Girl Scout Cookies & Beer Pairings

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – stocking your Girl Scout Cookie stash!! We’re pairing some of our favorite Girl Scout cookies with some of our favorite OMNI beers.

Here’s the line up:
Caramel DeLites with Muddy Runner – Coconut Porter
Smores with Daily Dose – Coffee Cream Ale
Lemonades with Loonacy – Belgian Strong Ale
Peanut Butter Sandwiches with Hefeweizen – German Wheat

From 12pm – 5pm on March 10th and 17th we will be serving paired cookie and beer flights for $12–that’s only $2.00 more than our normal flights!

If you would like to take a full box and full growler home with you, you will be able to do that too because cookies will be for sale these days too. The cookie sales will go to support local Brooklyn Park and Champlin troops go to summer camp.

Stay connected with the Facebook event page.

Girl Scout Cookies & Beer Pairings

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – stocking your Girl Scout Cookie stash!! We’re pairing some of our favorite Girl Scout cookies with some of our favorite OMNI beers.

Here’s the line up:
Caramel DeLites with Muddy Runner – Coconut Porter
Smores with Daily Dose – Coffee Cream Ale
Lemonades with Loonacy – Belgian Strong Ale
Peanut Butter Sandwiches with Hefeweizen – German Wheat

From 12pm – 5pm on March 10th and 17th we will be serving paired cookie and beer flights for $12–that’s only $2.00 more than our normal flights!

If you would like to take a full box and full growler home with you, you will be able to do that too because cookies will be for sale these days too. The cookie sales will go to support local Brooklyn Park and Champlin troops go to summer camp.

Stay connected with the Facebook event page.

Buzzed Beer: How brewers fuse beer with coffee, plus seven java brews to try

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Cortado. Americano. Iced caramel latte, sugar-free, no whip.

The options are endless—almost amusingly so—for ordering a cup of morning joe these days. As for coffee-infused beers, the options are just as plentiful, with most breweries serving up at least one French-press-meets-fermenter concoction.

Whether adding grounds, dumping cold press into the fermenter, or adding brewed coffee just before bottling, the type, timing, and techniques with which coffee is added can have a dramatic impact on the final flavor of a beer.

We talked with a few coffee-slinging breweries to find out how, when—and why—they’re infusing their beers the way they do.

Bent Paddle Cold Press Black Ale

Bent Paddle Cold Press Black // Photo courtesy of Bent Paddle

Bent Paddle Cold Press Black // Photo courtesy of Bent Paddle Brewing

The Coffee: Duluth Coffee Company cold press, added just before packaging.

The Why: “Coffee, especially cold press, has a ton of favorable volatile flavors that we try to harness. Boiling (think percolator coffee) and fermentation-style additions will scrub those volatiles or create undesired bitterness in the final product,” says brewer and co-founder Colin Mullen. “Our method captures the important flavor roles that both the beer and the coffee deserve.”

The Feedback: “It’s certainly a gateway beer for some that are shy about ‘dark beer.’ Simply asking, ‘Do you like coffee, chocolate?’ will open people up to trying it,” says Mullen. “We try to make sure our beer is beer first, and then something else second, and we feel that our balanced approach to marrying coffee and beer is successful.”

Barrel Theory Java Oats Coffee Oatmeal Stout

Barrel Theory Java Oats Coffee Oatmeal Stout // Photo courtesy of Barrel Theory

Barrel Theory Java Oats Coffee Oatmeal Stout // Photo courtesy of Barrel Theory Beer Company

The Coffee: Bootstrap’s DIY Espresso, cold-brewed, added to the fermentation vessel.

The Why: “By cold brewing the coffee directly in the beer, the beer isn’t diluted, it’s less acidic, and it allows the flavor profiles of the coffee to come through,” says taproom manager Lindsay Abraham. “This coffee has flavors of milk chocolate, which pairs well in the oatmeal stout-based beer.”

The Feedback: “Our brewer, Timmy, is producing lots of IPAs and Berliners,” says Abraham. “Java Oats is almost the most ‘approachable’ beer offering in comparison. A lot of breweries are making stouts and coffee stouts, so there’s a familiarity with the style but also the flavors: coffee, roasty, chocolaty, nutty. People say they could drink this beer any time of the day—it’s a good brunch beer, something to drink while camping or fishing, or a beer they could see having with dessert.”

Fulton War & Peace Imperial Coffee Stout

Fulton War & Peace Imperial Coffee Stout // Photo courtesy of Fulton Brewing

Fulton War & Peace Imperial Coffee Stout // Photo courtesy of Fulton Brewing

The Coffee: Whole-bean Peace Coffee Guatemalan Dark Roast added to the fermenter, post-fermentation.

