German IPA, Polaris, 1217, process, self-righteousness – must be an October brew day

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

There I was, citizens: I was enjoying the last gasps of Minnesota summer while brewing outside, I was drinking something from Maine Brewing Co., I was trying out some new hops and new yeast, I was smelling the roast happening at the coffee shop downwind, I was gristing some malt and heating some water and ruminating on a recent conversation with friends. Continue reading

Advertisements

bubbles in my beer, part 2

Citizens, in the last several months your author has seen a number of stories about new, contract-brewed brands built almost purely around a marketing concept or narrow demographic target that seem to be, to put it as objectively as possible, all hat and no cattle. What a lot of folks in the fall of 2012 might have considered “getting into brewing for the wrong reasons.”

My knee jerk reaction was uncharitable and unfavorable. Deep, internet forum-grade butthurt, scandalized like a Victorian lady. My second, more considered line of inquiry was to dig a little deeper. Join me in examining my feelings.

Continue reading

prep day: Quotidian Pale Ale

Back in my day, when we had a gold-to-amber colored hoppy ale that was about 4.5% abv, we didn’t call it Session IPA. We called it “pale ale.” It was bitter but balanced, reasonable about its alcohol content, and it smelled like grapefruit and pine trees and cat piss … and we liked it that way.  Continue reading

on Minnesota hops

A reader posted this question to the “About” page of this blog:

I’m curious about your thoughts of the hops industry, or lack thereof in MN. It seems that there are breweries opening every month, but virtually no one in MN is growing hops at even a semi-commercial scale. Do you think this is a needed industry in MN, and do you think that the local brewers would prefer to brew with locally sourced hops?

… and as I’ve written and rewritten my thoughts on this, the response turned into something that needed more than a one-paragraph reply to a thread on a different topic.  Continue reading

afternoon at a taproom

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Time spent beer-touring in Portland, Denver, and Cali has me pumped for the flowering of brewery taprooms now happening in the Twin Cities. Freshness counts in a large way, and at times the three-tier system can seem like showering with a raincoat – being able to talk to brewery staff about the beer you ordered while they’re hand-pumping it from a firkin just for you adds to the appreciation and immediacy of the product in a way that ordering the same beer at a civilian bar or restaurant just can’t; the ambience of a well-considered taproom is icing on the cake.

One afternoon this past week found me at one of our newer spots and chatting with a friend over beers before an impromptu walkthrough of the production side, then on with our respective evenings. Always nice to have more cool places to hang out, and who can say no to a food truck after some good beer?