Boxstore Bird Fall Music Series

This fall, we’ll be welcoming Boxstore Bird into the Sociable Cider Werks taproom for an intimate series every Wednesday night. From 7:30PM to 8:30PM you can head on over to the taproom and hear songs from their new album, “Dirt Makes Pretty,” as well as your old favorites.

Boxstore Bird is heritage Americana, a delightful mix of americana, bluegrass, and storytelling that will hook you with a rare kind of songwriting.

This lyrically driven project was born out of a desire to create a different kind of musical experience–one in which the audience and artist can connect through a song and a story. Frontman Drew Peterson has been writing songs for over 20 years, and his lyrics have the power to pull you in and hold you there in anticipation of the story’s conclusion. He will be accompanied by Mandy Fassett, an incredibly talented musician who will blow you away with her fiddle, cello, and mandolin solos.

 

Barrel Aged All Hallows Eve

Get yourself on over to the Barrel Aged All Hallows Eve party at Sociable. We’ve got a full day of festivities planned, starting with fun for the little ones from 2pm to 6pm, and then, after you drop them off at the babysitters, we’ll be getting rowdy with the release of our Rum Barrel Aged Freewheeler.

HALLOWS EVE FOR KIDS (2-6pm):
Bring the kiddos by for a family friendly afternoon of pumpkin carving, bobbing for apples, trick or treating, smores and some good old fashion alcohol free cider! (Don’t worry, the good hard stuff will still be available for those 21 plus kids too).

HALLOWS EVE FOR ADULTS:
Costume contest, sweet tracks (including the Monster Mash) from DJ Hazy Harold, and the first taste of Rum Barrel Aged Freewheeler.

Food Truck: Red River Kitchen • City House

Stay connected with the Facebook event page for updates.

Boxstore Bird Fall Music Series

This fall, we’ll be welcoming Boxstore Bird into the Sociable Cider Werks taproom for an intimate series every Wednesday night. From 7:30PM to 8:30PM you can head on over to the taproom and hear songs from their new album, “Dirt Makes Pretty,” as well as your old favorites.

Boxstore Bird is heritage Americana, a delightful mix of americana, bluegrass, and storytelling that will hook you with a rare kind of songwriting.

This lyrically driven project was born out of a desire to create a different kind of musical experience–one in which the audience and artist can connect through a song and a story. Frontman Drew Peterson has been writing songs for over 20 years, and his lyrics have the power to pull you in and hold you there in anticipation of the story’s conclusion. He will be accompanied by Mandy Fassett, an incredibly talented musician who will blow you away with her fiddle, cello, and mandolin solos.

 

Boxstore Bird Fall Music Series

This fall, we’ll be welcoming Boxstore Bird into the Sociable Cider Werks taproom for an intimate series every Wednesday night. From 7:30PM to 8:30PM you can head on over to the taproom and hear songs from their new album, “Dirt Makes Pretty,” as well as your old favorites.

Boxstore Bird is heritage Americana, a delightful mix of americana, bluegrass, and storytelling that will hook you with a rare kind of songwriting.

This lyrically driven project was born out of a desire to create a different kind of musical experience–one in which the audience and artist can connect through a song and a story. Frontman Drew Peterson has been writing songs for over 20 years, and his lyrics have the power to pull you in and hold you there in anticipation of the story’s conclusion. He will be accompanied by Mandy Fassett, an incredibly talented musician who will blow you away with her fiddle, cello, and mandolin solos.

 

The Mash-Up: Shakopee Brewhall debuts, plus ABR and other big beer events bring fresh flavors

Shakopee Brewhall opened its doors to the public yesterday // Photo by Katelyn Regenscheid

Shakopee Brewhall opened its doors to the public yesterday // Photo by Katelyn Regenscheid

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.

New breweries continue to open, including Shakopee Brewhall on September 14. In addition to Shakopee’s new offerings, Autumn Brew Review, Utepils Oktoberfest, and Sociable Cider Werks’ Best of the Wurst festivals will keep Minnesotans from going thirsty.

Across the state, the fresh hop beers are arriving and the fall seasonals—from pumpkin spice to red IPAs—are on tap with more to come. For those looking out for rare and unique beers, Bad Weather is concluding Barrel Aged Week, Surly has a Cellar Raid planned, and the Hullabaloo lineup was just released.

New beers available this week (September 11–September 17)

Sociable Cider Werks has a slew of new beers available for the Best of the Wurst // Photo via Sociable's Twitter

Sociable Cider Werks has a slew of new beers available for the Best of the Wurst // Photo via Sociable’s Twitter

10K Brewing

  • Blue Loon

August Schell Brewing Co.

Schell’s has two new beers in their Fall Sampler Pack, packaged with staples Firebrick and Pilsner.

  • Farmhouse Ale
  • Schwarzbier

Bad Weather Brewing Company

  • Munich Helles Lager – Bad Weather’s Helles lager returns after two months in tank. As the brewery describes: “Aromas of clean, cracker like pilsner malt. Every so subtle floral/spicy hop aroma. Flavors of grainy, bready pilsner malt that is clean and slightly sweet, and a soft hop bitterness. Crisp, clean, dry traditional lager character that pours pale straw with a creamy white head.”

Badger Hill Brewing

  • Honey Badger Autumn IPA – An IPA that uses the same honey as their Todd Haug collaboration Hexit.

Barley John’s Brewing Company

  • Kölsch – The production brewery teased this secret beer that is “clear and top fermented with a bright straw-yellow hue.” It’s releasing today.

Bauhaus Brew Labs

  • High Vice Berliner Weisse – A blend of sweet and tart cherries. Taproom only.

Bent Paddle Brewing Co.

  • Valve Jockey Series #3 – A “session” Barleywine to be sold in 16 oz. 4-packs and on draft. This limited time beer is malt forward and will raise funds and awareness for Northwoods Women in Science. 7.1% ABV, 50 IBU.

Big Wood Brewery

  • Big Black Wolf – A Cascadian Dark Ale, now available and 7.4% ABV, 72 IBU.

Boom Island Brewing Company

  • Black Currant Imperial Wheat Wine – As the name says, it’s a malty wheat wine brewed with the addition of tart black currant. “Big body and taste but easy to drink,” says Boom Island. Out September 15 at 4pm.

C Squared Ciders

The Denver cidery made its Minnesota debut. They will also pour at the 17th Annual Autumn Brew Review festival on Saturday.

  • Ella – A medium-dry India Pale Cider with Azacca hops. 6.5% ABV.
  • Ginger – A medium-dry cider infused with organic ginger. 5.5% ABV.
  • Lila – Off-dry cider with Colorado lavender, honey, juniper, and rose hips. 5% ABV.
  • Nona – Off-dry and “seductively bittersweet,” says C Squared. 6% ABV.

