The Mash-Up: From Munich to Minnesota, Oktoberfest officially kicks off

Hoops #67 Oktoberfest Wiesn Beer // Photo via Hoops Brewing's Instagram

Hoops #67 Oktoberfest Wiesn Beer // Photo via Hoops Brewing’s Instagram

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.

How much wordplay is possible with the word “Oktoberfest”? We’ll find out in the coming weeks, starting with FINNEGANS’ Finntoberfest and Fair State’s Co-Optoberfest this weekend in Minneapolis, the soon-to-come Blocktoberfest in St. Paul, and many other events across the state from Big Lake to Delano and Hopkins. (For a full list of events, check out our Oktoberfest round-up.)

But it’s not all German-influenced beers and lederhosen-optional parties on tap this weekend. Torg is in soft-open mode, Back Channel is celebrating their first anniversary, and Waldmann announced their own first anniversary plans (albeit with a German theme). In South Minneapolis, Northbound just turned six by releasing some of their most sought-after beers.



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.

Bad Weather Flavor Kristalls

Bad Weather’s first collaboration with Fair State Brewing Cooperative was this Kristallweizen, which debuted at Autumn Brew Review and is now on tap at Bad Weather’s taproom. “A traditional German Hefeweizen that is filtered crystal clear giving us a beer that is a bit more delicate and cleaner than its hazy counterpart. Aromas of clove, banana, white bread and banana. Flavors of wheat, clove, banana, and bubblegum,” says the brewery.

Fitger’s Brewhouse Cherry Batch Ale

Fitger’s celebrates its 23rd anniversary on Sunday, September 23, with its annual Cherry Batch Ale, made with Door County cherries serving as the center of the party. The release party kicks off at 7pm in The Barrel Room. The beer itself released last week.

Clutch ExhaustDead Black IPA

Clutch Brewing opened with the rest of the Keg & Case West 7th Market last week. In addition to the four beers listed in last week’s Mash-Up, Clutch opened with this smoked black IPA on tap, described as a roasty IPA with a slight dryness. 7% ABV, 74 IBU.

Steel Toe Hoptread IPA No. 3

The third installment in Steel Toe’s Hoptread series is this experimental hazy IPA with notes of pineapple, peach, and guava on the nose and in the flavor. On draft now at Steel Toe’s taproom. 6.9% ABV.

Fair State It’s Gold, Jerry!

Back for another year, this annual fresh hop ale is also part of the Minnesota Fresh Hop Tour of Mighty Axe-grown fresh hop ales. On tap for Co-Optoberfest on Saturday, September 22.

New beers available this week (September 17 – September 23)

HeadFlyer Brewing Company's Zested Sea Salt Lager // Photo via Headflyer Brewing Company Twitter

Headflyer Brewing Company’s Zested Sea Salt Lager // Photo via HeadFlyer Brewing Company Twitter

10K Brewing

  • Bee-Sting – A 6.8% ABV honey almond blonde ale.

Able Seedhouse & Brewery

  • These Dreams – A new pineapple peach milkshake IPA, also available in cans.

Alloy Brewing

  • Belgian Beehive

Back Channel Brewing

  • Five-Legged Table – A new fresh hop SMaSH ale, featuring Cascade hops and Golden Promise malt. It’s part of the Minnesota Fresh Hop Tour of Mighty Axe-grown fresh hop ales.
  • The Padre – A Mexican stout with notes of smoke, cacao, coffee, and vanilla bean.

Bad Weather Brewing Company

  • Flavor Kristalls  – Top Flight selection.
  • Biere de Garde – Now on tap, the farmhouse ale is described as a 6.6% ABV, 27 IBU “that is malt forward with an extended lagering or cold-conditioning period.”

