The Mash-Up: Breweries feel the love with fruited sours and chocolate infusions

Indeed Brewing Company's In The Thicket Raspberry Golden Sour Ale // Photo via Indeed Brewing Company Facebook

Indeed Brewing Company’s In The Thicket Raspberry Golden Sour Ale // Photo via Indeed Brewing Company Facebook

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.

Whoever said that beer isn’t romantic didn’t understand how much love and nuance goes into each pint along with the barley, hops, and yeast. If the craft of brewing doesn’t come through clearly enough, though, many breweries spiced up their beers with chocolate, raspberries, strawberries, roses, and even Champagne yeast this week. There are fruited sours from breweries like Indeed, Bad Weather, and Bemidji, and dessert-like beers from Northbound and Waconia.

In other big beer news, two breweries known for their IPAs are collaborating on a new Operation CoHoperation beer, Summit, Bemidji, and Imminent are looking ahead to spring and, with Valentine’s Day in the books, Burning Brothers is looking to the next saintly holiday.



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.

Oliphant honees honees

We may not be able to make heads or tails of the description of honees honees on Oliphant’s website. But the brewery’s peanut butter and honey golden ale is back in cans and we’re intrigued. At 5.6% ABV, this golden ale should sport a smooth, full body thanks to the addition of lactose.

Castle Danger White Pine Project IPA

This new IPA from Castle Danger of Two Harbors, Minnesota, was brewed with a specific mission in mind: to help reinstate the white pine population in northern Minnesota. Proceeds from this beer will go directly to planting targeted areas along the North Shore. According to the brewery, “This IPA flaunts a robust aroma of bright citrus, tropical fruit, and pine, with just enough bitterness.”

The Freehouse #40 Bourbon Barrel-Aged Belgian Quad

After scoring a silver medal for their barleywine at last year’s Great American Beer Festival, The Freehouse’s new strong ale has our attention. Reminiscent of an old fashioned cocktail, The Freehouse describes this new Belgian-style quadrupel as “Naturally fruity and spicy with an evident alcohol warmth; aged in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels with sweet cherry puree and bitter orange peel.” 9.0% ABV and available on tap at the North Loop brewpub.

Bemidji Brewings Oud Bruin Kriek // Photo via Bemidji Brewings Facebook

Bemidji Oud Bruin Kriek

Starting with one oak barrel, Bemidji’s barrel program has expanded to more than 38, and is yielding some of the most intriguing sours not just in northern Minnesota, but in the state. The latest offering is an oud bruin kriek, a mash-up of the Belgian-style sours. “This sour brown ale was aged on locally grown cherries and features notes of spice, toasted oak and cherry pie,” the brewery says. Released at the taproom for Valentine’s Day, supplies are limited.

Dangerous Man Imperial Golden Rose Ale

This Belgian strong ale has a tea-like quality from steeping rose petals in the boil kettle. Rose is a tricky ingredient—too delicate and it can get buried, but too much and it can completely overpower. Dangerous Man, though, thinks they hit it right on the money: “The tea blends with the clove phenols produced by the Belgian yeast strain to produce a very aromatic and especially pleasant on the nose beer,” the brewery says. 7.7% ABV, 18 IBU.

New beers available this week (February 12 – February 18)

Inbound BrewCo's Vienna Lager // Photo courtesy Inbound BrewCo

Inbound BrewCo’s Vienna Lager // Photo courtesy Inbound BrewCo

10K Brewing

  • Raspberry Moose Nuts

Able Seedhouse + Brewery

  • Supergiant Pina Colada

Back Channel Brewing

  • Earth Rings – Tapped last Friday, this double IPA has citrus, melon and berry notes with a light malt and caramel component. “Earth Rings delivers an explosion of flavor with bitterness reminiscent of orange pith that isn’t overpowering but lingers,” the brewery says. 8.5% ABV, 77 IBU.
  • Harry Peter – “A beer that showcases the sweeter side of imperial stouts. Fig, roast, bourbon, chocolate, hickory and brown sugar are a few notes you’ll experience,” the brewery says. 8.25% ABV, 69 IBU.