Copper Trail Brewing Co.

  • Indigo Wheat

Disgruntled Brewing

  • Reaper – A “bright and hoppy” New England-style IPA, brewed with Citra and Mosaic hops.

Foxhole Brewhouse

  • Allie’s Oatmeal Stout – Named in honor of a deceased pet. On nitro.

Lupine Brewing Company    

  • Apple Ale – Made using local apples from Fall Harvest Orchard.

LynLake Brewery

  • Suzy Q – A farmhouse ale that pours at 4.7% ABV, 15 IBU.

Shakopee Brewhall

Shakopee’s newest brewery quietly opened their doors last night. Included in their lineup are (all descriptions from the brewery):

  • Shakopee Red – A lighter amber ale offering with notes of caramel and slight citrus on the nose and flavors of caramel and treacle. Very drinkable with just a hint of lingering sweetness. 5.1% ABV, 31 IBU.
  • Shakopee Light – An extremely easy drinking light lager with aromas of pilsner malt that are completed by slight floral and biscuit tones. 4% ABV, 21 IBU
  • Nutty Mad – A tasty brown ale for the darker beer neophyte and veteran alike. Boasting aromas of light roast coffee and milk chocolate, with similar flavors on the palate along with just a hint of toffee. This beer finishes with just a bit of lingering bitterness. 5.4% ABV, 23 IBU
  • Holmes Landing Saison – Powerful notes of banana and undertones of orange and lemon greet you. A flavorful offering that finishes quite dry on the palate. Medium high in carbonation with no lingering bitterness, this beer will surprise you with how easy it is to enjoy. 7.2% ABV, 24 IBU
  • The Six IPA – A softer IPA than most of its West Coast cousins, this beer boasts a prominent orange citrus aroma that complements its orange appearance perfectly. Expect flavors of bright citrus and light caramel along with a mild, but lingering bitterness. 6% ABV, 42 IBU.

Sociable Cider Werks

Sociable celebrates Best of the Wurst festival this Sunday with a fully German beer lineup, in addition to their ciders.

  • Alt
  • Apple Berliner Weisse
  • Marzen
  • Pils
  • Vienna Lager

Utepils Brewing

  • Receptional – A festbier in the German spirit to mark the famed beer festival that the brewery is celebrating onsite this weekend. This light-body beer is refreshing and satisfying, sessionable with a dry and subtle caramel finish.

Wild Mind Artisan Ales

  • Feeling Lucky – A dark sour blend made exclusively for Autumn Brew Review (ABR). This version includes sweet cherries and cocoa nibs. “This one has something for stout and sour fans alike,” the brewery says.
  • Silla – Another ABR exclusive, this smoked peach sour has additions of cinnamon, vanilla, and oak spirals.

Seasonal or rotating returns

Beaver Island's Oktoberfest is back // Photo via Beaver Island's Facebook

Beaver Island Brewing’s Oktoberfest is back // Photo via Beaver Island’s Facebook

56 Brewing

  • Oktoberfest – A weekend celebration from September 15–17.
  • Wet Hop Pale Ale – Brewed using 63 pounds of Centennial hops.

Beaver Island Brewing Company  

  • Fallelujah Pumpkin Ale – A new seasonal from St. Cloud. “Brewed with British pale, dark crystal, Munich and a touch of beechwood smoked malt from Bamberg, Germany. A dose of Golden Delicious pumpkin and a blend of spices is also added to give this beer a true Autumn touch,” the brewery says. 7.0% ABV, 18 IBU.
  • Oktoberfest – On tap and in cans.

Bemidji Brewing

  • Autumn IPA – A red IPA with malty sweetness, berry aromatics, and a resinous finish, the brewery says. Now available.

Copper Trail Brewing Co.

  • Minnesour

Dangerous Man Brewing Co.

  • Secret Nugget IPA – A 7.3% ABV, 70 IBU IPA from Dangerous Man, described as having notes of lemonade, honeydew, papaya, fresh grass, pink peppercorn. 7.3% ABV, 70 IBU.

Fair State Brewing Cooperative

  • It’s Gold, Jerry! – Golden ale brewed with Cascade hops from Mighty Axe made its seasonal return this week. 4.8% ABV, 30 IBU.

Forager Brewery

  • Pudding Goggles

HammerHeart Brewing Company

  • Thor’s Porter – A hot pepper porter, now on tap according to the brewery website.

Indeed Brewing Company

  • Oktoberfest

Lupulin Brewing

  • Two Nuts – An English brown ale.

Mankato Brewery

  • Pumpkin Grinder – Mankato’s annual fall release. “This silky pumpkin ale balances subtle tones of pumpkin and spice with a rich malt backbone, making for a satisfying mélange of fall flavor,” the brewery says.

Oliphant Brewing

  • Octoberboi – Oktoberfest lager out of Somerset. 6.3% ABV.

Roundhouse Brewery

  • Spur Line – Roundhouse’s gluten free beer is back. 6.5% ABV, 42 IBU.

Beers just announced

Lake Monster is rolling in fresh hops // Photo via Lake Monster's Twitter

Lake Monster is rolling in fresh hops // Photo via Lake Monster’s Twitter

Bang Brewing

  • Club – Bang’s lager is currently in the tanks and back on tap soon.

Indeed Brewing Company

  • Cask Wall – One feature at this year’s Hullabaloo party at Indeed (Oct. 14-15) is the cask wall, featuring 21 special infusion offerings.

Lake Monster Brewing

  • Loonatick Fresh Hop IPA – Coming in early October and made with Centennial hops from Might Axe. To be sold in cans and on draft.

Lakeville Brewing Co.

  • Oktoberfest – Out on Sept. 23 when the brewpub celebrates the German festival.

Lupine Brewing Company

  • Destruction Wheat Wine – Aged in a rye whiskey barrel from J. Carver Distillery, this will be on sale at Lupine’s Oktoberfest celebration on Sept. 23.
  • Oktoberfest – Also on tap will be a Lupine Oktoberfest aged in rye barrels.

Surly Brewing Co.

  • Furious Black – Let the Harry Potter references fly when this extra roasty take on Furious IPA returns on Sept. 25. 2017 is the first time it will be sold in 750-milliliter bottles.
  • Furious Black cask – A day after its debut, Furious Black will be sold at the Beer Hall for Cask Tuesday.
  • Furious cask – Surly beer Hall will tap an exclusive cask of flagship Furious IPA on Tuesday Sept. 19.
  • Surly Beer Hall Cellar Raid – This Sept. 25 event will have rare Surly bottles available with tableside service. Options include 2008-2016 Darkness, Four, 2010 Smoke, and 1349 Black Ale.

