Friday, July 5

New Brewers, New Brews

Last week, a dear friend and colleague treated me to the second annual U and Brew event at the Campus Club, showcasing a variety of local breweries and beers and highlighting hops research underway at the University of Minnesota. I won the least inspiring of door prizes – two orange beer koozies from Indeed Brewing in Minneapolis – but that’s alright: I also got a keepsake sampling glass from local brew mag The Growler, a bellyful of spicy sausage and soft pretzels with coarse brown mustard, and the joy of sampling five new (to me) brews. In order, I imbibed the following:
  • Lucid Brewing’s Foto IPA (Minnetonka, MN) – nicely hopped and refreshing; this is definitely a hop-forward beer, but it’s not overwhelming for a guy like me, who’s no longer a hophead.
  • Bad Weather Brewing Company’s Windvane Minnesota Red Ale (Minnetonka, MN) – Beautiful balance between hops and malt; you taste both, together and separately, if that makes sense. Tasty, tasty beer – and also quite refreshing for a beer this autumnal in color.
  • Badger Hill Brewing Company’s MSB (Minnesota Special Bitter) (Minnetonka, MN) – Easy drinker; to me, like an English session ale malted and hopped like an Oktoberfest. I’d bring it to a party for something new and flavorful that everyone could enjoy.
  • Excelsior Brewing Company’s Big Island Blonde Ale (Excelsior, MN) – This was the peer-pressure choice; everyone was trying it and saying how good it was, and I thought, “Lawnmower brew.” Light, easy-to-drink blonde ale with a hint of lemony citrus in the finish. 
  • Pour Decisions Brewing Company’s Infidelity “Burton Ale” (Roseville, MN) – A good malty English-style ale. I didn’t know what a Burton ale was, but apparently this fits the bill: sweeter and darker than an English pale ale. I enjoyed it.
Indeed Brewing Company and Fulton Brewing Company (both in Minneapolis) were also represented, but I had only six sample tickets, and wanted to save the last for seconds on my favorite of the five I tasted. It was a tossup between Lucid Foto and Bad Weather Windvane, until I heard Bad Weather had just launched in March. I spent my last ticket and told them they had the best beer in the room. The young brewer thanked me, and confided that he liked Lucid Foto quite well himself. Turns out Lucid, Bad Weather, and Badger Hill use the same facilities. It’s a small and burgeoning brewing scene, by the looks – lucky us!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for drinking, glad we were able to get you with our heavy 'peer pressure' haha.

    Cheers, hope to see you out in the taproom sometime.

    Excelsior Brewing Co