Brewed in Minnesota

New Website

posted Oct 24, 2012, 7:43 AM by Andrew Schmitt   [ updated May 30, 2013, 4:03 PM ]

The new mnbeeractivists.com site is pretty much ready.  We have a few things to work on, but it is close enough.  Click on the link above to see the new site, or click on the link below to add the rss feed to your reader.
 
http://feeds.feedburner.com/MNBeerActivists
 
New content will no longer be posted here, so be sure to check out the new site!

Historic Hamm's Brewery Could be the New Home of Flat Earth Brewing

posted Oct 4, 2012, 5:37 AM by Andrew Schmitt   [ updated Oct 4, 2012, 5:46 AM ]

Hamm's Brewery
Flat Earth Brewing Co. is looking to move, move on up to a bigger space.  One of the potential spaces they are looking at is the old Hamm's Brewery.  The old brewery has seen better days, but isn't beyond repair.  With some financial help from the city they could have the historic building churning out local beer from St. Paul's east side.
 
 
 

In a news release, DEED said the St. Paul grant would help the city close a deal to bring Flat Earth Brewing Co. and a commercial kitchen to the city-owned property at 707 E. Minnehaha Ave., creating 48 new jobs 
 

You're Bringing What to My Party?!

posted Oct 1, 2012, 8:10 AM by Kat M

Yes, this month is about Minnesota, but to ignore Oktoberfest, would be to ignore the elephant in the room.

Oktoberfest beer is also known as Marzenbier. What does this mean? Well, for one, Marzen is the German word for March. Which is the month that this beer was historically brewed. Why brew beer during the month that comes in like a lion? Because in the old days they didn’t have refrigeration, and that meant that brewers were unable to actively practice their craft during the summer months.

Can I get an Amen for technological progress?

Today, that’s a non-issue for us, but it doesn’t diminish the enthusiasm we have for the special time of year known as Oktoberfest.

So, while we won’t be visiting Munich, I can tell you that we’re sojourning to Schell’s Brewing Co. in New Ulm, Summit Brewing Company in Saint Paul, and Lake Superior Brewing Company in Duluth to taste their interpretations of the beloved Marzenbier.


Schell’s Oktoberfest

Schell’s tells us that its Oktoberfest is, “Brewed with the perfect balance of Pale, Munich, and Cara Pils malt with Liberty and Perle hops to create a rich, smooth taste.”

Kat: This is a radiant, light orange. There is a really light head on the pour that fades quickly. The Nose is toasty. Sweet. Nothing too powerful. The first sip yields some club soda big-bubble-style effervescence that is a little bit intense. This seems to be a theme with the Schell’s beers I drink.  The actual flavor is sweet and extremely malt forward. The mouthfeel is much lighter than the taste alone would suggest. It lingers at the back of the palate initially but moves forward over time.

Marcus: This looks like a dirty gold to me. The nose is much more reminiscent of a lager than anything else, actually. Flavor-wise this is a much lighter beer than I would expect. It has a great malty taste that isn’t overpowering and a clean finish.

Summit Oktoberfest

Summit describes this Oktoberfest offering as, “Northern Brewer hops from Germany. Rich, toffee malt flavors up front with a clean hop finish.”

Kat: This has a richer, copper color to me. When I give it a good whiff it has a rich, grainy thing happening. It really blooms mid-palate for me. There’s a mild malt presentation that starts to get stronger towards the end and builds strength as you continue to sip.

Marcus: The color is not-so-gold anymore, it toes the border of light brown. This beer has a much fuller, darker malt scent. The taste is uniformly strong all the way through, without being too heavy. It’s malty-smooth. The taste really takes up residence on the back of your tongue.

Lake Superior Oktoberfest


Lake Superior describes this Oktoberfest quite succinctly as, “German hops float atop a rich caramel malt base.”

Kat: This is a legitimate, dark amber color. Like, you might trap some insects in here and fossilize them. It has a really heavy, dark malt scent that comes off as sweet. Mouthfeel-wise, I don’t want to declare this smooth, but there’s not a lot going on here. We hit one malty note briefly mid-sip and then it just vanishes. There is no aftertaste. It’s very simple.

Marcus: This is a golden brown. It smells much fuller than the other two beers - syrup-y is a good way to put it, actually. After taking in the scent, I’ll be honest - the flavor is really underwhelming comparatively. It’s smooth but the flavor profile falls a bit flat. There’s a slight flavor peak in the middle but that’s the whole show.

Our Preferences...

Apparently we’re trying to start some sort of streak because once again, we have consensus on the issue of what to bring to your party.

1. Summit Oktoberfest
2. Schell’s Oktoberfest
3. Lake Superior Oktoberfest

Kat Magy has spent a lifetime in Minnesota with a love for beer, traveling Up North, sprinkles and running marathons. She also blogs at Tenaciously Yours, and you can follow her on Twitter @kljwm.