The Why: “The coffee flavor and aroma imparted is intense, with an almost-espresso-like characteristic to it,” says Brian Hoffman, vice president of sales. “Also, the coffee added in this way adds no bitterness that can come from a brewed coffee.”

The Feedback: “There’s a great balance between the coffee and malt, which makes it appeal to both coffee drinkers and fans of darker, more malty beers,” Hoffman says.

Next Page: Brown ales, strong ales, and golden coffee beers

Third Street Brewhouse releases Cool Beans Imperial Coffee Porter

Winter at Third Street Brewhouse is getting “cooler” with the release of their specialty beer, Cool Beans Imperial Coffee Porter. Clocking in at 9.1% ABV, the porter is brewed with coffee beans from Muggsy’s Beans, a local coffee roaster in St. Cloud.

“This is really the perfect beer for the cold, Minnesota winter we’ve been having,” says head brewer Karl Schmitz. “We’ve blended bold coffee with rich chocolate for a smooth, drinkable dark beer.”

Third Street’s specialty launch also introduces the coffee porter’s new can and packaging design, according to the press release. Previously available in 750-milliliter bottles, Cool Beans is now available in four-packs of 16-ounce cans.

Third Street Brewhouses’ craft beers are available for purchase in liquor stores across the state, and on tap in many local bars and restaurants.


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What We’re Drinking: Early April Edition

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Paulaner Hefeweizen in Munich, Germany // Photo by Brian Kaufenberg

Welcome back to What We’re Drinking, the new bi-weekly feature wherein The Growler editorial staff look back on a recent remarkable beverage. What are you drinking, Growler Nation? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Coffee Chocolate Golden Ale at Birch’s On The Lake – John Garland, Senior Editor 

Coffee Chocolate Golden Ale at Birch's On The Lake // Photo by Taryn Verley

Coffee Chocolate Golden Ale at Birch’s On The Lake // Photo by Taryn Verley

I’m pretty sure that half of my high school class at one point held a summer job at Billy’s Lighthouse on Long Lake. I remember Billy’s as mediocre in every way. Food? Meh. Service? It was my stupid high school chums, so yeah, pretty terrible.

Thank goodness Birch’s On The Lake has reinvigorated that space. The space is cozy and the food is better than the brewpub average. Make sure to stop there for brunch and get the walleye benedict and huevos rancheros.

But before that, start your Sunday off right with their coffee chocolate golden ale—a beer that’s as confusing as it is delicious. It smells like cocoa nibs, the first taste is a light morning blend coffee, but then it finishes like robust golden ale, just the way it looks. The only beer I can think of in this same vein is Goose Island’s Fulton St. Blend, and  I can’t think of a better breakfast beer in the Cities.

Brooklyn Defender IPA – Keith Grauman, Web Editor

Brooklyn Defender IPA // Photo by Keith Grauman

Brooklyn Defender IPA // Photo by Keith Grauman

It’s finally time for me to get something off my chest: I own the movie “Alien vs. Predator,” paid actual real money for it, and wholeheartedly enjoy watching it, which I have done more times than I can count and as recently as late 2015.

If you’re still reading this, my sincerest thanks. Most people slowly back away from me while maintaining trepidatious eye contact after I reveal this little-known detail of my life. But what does one of modern cinema’s greatest achievements have to do with Brooklyn Brewery’s Defender IPA? Glad you asked.

This beer brings together two of my favorite things in life: Aliens and Predators. (Wait, no, sorry, once I get AVP on the brain it’s hard for me to switch gears.) Beer and comics, that’s it. I was just as delighted to see the return of Brooklyn Defender as I was the first time I saw the silhouette of a camouflaged Predator creep out of the shadows and come mouth to mouth (to smaller, extendable mouth) with an Alien.

So, who is the masked hero that graces the beer’s label and gives it its name? I’ll let Brooklyn Brewery explain: “The Defender is constantly vigilant, standing guard over all those who dare to create, to dream, and to drink great beer.”

As it has been for the past several years, the beer was brewed in collaboration with New York Comic Con to serve as the official beer of the convention. This year’s label art comes courtesy of Khary Randolph, whose previous credits include work on Spider-Man, X-Men, Hellboy, and Boondocks. In the past, according to Brooklyn’s website, the beer has taken the form of an amber IPA, “darkly hoppy ale,” and a red IPA, but this year it’s a juicy, 6.7% ABV West Coast-style IPA.