Bad Weather Brewing Company

  • Belgian Golden Strong – Newly tapped at Bad Weather, this beer features notes of pear, banana, and honey, the brewery says.
  • Passion fruit-infused Anomaly – One keg of Anomaly sour ale was fruited with passion fruit for Valentine’s Day at the taproom.

Bald Man Brewing

  • Snowdrift Stout – This small batch entry to the One Hit Wonder Series is described as smooth with chocolate notes.

Barrel Theory Beer Company

  • Italian Dunkers – A new pale ale brewed with four hop varieties. 5.9% ABV. The brewery hints that it may be featured in an upcoming Mucci’s pop-up event.

Bemidji Brewing

  • Oud Bruin Kriek – Top Flight selection.
  • Spring IPA – They’re thinking warmer thoughts in Bemidji with this Thai spice-inspired hazy IPA with notes of guava, green tea, and lemon.

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.

Bent Paddle Brewing Company

  • Raspberry Chocolate Black – Available this month at select locations.

BlackStack Brewing

  • Loud Pack – A new double dry hopped IPA with Citra, El Dorado, Mosaic, and Galaxy hops, this beer is in the taproom and at local liquor stores now.

Castle Danger Brewery

  • White Pine Project – Top Flight selection.

Copper Trail Brewing Company

  • Runestone Rye

Dangerous Man Brewing Company

  • Pomegranate Sour – Now on tap. 6.8% ABV, 20 IBU.

Drekker Brewing Company

  • What Lies Beneath

Dual Citizen Brewing Company

  • Ayd Mill Golden SMaSH – This beer showcases floor-malted Pilsner and Liberty hops.
  • Osceola Amber – “A mix of rich, complex malt and floral, hoppy bitterness,” the brewery says.

Fargo Brewing Company

  • Alfred the Great – A limited amount of bottles of this barleywine aged in rye whiskey barrels are on sale today.

Fitger’s Brewhouse

  • American Gold Lager – One of three new releases in the Olympic Series 2018. On tap now.
  • Curler’s Kölsch – On tap now.
  • Russian Sour Kriek – Tapping today.
  • XXX English Ale – Fitger’s describes this malty beer with notes of toffee as a “double ESB,” or the “big brother to Witchtree ESB.”

The Freehouse

  • #34 Smash IPA
  • #40 Bourbon Barrel-Aged Belgian Quad – Reminiscent of an Old Fashioned cocktail, The Freehouse describes this new strong ale as “Naturally fruity and spicy with an evident alcohol warmth; aged in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels with sweet cherry puree and bitter orange peel.” 9.0% ABV.

HammerHeart Brewing Company

  • Fautzrauch – In limited bottle distribution now. HammerHeart recommends that it be consumed fresh.
  • Fimbulvetr – Also new in bottles, this one is also not recommended for the cellar, the brewery says.

Hoops Brewing

  • #6 Vienna Lager – “A smooth flavor blend of light toast and noble hops,” Hoops says of this medium body German-style lager. 5.5% ABV, 25 IBU.
  • #889 Cream Ale – “An ale and lager blend, our cream ale pours gold in color and has a crisp flavor profile,” the brewery says.

Inbound BrewCo

  • Vienna Lager – Made exclusively with German malts, Inbound describes it as a malt-forward beer that makes its debut today. 5.1% ABV, 24 IBU.

Jack Pine Brewery

  • What the Helles – Described as grainy sweet malt, slight biscuit and slight hop bitterness. 4.9% ABV, 12 IBU.
  • Raspberry Vengeance! Jalapeno Cream Ale – Jalapeno cream ale infused with raspberry. 4.6% ABV, 10 IBU, on tap now.

Junkyard Brewing Co.

  • JunkAdjunct Experimental IPA – An adjunct-forward IPA from Junkyard that includes flaked oats, wheat, and rye malt. 6.4%, 55 IBU.
  • Poncho Goddess – Chocolate stout. 5.6% ABV, 22 IBU.
  • Silverback – A new vanilla porter.
  • Wicked Awesome Slurry DIPA – A New England-style DIPA featuring Eureka and El Dorado hops. 8.3%, 67 IBU.

LynLake Brewery

  • This is Sparta! – A peanut butter porter at 5.5% ABV, 30 IBU, 30 SRM.

