The Mash-Up: Days are getting shorter, beer is getting darker

Photo via Unmapped Brewing Company Twitter

Photo via Unmapped Brewing Co. Twitter

With over 170 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.

As the days have gotten shorter, the beers have gotten darker and heavier. While there are plenty of barrel-aged and imperial releases this week, there are also lighter options that are still in tune with the winter season. Several breweries have unveiled new spiced versions of lineup staples, and black lagers are also on tap across the state.

There are also plenty of fruited and milkshake beers for those seeking more color to remind them of sunnier days. And for breweries making their own batches of Resilience IPA, Sierra Nevada has announced Resilience Night on December 20, when people from across the country are encouraged to head to participating breweries for some Resilience, all in continued support of California’s Camp Fire recovery.



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.

Unmapped Quad-Jubilation

Unmapped’s Quadruplication with added vanilla, anise, and allspice for the holidays, to complement the caramel, plum, grape, and licorice notes in the base beer.

Eastlake Tsathoggua Imperial Stout

Pronounced “Suh-thog-wuh,” this 11.1% ABV imperial was aged on American oak and Spanish brandy, “bringing unexpected notes of pineapple, orange marmalade, and coconut to the traditional cacao, coffee, and burnt caramel found in the style,” Eastlake says.

Northbound Imperial Brown Honey Ale Snowmageddon

The Minneapolis brewpub’s winter seasonal, Snowmaggedon, is back this week. Each year the recipe is a little different. “This year’s batch is especially delicious and comes in at a whopping 9.7% ABV,” the brewery says.

Forager Freedom Toast

As the name suggests, this newly released beer is a barrel-aged double stout brewed with maple syrup, then aged in small format maple syrup bourbon barrels, honey bourbon barrels, and rye whiskey barrels, and also conditioned on vanilla beans and cinnamon.

Dangerous Man Grand Cru

A malty beer with notes of caramel, toffee, molasses, banana, and clove, the brewery says. 9.2% ABV, 30 IBU.

New beers available this week (December 10–December 16)

Photo courtesy Fulton Brewing Company

Photo courtesy Fulton Brewing Company

Able Seedhouse + Brewery

  • Grim Arcana

Back Channel Brewing

  • Space Blazer – An imperial porter with vanilla, pouring at 8.5% ABV.

Barrel Theory Beer Company

  • This Isn’t Even My Final Form – A new pale ale, out this weekend, made with 100% Strata hops.
  • You Up? – A new Berliner Weisse with tangerine, blood orange, and passion fruit.

Beaver Island Brewing Co.

  • Son of Drago – A limited offering barrel-aged Russian imperial stout that pours at 9% ABV, 61 IBU. Aged in bourbon barrels and available this Saturday.

Bent Paddle Brewing Co.

  • West Coast Rotator IPA – A 6.5% ABV, 60 IBU IPA available at the Bent Paddle taproom as of last Friday.

Birch’s On the Lake

  • Double IPA – A 9.2% ABV double IPA brewed with 100% Golden Promise barley and dry-hopped with Galaxy and Citra hops.

Brew d’État

  • Juce Campbell, Jr. – A New England-style pale ale, double dry-hopped with three different varieties. “A baby version of Juce Campbell,” the brewery says. 6.0% ABV.

Burning Brothers Brewing

  • Caramel Brown Ale  – This new beer debuted on Thursday, December 13.

Clockwerks Brewing

  • Minnehaha Malt Pro-Am – This new beer in Clockwerks’ homebrewer series is described as “a bone dry pale ale; Cascade, Nugget and El Dorado hops collaborate to produce a crisp pink grapefruit and tropical berry flavor with a sweet malt finish.”

Dangerous Man Brewing Company

  • Grand Cru – Top Flight selection.

Dual Citizen Brewing Company

  • Dayton Wine – An 8.0% ABV, 25 IUB barrel saison. [It was] brewed with 100 percent Weyermann’s floor-malted grain and aged in French red wine barrels for three months,” the brewery explains.
  • Resilience Butte County Proud IPA – Available this Saturday, this 6.5% ABV, 70 IBU IPA raises funds for the Sierra Nevada Camp Fire Relief Fund.

Eastlake Craft Brewery

Eastlake celebrated its fourth anniversary this week with several special releases, including:

  • Neon Camp Barrel Aged Guava Sour – Available both on tap and in cans, this is a 6.5% ABV guava sour aged in red wine barrels for 16 months. Releasing today, December 14.
  • Velvety Bandit Barrel-Aged Brown – Available both on tap and in cans, releasing Sunday, December 16.

