Hey brewers of the Midwest, we like what you are doing. Keep up the good work.

Surly Abrasive Ale
Double Oat IPA
8.8 percent alcohol by volume
On tap at Beaner’s Central and maybe other places

Bell’s Hopslam Ale
American Double/Imperial I.P.A.
10 percent alcohol by volume
Available in bottles at Beaner’s Central,  Zeitgeist Arts Cafe and maybe other places

And congratulations to the amazing Dave Hoops and the folks at Fitger’s Brewhouse. Their Bourbon Barrel Edmund Imperial Stout took first place in the Strong Porter/Stout category at the eighth annual Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beer in Chicago in November.

What are you drinkin’?

44 Comments

Nick

about 10 years ago

I've only had it from a can so far, but that Surly Abrasive is sumthin' special. Awesome tropical fruit hop character.

W.T.F

about 10 years ago

Surlys is pretty much the top of the heap right now, if you can afford it. By far the best beer you can get in a can. Brau Brothers various beer styles are great if you can find it. Made in Lucan Mn. population about 60. It is not distributed up here but you can get it in the twin cities.

vicarious

about 10 years ago

Hopslam is on tap at Lake Ave. Cafe.

edgeways

about 10 years ago

Abrasive is on tap at Sir Ben's as well. I think the citrus tones are grapefruit. Although it is not for sale, I recently made a great Black Cheery Stout. Last year I made a passable Furious clone and I've a mind to try imitating the Abrasive next go around. Currently waiting to bottle is a Barley Wine, not ready till August though.

zra

about 10 years ago

Big love to the Hoops. Hops? Hoops? Coincidence?

I'm big on the Bells. Double Cream, Expedition and Kalamazoo in particular. Any one of the three go great with snowstorm grillfests, evenings around the fire pit or moving snow.

sean

about 10 years ago

I love Surlys beers.  Its probably my favorite brewery at this point.  

Hopslam was on tap at the Hammond bar in Superior about a week and a half ago.  Not sure if its still on or no though.

Lojasmo

about 10 years ago

Pretty much stick to furious.

Had a few wet.

Had a few abrasive.

Had a sixer of this year's hopslam.

Furious...yup.

Lojasmo

about 10 years ago

Oh:  check out Central Waters Brewing.  On sale in Superior, for sure.

An old friend owns the place.  Good stuff.

Need

about 10 years ago

Yes! Central Waters! Their wet hopped wisconsin something or other is amazing. Keyport. Not sure why I posted this. There will be less of it now. Oh well. Go Pack!

chadp

about 10 years ago

Did anyone try Darkness?  I saw it at Cashwise Liquor, $26 for a 750ml.  I really was curious to try it but couldn't bring myself to spend my weekly allowance on one bottle.

Hotrod

about 10 years ago

Are there any local ciders?  I've become addicted.  The local ones I had up in British Columbia were AWESOME, so I figured maybe they had some of the same types here.  Thanks.

Cory Fechner

about 10 years ago

Surly is turning 5 this month!


 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SURLY! Photo courtesy of startribune.com.

They have some other new brews out that are VERY GOOD..

- Surly Pentagram: In honor of Surly Brewing's fifth anniversary we brewed a 100% Brettanomyces fermented brown aged in used red wine barrels. Brettanomyces is a yeast used in place of "normal" brewing yeast, it produces a unique flavor profile. Pentagram is a single barrel "tasting" of Five. Five (with all barrels blended together)will be released later this spring in bottles and kegs. Pentagram has strong flavors of earthy black cherry and raisins with a sour finish. 6.66%abv 14IBU

- Moe's Bender: Chocolate, vanilla bean, coffee and Oak Aged Bender. 5.1%abv 45IBU

- Mole Smoke: Inspired by the flavors in mole. This version of our Smoked Baltic Porter uses 4 different chili varieties, roasted cacao, cinnamon and vanilla 8.8%abv 30IBU

- Imperial Brown Eye: Brewed for the 2009 AHA Wort Rally. We fermented this Imperial Brown Ale with a Belgian yeast strain and aged it in second use Bourbon barrels. 8.5%abv 40IBU