Modist Brewing Co.

  • Pink Pattern – A Valentine’s Day version of False Pattern infused with passion fruit, strawberry, and vanilla.

Oliphant Brewing

  • Zozo Gun – An IPA with Cascade and Zythos hops. 7.5% ABV and sold in 16-ounce cans.

OMNI Brewing Co.

  • Curious IPA 1.0 – Released on 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.

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 – For Valentine’s Day, three extra variations of Dublin Dry Stout were available, including Chocolate Mint, Chocolate Espresso, Chocolate Covered Strawberry.

Rock Bottom Brewery

  • Playbook Pilsner – New since Super Bowl LII.

Schell’s Brewery

  • Barrel-aged Series No. 4

Shakopee Brewhall

  • Calfinated Porter – A coffee porter tapped last week.

Spilled Grain Brewhouse

  • Frostbite – A new India Pale Lager. “It has a nice crisp clean finish like a lager with a subtle hop bite,” the brewery says.
  • SMaSH Series #6 – A hoppy red IPA at 5.7% ABV, 36 IBU.

Surly Brewing Company

  • Cynic aged on Ash, dry-hopped with Simcoe – In limited supply for Cask Saturday.

Tin Whiskers Brewing Company

  • Pineapple Margarita Imperial Wheat – After a Friday debut at Winterfest, this beer hits the taproom on Saturday. “We took our Phase Shift 01: Tequila barrel-aged Watts imperial wheat and infused it with pineapples and lime. It’s a bright, refreshing, and perfectly decadent take on a margarita beer,” the brewery says. 9.0% ABV.

Venn Brewing

  • British Golden Ale – 4.7% ABV.
  • Munich Helles
  • Simcoe Smash IPA – 7.8% ABV

Waconia Brewing Company

  • Tiramisu Porter – Pouring at 4pm today.

Waldmann Brewery

  • German Porter – Full-bodied and malty, this beer is balanced with a gentle, warming finish, the brewery says.
  • Hopfen Ale – An unfiltered German pale ale that’s smooth and balanced from the malt to its hoppy finish.
  • Schokoladeweizen – “An unfiltered, dark brown, rich and smooth chocolate wheat beer,” the brewery says of this Valentine’s Day release.


Seasonal or rotating returns

Indeed Brewing Company's In The Thicket Raspberry Golden Sour Ale // Photo via Indeed Brewing Company Facebook

Indeed Brewing Company’s In The Thicket Raspberry Golden Sour Ale // Photo via Indeed Brewing Company Facebook

12welve Eyes Brewing

  • He Likes It Cold – The smoked porter returns this weekend. 7.6% ABV.

56 Brewing

  • ‘ssippi squeeze – Relaunching in the taproom and in 12-ounce cans in a limited supply. “A golden and hazy New England IPA hopped exclusively with Citra and Mosaic hops. It explodes with aromas of citrus and ripe mango and produces flavors of juicy tropical fruit,” says the brewery. 6.0% ABV, 0+ IBU.

Ale Asylum

  • Hu$h Money – The first seasonal to cross the St. Croix River, this is a bright and fruity IPA with juicy white grape flavors, the brewery says. It pours 7.8% ABV.

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 through February 18.

Boom Island Brewing Company

  • Petite Rosé – Boom Island calls this a hybrid between a Belgian blond and a sparkling rosé, fermented with a Champagne yeast strain. “Petite Rosé is unhopped and consists of a hybrid of Belgian blond ale, Pinot Grigio and a dose of Cabernet Sauvignon.” 6.5% ABV, taproom only.

Burning Brothers Brewing

Burning Brothers is getting ready for St. Patrick’s Day early this year, releasing these three beers on Saturday.

  • Dry Stout
  • Green Pyro
  • Irish Red Ale

Dangerous Man Brewing Company

  • Imperial Golden Rose Ale – Top Flight selection.

Great Lakes Brewing Company

  • Hop Madness Double IPA – 9.0% ABV, 100 IBU, available now.

HeadFlyer Brewing

  • Rye-U-Mah – Red rye ale.

