welve Eyes Brewing

  • Double Berry Milkshake IPA – As the name suggests, this is a hazy IPA made with Citra and Mosaic hops, plus lactose, vanilla, raspberry, and blueberry.


  • 5th Anniversary Ale: The Woods #5 – This celebratory beer is a unique cypress-aged white IPA and Belgian wit blend, going on tap to celebrate 612’s fifth anniversary and also being sold in limited 750-milliliter bottles. Tapping at 2:30pm on Friday, 612 describes it as “Citrusy, spicy, tropical, and herbal. Fermented with Belgian wit yeast, hopped with Amarillo and Azacca, aged on white cypress wood, and dry-hopped with Mandarina Bavaria.” 7.7% ABV 35 IBU.

Badger Hill Brewing Company

  • Ginger & Lemongrass Infused High Road – Tapped on Wednesday.
  • Tiny Tanks – Top Flight selection.

Barrel Theory Beer Company

  • El Gato Diablo – This new Mexican stout debuts in bottle form this Sunday. Brewed with vanilla, cacao, ancho and pasilla chilies, and cinnamon. 9% ABV.
  • Hattori Hanzō – A new double IPA on tap, featuring Citra, Simcoe, and Galaxy hops. 9.1% ABV.
  • Lip Smackers – A Berliner weisse with added strawberry, mango, and pineapple. 4% ABV.

Bell’s Brewery

  • Larry’s Latest Sour Ale – Named in honor of founder Larry Bell, this 5.0% ABV sour comes to cans, kegs, and bottles this month.

Bemidji Brewing Company

  • London Rye – Dark bread and caramel notes, the brewery says.

Copper Trail Brewing Company

  • Goodnight Loon – Out now, this dry chocolate coffee stout features chocolate and molasses up front with dry roast and chocolate at the finish. 6.1% ABV, 46 IBU.

Day Block Brewing Co.

  • Mojito Citra – This new limited beer tapped on February 7 for Small Batch Wednesday. Day Block describes it as a mojito-inspired take on a Citra pale ale. One cask only.

Disgruntled Brewing

  • Imperial Brunch Stout – Disgruntled turns one this week with two barrel-aged beers.
  • Persnickity – A barrel-aged saison tapped last night for their anniversary week.

Dual Citizen Brewing Company

  • Inglehart IPA – The newest beer from St. Paul’s newest brewery. “Made with Sorachi Ace hops and acidulated malt for an unexpected twist, expect bursts of citrus, grass, and lemon tart,” the brewery says.

Forager Brewery

  • Moon Hops – A hazy double IPA that pours at 8.3%, 35 IBU.

Giesenbräu Bier Co.

  • Doppel The Hut – A rich, malty and roasty doppelbock with notes of caramel, the brewery says. Of note, it’s named in honor of the impending birth of owner and head brewer Erin Hutton’s twin babies. 7.2% ABV.

Jack Pine Brewery

  • Ice Out Golden IPA

Klockow Brewing

  • Doppeldapple – Now available.

Left Hand Brewing Company

  • IPA – Simply named, this new year round from Colorado has a light malt bill and pours pale orange. “It is brewed with Azacca, Galaxy, and Citra hops,” the brewery says. “And the combination of hops provides flavors and aromas of orange, passionfruit, peach and lemon.” 6.6% ABV, 70 IBU.

Lupine Brewing Company

  • Bark at the Loon – “A slight sweetness at first taste, but then the full-bodied doppelbock will hit you with a great malty goodness as this has been considered for centuries to be a meal in a glass,” Lupine says. 9.3% ABV, 40 IBU.
  • Chocolate Cherry Porter – Available on nitro from the brewery, this rich beer has a hint of cherry and pours at 5.8% ABV, 40 IBU.

Montgomery Brewing

  • Jackalope – Top Flight selection.
  • The General  – Another anniversary beer that came out on February 3, this version of The General was aged in a bourbon barrel.

Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub

  • Bikini Slimdown – A Kölsch released last week with warmer, sunnier days in mind. 5.8% ABV, 20 IBU.

Oliphant Brewing

  • Just Horseplay – This big beer is a Russian imperial stout aged for 10 months in Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels. 10% ABV and available in extremely limited 750-milliliter cans at the taproom, starting today.
  • Peanut Butter Rodent – A black ale made with cacao nibs and peanut butter extract. On tap at the brewery.

Pipeworks Brewing Co.

The Chicago brewery that makes beers such as Ninja vs. Unicorn DIPA has announced distribution in Minnesota starting this month.

Pryes Brewing

Pryes released a new beer each day this week to wear off the Super Bowl hangover.