Excelsior Brewing Company

  • Woodrift Belgian Quad – Available now in limited supply, this quad was aged for one year in Buffalo Trace barrels.

Fitger’s Brewhouse

  • Brothers Burn Rye – A rye-heavy Vienna lager aged with a “light touch” of smoked jalapenos. The beer debuts today at The Barrel Room in celebration of a show by band The Brothers Burn Mountain.

Forager Brewery

  • Freedom Toast – Top Flight selection.

Fulton Brewing

  • Brut 300 – One of two new 300 IPA variants in the new 300 Mixed 4-Pack.
  • Mango 300 – One of two new 300 IPA variants in the new 300 Mixed 4-Pack.

Garphish Brewing Company

  • Bigger Boat Launch – A 9.5% ABV beer with notes of chocolate and bourbon. Tapped last Saturday.

HeadFlyer Brewing

  • Chocolate Factory – “This stout features chocolate maltiness with a smooth, light finish making this an easy drinking dark beer,” the brewery says. Out tomorrow, December 15.

Inbound BrewCo

  • Raspberry Milkshake Gose – Inbound’s gose with added raspberries, lactose, and vanilla. 4.4% ABV, 20 IBU.

Insight Brewing

  • Cascade Pale Ale – A new 6% ABV Cascade-hopped pale ale, on tap at the brewery now.

Jack Pine Brewery

  • Munich Dunkel – A dark beer with rich malt and a clean, crisp finish, the brewery says.
  • Rusty Nail #7 – Tapped at the start of the month, the brewery describes this limited offering as follows: “Our oatmeal stout aged in a whiskey barrel with Brettanomyces Lambicus, a wild yeast known for its cherry pie like tartness.”

Junkyard Brewing Co.

  • Digicamo – A 6.8% ABV, 30 IBU New England-style IPA available on draft and in crowlers.

Kilstone Brewing

  • Adulteress IPA – Newly tapped at the Fargo brewery.
  • Day Creamin’ Vanilla Cream Ale – Newly tapped at the Fargo brewery.

Klockow Brewing Company

  • Decima – A rum barrel-aged Christmas ale with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, and cocoa nibs.

Lakes & Legends Brewing Company

  • Park Light Pale Ale – Debuting Saturday, December 15 at 5.2% ABV.

Lake Superior Brewing

  • Riptide IPA – A new 6% ABV, 60 IBU IPA that features Amarillo and El Dorado hops.

Lakeville Brewing Co.

  • Sky High Imperial Cream Ale – A 9.5% ABV “older brother” to Knee High cream ale. “We use cold brewed coffee from our neighbors at Idioma Roastery and a dash of vanilla to give this beer a little something extra,” the brewery says.

Little Thistle Brewing Co.

  • Schwarzenlager Schwarzbier – A black lager with roasted malt and notes of chocolate. 5% ABV, 16 IBU.

LocAle Brewing Co.

  • Winter Weizen – LocAle describes this dunkles weissbier as featuring notes of clove, banana, and light bread or dough. 5% ABV, 15 IBU.

Lupulin Brewing

  • Operation CoHoperation – The newest Lupulin collaboration is with brewer Brett Doebbeling of the soon-to-open Drastic Measures Brewing in Wadena. It uses Citra, Mosaic, and Ekuanot hop hash for tropical and juicy flavors, complemented by flaked oats. 7% ABV, 50 IBU.

LynLake Brewery

  • Snacks on Snacks Ale – A small batch wheat ale infused with pomegranate and raspberry. 5.7% ABV, 22 IBU.

Modist Brewing Co.

  • People Power Pale Ale – “Hazy Citra and Motueka pale ale brewed with heaps of sticky soft oats, Chilean barley, whirlpool hopped with Citra and dry-hopped with Motueka and Citra. Notes of candied citrus zest, lychee berry jelly and lemon lime squish,” the brewery says. 5.3% ABV.

Number 12 Cider House

  • Trilogy – A semi-sweet cider with notes of melon rind and a slight boozy flavor, the cider house says.
  • Prūnum – A new dry cider with tart plum character and a pink-orange hue.

OMNI Brewing Co.

  • Brutus – A 5% ABV, 22 IBU Brut IPA.
  • Lookout 60 – A 5.8%, 50 IBU India session ale.

Rustech Brewing

  • Sniper’s Brother – A new double IPA, pouring at 8.5% ABV, 99 IBU and hopped with Citra.