Indeed Brewing Company

  • In the Thicket – A raspberry golden sour ale from the Wooden Soul Series debuted last night. “Brewed with 44 lbs. per barrel of ripe Minnesotan raspberries and barrel-aged with Brett and bacteria strains, In the Thicket is a tart, dry, and berry-filled brew with notes of sour citrus,” the brewery says.

Junkyard Brewing Co.

  • Barrel-Aged King Size – Imperial Peanut Stout at 12% ABV, 83 IBU, and available in Crowlers at the brewery.

Montgomery Brewing

  • Peanut Buster Porter – Tapped on nitro in Montgomery last weekend.

Northbound Brewpub & Smokehouse

  • Double Chocolate Raspberry Stout – A 2014 World Beer Cup medal winner: “We start with a solid 8.7% ABV stout and infuse it post-fermentation with premium dark Belgium chocolate, cocoa nibs and real raspberries (not extract). This is dessert in a glass that truly showcases the combination of chocolate and raspberries,” the brewery says.

Oliphant Brewing

  • honees honees – Top Flight selection.

OMNI Brewing Co.

  • 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.

Summit Brewing Company

  • Maibock – One of the first signs of spring in Minnesota each year, Maibock is now available across the state. 6.7% ABV, 40 IBU.

Surly Brewing Company

  • Mole Smoke – This unique beer hit the Beer Hall (only) on Valentine’s Day. Aged on cacao nibs and chilies, it has a subtle smoke, warm cacao and notable heat with a smoke lager base.

Wild Mind Artisan Ales

  • Double Depth Charge – An imperial stout barrel-aged on coffee beans, this version is described as richer and more full-bodied, “with a cream, decadent finish.” 11.5% ABV. Out on Saturday.
  • DDC: Whiskey Bean – This take on Double Depth Charge was aged in Knob Creek whiskey barrels for over a year, adding to the roasted malt and coffee flavors. In limited supply starting on Saturday.

Beers just announced

Three of the barrel-aged beers slated for Town Hall Brewery's Barrel-Aged Week kicking off this Sunday // Photo by Brian Kaufenberg

Three of the barrel-aged beers slated for Town Hall Brewery’s Barrel-Aged Week kicking off this Sunday // Photo by Brian Kaufenberg

Bemidji Brewing

  • Barrel-Aged Double Porter – Bemidji’s sought after winter warmer, aged in Breckenridge bourbon barrels for three months, adding “luscious layers of vanilla, toffee, caramel and toast on top of the Double Porter’s existing dark fruit and chocolate notes,” the brewery says. Available February 23 at the taproom and in bottles.

Birch’s on the Lake

  • NE Sour IPA – “On deck,” says the brewpub website. A kettle hazy kettle sour dry hopped with Citra. 6.5% ABV.
  • Strawberry Sour – Also on deck, this Berliner Weisse will pour at 5.2% ABV with “tons” of strawberries.
  • Double IPA – 9.3% ABV and also coming soon.

Blue Wolf Brewing

A new brewery is opening soon in Brooklyn Park. Beers will include:

  • Wolf Bite American Bitter
  • Wolf Cry Rye Ale
  • Wolf Spirit IPA

Imminent Brewing

  • Winter Blues – An American wheat ale made with local blueberries. Expected to release in early March.

Jack Pine Brewery

  • Barbwire

Junkyard Brewing Company

  • Barrel-Aged Coal Miner’s Daughter – Imperial stout will return soon.
  • Christian Bale Ale – A new pale ale in development.
  • CocoMondo – Coconut Cream Ale, coming soon.
  • Vladimir’s Pegasus – A second imperial stout in the works in Moorhead.

LTS Brewing Company

  • Saison d’Vie Belgian-style Saison Ale – “Bittered with classic German hops, Saison d’Vie starts off bold – orange, pepper, lemongrass – but finishes slightly spicy and dry,” the brewery says. 7.5% ABV, 26 IBU.

Lupulin Brewing

  • BA Night Witch – Now aging on Knob Creek barrels for later release.
  • Operation CoHoperation – This exciting collaboration with Barrel Theory will be a hazy double IPA to release in 4-pack 16-ounce cans. The two breweries will pair up next week for brew day.