  • Mango Infused Bohemian Blonde – Monday, February 5.
  • Mosaic Hop Infused Miraculum – Tuesday, February 6.
  • Plumb & Cherry Infused Barley Wine – Wednesday, February 7.
  • Vanilla Bean Infused Dry Stout – Thursday, February 8.
  • Mixed Berry Infused Miraculum – Friday, February 9.
  • Special Winter IPA Infusion – Coming Saturday, February 10.
  • Orange Infused Miraculum on nitro – Sunday, February 11.

Revelation Ale Works

  • Blonde Ale – Crowlers are now available in Hallock, starting with Blonde Ale.
  • Brigid’s Coffee Brown – A limited beer served only at Brigid’s Pub in Bemidji and at the Hallock taproom.

Schell’s Brewery

  • Lunar Affect – A black Berliner weisse beer brewer with espresso from Five Watt Coffee. “We’ve created a sour beer nearly black in color with layers of bittersweet chocolate, cocoa and rich, bright coffee,” the brewery says. It premiers at Five Watt on East Hennepin this Saturday.

Surly Brewing Company

  • Fernet Barrel-Aged Darkness – Top Flight selection.
  • Hopshifter IPA – Previously a Beer Hall–only brew, Hopshifter features an ever-changing recipe with experimental hops. As a new year-round beer it will continue that practice. Brewed to reduce gluten, Hopshifter is only available in Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and the Chicago area. The batch now available features Bru-1 hops, along with Chinook and Citra, for notes of pineapple, mango, and tropical aromatics. “Light-bodied and moderately bitter, it’s a perfect introduction to our groundbreaking series of gluten-reduced IPAs. Once this batch is gone, it’s gone. The hops shift at will. Embrace the temporary,” Surly says.

Talking Waters Brewing Company

  • Mikko Milk Stout – Tapped last Friday.

Three Twenty Brewing Company

  • Rank and File Blonde Ale – “At 5.5% ABV and 19 IBU, it has a delicate malty sweetness with a light, citrusy hop finish,” the brewery says.

Tin Whiskers Brewing Co.

  • SMASH Pale Ale – “Brewed with just Maris Otter and German Perle hops, this SMASH (Single Malt and Single Hop) Pale Ale is a great way to delve into the flavors of these popular brewing ingredients. Perle hops give off floral and slightly herb-y notes, all balanced by the slight biscuity sweetness of Maris Otter,” says the brewery. 4.5% ABV, on tap today.

Tin Whiskers has four small infusion batch bottles coming out on Saturday, February 10.

  • Cinnamon and Orange Peel Wheatstone Bridge
  • Habanero and Coconut Flipswitch IPA
  • Manhattan Barrel Shifter Porter
  • S’mores Lecky Scottish Ale

Urban Growler Brewing Company

  • Wild Rice Brown Ale – Top Flight selection.

Wild Mind Artisan Ales

  • Dante – Top Flight selection.
  • Vikings Sorrow – A black Pilsner tapped on Super Bowl Sunday.

Seasonal or rotating returns

Bell's Consecrator Doppelbock // Photo via Bell's Brewery Twitter

Bell’s Consecrator Doppelbock // Photo via Bell’s Brewery Twitter

12welve Eyes Brewing

  • Mosaic Wheat IPA – Back on tap.


More rare birthday beers on tap, in limited supply, beginning today.

  • 4th Anniversary Quad – 2017 Vintage Belgian Style Quadruple
  • Cranberry Sour – Kettle Sour with cranberries
  • We Are Trees – Oak-aged dark saison
  • Zwickel Beer – Unfiltered helles bock

Barrel Theory Beer Company

  • Threat Level Midnight – Barrel Theory’s new imperial stout is an ode to “The Office” character Michael Scott’s fictional movie, “Threat Level Midnight.” The limited release imperial stout is made with maple, coffee, and vanilla, previously available at Casanova’s Dark Beer Cave Fest, with a small amount saved for the taproom tonight. 9.1% ABV.

Bell’s Brewery

  • Consecrator Doppelbock – Available in 12-ounce bottles, six-packs, and draft.

Big Wood Brewery

  • Bad Axe Imperial IPA – “Malt-forward and aggressively-hopped with hints of pine. Our biggest, baddest IPA,” Big Wood says. 9.8% ABV, 76 IBU.”

Insight Brewing

  • Banshee Cutter – Available on nitro at the taproom.
  • Golden Cutter – The golden ale is on tap at the brewery, as of last Saturday.
  • Lambton Dragon – The session ale is on tap at the brewery, as of last Saturday.

Left Hand Brewing Company

  • Saison Au Miel – The first 2018 release of the Les Quatres Saisons series, this is brewed with Colorado wildflower honey, adding sweetness to the crisp, dry farmhouse-base beer. 6.8% ABV, 10 IBU.