Unmapped Brewing Co.

  • A currently untitled fresh hop beer using wet hops from Gladden Farms.

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.

8 things every brewery should do to be more conservation-minded

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The idea of being more sustainable can be daunting for any brewer when you consider all the heat, water, and ingredients in play, not to mention the potential for waste. But when you get to the core of sustainability, it comes down to maximizing usage, buying smart, and giving back. Here are eight ways any brewery big or small, new or established, can make its beers feel as good as they taste.

1. Be conscious of your sourcing habits. Source locally when possible.

While it’s not yet possible for Minnesota breweries to entirely source local hops, homegrown adjunct ingredients are in ready supply.

56 Brewing uses local honey, indigenous spices, herbs, and flowers, some which are grown on-site, in its pilot beer creations, and Able Seedhouse + Brewery uses 225 pounds of native Minnesota elderberries in its Elderberry Kettle Sour.

Austin Jevne, the head brewer at Forager Brewing, has a passion for creating beers from wild ingredients he has found in and around Rochester, making for beers that are fresh, creative, and good for the environment. August Schell Brewing contracted two farmers in the New Ulm region to grow 140 acres of barley, and is working to increase the acreage this year.

Another great way to make an impact is to consciously source ugly fruits and vegetables, which consumers largely pass over in grocery stores. This eliminates food waste from overproduction and helps the bottom lines of local farmers.

2. Measure, or at least audit, water use

Water is at the heart of brewing beer, and any brewery with the goal of sustainability can start measuring and reducing water usage. A leaking valve can cost a brewery up to four dollars an hour in wasted water.

Installing flow meters to continuously monitor water use is a simple fix for small and large brewers alike. Some breweries, like Bent Paddle Brewing Co., opt for on-demand hot water instead of having a typical water heater, cutting the cost and energy usage of heating more water than is needed.

But water usage should be audited not just in brewing, but in cleaning and packaging as well. To reduce water usage at Pitchfork Brewing, head brewer Mike Fredricksen built a sanitation system that recaptures reusable sanitizing liquids, and the owners of 10K Brewing opted for a nano water treatment system to correct for Anoka’s hard water, foregoing wasteful reverse osmosis treatment.

3. Donate to sustainable causes and get active with conservation organizations

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Brewing a Better Forest works with breweries to help newly planted trees in the Twin Cities // Photo by Keith Grauman

Many of Minnesota’s breweries work to make a positive impact on the environment through giving back to the community.

Founded on stewardship of Lake Minnetonka, Excelsior Brewing donates one percent of its profits to support the lake through organizations like the Freshwater Society.

Twin Cities brewers, such as 612Brew and Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub, among many others, work with Brewing a Better Forest, a nonprofit connecting arborists, brewers, and craft beer fans in the spirit of nurturing and adopting the newly planted trees of the Twin Cities.

Some brewers choose to get politically active. Fitger’s Brewhouse, Carmody, Thirsty Pagan, and Bent Paddle voiced opposition to the PolyMet Mining NorthMet copper-nickel mining project by joining the Downstream Business Coalition.

4. Be mindful of energy efficiency

Investing in heat- and energy-recovery systems is a good step for brewers looking to be more sustainable.

Some breweries, like Utepils Brewing in Minneapolis, are able to invest in state-of-the-art brewing systems that cut down on energy use and recapture heat. Renewable energy is another way for a brewery to cut down its carbon footprint. Odell Brewing and Central Waters Brewing, among others have invested in systems like solar thermal panels to heat and power their breweries.

Breweries unable to afford solar panels or wind turbines can take a step in the right direction by purchasing renewable energy credits to help offset their carbon footprint. But even easy changes, like installing LED light bulbs or updating seals and thermostats in a brewery’s cooler can also make a huge impact.

Next page: Events, packaging, landscaping, & more

Beers for Bob: 10 perfect pairings honoring Dylan’s Nobel Prize

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Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited // Photo via Flickr user mtarvainen, CC 2.0

Bob Dylan became the first singer-songwriter to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature on Thursday for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”

In honor of this achievement by one of Minnesota’s most recognizable native sons, here are 10 of our favorite Dylan songs or albums and their perfect Minnesota beer companion.

“Blonde on Blonde” – Bemidji Brewing German Blonde & Fulton Lonely Blonde

With a freshly-minted bronze medal from this year’s Great American Beer Festival, grab a pint of Bemidji Brewing’s German Blonde in one hand and a bottle of Fulton’s Lonely Blonde in the other for the perfect complement to Dylan’s 1966 “Blonde on Blonde.”

“Highway 61 Revisited” – Castle Danger Brewing Mosaic Fresh Hop IPA

In his memoir, “Chronicles: Volume One,” Dylan had this to say about the road that inspired the name of his 1965 album: “Highway 61, the main thoroughfare of the country blues, begins about where I began. I always felt like I’d started on it, always had been on it and could go anywhere, even down in to the deep Delta country. It was the same road, full of the same contradictions, the same one-horse towns, the same spiritual ancestors […] It was my place in the universe, always felt like it was in my blood.” Situated just blocks from Highway 61 in Two Harbors, grab something from Castle Danger Brewing, like their Mosaic Fresh Hop IPA due out next week, as you throw on this Dylan classic.

“Blood on the Tracks” – Blood Orange Traitor from Badger Hill Brewing

Badger Hill’s Blood Orange Traitor was one of our favorite beers at the 8th Annual Summer Beer Dabbler and Badger Hill recently bottled a limited run of it. It’s the perfect accompaniment to Dylan’s 1975 “Blood on the Tracks.”

“The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan” – Sociable Cider Werks Freewheeler

This 1963 release includes some of Dylan’s most well-known songs, including “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “Girl from the North Country.” Pair it with a pint of Sociable Cider Werks’ Freewheeler Dry Apple.

“Maggie’s Farm” – Maggie’s Leap from NorthGate Brewing

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Maggie’s Leap // Photo by Aaron Davidson

Bob Dylan drew a line in the sand at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival when he played a set that featured more of an electric blues/rock and roll sound than the acoustic folk sound he was known for up until then. The rendition of “Maggie’s Farm” he played during that set was one of the songs at the center of the controversy surrounding the performance, with Dylan playing much faster and more aggressive than the recorded version from “Bringing It All Back Home.” It was a first for Dylan, which makes it the perfect pairing for Minnesota’s first canned nitro beer, NorthGate’s Maggie’s Leap.

“Like A Rolling Stone” – Olvalde Rollingstoner

While listening to what might be Dylan’s most recognizable song, reach for Rollingstoner from Olvalde Farmhouse Ales, which is located in… wait for it… Rollingstone, Minnesota. The beer is an unfiltered real ale, which is an apt description of Dylan himself.