Rock Bottom Brewery

  • Fire Chief Red Ale – Returning to the brewpub on Thursday, February 22.

Summit Brewing Company

  • Barrel-Aged Westie 7th – Unchained #26 has been aging since late last year. It will be tapped on Monday.

Surly Brewing Company

  • Overrated with Meyer Lemon and Rosemary – New at the Beer Hall for Infusion Tuesday, February 20.
  • The Familiar – This new beer from the Witch Hunt collective was recently brewed at Surly’s Brooklyn Center brewery and will release on International Women’s Day, March 8, at the Beer Hall in Minneapolis. “The Familiar is a dry-hopped tart ale with sweet orange peel and orange zest.”

Tin Whiskers Brewing Company

  • Dynamo Orange Chocolate Imperial Stout – “This big, bold stout is aged on orange peels and dark chocolate, making for a seriously decadent treat,” the brewery says as their popular imperial stout makes a limited return on February 23. A very limited supply of 2017 Dynamo Reserve will be available at 5pm and a single cask aged on chocolate and coffee will tap at 7pm as well.

Town Hall Brewery

Barrel-Aged Week returns from February 19–24 with 14 big barrel-aged beers from one of the state’s senior breweries.

Monday, February 19:

  • E. T. Wee – A Scottish-style Wee heavy-aged in bourbon barrels, this beer features malty notes of dark fruits, caramel, and toasted chocolate with a spicy oak note. It finished with a creamy Tootsie Roll chocolate note.
  • Project 3106 – A Belgian-style Bruin with Belgian dark chocolate and kumquats aged in bourbon barrels. 9.2% ABV.
  • Twisted Trace – While Town Hall never intended to highlight specific barrels, they couldn’t ignore this single-barrel version of their award-winning barleywine. One of the week’s standouts, says head brewer Mike Hoops.
  • Kentucky Truffle – Available Monday on nitro, this strong chocolate milk stout was aged in bourbon barrels and pours at 8.8% ABV.

Tuesday, February 20:

  • Vine’s Eye – Three wine barrels are the focus of Tuesday’s releases. Vine’s Eye is a strong American honey ale aged in red wine barrels. 9.7% ABV.
  • Barley Vine – An American barleywine aged in red wine barrels. 11.2% ABV. Dark fruits and jam-like flavors leap out in strong interplay with red wine character. Surprisingly dry and easy mellow for a barleywine.
  • Frosted Vine – An imperial stout aged in red wine barrels 9.2% ABV.
    Twisted Trace – A silver medal winner at GABF in 2013, this is an American barleywine aged in bourbon barrels. 11.2% ABV

Wednesday, February 21:

  • Strawberry Stave – This strong dark wheat ale with strawberries, aged in bourbon barrels, is a new recipe this year. “We picked up slight, pleasant strawberry notes in the beer, so we accented that character with strawberries.” the brewpub explains. It features notes of graham cracker, strawberry, and spicy rye. An earthy character comes out at colder temperatures, with more sweet fruitiness as it warms.
  • Kentucky Truffle – Releasing on nitro on Monday, the CO2 version of this big milk stout has malt-forward chocolate sweetness with a dry, nutty, and vanilla boldness at the finish. 8.8% ABV.

Thursday, February 22:

  • Manhattan Reserve – Cherry grand cru aged in bourbon barrels. 9.7% ABV.
  • Foolish Angel – Belgian-style quadrupel aged in bourbon barrels 10.1% ABV.

Friday, February 23:

  • Buffalo Bock – A German-style weizenbock aged in bourbon barrels. This beer won a bronze medal at the 2014 GABF. 8.3% ABV.

Saturday, February 24

  • Czar Jack – Imperial stout aged in American whiskey barrels, this is one of Town Hall’s oldest barrel-aged recipes and won a gold medal at GABF in 2001. 9.2% ABV.

Waconia Brewing Company

  • Dry Irish Stout – Scheduled to release on February 21.

Wild Mind Artisan Ales

  • Spontané Framboise – A traditional coolship beer currently aging on strawberries and tentatively scheduled for bottles in late spring.

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.

Correction: A previous version of this story had the release date of Town Hall’s Czar Jack listed as Friday. Czar Jack will be released on Saturday, February 24.