Sisyphus Brewing

  • Hat Trick BA Imperial Stout – A blend of five different barrel-aged imperial stouts, aged in bourbon, whiskey, and rum from Miller’s and Saints distillery. “The aroma features chocolate and vanilla notes, and the taste has vanilla and bready/crackery tones.” Available this Saturday.

Stacked Deck Brewing

  • Right Said Red – A rich, smooth red lager that pours at 5.2% ABV, 13 IBU.

Take 16 Brewing Company

  • Prairie Solace Belgian-style Dubbel – Notes of raisin, dark stone fruit, dark chocolate, and toffee define this dark ruby dubbel.

The Nordic Brewing Co.

  • Turn Fire to Steam – A 4.6% ABV California Common, tapped last weekend.

Tin Whiskers Brewing Company

  • Banana Chocolate Schottky Pumpkin – Available today at the brewery.
  • English Bitter – A new Fourier Series beer available at the St. Paul taproom.
  • Pi Fidelity Pale Ale – Pi Fidelity will be sold only at the nine Pizza Lucé locations. It’s a hazy pale ale with bright and tropical aromas that give way to a pronounced hop bite and a crisp finish, the brewery says. 5.6% ABV, 26 IBU.
  • Plum Pale Ale – A new Fourier Series release, available today.

Venn Brewing Company

  • Raspberry Sour – An 8.8% ABV sour wheat ale infused with real raspberries.
  • Venn IPA – This is a 6.5% ABV New England-inspired IPA with a blend of Citra, Simcoe, and Mosaic hops.

Wicked Wort Brewing Company

  • Sucker Punch Passionfruit Sour Pale Ale – A 5% ABV, 30 IBU hazy, pale and tart fruited pale ale.

Wooden Hill Brewing Company

  • Snowburst – A 6.7% ABV juicy IPA.


Seasonal or rotating returns

Photo courtesy Bent Paddle Brewing Company

Photo courtesy Bent Paddle Brewing Company

12welve Eyes Brewing

  • Strawberry-Plum Milkshake IPA – A milkshake IPA made with strawberry and plum, plus lactose sugar and vanilla.

AEGIR Brewing Company

  • Fenrir – A dark rye IPA at 5.5% ABV, 66 IBU. Tapped last weekend.

Barrel Theory Beer Company

  • Shooter McGavin – An all Citra hopped double IPA.
  • The Magic Man – An all Galaxy hopped IPA.

Bent Paddle Brewing Co.

  • Cold-Press Black – This well-known Bent Paddle black ale was recently changed so it now features direct-trade coffee from Duluth Coffee Co. grown exclusively by the family farm of Gabriel Muñoz in Huila, Colombia. It is now being sold in six-pack cans.

Boom Island Brewing Company

  • Cinnamon Brimstone – Available at the brewery beginning this Saturday.

Brew d’État

  • Velvet – A Mandarin milkshake pale ale with secondary fermentation on vanilla beans, quartered Mandarin oranges, Mosaic Cryo, and CTZ, the brewery says. 6.5% ABV.

Dangerous Man Brewing Company

  • Imperial Peanut Butter Porter – 1,000 bottles of this beer went on sale at Dangerous Man yesterday, aged in a blend of rye whiskey and tawny port barrels.

Eastlake Craft Brewery

Eastlake celebrated its fourth anniversary this week with several special releases, including the return of:

  • Tsathoggua Imperial Stout – Top Flight selection.

Fair State Brewing Cooperative

  • FSB – FSB 2018 is a big 13.9% ABV, 70 IBU Russian imperial stout that is on draft at the taproom now and will be sold in packaged form on Saturday, December 15. A special variant offering Duluth Coffee Co. coffee plus double the vanilla will also be available, but exclusively at the taproom.
  • U-Pick – Made with hand-picked blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries, this is a barrel-fermented sour that pours at 5.3% ABV, 20 IBU.

Hoops Brewing Company

  • #1225 Cherry Ale – Top Flight selection.

Junkyard Brewing Co.

  • Peanut Butter Bandit – The peanut stout returns in Crowlers this week and on draft soon.
  • Poncho Goddess – A new chocolate milk stout that is available in Crowlers and on draft soon.
  • Wicked Awesome Slurry – A New England-style double IPA that is available in Crowlers now and on draft soon. 8.3% ABV, 69 IBU.

Left Hand Brewing Company

  • Saison Au Ble De Minuit – A 6.8% ABV midnight wheat saison that the brewery describes as dry and crisp.