Pouring a reddish-amber with an off-white head that quickly dissipates, Defender bursts with hop aromas of melon, citrus, and pine. But just like many modern vigilantes, the real hero of this beer lurks in the shadows, rarely getting the recognition it deserves: the malt bill, which consists of Pilsner, Crisp, CaraRed, and Crystal. Each sip leaves you with just enough sweetness to keep you coming back for more, and while the Pilgrim, Willamette, Cascade, Mosaic, and Amarillo hops are ever-present, you’re not left with a tongue that feels like it needs to be scraped off.

Defender is now a year-round beer for Brooklyn, and is currently on store shelves.

Summit Brewing Company 30th Anniversary Double IPA – Ellen Burkhardt, Associate Editor

Summit Brewing 30th Anniversary Double IPA // Photo via Summit's Facebook

Summit Brewing 30th Anniversary Double IPA // Photo via Summit’s Facebook

Spring is temperamental. It wafts in on warm breezes and happy sunshine one moment, then blasts you with freezing rain and a foot of snow the next. It’s bitter yet bright, intense yet smooth. It packs a punch while simultaneously soothing our winter-inflicted wounds.

Summit’s 30th Anniversary Double IPA has a lot in common with Minnesota spring. It’s bitter on the sip, immediately triggering a lemon-sour reaction from the tongue, but then soothes that zing with a more mild-mannered body that’s smooth and full. The nose is crisp and balanced, with hop aromas and biscuity malts coming through. It warms you up while waking you up, then uses its 8.5% ABV to help you settle in for the long haul of waiting for summer.

Bavarian beer straight from the source – Brian Kaufenberg, Managing Editor

Bavarian Beers

Paulaner hefeweizen, Augustiner fastenbier, and Hobräu dunkel // Photos by Brian Kaufenberg

I’ve always had an affinity towards German beer styles, so my trip to Munich, Germany, and Salzburg, Austria, was a veritable pilgrimage for me. Unsurprisingly, beer served straight from the source tasted more delicious than the imports I enjoyed back in the U.S. Sure, the atmosphere inside the bustling beer halls filled with stein-hoisting waiters, giant pretzels, and polka bands certainly added to the subjective enjoyment of the beer, but more importantly the beer was fresh and served at the right temperature.

The hefeweizen at Paulaner was zestier with more fragrant esters than any I’d ever had before. The malts in the dunkel at Hofbräuhaus asserted themselves, thanks to being served a few degrees warmer than most American beer. The fastenbier and Märzen poured straight from oak barrels at Augustiner Bräustübl in Salzburg had the soft, fine carbonation expected of cask conditioned ale.

Only centuries of brewing can make such outstanding beer seem so effortless.

Rogue Cold Brew IPA hits stores this April

Rogue Ales Cold Brew IPA

Sure, it’s not the first cold press coffee collaboration beer, but then again this isn’t the usual coffee-infused stout or porter—it’s an IPA.

Rogue Ales of Newport, Oregon, which is known for brewing untraditional beers, created Cold Brew IPA to experiment with the bold flavors of cold press coffee and hops. According to the brewery’s description, the beer opens with a “huge hit of rich coffee aroma that is balanced by a not-so-subtle hop punch” which transitions seamlessly from one flavor to the other.

The 7.2% ABV and 82 IBU IPA is made with Stumptown’s Cold Brew Coffee, which is cold-brewed for over 12 hours and then double filtered for a smooth, complex brew, as well as Rogue Farms grown hops.

“These are two of my favorite things,” said Rogue brewmaster John Maier in a press release. “I would describe it as Oregon IPA meets Oregon Cold Brew Coffee.”

Rogue Cold Brew IPA will available on draft and in 22-ounce bottles nationwide in April.


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Louie the Loon on Coffee Beer

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EATING AND DRINKING WITH JOE ALTON: BEER FOR BREAKFAST

The Growler’s managing editor Joe Alton joins the Current’s Morning Show to talk about the latest trends in the Minnesota craft beer scene.

From The Current Music Blog:

LISTEN HERE

The Current’s Morning Show’s Jill Riley and Steve Seel hung out with The Growler’s Joe Alton about the growing trend to have a caffinated craft beer. They sampled a couple of the beers:

Fulton War & Peace – Their imperial stout made with peace coffee
Surly Coffee Bender – American brown ale steeped cold in coffee for 24 hrs.
Founder’s Breakfast Stout – Flaked oats, chocolate, coffee
Mikkeller’s Beer Geek Breakfast – Oatmeal stout brewed with coffee

Others to check out that we didn’t get to this morning:
Lagunitas Cappuccino (Imperial-esque) Stout
Lift Bridge Irish Coffee Stout
Southern Tier Jahva