“All Along The Watchtower” – Surly Witch’s Tower Session Brown Ale

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Surly Witch’s Tower // Photo via Surly Facebook page

Dylan spent time living in Dinkytown around 1959 and it’s rumored that “All Along The Watchtower” was partly inspired by the Witch’s Hat Tower in Prospect Park, which Dylan would have been able to see from his Dinkytown dwelling. When Surly was getting ready to open their Minneapolis destination brewery in 2014, they named this session brown ale after the landmark, which can be seen from their patio.

“A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall” – Steel Toe Rainmaker

Steel Toe’s double red ale, brewed “a torrent of hops,” is the perfect companion to this 1963 song that evokes stories of injustice, suffering, pollution, and warfare.

“The Basement Tapes” – Fair State/Fulton/Oakhold Frontenac

Barrels at Fair State Brewing Co-op

Barrels in the basement at Fair State Brewing Co-op // Photo by Brian Kaufenberg

Apparently magical things can happen in basements. Exhibit A: The songs featuring Dylan’s vocals on “The Basement Tapes” were recorded in houses in and around Woodstock, New York, where Dylan and The Band lived in 1967. Exhibit B: Nearly every square inch that’s not being used for some other purpose in Fair State’s basement is being used to age beer in barrels. Frontenac is a barrel-fermented sour beer made collaboration with Fulton and Oakhold that was aged in Frontenac and Marquette wine barrels from Parley Lake Winery.

“Forever Young” – August Schell Brewing’s Noble Star series

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Cypress Blanc, a release in Schell’s Noble Star series // Photo courtesy of Schell’s

At more than 150 years old, Schell’s is the oldest brewery in Minnesota and the second oldest family-owned brewery in the country. Instead of using their age as an excuse to rest on their laurels, however, Schell’s continues to innovate, living up to a line from this 1974 Dylan classic: “May your hands always be busy, May your feet always be swift, May you have a strong foundation when the winds of change shift.” Schell’s Noble Star series deserves a lion’s share of the credit for sparking the current popularity of mixed-fermentation, or “sour,” beers in Minnesota, making it the perfect pairing for “Forever Young.”

Sociable Cider introduces barrel-aging program

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Barrels in Sociable’s taproom // Photo by Aaron Davidson, The Growler

Sociable Cider Werks co-owner Jim Watkins is never satisfied. He’s always tinkering with things, whether it’s cooking a steak or sourcing apples for the cider served at the taproom in Northeast Minneapolis. It’s no wonder then that the Sociable team is experimenting with the complex flavors that come from barrel-aging their fermented fruit beverage.

The plan is fairly simple. Sociable sourced barrels from several distilleries, including High West in Utah and Panther Distillery in Osakis, Minnesota. They’ll fill them with cider and let the oak do its thing.

“There’s so much you can do on the back end of cider when it comes to flavor,” says Watkins. This was the motivation for him, to play with flavors and share the results with people. “I really like barrel-aged ciders but cider is delicate. If you’re going to spend time on it, you really want to go subtle on the wood,” he explains.

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Barrels from Panther Distillery is Osakis, Minnesota // Photo by Aaron Davidson, The Growler

Bourbon barrels tend to work well, Watkins says, since the tannins have been pulled from the wood for at least three years. One of Sociable’s more successful experiments was a cider aged in a bourbon barrel that had most recently held honey. “This one developed so many cool flavors,” he recalls. “There was a big floral component to it.” It will be one of the many barrel-aged releases to hit 750-milliliter bottles in the coming months.

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Barrels in Sociable’s taproom // Photo by Aaron Davidson, The Growler

First up, though, will be a batch of Freewheeler aged in a sauvignon blanc barrel—a special cider made in collaboration with Republic Seven Corners for the bar and restaurant’s five-year anniversary. Matty O’Reilly (co-owner of Republic) provided a sauvignon blanc barrel, in which Sociable fermented a cider with Lactobacillus. Watkins explained that with cider, the Lacto actually mellows the flavor rather than turning it sour. The bulk of this batch will go into kegs with the rest hitting 750-milliliter bottles.

Related post – Four years on Seven Corners: A profile of Matty O’Reilly

“We bounced some ideas off each other about the base and then the vessel it should go in,” says O’Reilly. “I think I said sauvignon blanc barrel and we both kind of nodded and agreed that would be the one.”

After the Republic collaboration release, Sociable will turn next to a spontaneously fermented cider called Penny Farthing, named after the vintage bicycle. Three hundred barrels, equal to 9,300 gallons, of Penny Farthing were made, but not all of them made the cut. “That’s the risk with spontaneous fermentation” says Watkins. “Three batches are going down the drain.” Customers can expect each release of this variety to taste different due to the wild yeast used in fermentation.

Sociable’s barrels will be stored at a warehouse they recently acquired off Broadway Avenue. Since cider sales are robust in summer months and softer in winter months, Sociable will be able to allocate winter time volume for barrel aging that will be ready for distribution when things start to warm up again. Then the different barrel-aged varieties will be slowly released throughout the year—when Watkins is done tinkering, of course.

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Jim Watkins arranges barrels in the Sociable taproom // Photo by Aaron Davidson, The Growler

“This business is very much about managing people’s expectations” he says. Given what we know about him, people should expect to be excited about this new program.

Pain & Glory: The brutal, beer-soaked, free-for-all also known as Cyclocross

Riders plow through a dirt trail // Photo by Jeff Frane

Riders plow through a dirt trail // Photo by Jeffrey Frane

Holy hell this hurts. Holy Hell this hurts. Holy hell This Hurts. HOLY HELL THIS HURTS…

What starts as a cursory observation turns into a sadistic mantra that ricochets around the brain during the 45–60 minute full-tilt boogie that is the average cyclocross race. Sure, other thoughts creep in from time to time, like “Why I am doing this to myself?” but they are quickly overtaken by the pain of pedaling.

The saving grace? The cheers from friends, the smiles from the crowd, knowing that the rider next to you is suffering just as much (if not more) as you are, and, of course, the post-race beverages and camaraderie.

For the past three years the members of the All-City X Fulton racing team have suited up, pinned on numbers, and put the screws to ourselves and our competition during the 25-event Minnesota racing season running from September through November. All-City X Fulton was the first squad put together with support from the new wave of Minnesota breweries, and since its founding in February 2013 we’ve seen other teams pop up, with support from Lucid Brewing (now North Loop BrewCo), Eastlake Craft Brewery, Sociable Cider Werks, and others.

