You’ll never forget your first Winter Beer Dabbler. While the exact details might get a little fuzzy (especially near the end of the day), our flagship beer festival always leaves a lasting impression of great beer and good vibes for attendees and our participating breweries alike.
This year, we’ve got 10 breweries from all over the USA (and beyond!) that will be pouring at Winter Beer Dabbler for the first time ever, and we’re beyond excited to welcome all of them to our extended family! This year’s class of first-timers is a mix of true rookies, young guns, and seasoned breweries that have recently arrived in Minnesota, and we know you’re going to love drinking their beer.
Arbeiter Brewing Company (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
Arbeiter’s name is derived from the German word for “worker,” and the Longfellow neighborhood brewery’s robust selection of lagers is exactly what we crave at the end of (or during, let’s be honest) a long workday. Helmed by the Town Hall Brewery-trained Aaron Herman, Arbeiter’s beer program features the same remarkable consistency and love for classic European beer styles as Herman’s old gig, albeit with a bit less of an emphasis on adhering to tradition. In a nod to their neighborhood and ownership’s diversity, Arbeiter’s beer also often features thoughtful ingredient infusions inspired by cultural histories not typically honored in craft beer.
Big Drop Brewing Co. (Ipswich, England)
Happy Dry January! Big Drop is one of two non-alcoholic breweries that will be arriving at Winter Beer Dabbler for the first time this year. This Ipswich, England-based brewery has been racking up awards and accolades at beer competitions since its founding in 2016 but only recently made the journey across the pond in early 2021, thanks to a contract brewing partnership with Chicago’s Great Central Brewing and local distribution by Clear River. Big Drop’s wide list of offerings, from pale ales and milk stouts to DDH IPAs, will likely be the biggest attraction, but Big Drop says it’s their unique, “naturally N/A” brewing process that keeps customers coming back.
Eagle Park Brewing Company (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
HELLO WISCONSIN! Founded by a family band of musical brothers in Milwaukee in 2017, Eagle Park has become a regional destination for big, boldly-flavored IPAs, fruit-packed sours and seltzers, and towering infused stouts. After visiting their newish Muskego, Wisconsin, destination brewery and distillery in 2021 for our Dabbler in a Box series, we were thoroughly charmed by the brewery’s laid-back vibes and exciting, envelope-pushing approach to brewing.
Elm Creek Brewing Company (Champlin, Minnesota)
Residents of the Northwest Metro have long adored Elm Creek Park for its scenic network of bikeable and hikeable trails, and it seems like the region’s titular brewery is well on its way to winning local hearts after its founding in 2020. We had a chance to try a bunch of Elm Creek’s beer during a visit for our Dabbler in a Box series and were impressed with their acumen for dank and pungent hazy IPAs and fresh and fruity kettle sours. We can’t wait to see what they bring with them for Winter Beer Dabbler 2022!
Grüvi (Denver, Colorado)
Founded in 2017 by a brother and sister duo, Denver-based brand Grüvi seems like a smart-money pick to be the next household name in NA after scoring big with investors in 2021. Grüvi’s lineup includes an IPA, Pale Ale, Sour Weisse, Golden Lager, and Stout, and the company promises more seasonal offerings to come in the future. Plus, Grüvi’s lineup also includes non-alcoholic sparkling wine and red wine as well, further broadening the wellness-oriented brand’s appeal.
Luce Line Brewing Co. (Plymouth, Minnesota)
Plenty of cyclists have dreamed of opening up a brewery right next to their favorite bike trail, but Luce Line Brewing Co.’s co-founder Kate Coward actually did it! After years of riding the Luce Line as a competitive cyclist, Coward teamed up with a passionate group of co-founders to open the rustic yet expansive Luce Line Brewing Co. in late 2020. The brewery’s tap list features a nice balance of hoppy, sour, and malty beers with a notable knack for piney, invigorating West Coast–style IPAs. We’re pumped to see what they’ll be pedaling, er, peddling when they make their Winter Beer Dabbler debut.
Nouvelle Brewing (Robbinsdale, Minnesota)
Haven’t heard of Nouvelle Brewing yet? It’s okay, neither have most people. Hell, they’re not even open yet! The latest concept from the eccentric masterminds at the Travail restaurant group, Nouvelle Brewing will be housed in the former Pig Ate My Pizza space in Robbinsdale and helmed by Travail’s Chef-turned-Brewer Andy Goettsch. Compared to the much-loved, ‘za-centric brewpub PAMP, Nouvelle will be decidedly more beer-focused, allowing Goettsch to really stretch his legs in the brewhouse. PAMP has been an under-the-radar favorite for Dabblers at past festivals, and we’re pretty sure Goettsch will be ready to impress at Winter Beer Dabbler this year as well.
SweetWater Brewing Company (Atlanta, Georgia)
Atlanta-based SweetWater Brewing has been a powerhouse of the Southern beer scene since the late ‘90s, but the brewery’s crowd-pleasing beer hadn’t made its way up to the North Star State until 2021. That means that after years of waiting, SweetWater will be available at Winter Beer Dabbler for the first time ever! Probably best known for their hoppy offerings like their flagship 420 Extra Pale Ale and IPA, SweetWater’s had plenty of time to develop a robust mix of offerings that also includes sours, low-cal beers, and seltzers.
Weldwerks Brewing (Greeley, Colorado)
In a beer scene as saturated as the one in Colorado, it can be pretty tough to stand out from the crowd, but Weldwerks has managed to become one of CO’s shining stars since its founding in 2015. Specializing in innovative, adjunct-infused kettle sours and stouts, Weldwerks has found a magic touch with hype-oriented beer styles while still emphasizing quality control. While we’re not in the prediction business, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Weldwerks pulling big crowds at Winter Beer Dabbler this year.
Young Blood Beer Co. (Madison, Wisconsin)
While the less-than-two-year-old Young Blood Beer Co. is a relatively recent addition to the Madison beer scene, its founders have deep ties to the Wisconsin beverage community at places like Door County Brewing, Hacienda Brewing, Plain Spoke Cocktail Co., and Wisconsin distributor Craft Beer Partners. That kind of pedigree helps Young Blood bring all the confidence of a decade-old brewery to the fore with their fresh and fun mix of fruited sours, hazy IPAs, and more. With a pastel-flecked tropical aesthetic, we’re looking to Young Blood to bring the heat (and maybe some unseasonably warm temps) in February.