Parties planned all Month! Read More on startribune.com
- Wednesday (That's today!), February 2 - Blue Nile, 2027 East Franklin Avenue, Minneapolis - Friday, February 4 - Winterfest, Minnesota History Center, 345 Kellogg Boulevard West, Saint Paul (Sold out) - Saturday, February 5 - Mackenzies, 918 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis - Monday, February 7 - Muddy Pig, 162 Dale Street, St. Paul - Tuesday, February 8 - Acadia, 329 Cedar Avenue South, Minneapolis - Thursday, February 10 - McCormick & Schmick's, Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis - Tuesday, February 15 - Happy Gnome, 498 Selby Ave, Saint Paul (Sold out). The Happy Gnome will be giving away 2 tickets to the dinner. Show up at 4 p.m. for your chance to get tickets. - Wednesday, February 16 - Pizza Nea, 306 East Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis - Thursday, February 17 - Stub & Herb's, 227 Oak Street, Minneapolis - Sunday, February 20 - Triple Rock, 629 Cedar Avenue, Minneapolis - Monday, February 21 - Grumpy's NE, 2200 4th Street NE, Minneapolis - Wednesday, February 23 - Bryant Lake Bowl, 810 West Lake Street, Minneapolis - Sunday, February 27 - Mac's Industrial, 312 Central Avenue, Minneapolis - Monday, February 28 - Groveland Tap, 1834 St. Clair Avenue, St. Paul - Wednesday, March 2 - Whistle Binkies, 3120 Wellner Drive NE and 247 Woodlake Drive SE, Rochester

digit3

about 10 years ago

White Winter Winery make ciders and great meads from Iron River.

Mt Du Lac ski area HAD a keg of Hopslam and only charged $6 for a big old glass.

huitz

about 10 years ago

I was looking at Nick's list.  I dislike New Glarus, Capital, Summit, and Bell's.  Maybe it's because it tasted skunky to me in the places I've had it.  I haven't tried Surly yet.

As a somewhat related note, we recently did a long road trip, mostly searching for good food and drink rather than culture.  In any case, there were two resounding facts in our minds that of all the places we had been, Duluth had the best IPA(El Nino)and... best Thai food!  Imagine that!

Mashtato

about 10 years ago

I know it's not alcoholic, but Sprecher's Ginger Ale is the best pop I've ever had. It's made in Milwaukee, and you can surely tell the diference between this ginger ale and the stuff bigger companies sell because - get this - it's made with real ginger! Mind you, I have an unnatural love for ginger in the first place, but the sweet aromatic flavor is not overpowering and the spicy after-taste is not lingering. I have been craving it ever since I tried it for the first time, which was only a couple weeks ago at Carmody, but it's probably availible elsewhere.

Herschel

about 10 years ago

The best cider is the kind you make.  Two buck chuck they call it.  Orchards will sell you unpasteurized for $3 a gallon.  Pour into the glass 5 gallon carboy.  Get it up to temp, 68-72 degrees.  Add good quality champaign yeast. Ferment.  Kill yeast with stabilizer.  Re sweeten to flavor, I used 1 gallon of pasteurized Pepin cider with good results.  Bottle. Age. Enjoy.

 Bayfield Apple Company also makes its own, and sells juice etc. Bruce is really helpful, and his cider is pretty damned good, he supplies the local farmers markets during the season, so he will also deliver.

Claire

about 10 years ago

My daughter is a root beer afficionado, she says Sprechers root beer is the best. Dad's is the worst, in her opinion.

Bad Cat!

about 10 years ago

I love Sprecher (visited them while on vacation and came back with a few cases). 1919 is also excellent (even better when you can find it on tap).

woodtick

about 10 years ago

Damn...  now I'm thirsty...  And the Stupor Bowl is still 52 hours away.  

Yes, Hops.  The Brewhouse's 'Misty Mountain Hop' - when on tap there is none better.

tamara

about 10 years ago

Hard to find, but Vernors' Ginger Ale made without the HFCS is the tastiest!

Herschel

about 10 years ago

High Fructose Corn Syrup

Claire

about 10 years ago

Wow! Look at this article in the NY Times! Everyone's talking about Midwestern craft beers!

A Midwest Beer Tour to Cure Winter Blues

baci

about 10 years ago

I'll take the Bishop's Finger to the third knuckle.

Paul Lundgren

about 10 years ago

Ha! I scooped the New York Times by one day! Thanks for the link, Claire. 

Actually, for those who skipped the story, it should be noted that the article isn't really a Midwestern craft beer story -- it's all Duluth and Northwest Wisconsin.

-Berv

about 10 years ago

Anyone know where to find Brau Brother's around here? They impressed me at a beerfest a couple of years ago.

edgeways

about 10 years ago

Surly really inspires me. If I ever transition into making beer at a larger scale it will be because of them.

Claire

about 10 years ago

I should have said everyone is talking about UPPER Midwestern craft beers! And Paul, you did scoop the NY Times! When I first saw it, I thought, what are they reading PDD?

Lithis

about 10 years ago

Soon Dubh Linn and the brew pub in the old Duluth Spring Company building can be added to Nick's list.

Is Chester Creek Cafe still planning to brew beer?

chadp

about 10 years ago

@Berv,
According to their web page Brau bros. doesn't distribute this far north  

http://www.braubrothersbrewing.com/FindBrauBeer.aspx

I picked some up last time I went to SW MN to visit family with intentions of bringing a few back but none of it lasted the weekend (and I couldn't get more on the return trip Sunday, grr).