Rain, sleet, or snow, cyclocross racers hit the course // Photo by Jeff Frane

Rain, sleet, or snow, cyclocross racers hit the course // Photo by Jeffrey Frane

It’s not surprising: bikes and beers go together like peanut butter and jelly, work and play, boats and Christopher Cross records. The cycling community is huge in Minnesota, and it’s known for a few things, one of which is the love of a good beverage. Small wonder then that so many breweries around the state have strong ties to the bike scene. Whether it’s the artwork of longtime cyclist Adam Turman or the Fulton Gran Fondo, bike riders make natural allies for breweries, and there are few things better than that first sip of craft beer after a hard day in the saddle.

The discipline of choice for All-City X Fulton, and many other brewery-sponsored bike teams, is cyclocross. Handed down by the European giants from Belgium (the sport’s spiritual homeland), France, and the Netherlands, ‘cross developed as a winter training tool for road-racing professionals and quickly became its own passion. The racing takes place off-road—on grass, dirt, and trail; participants ride drop-bar bikes similar to the ones you find under roadies, but with increased clearance to fit knobby tires and mud.

The courses are full of hills, dips, berms, mud holes, sand pits, and barriers over which the rider must dismount at full clip, jump over, and remount. In fact, races are often won or lost on how smoothly you can execute this skill, which singularly belongs to our sport.

Racer navigate sharp turns on Minnesota's cyclocross courses // Photo by Jeff Frane

Racer navigate sharp turns on Minnesota’s cyclocross courses // Photo by Jeffrey Frane

The racing is sharp, intense, tactical, heady, and gut-wrenching. There comes a point during every race where you reach the point of no return, do or die, give up or push on. From first-timers to wily veterans, riders of all levels, ages, and abilities must reach into the very depths of their ambition, fitness, and mental toughness in order to finish. The best emerge with more than they believed they possessed; the have-nots simply find other ways to enjoy the experience: catching air, high-fiving fans, grabbing a beer from a member of the crowd, or just taking it easy.

Minnesota’s biking scene is one of the strongest and most vibrant in the country, and cyclocross has steadily grown here over the past few years. Every venue has its own character, from the nasty run-ups and switchbacks at Aquila Park in St. Louis Park, to the flyover jump at Green Acres in Lake Elmo, and the single track at Theodore Wirth in Golden Valley.

Balancing out the hard efforts required of racers are the sport’s family elements: the party atmosphere and all-are-welcome vibe, and the most supportive, welcoming, and wonderful crowd of participants that you could ever hope to come across in a competitive sporting environment.

While the racing is good, this atmosphere, steeped in the beer-soaked Belgian tradition, is what keeps us coming back weekend after weekend, year after year. Many of the folks who make up the fiber of these events have no interest in pinning on a number or racing. They are here to cheer, heckle, support, and revel in the efforts of this beautiful and spectator-friendly sport.

Audience-members add to the atmosphere as they hit racers with their best heckles // Photo courtesy of Jeff Frane

Audience-members add to the atmosphere as they hit racers with their best heckles // Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Frane

To many, the party vibe and institutionalized yelling is the very essence of cyclocross. Yes: not only is beer a constant at these races, reminding everyone to not take themselves so damn seriously, but so is the proud tradition of the “heckle.” In the wrong hands this is merely some lame put-down, such as “you’re slow,” but there are those aficionados—those maestros and true masters of heckling—who elevate it to the level of pure artistry. Take this gem shouted at a racer too tired to bike up a hill: “Do you need a leash for that bike? ’Cause you sure do walk it a lot.” Or this classic plug-and-play psychological dig: “If you’re here, who’s at home disappointing your wife/mom/husband?”

The point isn’t to merely demoralize or hurt feelings here; no, any cretin can accomplish that. The goal in ’cross heckling is to make a rider spit-take, smile, laugh, and, even, if only for a moment, forget the effort and suffering that they are putting themselves through. As the races ramp up throughout the day and the beers start to hold sway, the heckling climbs toward a fever pitch of hilarity. At least that’s how it is during the best of times, and in experienced hands.

Whether as a spectator, podium champion, or simply pack fodder, we all come back each weekend in the fall to replay the scene, find new depths, see our friends, and test our mettle (or heckling skills). ’Cross leaves racers coping with sore legs, mud on the face, and a soul that’s been emptied all across the course. But the beer, paired with the cool autumn weather, changing colors of the leaves, and cheering of the fans, makes each painful pedal forward worthwhile.

Sociable Cider Werks to debut caramel apple cider at 2016 Minnesota State Fair


When Lift Bridge first brewed their Mini Donut Beer for the Minnesota State Fair a few years back, they set off a chain reaction among Minnesota breweries that has since spawned beers like Flat Earth’s S’mores Porter and Excelsior’s Maple Bacon Brown Ale. This year, Sociable Cider Werks is debuting their Sociable Caramel Apple at Giggles’ Campfire Grill.

When developing the concoction, Sociable co-owner Jim Watkins turned to an old friend in Nils Rowland, owner of Crème de la Cocoa in Jacksonville. “He’s one of the best confectioners in the southeast,” says Watkins.

Related post: Minnesota State Fair announces new foods for 2016

Since he prides himself on making dry ciders at Sociable, Watkins’ challenge to Rowland was to help him find a way to incorporate caramel into the cider without making it too sweet.

The method they settled on was cooking sugar down into caramel and then making it into a simple syrup using apple juice. Watkins chose this route because he didn’t want to add a potential allergen to the mix in heavy cream, which is traditionally an ingredient in caramel. “I had to figure out how to get this [caramel] into a cider. And caramel turns rock hard if you let it sit,” says Watkins.

After the cider ferments, they add the simple syrup on the back end for some subtle sweetness. The 6% ABV Sociable Caramel Apple will be served exclusively at Giggles’ Campfire Grill, garnished with an apple slice drizzled with caramel.

Sociable’s creation is not to be confused with Freehouse’s Caramel Apple π, which is a beer brewed with caramel and apple cider available at The Blue Barn.


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The State of Cider 2016: Updates from cideries during Minnesota Cider Week

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June 6–11 is Minnesota Cider Week

For at least one week in the year, cider reigns supreme in Minnesota. Town Hall Brewery’s sixth annual weeklong cider celebration runs through June 11, and this year the event was rebranded Minnesota Cider Week to reflect the growing community of cidermakers and cider drinkers across the state.

Cider is an essentially simple beverage—take apple juice, ferment it, and voila, you have cider—but cidermakers around the country, and here in Minnesota, are proving that the simple process can yield a wide range of flavorful, complex ciders.

Minnesota has a long legacy with apples. Since 1887, the plant breeders at the University of Minnesota have been developing hardy apple varieties that can withstand the state’s climate. Over that time they have released nearly 30 apple varieties, including Haralson, Beacon, and Honeycrisp—varieties that have left an indelible mark on orchards all across the country.