BlackStack Brewing

  • Not So Relaxed Fit – A coffee-infused take on BlackStack’s Relaxed Fit Porter, listed below. This version uses a Colombian/Sumatran blend from True Stone Coffee Roasters. 7.5% ABV and available at the taproom.
  • People Person – A new peach pineapple passion fruit Berliner weisse that the brewery describes as both tart and tropical. “This over-fruited take on the classic German style is the first of several fun fruit projects that will be dropping with this base in the not so distant future,” they’ve announced via Facebook.
  • Relaxed Fit – This is a 7.5% ABV husky porter that the brewery says has rich flavors of chocolate and a velvet mouthfeel.
  • Tug It Out – A new double dry-hopped IPA hit the taproom and liquor stores last week. Brewed in collaboration with The Nook for the Pulling Together Tug-of-War charitable event that took place a week ago. 7.3% ABV.

Blue Wolf Brewing Co.

  • Oktoberfest – A malty and bready ale for the season, tapped this Tuesday.

Boom Island Brewing Company

  • Quad – Made according to Belgian Trappist tradition, Boom Island describes this beer as follows: “Malty, dark, and as mysterious as a Belgian monastery, our Quad has hues of reddish brown with a hint of sweetness that belies its 10.2% ABV.” It will be available in 750-milliliter bottles starting today, and soon after in 11.2-ounce bottles.

Broken Clock Brewing Cooperative

  • The Katz Pajamaz – This collaboration with 56 debuted at Autumn Brew Review. The hazy, juicy-style double IPA uses Lemon Drop hops and local honey, “giving it a nice sweet smooth taste with prominent notes of lemon and citrus,” the brewery says. Available in Crowlers from the brewery this weekend and coming to liquor stores next week. 8% ABV, 35 IBU.

Clutch Brewing Company

  • ExhaustDead – Top Flight selection.

Dangerous Man Brewing Company

  • JXTA Golden Ale – A golden ale made in collaboration with JXTA Graphic Design Lab, who also designed the Crowler artwork and corresponding tap handle. Released on Sunday, September 12.

Deschutes Brewery

  • Schwarzbier – Deschutes is celebrating their 30th anniversary this year and one of the special releases will be a collaboration with Bell’s production manager Tim Gossack, who was Deschutes’ head brewer from 1990–1996. This recipe by Gossack (after he left Deschutes), is a 6.4% ABV dark lager.

Disgruntled Brewing

  • Bloody Good – An ESB at 5.5% ABV, 35 IBU.

Dual Citizen Brewing Company

  • Autumn – This wet hop pale ale showcases Cascade and Chinook hops grown at Mo’Hops in Medford alongside pale malt out of Maltwerks in Detroit Lakes. “The result is a highly drinkable and well balanced Midwestern brew, transitioning from initial notes of malty sweetness into earthy and floral hop flavors,” the brewery says. 5.5% ABV, 40 IBU. On tap Saturday, September 22.

Earth Rider Brewery

  • Cranbecrush – “Brewed in anticipation for the Stone Lake Cranberry Fest in Stone Lake Wisconsin, Cranbecrush is a clean-and-light tart American wheat ale with cranberries,” the brewery says. 5.5% ABV, 15 IBU.

Fair State Brewing Cooperative

  • Cowlaboration #10: Helles Lager – Available at Red Cow locations, this is a 5.4% Helles lager dry-hopped with Lemon Drop hops.


  • Amber Loon – The brewery describes this one as an amber lager with a creamy mouthfeel and a smooth, malty finish. Available at the Brewer’s Den today and hitting the taproom on September 22 for Finntoberfest.
  • Armory Laker Blonde – A 4.6% light blonde ale, now on tap.
  • Huell Melon Helles – As its name implies, this is a helles lager with flavors of grain, biscuit, and grass complemented by Huell Melon hops.
  • Oaktoberfest – The third release in the Barrels of Life series, this is a traditional Marzen-style lager then aged in Minnesota white oak barrels. The barrels give it a fuller mouthfeel, the brewery says. Available at Finntoberfest.
  • Octoberfest – Tapping for Saturday’s Finntoberfest, the brewery says this is “a traditionally made German Marzen. Pouring a rich mahogany color with notes of toffee, caramel, and rich malt.”

