The Growler Magazine is proud to announce the launch of a brand new kind of beer festival series, never before seen in Minnesota or the U.S.—Unlabeled: A Blind Tasting Showdown.

 

Similar to other beer festivals, Unlabeled will allow attendees the chance to sample dozens of beers from different breweries. The twist? The tasting is 100 percent blind and only one specific beer style will be poured at each event in the Unlabeled series. Each beer will be “unlabeled” and guests won’t know which brewery made each beer until the end of the event during the grand reveal.

 

At Unlabeled No. 1, happening on July 18 at Upper Landing Park in St. Paul, attendees will be able to sample up to 48 Minnesota-made Hazy IPAs and use the custom Unlabeled app (soon to be available for Android and iOs) to rate each beer’s aroma, flavor, appearance, mouthfeel, and overall impression, according to the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) style guidelines.

 

Fun and informative, the Unlabeled series of events are the perfect opportunity for seasoned beer drinkers to test their palates and for craft beer newbies to get acquainted with Minnesota breweries and specific styles of beer.

 

No. 1 Hazy IPA
July 18, 2019
Sampling from 5:30–9:00pm
Upper Landing Park, St. Paul
GA: $50 | DD: $20

Sample and judge 48 Minnesota-made Hazy IPAs according to the BJCP style guidelines using our custom Unlabeled app.

At Unlabeled, guests will blind taste and judge 48 hazy IPAs from 48 Minnesota breweries against the BJCP style guidelines. View the full field of participating breweries

Unlabeled No. 1: Hazy IPA is happening at Upper Landing Park in St. Paul. Find out how to get there and where to park on our Travel page.

In addition to all the great beer, several food trucks will be on hand to satisfy all your cravings.

Bark & The Bite
Habanero Tacos
Med Box Grill

Are you interested in getting involved at Unlabeled No. 1: Hazy IPA? Sign up to be an ambassador. Are you a member of the press interested in covering the event? Fill out our media request form

No. 2 Oktoberfest
Sept. 19, 2019
Sampling from 5:30–9:00pm
Upper Landing Park, St. Paul
GA: $50 | DD: $20

Sample and judge 48 Minnesota-made Oktoberfests according to the BJCP style guidelines using our custom Unlabeled app.

At Unlabeled, guests will blind taste and judge 48 Oktoberfests from 48 Minnesota breweries against the BJCP style guidelines. Full field of participating breweries coming soon

Unlabeled No. 2: Oktoberfest is happening at Upper Landing Park in St. Paul. Find out how to get there and where to park on our Travel page.

In addition to all the great beer, several food trucks will be on hand to satisfy all your cravings. Full list to come. 

Are you interested in getting involved at Unlabeled No. 2: Oktoberfest? Stay tuned for opportunities. 

Unlabeled will feature Hazy IPAs from 48 different Midwest breweries, broken up into 12 separate flights of 4 beers for your sampling pleasure. Each of our event’s 6 sampling stations will serve 2 flights, which will be numbered to help keep you on track. We’ll be revealing our highest rated beer just after 9pm!

1. Grab your Flight Paddle on your way in the front gate and head towards the shortest sampling line.

2. Find the Flight Station on the app. As you approach the Flight Station, find the station’s corresponding color in your app.

3. Fill Your Flight Paddle. Once it’s your turn to grab your flight, you’ll receive 4 beer samples labeled A–D. Match each sample with the corresponding slot on your flight paddle.

4. Taste the Beer. Here’s the fun part–find some space in the park to taste your “A” sample, and then tap beer “A” from the corresponding Flight Station on your app to rate it.

5. Rate the Beer. You have two different rating options, Overall (For a faster, one-step rating) and Detailed (For a more in-depth review based on the same categories the pros use). Add any extra notes for yourself if you need!

6. Repeat Steps 4–5 for all the beers on your flight paddle, and then head back to Step 1. Have fun!

Buy Tickets

General Admission – $50

Entry into the event, samples of up to 48 hazy IPAs from 48 different Minnesota breweries, access to food trucks, access to the education area sponsored by Mighty Axe Hops. 

Designated Driver – $20

Entry into the event, access to food trucks, access to the education area sponsored by Mighty Axe Hops. 

This event is rain or shine and all ticket sales are final. No refunds or exchanges. 

 

Ticket related questions can be directed to:

ETix Customer Service: 1-800-514-3849

 

Ticket Buyers

For assistance with any issues concerning tickets you have purchased, please call# 800-514-3849. Help Desk Hours: Monday–Saturday 8AM–7PM CST; Sunday 11AM–7PM

 



Taste, Then Rate

Download The Growler’s FREE custom Unlabeled app to rate beers at each Unlabeled blind tasting. 

Education

Beer for Thought

The Growler has been covering the development of Hazy IPAs as a category for years, from the early days of controversy to it becoming one of the most popular styles in the U.S. Read our coverage to catch up on the Haze Craze. 