However, the varieties developed for, and widely grown in, Minnesota are sweeter “table” apples found in the produce sections of grocery stores; not the acidic, tannic, and bitter cider apples historically used in the beverage.

The state’s growing community of cidermakers are exploring new ways to craft ciders from apples currently grown in Minnesota, and are forging new paths to producing cider apples not typically found here.

We checked in with some of the state’s cider orchards and cidermakers about where local cider is at, where it’s going, and what’s new this season.

Wyndfall Cyder

Wyndfall Cyder

Wyndfall Artisan Cyder // Photo via Wyndfall Facebook page

After a year and a half of producing Wyndfall Cyder at Hoch Orchards in Le Crescent, Minnesota, founder and cidermaker Rob Fisk is moving operations to an orchard closer to the Twin Cities. “Going forward, I’ll be operating out of the Minnesota Harvest Orchard in Jordan,” Fisk says. “We are in the works of building a cidery on the orchard with a tasting room coming later this summer.”

Fisk recently moved the last of Wyndfall’s fermentation equipment to Sponsel’s Minnesota Harvest Apple Orchard, a pick-your-own orchard established in 1971 with over 300 acres of apples. He is working with the owners to integrate more cider apple varieties in the orchard. “We planted about 75 trees this spring with plans to graft over many others later,” says Fisk, who has a master’s in horticulture from the University of Minnesota.

Wyndfall Cyder is currently producing three ciders: Root River, a semi-sweet raspberry cider that received a silver medal at the 2015 Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition (GLINTCAP); Driftless Dry, an English brut–style cider; and Homesteader, a semi-dry hopped cider that recently took home a silver medal at the 2016 GLINTCAP.

Sweetland Orchard 

Bottles of Sweetland Orchard's Scrumpy Original // Photo courtesy Sweetland Orchard

Bottles of Sweetland Orchard’s Scrumpy Original // Photo courtesy Sweetland Orchard

Sweetland Orchard

Sweetland Orchard // Photo via Sweetland Facebook page

Gretchen and Mike Perbix of Sweetland Orchard spent this spring planting 430 new saplings and marveling at the extraordinary bloom and fruit set of their established table, cider, and heirloom apple trees. The couple started Sweetland Orchard in Webster, Minnesota, back in 2010 as a way to connect with the land, and over the years they’ve taken their role as stewards of that land seriously. In order to rely on as few harmful external inputs as possible, the Perbixes use an integrated pest management (IPM) approach to growing their apples.

The approach entails monitoring pests and only treating the orchard for those pests once they reach a certain threshold. While IPM is more labor intensive and challenging, it offers the Perbixes a welcomed alternative to the “scorched earth policy” of spraying synthetic pesticides and herbicides according to the calendar, whether the orchard needs treatment or not.

Sweetland, like many of the state’s cideries, is interested in finding out which cider and heirloom varieties are well-suited for Minnesota’s climate. In fact, Sweetland is the administrator of a grant that proposes establishing eight trial orchards to grow 12 cider apple varieties on two different rootstocks across Minnesota to see which, if any, thrives.

While the grant awaits approval, Sweetland will continue to produce its lineup of dry and off-dry ciders that include Scrumpy’s Original, Sweet, and Cherry Rhubarb, as well as Perennial, made from heirloom varieties, and Northern Spy, made exclusively from its namesake apple.

Next page: Milk & Honey, Keepsake, & Number 12

Symphony and Suds Takes Classical Music Off the Stage and Into the Taproom

Osmo Vanska conducts the Minnesota Orchestra in a program of Sibelius at Orchestra Hall. For many, classical music feels unapproachable and of another era. The Minnesota Orchestra has launched new concert series' in order to combat that stereotype. // Photo by Courtney Perry

Osmo Vanska conducts the Minnesota Orchestra at Orchestra Hall. For many, classical music feels unapproachable and of another era. The orchestra has launched four new concert initiatives to change that stereotype. // Photo by Courtney Perry

In a time when all things old are suddenly cool again, you’d think orchestral music would be a hot ticket item. But for some reason, while record players and retro furniture and typewriters have all made their way back into everyday life, classical music is still being snubbed by younger generations, and labeled as stuffy, unapproachable, high-brow, and boring.

That was the dilemma the Minnesota Orchestra faced back in 2014: namely, how could they reach a younger market, show music lovers the reality of classical music—the drama and intensity, passion and complexity of it—and break down the barriers that separated this genre from all the others.

To tackle the problem, the Minnesota Orchestra’s board of directors gathered 20 of their best and brightest and started brainstorming. One of the people selected for the task force was Ken Huber. Huber is a concert pianist, former Carleton College senior lecturer, and steering committee member of Orchestrate Excellence, a coalition of audience and community members formed in 2012 to support the Minnesota Orchestra.

At the end of their initial meeting in June 2014, vice chair officer Karen Himle announced they were going to go around the table and each deliver an idea for what the orchestra would do in the next two months to work toward their goal—starting with Huber. “I suggested one thing off the top of my head,” he says. “But then I said, I think we really need to learn to talk to young people, and ask them what connection—if any—they have to the Minnesota Orchestra.”

First, Huber and Orchestrate Excellence put together a youth market research study. Huber also called Jim Watkins, co-owner of Sociable Cider Werks and a former student of Huber’s at Carleton. The two got together for coffee, and Huber wasted no time. “I said, Jim, how can we get Sociable Cider Werks partnered up with the Minnesota Orchestra?” Huber recalls. “And Jim goes, oh that’s easy.”

Shortly after their coffee meeting, Watkins emailed Huber with “easily actionable ideas” to reach what he calls “the Millennial Urban Sophisticate”—or, the MUSes.

MUSes, according to Watkins, are individuals aged 25–45 who live in the city, have a penchant for all-things local, cover a wide range of income levels, are willing to spend money on small luxuries, make decisions based on value rather than cost, listen to the full gamut of music genres, drink craft beer, are social media savvy, and, most importantly, know what is “cool” and largely drive pop culture in the city.

To reach this audience, Watkins suggested four ideas. The winner: having members of the Minnesota Orchestra perform live at taprooms around Minnesota, then spend time mingling with patrons to answer questions, tell them more about the orchestra, and drink beer.

And with that, Symphony and Suds was born.

First up to try out the new idea were Uptown Brass, a brass quintet of Minnesota Orchestra players, who played February 19 and 26, 2015, at Sociable Cider Werks.