Swan

about 10 years ago

+1 to many of the above mentioned Midwest beers.

You do not know how lucky you are to have Fitger's beer out your front door. Go a few months without it and you will physically start to crave it. The pride of Duluth.

I cannot believe Lake Superior Brewing is still in business. Their beer is so inconsistent and I have been burned by them way too many times to ever buy it again.

Surly, as trendy as it is, is good but way overrated. Anyone can produce an overhopped beer. I tried their "Darkness" at a special tasting and though very complex, did not live up to the hype or price. Try Deschutes' "Abyss" instead.

Bells has impressed me with everything they put out and and Hopslam needs a warning label.

I went a Brau Brother's tasting last week and enjoyed most of their beers. Estate brewed in Minnesota and their "100 Yard Dash" is their finest product.

Both the South Shore and Thirsty Pagan breweries make several good beers. Town Hall always has something good and I am looking forward to visiting the Town Hall Tap, their new satellite business.

Summit Brewery is still one of my favorites, but I have been cheating on them with beers by Deschute's, Lagunitas, Victory, 21st Amendment, Sierra Nevada and New Belgium.

Talk of all these big beautiful beers makes want a Fitgers El Nino IPA.

hunter

about 10 years ago

What's the verdict on Carmody brew? I really enjoy their red ale.

digit3

about 10 years ago

Swan,

Agreed with you about Brewhouse beers. We are lucky! Also agree about Lake Superior. Surprising that with all of the great choices that there are still bars/restaurants offering up Lake Superior beers. 

As to Surly, they make a certain over-the-top style that rarely is subtle or balanced. Their Hell was surprisingly both but for the most part they just take beers like an IPA and just blow out the recipe with excess hops to seemingly make a statement. Lot of folks are now converted hopheads. Their Darkness is an Imperial Stout which is quite different from Deschutes' Abyss. Kind of apples to oranges there.

Again, we're definitely on the same page with most things beer. Summit EPA is remains a wonderfully balanced British styled ale. It is consistently brewed and stays fairly priced. I like those others that you list, esp. Victory.

However, you lost me when giving props to South Shore and Thirsty Pagan (pizza aside). 

I surely hope that the new brewpub in Canal Park will hire a great brewer to offer us more fine local beers besides Dave Hoops' concoctions.

Claire

about 10 years ago

Swan, you talking the talk, we should go drinking sometime. I totally agree, on all counts.

Herschel

about 10 years ago

The new Surly is bitching. I had a Two Hearted after a Furious and I thought it tasted like PBR, relative. They're both good, but... Not everyone does hops.  It is a soporific, and doesn't jive with some folk's chemistry.  But maybe they often don't know that, and hence slam the hoppy beer thing.  I think the Thirsty Pagan brewer wasn't such a big fan, so they had to put the screws to him for sales, just a guess. They're coming up with some good stuff lately. But as soon as you like it, its gone.  Bless their small batches.  Fitgers has an undisputed master, one thing we can all agree on is EL Nino.

Ryan Huggett

about 10 years ago

South Shore Brewing, New Glarus Brewing and Lake Superior Brewing Company are professional brewers making seriously professional beers. The other guys are good but could use some more competition to push them to get better. congratulations to everyone on the national exposure.

Oh, and Bells is making some of the best beer on the planet. IMHO

Paul Lundgren

about 10 years ago

Surly Brewing Co. unveiled plans Monday for a $20 million facility that would house a restaurant and beer garden, and could make it the biggest brewer in the state.

Star Tribune: Surly brews up plan for $20 million expansion

Herschel

about 10 years ago

Let me guess, the simian Minnesota laws are the only thing standing in their way?

Paul Lundgren

about 10 years ago

At the other end of the spectrum, Supervalu has launched Buck Range Light, which costs about $6 for 12 cans.

Supervalu debuts low-cost store-brand beer

Chandra

about 10 years ago

Warehouse Liquor on Central Entrance carries Brau Brothers... I'm partial to their Strawberry Wheat.

And as a loyal employee of a fabulous local business, I feel the need to pull you into Warehouse; Largest selection of Micros in Duluth, fantastic staff, amazingly knowledgeable owner.

zra

about 10 years ago

We buy almost exclusively @ Warehouse. Best beer selection in the ports.

tamara

about 10 years ago

And for those of you who like to shop local *and* union, Warehouse is the only union liquor store in town!

Paul Lundgren

about 9 years ago

A Minnesota Senate panel has unanimously approved a bill that would allow larger breweries in Minnesota to sell alcohol at their establishments. 

Paul Lundgren

about 9 years ago



I don't know where in Duluth it will be carried, but Summit's Honeymoon Saison is supposed to be released in draught next week and in bottles at the end of the month.

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