With over 185 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.
Just when you think you have beer pegged as abiding by seasonal rules—winter warmers, dark, boozy and black—brewers go ahead and defy those expectations. And around the winter solstice, no less.
The Mash-Up aims to paint a weekly picture of the current local beer scene, and this week stands out for lightening up the darkest day of the year. There are light-bodied lagers and ales on tap at Back Channel, fruit kettle sours and unique hybrids from breweries like Oliphant and Wild Mind, and a few traditionally-tuned dunkelweizens coming soon. As we approach the new year, it’s the season of looking back, but many breweries are looking forward, as we see 2020 plans from Fulton, Great Lakes, and more.
And don’t worry. There are still plenty of bold, dark winter seasonals this week too, including barrel-aged, coffee stouts and porters, and the return of the black IPA.
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.
612Brew Bone Digger
A creamy oatmeal porter with raspberry and cold brew espresso. 5.1% ABV, 20 IBU.
Inbound Barrel Aged MN Rice
Inbound’s wild rice porter brewed with a high percentage of alcohol and aged for a year in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels. 12% ABV, 27 IBU. One of two special barrel-aged dark beers to release on the winter solstice, December 21.
The first in this annual winter series of limited release beers tapped last week.
Torg Guilty Marder
“Its sweet maltiness and fruity esters merge to create liquid bread and jam, but its effervescence clears the palate quickly, so this brew is refreshing and inviting,” Torg says of this 5.9% ABV German-style dunkelweizen.
Wild Mind Whoa, Jack
Wild Mind says this “wine-beer hybrid designed to blur the lines between the two beverages” has fruity and funky characteristics, with zero carbonation. “The result is a beverage that is ripe with red raspberry and black cherry flavors, has a delicate tannin structure and lingering dryness to the palate.”
New beers available this week December 16–December 22)
- I Can’t Believe It’s Not Hard Cider – A 6.4% ABV apple ale that is sweet, tart, and crisp, the brewery says.
- I Don’t Know Margo! – A raspberry blonde stout.
- Why Is The Carpet All Wet Todd? – A chocolate chip cookie ale.
14 Lakes Brewery
- Whitefish Winter Ale – A 7.0% ABV, 30 IBU winter seasonal.
- Bone Digger – Top Flight selection.
Back Channel Brewing Co.
- Birdwing – A Citra and Amarillo-hopped New England-style pale ale. 5.5% ABV.
- Click Thrice – On tap now, this is a 5.25% ABV cream ale with a light body and balanced flavors.
- The Lake Maker – “The footprint of Lake Maker is pale, effervescent and light-bodied. Look for delicate sweetness balanced by an equally crisp hop bitterness,” the brewery says. A 5.25% ABV American lager.
Bad Weather Brewing Company
- Brandy Barrel-Aged Ominous – A limited bottle release, this double brown ale has tart brandy character, plus wood, oak, brown sugar, fig, and raisin in its profile. Available today.
- Cherry Creek – A Belgian dubbel brewed with cherries, available on tap at the brewery and also in 750-milliliter bottles.
Bald Man Brewing
- Barrel-Aged Batch 100 – “Imperial brown ale that we barrel-aged for 18 months in both rye and bourbon barrels and then combined to produce this amazing beer,” Bald Man explains. 750-milliliter bottles go on sale today.
- Time – A Belgian strong dubbel at 8.0% ABV.
Bauhaus Brew Labs
- Sno-Cal West Coast-Style IPA – This is an aggressively hopped West Coast-style IPA with rustic, earthy, and citrus notes. 7.2% ABV, 40 IBU. Sold in the Freezebox Mixed Pack and also on draft at the brewery.
Bent Paddle Brewing Co.
- Chyl Vybz Hazy BlackBerry Coconut IPA – 7.2% ABV, 30 IBU and available at the taproom.