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Uptown Brass, a brass quintet of Minnesota Orchestra players, played the first Symphony and Suds shows in February 2015 at Sociable Cider Werks. This year, they’ll play at Surly Brewing Company on May 5. // Photo courtesy Minnesota Orchestra

The five musicians—Michael Gast (horn), Douglas C. Carlsen (trumpet), Charles Lazarus (trumpet), R. Douglas Wright (trombone), and Steven Campbell (tuba)—have played together for over a dozen years, and are used to performing in non-traditional venues. Not only that, but their repertoire includes more than “just” classical charts. “Jazz, modern, polkas, opera, Britney Spears, Johnny Cash: we do it all,” Gast says. “When we rehearse in my garage, my neighbors often come out to listen; it turns into a party.”

As for playing in a brewery, Gast and Campbell say that rather than feel out of place for them as professional classical musicians, they felt right at home. “It’s our natural habitat,” Gast laughs. “We had a lot of fun,” Campbell adds. “We have a lot of fun playing together in a group, and to have people be that close to us and be able to mingle and chat with them between sets is nice.”

More than 200 people turned up for the inaugural event. Some were there specifically for the music, others just to drink at Sociable. But regardless, the barrier between classical music and everyday living had been broken—indeed, The Brass Boyz were even invited back to perform at the 2015 NE Brewer’s Block Party in July—which means the orchestra’s goal was that much closer to being reached.

Encouraged by those first events, Emma Smith, associate marketing manager for the Minnesota Orchestra, decided to make a full go of it for 2016: more events, more collaboration, and more outreach. Her first mission was to track down breweries willing to host musicians. “I just started cold calling everyone,” Smith says. “We’re used to planning two years in advance with the orchestra, but to ask breweries to commit to something that’s over a year away—well, it was tough,” she laughs.

Watkins helped Smith connect with Surly Brewing Company, and two breweries—Boom Island Brewing Company and Insight Brewing—actually reached out to her once the word got out. In the end, Smith got six commitments: Excelsior Brewing Company, Boom Island Brewing Company, Sociable Cider Werks, Surly Brewing Company, Insight Brewing Company, and Fair State Brewing Cooperative.

The string quartet performance at Excelsior Brewing Company on Saturday, January 30 // Photo courtesy Minnesota Orchestra

The string quartet performance at Excelsior Brewing Company on Saturday, January 30, 2016 // Photo courtesy Minnesota Orchestra

“We looked for places that were suited for the different musicians,” Smith says. “Excelsior [Brewing, where the first Symphony and Suds concert of 2016 was held] has a stage and sound equipment, so we were able to do a string quartet.” For other bigger, louder venues, like Sociable and Surly, Smith opted for bigger, louder instruments: horns and brass. “We don’t have to worry about noise when we play,” Campbell jokes. “We just play above the noise.”

The Minnesota Orchestra has launched a handful of other new concert initiatives in addition to Symphony and Suds in the last year. Saturdays at Six features performances starting at 6pm instead of 8pm, so concertgoers can still have a full night following the concert; $20under40 offers any concertgoer aged 40 or under to buy up to two $20 tickets to select concerts; and OH+ features pre- and post-concert happy hours, talks, exhibits, and performances.

Additionally, each brewery partner for Symphony and Suds will also have their beer featured at Orchestra Hall before the “casual concert” that pairs with that month’s Symphony and Suds. (For example: Boom Island will be pouring free samples on Friday, March 11, prior to “Inside the Classics: And Bach Begat…“)

Taken together, these are all new ways to reach a more diverse audience, and dispel the idea that classical music is somehow inaccessible and outdated.

“Classical music, as a term, has a weird connotation,” Campbell says. “But the majority of people at these small events will come up to me and say, ‘I didn’t realize classical music could be fun!’ If you take the ‘classical’ out, you’ll see it’s just music. You just need to remove those barriers to entry.”

The next opportunity to tear down those walls is at the second installation of Symphony and Suds, Thursday, February 25, at Boom Island Brewing Company. A string quartet will be performing works by Bach and some of the many composers his work influenced. Additional shows are scheduled at Sociable Cider Werks, Surly, Insight, and Fair State in the coming months.


Find the full Symphony and Suds schedule here

For more on Minnesota Orchestra events and concerts, visit minnesotaorchestra.org

Burgers, bikes & beers: 5 things to do this weekend

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All Pints North returns to Duluth’s Bayfront Park on July 25 // Photo via Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild Facebook page

Every Minnesotan knows—though they may not like to admit it—that summer is fleeting, which is why we end up with jam-packed weekends such as this one. Here are five things to do this weekend that you won’t end up regretting when the snow inevitably starts to fly in a few short months (sorry).

All Pints North

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2014 All Pints North // Photo via Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild Facebook page

All Pints North Summer Brew Fest returns to Duluth’s Bayfront Park on Saturday, July 25 from 3–7pm for its fourth year, featuring 95-plus craft breweries, local food vendors, craft beer education, and live music from the The Sunny Era and The Melismatics.

The event, hosted by the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild, gives 3,000-plus beer fans an opportunity to enjoy unlimited and unique samples from many Minnesota craft breweries as well as hand-picked national craft beer brands.

Tour de Fat

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Dust off the costume, shine up the bike, and get ready for another epic and bewildering day as Tour de Fat rolls into the Twin Cities.

New Belgium Brewing’s Tour de Fat arrives in Loring Park on Saturday, July 25 from 10am–6pm and features live music, circus acts, a parade, and special beer tappings. The event is free and all donations and proceeds from beer and merchandise sales go to Twin Cities-area non-profits Midtown Greenway Coalition, Minnesota Off Road Cycling Advocates (MOCA), Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota, and the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition.

Tour de Burgers

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This weekend’s Tour de Burgers offering is a burger with braised lamb, spiced walnuts, and Raclette Cheese // Photo by Brian Kaufenberg

In celebration of the Tour de France, Vincent – A Restaurant, 1100 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis, will be serving burgers and wines inspired by each stage of the race with its Tour de Burgers. Watch the cyclists move through the beautiful regions of France and enjoy grass-fed beef burgers garnished with ingredients and dishes from each locale.

This weekend, as the race enters The Alps, the burger, which will be available for both lunch and dinner through July 25, will include of braised lamb, spiced walnuts, and Raclette Cheese.

NE Brewers Block Party

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The 2014 NE Brewers Block Party // Photo via Sociable Cider Werks Facebook page

Sociable Cider Werks is hosting its second annual free, zero-waste NE Brewer’s Block Party Sunday, July 26 from 2–9pm outside of Sociable at 1500 Fillmore St. NE.

The event will feature entertainment by Glue Groove, Sam Cassidy, Enemy Planes, Baby Shel, Southside Desire, MN Orchestra, and Alex Rossi & The New Roots.

Great beers and ciders will be available from your favorite NE brewers including Indeed, Fulton, 56 Brewing, Insight Brewing, Bauhaus Brew Labs, Bent Brewstillery, 612Brew, Northgate Brewing, Fair State Brewing Cooperative and Sociable Cider.