Lift Bridge Brewing Company

  • Chocolate Dipped Biscotti – This cookie-inspired beer returns on Saturday in Stillwater, with notes of malt, vanilla, and cocoa nibs.

Lupulin Brewing

  • Polarnattens Paradis – A 9.5% ABV, 50 IBU winter stout with coffee and star anise, available at the taproom today and in cans at area liquor stores soon.

Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub

  • Imperial Brown Honey Ale Snowmageddon – Top Flight selection.

Tilion Brewing Co.

  • Cranberry T-1 Belgian Single – Tilion’s Belgian single infused with cranberries. After selling out quickly on Thanksgiving weekend, the second go-around is “both sweet and tart, coming in at 6.8% alcohol by volume and is a crowd pleaser for both the beer and wine drinker at your holiday party,” the brewery says.

Toppling Goliath Brewing Co.

  • SOSUS – The double IPA is now available in cans in Minnesota and other states.

Unmapped Brewing Co.

  • Quad-Jubilation – Top Flight selection.


Beers just announced

Photo courtesy Rogue Brewing Company

Photo courtesy Rogue Brewing Company

Bad Weather Brewing Company

  • Kentucky Common – Brewed this week, using maize in the cereal mash.

Barrel Theory Beer Company

  • Ansari’s Stout – Barrel Theory recently brewed a baklava-inspired stout to celebrate the upcoming anniversary of Ansari’s Mediterranean Grill.

Birch’s On the Lake

  • Bohemian Pilsner – “This lager is brewed with 100 percent Weyermann Bohemian Pilsner malt and 100 percent Czech Saaz hops, and then aged cold for over seven weeks,” the brewery says. 4.9% ABV.

Cuyuna Brewing Company

  • Cider – Cuyuna announced a new graf to debut at the brewery sometime in the coming year.

Excelsior Brewing Company

  • Amberjack Amber Ale – Coming later this month, according to a recent newsletter.
  • Daisy Cream Ale – Coming later this month, according to a recent newsletter.
  • Mr. Jimmy’s Baltic Porter – Coming later this month, according to a recent newsletter.
  • Shattered Solstice Ale – Returning on December 21 at the brewery.

Fair State Brewing Cooperative

  • Double Spirit Føul – A double IPA version of this hazy IPA will release at the taproom on Thursday, December 27.
  • Journeys + Sidequests – A new subscription bottle series will be introduced in 2019. “The beers in our 2019 edition, Bag of Tricks, feature difficult-to-source or extremely local ingredients, non-traditional collaborations, and processes that we don’t normally have the time or resources to pursue. Most of them are barrel-aged or fermented, many of them are higher in the ABV register than we normally go, and all of them take risks,” says head brewer Niko Tonks.
  • LÄCTOBÄC XMAS – “A reprise of the tenth installment of the LÄCTOBÄC series, this time with blood orange, tangerine, cranberry, and ginger added. Holiday beer without cinnamon,” the brewery says. 5.2%  ABV, 10 IBU, and available on December 20.


FINNEGANS will embark on Dark Week from January 13–19, pouring the following beers (listed in order of release):

  • Smoked Baltic Porter – Pouring Sunday January 13.- Pouring Monday January 14.
  • Dark Chocolate Mint Stout – Pouring Tuesday, January 15.
  • Red Lodge Oatmeal Spruce Tips Porter – Pouring Wednesday, January 16.
  • Black Tarton Scottish Stout – Pouring Thursday, January 17.
  • Dead Irish Poet Extra Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels – Pouring Friday, January 18.
  • Caorthannach – Pouring Saturday, January 19, this is a “burly Russian imperial stout” that pours at 10.3% ABV and was aged in pinot noir and whiskey barrels. “Expect a full bodied brew with complex malt, whiskey, and fruit notes,” the brewery says.

Indeed Brewing Company

  • Blue Blood – Part of the Wooden Soul series, this upcoming bottle release is a wooden barrel-aged brett saison with blueberry and orange peel. 8.1% ABV and available next Monday.
  • Chai Velvet – Available on Monday, December 17 at the taproom, this is an amber ale with TeaSource Chai spice and lactose, giving it a silky mouthfeel and ginger, clove, and cardamom notes.
  • Midnight Ryder – The original black IPA returns to the taproom next Monday. “Big notes of chocolate, caramel, and roast shift into a piney, resinous finish to create this complex IPA,” Indeed says. It will be available on tap and in Crowlers.
  • Rum King Imperial Stout with Orange and Cacao – Also available starting on Monday, December 17, this limited supply Rum King infusion uses zested oranges and cacao nibs.