Big Axe Brewing
- Cranberry Blonde Ale – Bildad Blonde Ale with added cranberry, 5.3% ABV, 14 IBU.
- Doppelbock – “Traditional German-style winter lager with rich flavor. This brew is defined by intense malt and bread notes, along with mild hints of caramel, chocolate and a slightly sweet finish,” the brewery says. 7.6% ABV, 24 IBU.
- Munich Dunkel – A German lager with rich malt-forward character and a light, crisp body, the brewery says. 6% ABV.
- Raspberry Smoothie – A smoothie-style sour with raspberry, oats, wheat, and lactose. 5.9% ABV. Also on tap at Birch’s On The Lake.
- Vanilla Milk Stout – A milk stout aged on bourbon vanilla beans. 5.4% ABV.
- Thread Count – On tap and in cans, this is a double dry-hopped double IPA with Cashmere, Mosaic, and Mosaic Cryo hops. 8.1% ABV.
Dual Citizen Brewing Company
- This Must Be The Pale – Pouring orange in color with a white head, this American pale ale has citrus and light tropical notes in the aroma and was made with Citra, Mosaic, and Simcoe hops. 5.5% ABV, 55 IBU.
Earth Rider Brewery
- Aquavit Barrel Aged Valhalla Ale – Tapped today, this Scotch ale was aged in a Vikre Distillery Aquavit barrel. “Rich notes of toast, caramel and dark fruit mingle with citrus peel, cardamom, and fennel,” the brewery says. 8.5% ABV, 31 IBU.
- LTO IPA – A one-time IPA made with an experimental hop. This IPA pours at 6.1% ABV with tropical fruit and lime flavors. The LTO stands for limited time only, so grab it while you can.
Fair State Brewing Cooperative
- Mister Falcon – A collaboration with Barrel Theory, this hazy double dry-hopped IPA is on tap at the brewery now and is back at stores on December 22.
Fat Pants Brewing Co.
- Devotion – “Well balanced and faintly resinous,” Fat Pants says. 7% ABV, 53 IBU.
Fergus Brewing Co.
- Coconut Coffee Stout – Tapped at the brewery last weekend.
- Winter Solstice Stout – This new winter beer debuts on Saturday.
Founders Brewing Co.
- Imperial Stout – Now available in bottles and on draft.
- KBS Espresso – KBS aged on espresso beans, this pours at 12% ABV and is part of the Barrel-Aged Series.
Hop & Barrel Brewing Company
- Hudson Haze – “Heavy tropical aromatics and sticky sweet flavors from loads of Citra, Simcoe and El Dorado. Drink up, Trendy McTrendface,” Hop & Barrel says.
- Barrel Aged MN Rice – Top Flight selection.
- Barrel Aged RIS – A Buffalo Trace bourbon barrel-aged Russian imperial stout with rich flavors and 13% ABV, 75 IBU. Available in 750-milliliter bottles at 11am on Saturday and one of two special dark beers to release for winter solstice.
Indeed Brewing Company
- Flavor Factory – This limited release taproom beer is a double IPA made in collaboration with ZVEX guitar pedals.
- Midnight Ryder – Indeed’s black IPA is back on tap at the brewery for a limited time, as well as at a few other limited bars and restaurants.
Inver Grove Brewing Co.
- Backwaters – A black IPA with bitter, roasted notes but also juicy hop flavors derived from the inclusion of Citra and Azacca hops.
Junkyard Brewing Co.
- Australian Cheat Codes – A new triple IPA.
- Werewolves at Luncheon – An IPA made with Sabro hops.
Little Thistle Brewery
- Blame It On My Juice – A citrusy, juicy, hazy IPA with orange, tangerine, pineapple, and mango fruity flavors, the brewery says. 7.3% ABV, 43 IBU.
- Peach Cobbler Kettle Sour – “Nice and tart,” the brewery says. “Made with 350 pounds of peaches, lactose, Madagascar vanilla beans, and three varieties of cinnamon.” 3.4% ABV, 0 IBU.