Loony’s Brew

  • Gold Portage

Schell’s Brewery

  • Framboise Du Nord – On tap at The Starkeller, as of Saturday.

Surly Brewing Company

  • Barrel-aged 2017 Darkness – The big Russian imperial stout gets even bigger after aging for three months in Woodford Reserve barrels fresh from the distillery. “The rye whiskey effect is pronounced, and adding these oaky, spicy, highly aromatic elements to the already fantastic Darkness profile make it a remarkable beer,” Surly says. 12% ABV.

Utepils Brewing Co.

Two new beers from the Utepils taproom are now in cans too.

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

Beers just announced

OMNI Brewing's Loonacy // Photo via OMNI Brewing Company Facebook

OMNI Brewing’s Loonacy // Photo via OMNI Brewing Company Facebook

Bad Weather Brewing Company

  • Kentucky Common
  • Passion Fruit-infused Anomaly – Bad Weather’s kettle sour ale infused with passion fruit. Limited to one keg for Valentine’s Day.

Badger Hill Brewing Company

  • Imperial Macchiato Stout – A 10% ABV stout made with Cameron’s Coffee returns with a limited supply of bottles for sale at the taproom from February 13–18.
  • White IPA – Coming to cans later this month.

Bent Brewstillery

  • Grape Salad – A new Funked Up series release coming to bottles on February 16. This is a sour ale with grapes. 5.8% ABV.

Founders Brewing

  • Solid Gold – A revamped version of a taproom beer of the same name. “The new Solid Gold recipe features lager yeast, corn and lemondrop hops for just the right hit of flavor. Made for sessionable drinking, Solid Gold will appeal to classic lager drinkers but adds a craft character, to balance natural sweetness with a touch of citrus,” the brewery says of this year-round gold lager to be sold in cans. 4.4% ABV, 20 IBUs.

Lift Bridge Brewing Company

  • Irish Coffee Stout – This annual release is an imperial milk stout aged in whiskey barrels and finished with coffee from Five Watt. Available March 3. 8.5% ABV, 50 IBU.

Modist Brewing Co.

  • Pink Pattern – On Valentine’s Day, Modist’s brewery becomes a roller skating rink. Drink this version of False Pattern infused with passion fruit, strawberry, and vanilla while working up a sweat.

Northbound Brewpub & Smokehouse

  • Double Chocolate Raspberry Stout – “This Double Chocolate Raspberry Stout was the winner of the Silver Medal in the 2014 World Beer Cup, which is an international beer competition that happens every two years. We start with a solid 8.7% ABV stout and infuse it, post-fermentation, with premium dark Belgium chocolate, cocoa nibs and real raspberries,” Northbound says of the stout they call “dessert in a glass.”
  • Eisbock – Northbound celebrates the return of this rare beer with a hot poking party on February 20, taking place on their patio.

OMNI Brewing Co.

  • 19th Hole IPA – Brewed while thinking warmer spring thoughts—namely golf—this IPA features Cascade hops and debuts on February 20.
  • Curious IPA 1.0 – Coming for Valentine’s Day, this new beer introduces a new IPA series that will rotate through different hop and malt combinations. “This first version comes in at a 6.8% ABV and uses Simcoe, Cascade, and Chinook—similar to Hopfull but a little different,” the brewery says.
  • Hefeweizen – Hints of banana and clove define this wheat beer set for a March 2 debut. It will also be available in cans.
  • Loonacy – Described as a light Belgian Strong Ale, this pours at 8.0% ABV and features moderate bitterness and a low hop aroma, the brewery says.

Pryes Brewing

  • Azacca Pale Ale – This new small batch pale ale highlights the tropical and citrus notes of the Azacca hop, tapping on February 17 at 2pm.
  • Dublin Dry Stout – On Valentine’s Day, Dublin Dry Stout will have three extra variations available:
  • Chocolate Mint
  • Chocolate Espresso
  • Chocolate Covered Strawberry

Schell’s Brewery

  • Citra Blanc – An American pale lager that debuted in the Biergarten sampler last summer under the name APL returns full-time under a new name. The hoppy lager will be sold in Schell’s new 16-ounce cans.

Surly Brewing Company

  • Cynic with Ash and Simcoe – Available on February 17 only in the Beer Hall for Cask Saturday.
  • Frisson – The sparkling wine-inspired lager is infused with plums and apricot for Infusion Tuesday on February 13.
  • Mole Smoke – On February 14, Mole Smoke is back on tap at the Beer Hall, aged on cacao nibs and chilies.

Curious about recent releases? Peruse our Mash-Up archives. Did we miss a beer release or announcement? Email us at [email protected] 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.



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