Fitger’s Brewhouse

  • Hoppelujah – “Featuring Sorachi Ace, Galaxy, and Mosaic hops, this beer throws aromas of blueberry, peach, and grapefruit. A slightly bready, crisp malt helps balance it out and make a great IPA.” the brewery says.

Forager Brewery

  • Pen 15 Club – Forager describes this as a “hefehafer”-style beer, using oats, hefeweizen yeast, and then aged on coconut to deliver a smooth-bodied ale. Available in limited Crowlers.

Giesenbräu Bier Co.

  • Dozinky Pils – Available for New Prague’s Dožínky Days this weekend, this is a Czech-style Pilsner pouring at 4.6% ABV, using 100 percent Kazbek hops.
  • Take Off, You Hoser! – This is a Hopfen ale with Munich malt, Spalt hops, pouring at 5.3% ABV.

HeadFlyer Brewing Company

  • Lime-Zested Sea Salt Lager – Tapped last week.

Indeed Brewing Company

  • Blue Dream IPA – Brewed exclusively for Blue Door pubs in honor of their 10th anniversary, this is a blueberry honey IPA that will be available starting on Saturday. The dank IPA pours at 6.4% ABV, 65 IBU.

Invictus Brewing Co

  • James – A pecan nut brown ale made with real maple syrup.

Kinney Creek Brewery

  • Stoup – Notes of chocolate and roasted espresso define this new offering.

Klockow Brewing Company

  • Angry Arms – A hop-forward cream ale, pouring at 4.3% ABV.
  • Travelin’ Jack – This West Coast IPA combines Citra, Mosaic, and Cascade hops in a new 6.2% ABV beer.

Left Hand Brewing Company

  • 25th Anniversary – The brewery is celebrating at their Colorado home today with the release of this special beer, an imperial stout to be sold in 4-packs.

Lost Sanity Brewing

  • Batty Blonde Belgian – “The hop and yeast characters give pleasant, spicy, and floral aromas that coalesce the malt flavors to give this beer a refreshing finish,” the brewery says.
  • O Fest – Rich toasted caramel flavors and a copper color define this Marzen-style beer.

Modist Brewing Co.

  • Pizza’s Best Friend – Modist gets right to the point with the name of this hazy IPA that uses Pizza Lucé crust in the mash. Currently available only at Pizza Lucé restaurants.

Moose Lake Brewing

  • Fall Berry Hefeweizen – A cloudy hefeweizen with banana and clove notes, with added blueberry. 5.1% ABV.
  • German Blueberry Wheat Ale – A German wheat ale with a half-wheat, half-barley grain bill, plus Sorachi Ace hops and blueberries. 5% ABV, 30 IBU.

New Holland Brewing Company

  • Dragon’s Milk – This well-known bourbon barrel-aged stout with bold, rich flavors releases in Michigan this weekend and the rest of the country, including Minnesota, soon.
  • Dragon’s Milk Reserve: Banana Coconut – A companion to the classic Dragon’s Milk, this version adds banana, plantain, and coconut to the creamy, rich, bourbon-y stout. 11% ABV, 30 IBU.

Revelation Ale Works

  • Pineapple Mango Smoothie Sour

Roets Jordan Brewery

  • BEARd IPA – Tapping on Saturday, September 22.
  • Jordan Ale – A 5.6% ABV, 29 IBU American blonde ale.
  • Juicy – A 6.6% ABV, 66 IBU hazy IPA featuring Galaxy hops debuts this Saturday. Proceeds of this beer will be donated to the National Alliance on Mental Illness for Suicide Prevention.
  • Roets Stout – An oatmeal cream stout at 6.5% ABV, 36 IBU.

Schram Vineyards Winery & Brewery

  • Pale Ryder Ale – Tapping today.