Lupulin Brewing Company
Javatized Mixed-Pack – A variety pack of infused coffee stouts, featuring:
- Cinnatized – With cinnamon and vanilla
- Mochatized – With chocolate
- Nillatized – With vanilla
Modist Brewing Co.
- Space Junk – Oats, wheat malt, and milk sugar went into this beer, plus a double dry-hop dose of Simcoe, Strata, and Mosaic hops.
Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub
- Cold Front IPA
- Snowpocalypse – Top Flight selection
- Toasted Oat Amber Ale – Back on tap at the Minneapolis brewpub as of last week.
- Honees Honees – A golden ale with added peanut butter and honey, this beer is currently being sold in 6-packs.
- Lizardize Mariguanas – An IPA made with Citra, Amarillo, Wakau, and Warrior hops. Sold in 6-packs.
- Super Squishy – Available now in 4-packs, this is a blackberry, raspberry, and coconut sour ale.
OMNI Brewing Co.
Several special beers will be available for OMNI’s Hibernation event this Saturday:
- Unite! – A 2016 Russian imperial stout, releasing at 12pm.
- Rye barrel-aged Omnipotent – A 2017 scotch ale, releasing at 2pm.
- Rum barrel-aged Muddy Rummer – Imperial coconut porter releasing at 4pm.
- Super Scotch – Last but not least, a barrel-aged 2018 scotch ale releasing at 6pm.
The following will be on tap also, beginning at noon:
- Barrel-aged Léon – Russian imperial stout
- Barrel-aged Vanilla Léon
- NBD – A triple oat cream IPA
- Super Scotch
Pantown Brewing Company
- Double Drop Forge Milk Stout – The featured beer release at Pantown’s upcoming first-anniversary celebration on Friday, December 20.
Schram Haus Brewery
- Raspberry Berliner Weisse – A 3.4% ABV kettle sour made with lactobacillus and German Kölsch yeast, plus wheat, raspberry puree, and lemon juice. “The tartness is very similar to that of Greek yogurt,” the brewery says. 3.4% ABV, 6 IBU.
Tin Whiskers Brewing Company
- Tres Leches Barrel-Aged Black Ale – This rich, dessert black ale will be on tap and in Crowlers today, December 20.
- Guilty Marder – Top Flight selection.
Town Hall Brewery
- Amber Lager – “A crisp and full-flavored red lager,” Town Hall says, with an emphasis on rich, layed malt flavors and minimal hop bitterness. 5.5% ABV and on tap now at the brewery.
Waconia Brewing Company
- Espresso Porter – Waconia’s American Porter with added coffee that adds dark chocolate and berry notes, plus coffee flavors, to the base porter flavors.
Wild Mind Artisan Ales
- Whoa, Jack – Top Flight selection.
Wild State Cider
- Macintosh Cider – A 5.1% ABV single varietal cider made with Minnesota-grown McIntosh apples. “No concentrates, sorbates, or added sugar,” the cidery says. “Our bartender says, ‘This one tastes like biting into an apple!’”
Beers just announced
22 Northmen Brewing Company
- Incinerator – A doppelbock and the star of the show at 22 Northmen’s upcoming inaugural Bock Poking party on December 28.
Bad Weather Brewing Company
- Kentucky Common – Brewed this week and coming soon.
Bauhaus Brew Labs
- Nah – Available at the brewery now under the name of NA Helles, this is a non-alcoholic Helles-style lager made with 100% German-grown malt and hops, but no alcohol. It features a bready malt base with a mild hoppiness and notes of ripe melon and bright berry. The beer will soon also be sold in 6-packs at liquor stores beginning in 2020.
Dave’s Brew Farm
- De Oranje Kraai – The final beer brewed in 2019 (most likely) at Dave’s BrewFarm has a Dutch name that translates to “The Orange Crow.”