Ask a Beer Judge: Kristen England of the BJCP shares his tips for Unlabeled No. 1: Hazy IPA

Known from the blogs to the beirgartens as one of Minnesota’s most colorful, knowledgable, and outspoken brewers, Dr. Kristen England seemed like the perfect resource to tap for a primer on blind tasting before The Growler’s Unlabeled No. 1: Hazy IPA.

Hazed and Confused: Defined style or passing fad–examining the fate of NEIPA

Right now there is a battle brewing. The beer at its core goes by many names—Vermont IPA, New England IPA, Northeast IPA, and milkshake IPA. Like black IPA before it, some call it a style, others a fad.

To Haze, Or Not to Haze?

New England IPAs are divisive. Some argue the style converts the hop-averse into enthusiastic proponents of hop flavor and aroma. Others point out their trademark haze can cause short shelf life, disguise bad brewing practices, and lead eager but uninformed consumers to value haze over quality. But at this point it’s hard to make the argument that they’re a passing fad.

An American IPA with intense fruit flavors and aromas, a soft body, and smooth mouthfeel, and often opaque with substantial haze. Less perceived bitterness than traditional IPAs but always massively hop forward. This emphasis on late hopping, especially dry hopping, with hops with tropical fruit qualities lends the specific ‘juicy’ character for which this style is known.

Intense hop aroma, typically with fruity qualities (stone fruit, tropical fruit, and citrus are most commonly present) reflective of newer American and New World hop varieties without being grassy or herbaceous. Clean, neutral malt in the background, potentially with a light bready sweetness without caramel or toast. Absence of any malt character is a fault. Neutral to fruity fermentation character that is well-integrated with the hops. A creamy, buttery, or acidic aroma is inappropriate. Any perceived alcohol character should be restrained and never hot.

Color ranges from straw to yellow, sometimes with an orange hue. Hazy, often opaque, clarity; should not be cloudy or murky. The opacity can add a ‘shine’ to the beer and make the color seem darker. Any visible floating particulates (hop matter, yeast clumps, etc.) are a fault. Medium to rocky meringue white head with high to very high retention.

The hop flavor is high to very high, and reflects the same characteristics as the aroma (emphasis on fruit, with ripe tropical fruit, stone fruit, and citrus being most common). The perceived bitterness can be somewhat low to medium-high, often being masked by the body and finish of the beer. The hop character in the aftertaste should not be sharp or harsh. Low to medium malt flavor, generally neutral, sometimes having a bready, grainy, lightly sweet flavor. Noticeable toast or caramel flavors are a flaw. Fermentation character is neutral to fruity, but as with the aroma, supportive of the hops. Off-dry to medium finish. Creamy, starchy, or sugary-sweet flavors are inappropriate, although a high ester level and lower bitterness may give the impression of up to moderate sweetness. A moderate, supportive alcohol character is acceptable but should never be hot or dominating.

Medium to medium-full body with a smooth character. No harsh, hop-derived astringency. Alcohol warmth may be present in stronger versions, but should never be hot. Medium carbonation is standard. The beer should not have a creamy or viscous mouthfeel, an acidic twang, or a raw starch texture.

The style is still evolving, but this style is essentially a smoother, hazier, juicier American IPA. In this context, ‘juicy’ refers to a mental impression of fruit juice or eating fresh, fully ripe fruit. Heavy examples suggestive of milkshakes, creamsicles, or fruit smoothies are beyond this range; IPAs should always be drinkable. Haziness comes from the dry hopping regime, not suspended yeast, starch haze, set pectins, or other techniques; a hazy shine is desirable, not a cloudy, murky mess.

A modern craft beer style originating in the New England region of the United States. Alchemist Heady Topper is believed to be the original example and inspiration for many other interpretations that grew in popularity in the early to mid-2010s. Brewers are continuing to innovate and evolve the style, with the style trending towards a less bitter presentation to the point of making a mockery of the term “IPA.”

Similar to many newer American IPAs but often with more oats or wheat in the grist, and less caramel or specialty malts. Restricted hop choice to American or New World varieties with a tropical fruit, stone fruit, or citrus character. Neutral to estery yeast strain. Water ranges from balanced between sulfate and chloride to using more chlorides. Heavily dry-hopped, partly during active fermentation, using a variety of hopping doses and temperatures to emphasis hop depth of aroma and flavor over bitterness. Biotransformation of hop oils during fermentation may add to the fruit character.

Compared to American IPA, New England IPA has a fuller, softer mouthfeel, a more fruit-forward late hop expression, a more restrained perceived bitterness balance, and a hazier appearance. Many modern American IPAs are fruity and somewhat hazy; if they have a dry, crisp finish, at most medium body, and high perceived bitterness, these examples should be entered as American IPAs. Noticeable additions of fruit, lactose, or other materials to increase the fruity, smooth character should be entered in another category defined by the additive (e.g., Fruit Beer, Specialty Beer).