Lift Bridge Harvestör Fresh Hop Ale via Cask - Midweek Beer Geek

posted Oct 1, 2012, 7:08 AM by Andrew Schmitt   [ updated Oct 1, 2012, 7:09 AM ]

This seasonal beer from Lift Bridge Brewing Co. is made with a constant addition of fresh, organic Cascade hops from Hippity Hops Farms in Forest Lake, MN. Aromatic and caramel malts compliment the hop character for an incredibly balanced beer that celebrates the hop harvest without killing your tongue.

Beer style: Fresh Hop Ale
ABV: 6.5%
IBU: 60
SRM: 13

New Surly Brewing Site Likely Hinges on Environmental Remediation Grant Approval

posted Sep 28, 2012, 10:10 AM by Andrew Schmitt   [ updated Sep 28, 2012, 10:25 AM ]

Surly Brewing is hoping to build on the site of a former food processing plant near University Ave. in the Prospect Park neighborhood of Minneapolis.  However, there is several million dollars worth of clean up to do before Minnesota's dream brewery can become a reality.  

Surly has applied for grants to clean up the site from local and federal entities.  A lot hinges on the grant approval.  With clean up costs estimated at $2.5 million, a +10% addition the $20 million construction budget would mean they would likely choose another site.

The grant approval process can take several months.  We should expect to hear something around the beginning of the new year.

Source:

Harriet Brewing Rauchfest Contest Results

posted Sep 27, 2012, 7:51 AM by Andrew Schmitt

Congrats to Jeff & Emily, winners of the Harriet Brewing Rauchfest ticket contest.  Checkout the winning picture submissions below.  
 
For full details on Harriet Rauchfest, happening this weekend, click here
 
Wristband
 
Artistic Pumpkin

Mankato Brewery Releases First in Center Street Series

posted Sep 26, 2012, 2:26 PM by Editor Editor   [ updated Sep 26, 2012, 2:27 PM ]

It was announced last Tuesday that our friends at Mankato Brewery are releasing a new beer on September 26th. It’s the first one of its Center Street Series.

The beer is an American amber ale weighing in at 5.8% ABV. For a brief description of the flavor, we'll let the folks from Mankato Brewery handle it:

The malt is the key to Center Street Series #1 with the hops taking a break. Much like its German inspired relatives, you see its brilliant amber color and smell its rich malt base. The flavor follows the aroma, and is toasty with a touch of sweetness and a slight noble hop presence.”

Well that sounds like a very delicious beer, indeed. This brew is a draft-only release and will probably be found pretty easily at the many locations where Mankato Brewery drafts are available.

The name of the series pays homage to the address where the brewery is located (1119 Center Street Mankato, MN). The building was originally used by a beer distributor, so the building itself has been used in the beer industry for quite a long time, so it is very fitting that the series is named after such an storied establishment.

Midweek Beer Geek - FOTO IPA Firkin - Lucid Brewing

posted Sep 26, 2012, 8:21 AM by Andrew Schmitt

Join us tonight, at Nomad World Pub, for our weekly social hour.  This week we feature a cask of Lucid Brewing's latest and hoppiest creation.  You can read about FOTO in Andy's sneak taste from two weeks back.


Event

Lift Bridge Brewing Co. Selects Local Distribution Partner

posted Sep 25, 2012, 10:10 AM by Andrew Schmitt   [ updated Sep 25, 2012, 12:06 PM by Editor Editor ]

A few weeks ago, Lucid Brewing announced its new distribution partnership with Original Gravity. This week Lift Bridge Brewing announced it has also partnered with Original Gravity. See the press release below for full details.

 
#####
 
Lift Bridge Logo
STILLWATER, MN, September 25, 2012. – Founded in 2008, Lift Bridge Brewing Co’s mission has been to create top quality beers for the region while developing relationships with local businesses. Since our first year, we have experienced tremendous growth in our home town of Stillwater and throughout the Twin Cities. We have selected Original Gravity partners in the Twin Cities to take over selling and servicing the territory only covered by Lift Bridge Brewing Co. This will allow us to continue our strong growth and meet increasing customer demand.
 
“It isn’t just about delivering beer, we enjoy the relationships with our retail partners,”
says Dan Schwarz, CEO, Lift Bridge Brewing Co. “We have come a long way from
delivering beer out of the back of a mini-van. This is a big step forward and we are
excited to work with the team at Original Gravity.”
 
“We have watched Lift Bridge Brewing Co grow as we have grown over the last 3 years
and admired their well calculated and strategic plan. We are extremely excited to add
them to our great portfolio of craft beers and mutually grow together as locally owned
companies for the years to come,” said Hans “Hanszee” Lofgren, Beer Guru at Original
Gravity.
 
The transition will take place starting October 22, 2012.
 