Food will also be available from The Anchor Fish and Chips, Gastrotruck, Simply Steve’s, Scratch Kitchen, Tatanka Truck, and The Curious Goat.

Evolution Lucid

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After years of planning, Lucid Brewing is inviting people to its Minnetonka brewery to see the vision for its new Minneapolis brewery and taproom.

Evolution Lucid will take place from noon–8pm on Saturday, July 25, at 6020 Culligan Way in Minnetonka. The free, family-friendly event will feature live music by Kingsview and Laura Lou and The Loungeabouts featuring TheWrongOmar, Taco Loco Food Truck, $5 pints, new Lucid merchandise, and prize drawings every hour.

Your Guide to Sunday Growler Sales in Minneapolis

The Freehouse in Minneapolis will be selling growlers on Sundays from 8am-10pm

The Freehouse in Minneapolis will be selling growlers on Sundays from 8am-10pm // Photo by Brian Kaufenberg

Following passage at the state level and subsequent approval by the Minneapolis City Council, Sunday growler sales will be legal in Minneapolis starting this Sunday, June 14.

Below is a listing of Minneapolis breweries and brewpubs that will be selling growlers on Sundays and their hours.

In terms of special offers to mark the occasion on the 14th, Day Block Brewing CompanyNorthGate Brewing, and Fair State Brewing Cooperative will be filling select growlers for $10.

While Sunday growler sales are now legal in Minneapolis, not every brewery is ready to take advantage of the new law. Dangerous Man Brewing Company is the sole Minneapolis brewery that will not be open on Sundays for growler sales. Creative Director Sarah Bonvallet said that while they’re excited about the law change, they’re concentrating on an ongoing expansion and are choosing to remain closed on Sundays for the time being.

Dangerous Man is in the midst of building out the 1,600-square-foot space to the north of their taproom, two-thirds of which will be dedicated to adding additional fermenters to increase their capacity and a grain mill, while the front one-third will be the Dangerous Man Growler Shop, which will be dedicated to growler and merchandise sales. Come fall when the expansion is complete, both the shop and taproom will be open on Sundays for growlers and pints, respectively. Bonvallet said they want to provide their customers with the best-possible growler experience and instead of doing it halfway between now and this fall, they’re opting to wait until they can “do it 100% right.”

56 Brewing Company, which opened in Northeast Minneapolis this spring, has devised a unique way to get its growlers into the hands of its fans on Sundays: bike delivery. Here’s how it works: 56’s online shop accepts growler and mini-growler orders Monday–Saturday, then on Sundays, between noon and 4pm, a volunteer delivers that week’s orders by bike (people can choose a delivery window within those hours as part of the ordering process). Deliveries are limited to the 55417 and 55418 zip codes and there’s a $5 delivery fee and $5 deposit on the growlers themselves included in each order (since exchanges aren’t possible). The brewery itself will continue to be closed on Sundays.


Minneapolis Sunday Growler Sales Hours and Locations

56 Brewing CompanyGrowlers delivered by bike from 12-4pm, brewery closed

612Brew – 11:30am-9pm

Bauhaus Brew Labs – 12-4pm (open for growler sales only, taproom closed)

Boom Island Brewing Company – 1-6pm

Day Block Brewing Company – 10am-10pm (brewery open until 11pm)

Eastlake Craft Brewery – 11am-10pm

Fair State Brewing Cooperative – 10am-9pm

The Freehouse – 8am-10pm (restaurant open 6:30am-2am)

Fulton Brewing Company – 12-6pm

Harriet Brewing – 2-9pm

Indeed Brewing Company – 12-8pm

Insight Brewing Company – 12-10pm (brewery open until 11pm)

LynLake Brewery – 12-10pm

Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery – 11am-10pm (restaurant open until 12am)

Northbound Smokehouse and Brewpub – 10am-10pm (restaurant open until 1am)

NorthGate Brewing – 12-8pm

Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery – 11am-10pm (restaurant open until 1am)

Sisyphus Brewing – 12-5pm (mini-growlers and crowlers)

Sociable Cider Werks – 12-9pm (growlers and crowlers)

In Cahoots! Returns for Year Two

10 Minnesota breweries will form five teams to brew five totally new collaboration beers for Red Stag Supperclub’s annual summer bash

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E.L.nO. performs at the 2014 In Cahoots! // Photo courtesy Red Stag Supperclub

Block parties are a staple of Minnesota summers. So is beer—preferably local craft beer. So when the folks at Red Stag Supperclub were looking to put a new spin on their annual block party in 2014, they looked to the surrounding beer community (including The Growler) for help. The result: In Cahoots! A Collaboration of Craft.

The 2014 event paired eight Minnesota breweries into four teams and put them to work creating a new beer for the block party. Attendees voted for their favorite collaboration throughout the day with help from FairVote Minnesota and, by party’s end, a winner was declared—and a new tradition was born.

This year’s event, on Sunday, August 2, from 2–8pm at Red Stag, will feature not eight, but 10 breweries, paired as follows:

  • August Schell Brewing Company + Bent Brewstillery
  • Fulton Brewing Company + Fair State Brewing Cooperative – kettle-soured wheat beer dry-hopped with rhubarb and Nelson Sauvin hops
  • Sociable Cider Werks + Dangerous Man Brewing Company
  • Bang Brewing Company + Dave’s BrewFarm
  • Summit Brewing Company + Bent Paddle Brewing Company

(Note: We’ll update this list as the collaboration beers are announced. Stay tuned!)

In addition to the five new beers being premiered, block-party guests will also be treated to entertainment from Mixed Blood Majority, Al Church, Black Market Brass, Field Trip, Lydia Liza, The World’s Most Dangerous Polka Band, MC Foxy Tann, and dance collective Epitome No Question. Plus: live screen-printing from Burlesque of North America, North Star Roller Girls, and, of course, organic and locally farmed picnic food from Red Stag.

The event is zero waste, free to attend, and proceeds from food and drinks will go to the winning team’s local charity of choice.

The concept of collaboration isn’t new to Minnesota breweries. The Growler Editor in Chief Joe Alton visited 89.3 The Current’s Morning Show to discuss the collaborative nature of the Minnesota brewing community and more about In Cahoots!

Stay up to date on all the In Cahoots! action by checking back here and joining the Red Stag’s Facebook event. We’ll post tweets, photos, and other updates below from breweries as they work on their beers.

Summit + Bent Paddle

Fulton + Fair State

The Growler is following this collaboration step-by-step and will be posting articles along the way. First up is Episode One: The Game Plan. Check back for Episode 2: The Big Brew.

Bang + Dave’s BrewFarm