Sisyphus Brewing launches Kickstarter for mural [IMAGES]

Categories: Beer, Taprooms

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Adam Turman
Paul & Babe Cheers: screenprint

Sisyphus Brewing, slated to open near Loring Park later this spring, has launched a Kickstarter to fund a mural on their exterior wall. The mural would face the I-94/I-394 interchange, and the Kickstarter aims to raise $6,000 for local beer artists Adam Turman and Jawsh to collaborate on the painting.

Turman's work is prominently featured on many Surly products as well as in 612Brew's taproom, and Jawsh has done many murals about town in addition to designing the label on the Surly Darkness 2013 bottle.

See also:
Comedian Sam Harriman to open Sisyphus Brewing

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Mantorville Brewing: "Small breweries have to be a bit more creative"

Categories: Beer, Q&A

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Loren Green
Stagecoach's soon-to-change packaging

Taprooms in the Twin Cities have been getting a lot of attention in the past few years, but Minnesota's brewing industry has much deeper roots. Breweries large and small are tucked away in areas that haven't captivated yet the metro's interests -- despite decades spent in the brewing business.

Mantorville Brewing, located in the small town of the same name (population 1,197) and just over an hour plus south of St. Paul, is one such brewery. Started in 1996, the brewery shares its name with the town's historic brewery that closed in 1939. Mantorville has three flagship beers -- an amber, a porter, and a golden -- and both the amber and the smoked porter were the first of their style to be brewed in Minnesota in the 1990s.

Current owner and brewer Tod Fyten has been in the industry since the 1980s. Before running his own brewery, he ran a brewing trade journal and worked with Leinenkugel's, James Page, and more industry stalwarts. He currently owns three microbreweries (St. Croix, Fytenburg, and Mantorville) and, behind the scenes, he's had a hand in most of the brewing industry's legislative victories in the past twenty years. He is currently at work on new packaging for all his six-packs, expected this summer on liquor store shelves.

The Hot Dish sat down at Fyten's St. Paul office to discuss his breweries, why Mantorville Brewing is often called Stagecoach Brewing, and his brewing experience in the '80s and '90s. Below is part one of the interview, focused on Mantorville Brewing. Stay tuned for part two, looking back on the 1990s brew boom and bust.

See also:
Lake Superior Brewing on the Duluth brew scene: "The place is hopping"


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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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