Shakopee Brewhall

  • Kenny Jay – A Kottbusser style beer that tapped earlier this week.

Steel Toe Brewing

  • Hoptread IPA No. 3 – Top Flight selection.

Surly Brewing Company

  • Angry Nap – A juicy, fruit-forward IPA that is available only at the Beer Hall.
  • Vice City – A citrus-heavy and tropical IPA with a hint of lactose for mild sweetness to showcase the Amarillo, Mosaic, and El Dorado hops.

Tin Whiskers Brewing Company

  • Nebula – The latest in the Spark Series of limited-run cans, this hazy IPA is described as juicy and citrus-forward before a bright, clean finish. It’s named after the haze produced by giant clouds of dust and gas in space.

Torg Brewing

  • Brigid’s Bathwater – A dry Irish stout that the brewery says has a roasted coffee aroma and rich grain flavors.
  • General Enyu Endo – A medium-bodied beer available for the Spring Lake Park brewery’s soft opening this week, the brewery says: “The General features primarily Midwestern American 2-row barley with just a hint of wheat and Liberty hops. Liberty lends a spice and pine aroma and just a suggestion of meadow flowers. A medium bodied beer, with clean malt backbone in balance with the hop flavors and moderate bitterness.”
  • Squirrel Nutkin – A medium-bodied English-style brown ale that’s described as slightly sweet with a nutty and dry finish.

Additional announced beers include:

  • Bearded Preacher’s Wife IPA
  • Libidinous Hefeweizen,
  • Wild Rice Mild

Venn Brewing Company

  • American Pale Ale – “A classic American-style Pale Ale featuring Amarillo, Mackinac, and Cascade hops,” the brewery says. 5.7% ABV, 40 IBU.
  • Dortmunder Export – Venn describes this 5.3% ABV, 30 IBU German-style lager and an even balance of malt and hops.
  • Saphir Pale Lager – Pouring at 5.5% ABV, 30 IBU, this lager has notes of lemon zest, white grape, and a clean finish the brewery says.

Wicked Wort Brewing Company

  • III IPA Aged in Tequila Barrels – A new Wicked Wood series release, this barrel-aged triple IPA was released in bottles last week.
  • Some Mores Golden Ale – A golden ale brewed with crushed graham cracker, cocoa nibs, and marshmallow whip was tapped last week. 6.6% ABV, 13 IBU.

Wild Mind Artisan Ales

  • Spirit of Silla – “This sour ale is peach forward with a very, very light smoke. As the seasons turn, this beer pulls in the juicy peaches from the summer and into richer, complex whiskey flavors for the fall.,” the brewery says. Available at select bars and restaurants, and not at the taproom.

Wooden Hill Brewing Company

  • BLDG: 6 – A new juicy pale ale out of Edina, this pours at 5.7% ABV and features Denali and El Dorado hops.
  • Pumpkin Juice – A seasonal pumpkin ale with pie spices, milk sugar, and vanilla. 5% ABV.


Seasonal or rotating returns

New Holland Brewing Company's Ichabod // Photo via New Holland Brewing Company Twitter

New Holland Brewing Company’s Ichabod // Photo via New Holland Brewing Company Twitter

10K Brewing

  • Anokafest – A Märzen-style beer set for its 2018 debut on September 29. 5.8% ABV.


  • Oktoberfest Märzen Festbier – Out now and going fast, the brewery says.

Alloy Brewing

  • Nummer Eins – “Deutschland malts partner with German noble hops and a rogue New Zealand hop to give this beer a rich malty backbone, with a slight touch of fruity sweetness,” the brewery says of this Oktoberfest lager.

Beaver Island Brewing Company

  • Oktoberfest – An Oktoberfest Märzen lager

Castle Danger Brewery

  • Maple Märzen

Fair State Brewing Cooperative

  • It’s Gold, Jerry! – Top Flight selection.