About Lift Bridge Brewing Co
Lift Bridge Brewing Co was established in 2008 by a group of Stillwater guys dedicated
to creating well-balanced beers that will help you slow down, relax, and appreciate life.
Our tasty brews can be found at fine retail establishments throughout Minnesota and
western Wisconsin, as well as our own Brewery and Taproom at 1900 Tower Drive,
Stillwater, MN.
Lift Bridge Brewing Co currently offers four year round beers including Farm Girl
Saison®, Hop Dish™ IPA, Chestnut Hill™ Brown Ale, and Crosscut™ Pale Ale. We
also release season and annual brews. Up next on the release schedule is Harvestör™
Fresh Hop Ale - October, Commander™ Barleywine - November, Biscotti™ -
December
About Original Gravity
OG Logo
Original Gravity is a central group of locally owned and operated distributors that are
passionate about craft beer. Original Gravity is committed to a common mission of
building quality craft brands with first-rate craft brewers through a dedication to
education, innovation, relationships, service and camaraderie in the Twin Cities craft beer
market. In three short years, Original Gravity has grown to be a premier craft distributor network for the growing Twin Cities craft beer market.

You're Bringing What to My Party?!

posted Sep 25, 2012, 5:52 AM by Kat M   [ updated Sep 25, 2012, 8:02 AM by Editor Editor ]

Thank you so much for bearing with us through last week’s brief intermission!

This week we’re traveling across the state to Mankato Brewery in Mankato, Fulton Brewing in Minneapolis, and Flat Earth Brewing in Saint Paul.

I wouldn’t have thought to grab the Flat Earth bottle (honestly, I didn’t know this particular beer existed) until Ian at The Four Firkins pointed it out to me in the fridge and suggested it as The Hoppiest Grand Finale. How was I supposed to say no to that? The man knows what’s what.



What you may notice color-wise is that this week we’re tasting from dark to light, and least to most bitter. Por que? Because depending on what sort of tasting situation you find yourself in, it may make more sense to taste beers in order of ascending IBU.

For those members of the group who may not be familiar with the term IBU, it stands for International Bitterness Unit. What does the IBU tell us? How bitter a beer is. Bitterness in beer is obtained through hops. The hoppier the beer, the higher the IBU. And that’s what it’s all about.

Mankato Stickum

Mankato teaches us that Stickum is a Sticke-Altbier. It is described as being bitter, featuring malt and caramel flavors as well as “earthy-spicy hop” flavor and a “winey character.”

Kat: This has a beautiful deep red coloring, bordering on maroon. I’m tasting effervescence more than flavor. To the point where the aftertaste is just all fizz to me, too. The malt/hop balance here is just not doing it for me.

Marcus: I feel like there’s a sausage in here - it’s spicy. I can feel hops at the head but they don’t really seem to express themselves anywhere else. There’s a brief glimpse of malt here, but that’s it. The aftertaste leans a bit to the bitter side. Maybe that’s the definition of balance - a little bit of everything?

Mike: My nose doesn’t know what to make of this. It tastes spicy, but in the sense that it’s all you can taste. It finishes a little caramel. A little malty. Very acidic. There are no secrets here.

Fulton Sweet Child of Vine

Fulton explains that this beer is hopped during the boil and late-in-the-game during fermentation. Balanced by malt, it “will keep you coming back for more.”

Kat: I have always thought that this beer has a really pretty, light caramel color. The hop nose is very gentle. For some reason, it almost reminds me of Lemon Lift tea. What I really like is that the hop flavor slow-burns and continues to build as you continue to sip. It finishes easily.

Marcus: I’d call this a burnt orange. The smell of the hops is not as strong as the hop taste. But, once you get that first hit of hops, the flavor lingers pleasantly. I really love hoppy beers, so this is palatable. I could drink a few of them without getting tired of the flavor.

Mike: Oranj. That’s what this is. The smell is not overpowering, which is good because while it has a dry hoppy flavor, it’s a fairly plain IPA. I enjoy it as much as the next person, but I don’t taste anything that distinguishes it from any other IPA I’ve had.

Flat Earth Northwest Passage

Flat Earth sings its own praises (and rightfully so) as having the hoppiest IPA in the Midwest with a whopping 115 IBU.

Kat: Color-wise, this is the lightest of the three with a reddish undertone. Give it a sniff and, Hello, hops! This beer has such a strong hop flavor, initially, and it just carries on - it rolls you over. There are definitely some bubbles that hit on the front of tongue. The flavor only intensifies with the aftertaste. Come prepared to commit to this one.

Marcus:  Looks-wise, this is dark golden. For lack of a better description, it just smells like a hop pellet. I don’t want to say it starts subtle, because it’s already hoppy, but the hop flavor intensifies as you continue to wade your way through this one.

Mike: This one smells much stronger than Sweet Child of Vine. It has a very even flavor -  it doesn’t start stronger than it finishes. I feel like that’s somewhat rare in beers these days. There is a solid hop flavor throughout or to quote a meme (is that okay?), “Ermahgerd, is this beer strong or does my tolerance suck?” I really taste one note and one note only: HOPS.

Our Preferences...

Bizarrely enough, after a month of tasting, we finally all managed to agree. But just this once, so don't get used to it. What are we bringing to your party?

1. Sweet Child of Vine
2. Northwest Passage
3. Stickum

Kat Magy has spent a lifetime in Minnesota with a love for beer, traveling Up North, sprinkles and running marathons. She also blogs at Tenaciously Yours, and you can follow her on Twitter @kljwm.

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