Weekend brew round-up: Excelsior taproom reopens, Mankato releases Ceres Summer Ale

Categories: Beer

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Loren Green

Last weekend most of Minnesota's brewers were en route to Denver for the World Beer Cup. Six medals later, they've grabbed their return flights and are back serving suds to thirsty Minnesotans.

This weekend brings a newly reopened taproom. Excelsior Brewing in, you got it, Excelsior, had a soft open on Thursday night, showing off their remodeled and expanded digs. The space is now open to the public and a grand opening celebration is in the works.

As for beer nightlife, Lift Bridge Brewery is hosting Mean Gene & the Woodticks live in their taproom on Friday from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

See also:
Beer of the Week: Castle Danger's dark chocolate stout


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MN brewers win 6 medals at World Beer Cup

Categories: Beer

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photo courtesy of Summit Brewing Company
Summit brewers Gabe Smoley and Eric Harper accepting their award

Minnesota brewers had a good showing at last weekend's World Beer Cup in Denver, as five local breweries won a combined six awards for various styles of beer, proving once again that our hopping brew scene is a matter of quality over quantity.

See also:
Beer of the Week: Northbound Smokehouse's doppelbock


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Town Hall Brewery's Barrel Aged Week starts today

Categories: Beer

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Loren Green
Town Hall Brewery's barrel-aging room

After closing shop for a 14-week remodel, Town Hall Brewery, the Seven Corners institution and a senior brewpub in the state, reopened last week -- just in time for their annual Barrel Aged Week, a celebration of limited edition barrel-aged beers.

See also:
Take a peek inside the remodeled Town Hall Brewery


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Weekend brew round-up: Town Hall re-opens, Badger Hill premieres Traitor IPA

Categories: Beer

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Loren Green
Town Hall Brewery's barrel-aging room

The sun is finally out, baseball is in season, and well, so is hockey, but let's talk about the sunshine. The sunshine and the beer.

This weekend in beer happenings, the Seven Corners brewpub Town Hall Brewery is opening its doors for the first time in 2014 after a lengthy remodel. They'll open to the public on Friday at 6 p.m. with more beers on tap, a renovated space, murals, and more. Next week will be their annual barrel-aged week, featuring limited release beer aged in barrels from Kentucky distilleries. Barrel-aged week begins at 5 p.m. on Monday, though tickets will go on sale at the brewery Sunday morning.

See also:
Take a peek inside the remodeled Town Hall Brewery


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Rebecca Pfeiffer talks Twin Cities Brewery Tours, local beers, and heading outstate

Categories: Beer, Interview

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photo courtesy of Twin Cities Brewery Tours

The growth of craft brewing in Minnesota is a wide ranging phenomenon. It's not just for bars and brewers -- it's an industry-wide movement that affects production, retail, and tourism.

Rebecca Pfeiffer, founder of the Taste of Twin Cities tour company, noticed all of the new breweries opening and saw an opportunity to expand, branching out with a new venture: Twin Cities Brewery Tours.

The company offers commercial tour packages (three breweries in five hours) within the metro, and also private and corporate outings. Currently two-thirds of the way through the tour cycle that hits Flat Earth, Great Waters, and Fulton, the tour company will soon switch its route and destinations, as it does every three months. Beginning in May, the bus will be taking thirsty patrons to 612 Brew, Dangerous Man, and a third still to be announced brewery.

Hot Dish wanted to know more about the blooming beer tourist biz in the Twin Cities, so we reached out to Pfeiffer to hear more about the tours, the company, and what happens when people enjoy just a little too much of a good thing.

See also:
Beer of the Week: Excelsior's Oar Lock Oat Stout

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Ryan Pitman of Eastlake Craft Brewery on setting up shop in Midtown Global Market

Categories: Beer, Interview

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Bethany Pitman
Ryan Pitman

This fall Eastlake Craft Brewery will open inside the Midtown Global Market on Lake Street. The brewery will focus on the taproom experience, selling $5 pints of its craft brews and allowing patrons to bring in outside food, an opportunity to pair the beers with various food choices inside MGM -- Middle Eastern, Mexican, and Vietnamese cuisines, to name just a few.

Eastlake brewery will face Lake Street and will be open until 11 p.m. with a separate entry for when the market is closed and its own restrooms as well. The brewery will also be family-friendly, with an array of house-made sodas for non-beer drinkers.

The Hot Dish wanted more information about Eastlake so we sought out owner and head brewer Ryan Pitman to get a few answers about how the taproom will fit in with its neighbors. Pitman is quite busy between his regular full-time work, brewery set-up, and family, but we managed to get hold of him as he was in the process of having his zoning permit approved.

See also:
Comedian Sam Harriman to open Sisyphus Brewing


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Harriet to throw all-day, free party for Maibock release

Categories: Beer, Festivals

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Davin Haukebo-Bol

It's spring in Minnesota, and in the brewing universe, that means Maibock season. To celebrate its own unique brew, the Sol Bock, Harriet Brewing will throw a free party at the brewery on April 26 from 1 to 10 p.m.

"This year I brewed Sol Bock as traditionally as possible, German-style," says owner and brewmaster Jason Sowards. The beer possesses a floral and earthy character and a "softer than traditional malt profile." Harriet will tap the kegs the night before at an April 25 pre-party at the brewery, and supplies are expected to last into May. It will also be available in limited metro bars during Minnesota craft beer week.

See also:
Harriet Brewing ready for Rauchfest 2013


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Take a peek inside the remodeled Town Hall Brewery

Categories: Beer

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Loren Green

On January 1, Town Hall Brewery closed its doors for what was intended to be a quick remodel. To prepare for the temporary shutdown, Town Hall had brewed enough beer in advance to supply its other two locations, Town Hall Tap and Town Hall Lanes, throughout the construction.

But since the project took a little longer than expected, those Town Hall satellite locations have been serving guest beers for some time. That will soon change, however, as the brewery is up and running again, and the remodeled site at Seven Corners will reopen its doors at 6 p.m. on April 11.

See also:
Town Hall's Mike Hoops on the challenges facing brewpubs


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Weekend brew round-up: Burning Bros. taproom, ENKI tap takeover, and more

Categories: Beer

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Davin Haukebo-Bol

For local beer lovers, this weekend is flush with tastings, openings, live music, and more.

Starting Friday, ENKI Brewing will host a tap takeover at JJ's Coffee in Eden Prairie. In St. Paul, the Minnesota Museum of American Art is hosting a screening of the beer documentary The Love of Beer and gluten-free brewers Burning Bros. will hold a soft opening of their new taproom.

See also:
Updates on Bauhaus Brew Labs, the next brewery opening in Northeast

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Four Firkins specialty beer store launches fundraiser to open second location

Categories: Beer, Q&A

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photo courtesy of Four Firkins
The crowds at the grand opening in 2011.

It's easy to get caught up in the excitement over the Northeast Brew District, the many new beers on the market, and the wonderful festivals across the state. However, the beer business isn't just taking off in taprooms and at festivals; the booming business is affecting all sectors, notably retail.

In 2011, the Four Firkins opened a craft beer specialty shop in St. Louis Park. The store focuses on providing detailed knowledge of the craft, superior customer service, and, of course, a larger range of tasty and smaller batch beers than most liquor stores about town.

The store recently announced plans to expand from its single storefront to upwards of five locations. They're currently on step one of that plan, raising funds for a second store in Woodbury, and to help them on their journey, they have started an Indiegogo crowd funding site. The Hot Dish talked with owner Jason Alvey about the expansion plans and the challenges they foresee in the market.

See also:
Celebrate National Night Out 2013 with free beer from the Four Firkins

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