Fat Pants Brewing Co.
- Cream Ale – A still-to-be-named cream ale is coming soon at the new brewery in Eden Prairie.
- Double IPA – A still-to-be-named double IPA is coming soon at the new brewery in Eden Prairie.
FINNEGANS Brew Co.
The second annual Dark Week takes place January 13–16, with brand new dark-as-night beers tapping each night of the week, listed in alphabetical order here:
Baltic Porter – “A dark lager aged in wine barrels for a year. This baltic porter packs an oaky chocolatey punch, with big dark fruit character, and subtle grape notes,” the brewery says. Available January 13.
- BB2 – An oak-aged stout conditioned on blackberry puree. “Jam/chocolate infused-like notes with medium oak and spirit pick up. Dry, roasted malt character, and mild barrel funk,” the brewery says. Available January 18.
- Lucifer – Available on January 16, this is a milk stout with cocoa nibs and lactose for robust chocolate and roast flavors with a creamy body.
- Raspberry Brown – An American brown stout aged in Minneaots white oak barrels with added raspberries. “Mildly tart, ripe berry fruits, carmel character, sweet malt, and oak tannin,” the brewery says. Available January 17.
- Thin Lizzy – A black IPA brewed with chocolate rye malt and dry-hopped with Loral and Centennial hops. Available January 14.
- Tulip Poplar – Available on January 15, this is a blend of bourbon and whiskey barrel-aged beers—three different beers from four different barrels. “This blend that’s mahogany in color will warm the senses with its vanilla and funk-like character,” the brewery says.
- Citrus Ginger Hard Seltzer – A new hard seltzer flavor is coming next March, the brewery says.
- Grapefruit Lonely Blonde – This Lonely Blonde ale variant is back for good next spring, to be sold in 12 packs of 12-ounce cans and also in 4-packs of 16-ounce cans.
- Sampler Vol. 4 – Fulton’s next sampler pack is out in February and will include a maibock, an IPA, a blonde ale, and a chocolate oatmeal stout.
Great Lakes Brewing Company
Cleveland’s Great Lakes has announced its 2020 brand calendar. In addition to new can formats for Dortmunder Gold Lager, Great Lakes IPA, and Mexican Lager with Lime, the brewery plans to release the following:
- Bierwolf Dunkelweizen – A Legendary Series release in January, this is a dunkelweizen with cold brew coffee, chocolate, and orange peel notes. 6.6% ABV, 25 IBU.
- Blackout Stout – A Legendary Series release in November 2020.
- Chillwave Double IPA – Back in March as part of the Legendary Series.
- Christmas Ale – Out now, this winter seasonal returns in November 2020.
- Conway’s Irish Ale – To release in January.
- Hazy IPA – A new Limited Release series available in March.
- Lake Erie Monster Imperial IPA – Back in 4-packs as part of the Legendary Series next March.
- Lemon Hefeweizen – A new April release in the Limited Release series.
- Ohio City Oatmeal Stout – Available in October 2020.
- Oktoberfest – Coming back next August.
- Mexican Lager with Lime – Available in the spring, this beer is brewed with lime peel and puree. After a successful release in the 2019 Small Batch Can Series, it returns in 2020. 5.4% ABV, 20 IBU.
- Nosferatu – The imperial red ale is back as a 4-pack release in the Legendary Series next September.
- Siren Shores Passion Fruit Saison – Available in May, this is a new Legendary Series release. “Plunge into an effervescent maelstrom of sweet passionfruit, zesty spices, and tempting tropical fruit aromas,” the brewery says. 6.9% ABV, 15 IBU.
- SMASH IPA – Available in June, this is a new Limited Release Series release.
Pantown Brewing Company
- Flat Iron Amber – To be available on Boxing Day, December 26.
Waconia Brewing Company
- Rye Pale Ale – Set to tap next Monday, December 23, the brewery announced in a recent newsletter.
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.