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

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

Star Keller Brewing Company will open to the public in March

Almost four years ago I made the trek down to August Schell Brewing Company in New Ulm, Minnesota, for the launch of their Goosetown Gose. We sampled the new beer, then enjoyed a few more samples in the tasting room before Jace Marti, the sixth generation brewmaster at Schell’s, offered a special tour of the state’s … [ Read more]

Insight Brewing releases first sour, buys-in on solar

A trio of new developments from Insight Brewing: 1) They’ve released their first-ever sour beer, Funken City, a dry, barrel-aged saison. It features some mild Brett funk in a svelte and grapefruit-pithy body, with a twinge of acid near the finish. Funken City will be in stores next week, with a mere 35 kegs floating out to select … [ Read more]

Boom Island Brewing gets spontaneous again: Kriek

Spontaneous fermentation—the origin story of beer. Brewing techniques and technology have come a long way from the first bready liquids fermented naturally via wild, airborne yeasts in ancient Mesopotamia, but the tradition of spontaneous fermentation is still carried on by small number of breweries around the world. Here in Minnesota, Boom Island Brewing, is keeping the technique alive with … [ Read more]

Trailblazers 2016

What’s the value of a brewery’s stance on mining? Why be concerned with obscure English apples? What’s so important about a chicken sandwich at a stadium? Why does it matter if a basketball team weighs in on current events? The answer to all those questions is the same: it makes a difference. There are people … [ Read more]

Trailblazers 2016: Sour Beer

I will never forget my first sip of Duchesse De Bourgogne. That fateful moment opened my eyes to a whole new world of what beer could be. More than a decade and countless sour sips later, I’m excited to watch as the wild/sour/mixed-fermentation category becomes one of the fastest growing segments of American craft beer. … [ Read more]

Building a Brewery, Chapter 3: Outside Expertise

[Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of monthly journal entries in which Oakhold Farmhouse Brewery founders Levi Loesch and Caleb Levar write about the trials and tribulations of starting their mixed-fermentation brewery in Northern Minnesota. Catch up with Chapter 1: Oakhold Digs In and Chapter 2: The Right Tools For The Job.] With … [ Read more]

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Able Seedhouse + Brewery releasing first sour in Chrono Culture series

Able Seedhouse + Brewery is getting into the sour game with its new Chrono Culture 001 release. The debut kettle sour in the brewery’s Chrono Culture series was created using 225 pounds of fresh, native elderberries. According to Able Seedhouse, the elderberries from Natura Farms in Scandia, Minnesota, “give this kettle sour its herbal, earthy notes. A … [ Read more]

The State of Sours: An update on Minnesota’s funkiest beers

Minnesota brewers are becoming fixated on mixed-fermentation [Editor’s Note: This post will continue to be updated with more news on sours made by Minnesota’s breweries] A whole new segment of Minnesota beer has turned sour. Or maybe not sour—that makes it sound like a mistake. These beers are intentionally tart and astringent, funky and wild. “Sour beer” is … [ Read more]

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Now Open (Or Damn Close): Wild Mind Artisan Ales

Wild Mind Artisan Ales is doing something different, and they emphasize that point in their new South Minneapolis brewery. Behind a wall-sized window, visitors will get a good look at their foudres—large wooden vessels where mixed-fermentation beers will age for anywhere from six to 12 months. Foudres are uncommon in most American craft breweries—they’re big … [ Read more]

Fair State releasing Citra Sour this Thursday, July 7

The sour beer lovers of the Twin Cities should keep their eyes peeled at Fair State Brewing Co-op for the next year or so. They’ll be releasing all manner of sours in the upcoming months—including this week, a hopped-up version for summer. Fair State Citra Sour was the first keg to get drained at their Mixed Culture festival at … [ Read more]

Fair State reveals Roselle cans (and then some)

Fair State Brewing Cooperative announced this week that its flagship sour, Roselle, is now available in cans. How’d they share the good news? Like this: Roselle, which was formerly the second in Fair State’s LÄCTOBÄC series of lactobacillus-soured beers, is infused with hibiscus flowers at flame-out, lending the beer floral and citrus aromas/flavors and a red hue. … [ Read more]

Boom Island releasing Triple Brett – which is not as intense as it sounds

The newest entry to Boom Island Brewing‘s Spontaneous Series, Triple Brett, is slated for release on Friday, May 13 at 6pm. As the name implies, Triple Brett has been fermented simultaneously with three different strains of Brettanomyces yeast. It’s then aged for 10 weeks in French oak red wine barrels. “[The process of creating Triple Brett] is taking elements … [ Read more]

Brau Brothers releasing three beers including barrel-aged sour, Village Tart

Brau Brothers Brewing will soon release a new barrel aged sour beer, Village Tart, in 750-milliliter bottles across the state. A Belgian-style blonde ale, Village Tart is soured and aged in whiskey barrels for roughly a year at the Marshall, Minnesota, brewery previous to packaging. Described as tart with a hint of dank funkiness, the beer features pediococcus, … [ Read more]

New beer alert: Fair State Saison Drei

Anyone who’s tasted Fair State Brewing Cooperative‘s sour beers has to admit they’ve shown an above-average command of those funky yeasts. Beginning this Thursday, December 17, their new Brettanomyces-aged saison looks to continue that reputation. Saison Drei is their new pale, rustic saison. Head brewer Niko Tonks (above) says he “modeled this beer after some of the beers … [ Read more]