Other beers on tap for Co-Optoberfest include:

  • BOWSAW – Fonta Flora collab with Aki’s Breadhaus pretzels
  • Festbier
  • Barrel-Aged Stupid Sexy Flanders
  • Smoked Apricot Sour
  • Aw, Jeff-it!
  • Feeling Good, Louis!
  • Medieval England Reference ESB Firkin

Fitger’s Brewhouse

  • Cherry Batch Ale – Top Flight selection.

Forager Brewery

  • Dad Bod – This returning recipe has a new twist this time around. “When we emptied the barrels which held Breakfast Nook we brewed directly back into them for this batch of Dad Bod,” the brewery explains. “Rich notes of chocolate layered with gentle smoke, honey, treacle and bourbon compliment this 10% ABV scotch ale.” Available in limited Crowlers.
  • Tropical Gummies Make Us Likable – An American sour wheat ale with passion fruit, mango, pineapple, and guava. 6% ABV and available in limited Crowlers.
  • Wet Hop Shag Session – A fresh hop ale that’s part of the Minnesota Fresh Hop Tour of Mighty Axe-grown fresh hop ales, this variation of Forager’s hazy session IPA “has the aroma and flavor of a double IPA with only 4.5% ABV,” the brewery proclaims. Available only at the brewery.

Hoops Brewing Company

  • Hoops #67 Oktoberfest Wiesn Beer – “Deep golden yellow with a balanced taste and a pleasant fragrance of hops, our Wiesn is full-bodied and yet wonderfully light,” the brewery says. 6.1% ABV, 23 IBU.

Inbound BrewCo

  • Belgian Tripel – Returning on tap for the first time in nearly two years.
  • Vienna Lager

Indeed Brewing Company

  • Oktoberfest – A 5.8% ABV malt-forward fall seasonal with a medium body and dry finish, the brewery says.

Klockow Brewing Company

  • Munchkin – A Marzen-style Oktoberfest lager pouring at 6% ABV.

LTD Brewing

The 2018 Sleepwalker and Oktoberfest celebration is taking place at LTD this Saturday, marked with several bottle releases and more.

  • Night Falls: Rum Barrel Aged – Available in limited bottles, starting at 2pm.
  • Night Falls Single Barrel Select: RIS Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrel Aged – Available in limited bottles, starting at 2pm.
  • Night Falls: Whiskey Barrel Aged – Available in limited bottles, starting at 2pm.
  • Emily’s Dream #11: Blackberry – A barrel-aged blackberry wild sour ale available in bottles.
  • Emily’s Dream #11: Tart Cherry – A barrel-aged cherry wild sour ale available in bottles.
  • Oktoberfest
  • Sleepwalker – A triple IPA released that was brewed using 120 pounds of Basswood honey.

Lupine Brewing

  • Oktoberfest – To tap on September 22.

New Holland Brewing Company

  • Ichabod – The fall pumpkin spice beer returns.

Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub

Northbound released several popular and hard-to-come-by beers in honor of their sixth anniversary this Thursday, including:

  • Anniversary Ale 2017 Farmhouse Ale
  • Barrel Aged Snowmageddon
  • Block Heater Barley Wine
  • Bridge Hanger Dark Belgian Strong
  • Castro’s Reserve Cigar Smoked Brown Ale
  • Cream Ale
  • 2017 Doppelbock
  • Eager Beaver Aged Sour Brown
  • Eisbock
  • Golden Stout
  • Rye Bourbon barrel-aged Imperial Honey Brown

Roets Jordan Brewery

  • Roets Sour – A 5% ABV, 6 IBU tropical kettle sour.

Steel Toe Brewing

  • Mighty Fresh IPA – This wet hop IPA features locally grown hops and is part of the Minnesota Fresh Hop Tour sponsored by Mighty Axe hop farm. After debuting at Autumn Brew Review, it is now also available at the brewery.

Tanzenwald Brewing Company

  • Farm Fresh
  • Tanztoberfest

Tin Whiskers Brewing Company

  • Funkenfest – Returning to the brewery today, September 21.