Jack Pine Brewery

  • Big Buck 2019 – Jack Pine celebrates six years on January 12 by releasing the latest vintage of Big Buck. “A big, bold, hoppy American barleywine, this beauty ages wonderfully with the aggressive hop presence mellowing and the malt complexity building as the years go by,” the brewery says. Limited bottles will be available.

Junkyard Brewing Co.

  • Barrel Aged Scout Camp – An upcoming double s’more porter.
  • Big Manchild – A West Coast-style double IPA that will soon be available in Crowlers and on draft.
  • Citra-Zaic DIPA – This double IPA returns next week, the brewery says.
  • Proverbial Substance – A new dry-hopped sour ale referented with brettanomyces, plus peach, apricot, cherry, guava, and strawberry purees. Available next week.

LocAle Brewing Co.

  • 1st Born – A Belgian saison with Maltwerks malt and Mighty Axe hops. 5.5% ABV, 25 IBU. Available on December 27.
  • Bachelor Farmer – A citrus-forward hazy IPA that returns to the brewery on December 20. 5.5% ABV, 35 IBU.
  • Deep Valley – “A warming, nearly sessionable oatmeal stout. A small batch variant with cold-pressed coffee from Mankato’s Beans Coffee Company will also be on tap for a limited time,” the brewery says. 4.5% ABV, 20 IBU, and available on December 27.

Lupulin Brewing

  • Vienna Lager – A 5% ABV, 25 IBU Vienna lager is in the works.

New Belgium Brewing

  • Brut IPA – A new sparking IPA that’s part of the Up Next Series, this bright and bubbly India pale ale will be available for celebrating the new year.

OMNI Brewing Co.

  • Barrel-Aged Doppelbock – Available at the brewery on December 22.
  • Butterfinger-infused Snowprint – Available at the brewery on December 22.

Rogue Ales & Spirits

  • Straight Outta Newport…Oregon – “This is our biggest and boldest IPA packed with ridiculous amounts of Citra, Mosaic and Comet hops,” Rogue says. 8.7% ABV, 73 IBU. Available in January.

Surly Brewing Company

Surly’s 2019 brand calendar came out. News includes two new year-round beers, new variety pack offerings, and 6-packs.

  • 60 Below – The rye IPA returns in the upcoming Thaw Pack sampler, along with the new Layer Up, and more.
  • Abrasive – Back next November.
  • Barrel-Aged Darkness – Coming in April in 750-milliliter bottles.
  • Color Into Sound – A BC Small Batch series coming next year.
  • DAF IPA – A seasonal 6-pack Brut IPA “that delivers dynamic, fruit-forward hop flavor with a spectacularly dry finish,” the brewery says. Coming in early 2019.
  • Damien – Back in September.
  • Darkness – Back in October.
  • Funeral Bar – A BC Small Batch series coming next year.
  • Heatslayer Kolsch – Back in April.
  • Layer Up – Available in the upcoming Thaw Pack sampler, along with 60 Below rye IPA, and more.
  • Oktoberfest – Available in August.
  • One-Man Mosh Pit – A new year-round entry to debut in February. “An absurd dose of Amarillo, Citra, and Mosaic dry-hopping hoists this juicy IPA well above the fray,” Surly says.
  • Rosé – Available in March through September next year.
  • Sleek IPA – Previously sold in the 2018 Hop Pack, Sleek will become a year-round beer in 2019, made with 100 percent Simcoe hops for grapefruit and melon flavors.
  • Staycation – A BC Small Batch series coming next year.
  • Stunner Tropical Session – Coming in July.
  • Wet – Back in October 2019.
  • Winter IPA – A seasonal IPA to debut in October.

Venn Brewing Company

  • Belgian Blonde – An upcoming 6.5% ABV, 30 IBU traditional Belgian blonde that Venn describes as complex, fruity, and spicy.
  • Helles Lager – This upcoming 4.8% ABV, 15 IBU Bavarian helles-style lager is described as malty-sweet, floral, and dry by the brewery.

Waldmann Brewery & Wurstery

  • Hot Raspberry and Blueberry/Blackberry Imperial Sour – Available at a ticketed New Year’s Eve party.

Curious about recent releases? Peruse our Mash-Up archives. Did we miss a beer release or announcement? Email us at [email protected] to let us know about new beers from this week and beyond. Or let us know what new beer you’re enjoying by using #TheMashUp on Twitter and Instagram.



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