IBU: 25–60

SRM: 3–7

OG: 1.060–1.085

FG: 1.010–1.015

ABV: 6%–9%

• Hill Farmstead Susan

• Other Half Green Diamonds Double IPA

• Tired Hands Alien Church

• Tree House Julius

• Trillium Congress Street

• WeldWerks Juicy Bits

 

Be sure to visit the Education Area sponsored by Mighty Axe Hops and Country Malt Group at Unlabeled No. 1: Hazy IPA to learn more about the flavors, aromas, and ingredients used in Hazy IPAs. 

FAQ

Yes. No one under the age of 21 will be allowed to enter in the event! This includes designated drivers, volunteers, and vendors. No children, toddlers, infants or strollers are permitted. No one will be admitted without a valid photo I.D. (no exceptions).

In order to rate each beer, it is necessary to download our custom Unlabeled app. Don’t have a smartphone? You can download, print, and rate beers during the event using paper scoresheets on the BJCP website.

No, this is a brand new event series presented by The Growler Magazine with the main goal of education. Each Unlabeled event will feature Minnesota-made beers from a single beer style and guests will blind sample and rate each beer according to the BJCP style guidelines. The goal is educate guests on different styles of beer and to give them an opportunity to shed any biases they may have for a brand in order to focus on what’s really important—the quality of the beer in the glass. 

No. In order to keep the tasting 100 percent blind, brewery reps will not be pouring the beer at the event. 

All of the beers and the winner of Best of Show will be revealed near the end of the event in the Unlabeled app and publicly over the PA. 

A list of ingredients for each beer has been provided by each breweries. Beers with lactose, tree nuts, or peanuts will be marked as such at the Flight Station and in the app. Unless otherwise denoted, all beers available for sampling contain gluten. 

Online (follow links above) and in person during regular office hours at The Growler offices, 360 Toronto St., St. Paul, MN 55102 (Cash Only)

Only if there are still tickets available. We will announce a sell-out on The Growler’s social media channels. Be sure to check there before going to the venue without a ticket to ensure that one will be available to purchase.

The event will be held outdoors, RAIN OR SHINE. No refund due to weather. Please prepare for the elements. Check back closer to event time for a map of the event grounds.

Entry to the event, a souvenir tasting flight paddle, and samples of up to 48 Minnesota-made hazy IPAs. Admission also includes access to some of Minnesota’s favorite food trucks, entertainment, and beer education areas.

Yes, designated driver tickets are $20. Designated drivers are welcome to bring sealed or empty bottles of water into the event and can enjoy the non-alcoholic refreshments available at a designated booth, marked on the map. Designated drivers MUST be 21+.

Yes, several food trucks will be on-site during the event. Food does not come with the price of admission.

Yes, the venue is wheelchair accessible, although please note that this is an outdoor event and many aspects of the event are on the grassy area of the park.

No. Only service dogs are allowed. Service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls.

  • Attendees MUST have a driver’s license or other government issued form of I.D. verifying legal drinking age of 21+.
  • Attendees must be properly and appropriately attired.
  • No pets (aside from properly leashed service animals)
  • Guests will get one souvenir flight paddle for the event. Replacement paddles are $7.00.
  • Drink Responsibly, Know Your Limits.
  • Pace yourself, this is a sampling event!
  • Beware of “Driving While Intoxicated Laws” and plan accordingly.
  • We reserve the right in our discretion, to remove any individuals for including but not limited to intoxication, fighting and rudeness. You will be escorted out of the event without refund and not allowed back in!
  • Promotional photos and video will be taken at the event & you grant permission for your likeness to be used.
  • I can’t go to Unlabeled anymore. Can I get a refund? All sales are final and there are no refunds or exchanges. 
  • I can’t go to Unlabeled anymore and want to give my tickets away, but they have my name on it. Do I need to change the name? No, the name on the ticket doesn’t matter for entry. Whoever uses the ticket just needs to be 21 years old or older with a valid ID.
  • How can I buy a Designated Driver ticket if the regular tickets are sold out? Unfortunately, once regular tickets are sold out, DD tickets are sold out too. This is because we have reached maximum capacity for the event space.
  • Will tickets be available at the venue on the day of the event? Only if there are still tickets available. We will announce a sell-out on The Growler’s social media channels. Be sure to check there before going to the venue without a ticket to ensure that one will be available to purchase.

All other ticket related questions can be directed to:

ETix Customer Service: 1-800-514-3849

Ticket Buyers

For assistance with any issues concerning tickets you have purchased, please call# 800-514-3849. Help Desk Hours: Monday–Saturday 8AM–7PM CST; Sunday 11AM–7PM