Town Hall Brewery

  • Eye of the Storm – A light-bodied honey ale using Minnesota-made basswood and orange blossom honey. Available on nitro at the 7 Corners brewery, as of this Monday, September 17. 9.62% ABV.
  • Grand Cru – Available at the 7 Corners brewery, this grand cru-style ale has banana and orange notes with a plum finish, available as of September 17. 9.4% ABV.
  • Wee Heavy – A Scottish-influenced ale with deep notes of caramel, toasted chocolate, and wine-like fruitiness, the brewery says. Available at the 7 Corners as of September 17. 8.6% ABV.

Utepils Brewing

  • Receptional – This balanced Festbier is back on tap Saturday, September 22, and is available in cans for the season.

Ward House Brewery

  • October Fest Amber – Released last week.

Beers just announced

Pryes Brewing Company's Miraculum Midwest IPA // Photo courtesy Pryes Brewing Company

Pryes Brewing Company’s Miraculum Midwest IPA // Photo courtesy Pryes Brewing Company

Badger Hill Brewing Company

  • ZwickelDort – A Dortmunder lager brewed for Shaktoberfest at the brewery on September 29. The beer itself debuts next Friday, September 28. “A decoction mash is utilized to enhance the bready and slight honey sweet character of the German malts, our first beer to use this technique,” the brewery explains. “It is perfectly balanced with the floral and spicy notes of Hallertau Mittelfrüh and Mt. Hood hops so that no single element overpowers another. Clean fermenting lager yeast keeps it crisp and allows these flavors to shine together. This beer is also brewed in the spirit of a traditional German Zwickelbier, meaning it is pulled directly from the cellar during maturation without clarification.”

Boom Island Brewing Company

  • Belgian Strong – To release at the Popup Record Store event at the brewery on September 29.

Dual Citizen Brewing Company

  • Raymond – A Fest lager to debut at Blocktoberfest on September 29 in St. Paul, this Marzen-style beer offers complex malt aromas with a full-bodied and dry finish, the brewery says. 7.0% ABV, 25 IBU.
  • Kick in the Head – Also to debut at Blocktoberfest, this is an imperial red ale, pouring at 8.5% ABV, 35 IBU, and with a malt-forward aroma balanced against mild hoppy bitterness, the brewery says. Named for The Big Wu’s new single “Kick in the Head.” The Big Wu will also be performing live.

Grand Rounds Brew Pub

  • Alien Candy – The peanut butter stout will return soon, the brewery says.
  • Brown Eyed Girl – Returning to the Rochester brewpub soon, according to its website.

Pryes Brewing Co.

  • Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout – Pryes let Autumn Brew Review attendees get a first taste of this beer, which will release properly in the taproom later this year.
  • Miraculum – The flagship citrus-forward IPA will be released in 16-ounce cans this fall.

Schell’s Brewery

  • TBD – Schell’s brewed a beer last week using locally grown fresh hops.

Shakopee Brewhall

  • Highway 101 – The West Coast IPA will return soon, the brewery says.
  • Shakopee Light – Returning soon, the brewery says.

Surly Brewing Company

  • Surlyfest – This year’s Oktoberfest offering will be a draft only option, tapping on the day of the party, Saturday Oct. 13.
  • Wet – Returning for 2018 soon, this year’s batch was brewed with more than 6,000 pounds of fresh Citra hops from Washington state.

Tin Whiskers Brewing Company

  • Waveform – The West Coast-style IPA will return this fall.

Venn Brewing Company

  • Loral Pils – A single-hopped Pilsner showcasing the Loral hop variety. 5.4% ABV, 40 IBU.

Waldmann Brewery & Wurstery

Waldmann will celebrate both Oktoberfest and their first anniversary at a party on September 28. In addition to a special food menu, games, music, and more, they will tap:

  • Festbier
  • Märzen

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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