Welcome to Beer Dabbler’s Freshies, our weekly rundown on the newest beers hitting the store shelves and taproom coolers in Minnesota from your favorite local and national breweries.
Bottles, big cans, and variety packs. There’s a bit of everything as the local beer scene continues to evolve and adapt to meet COVID-related restrictions. There are malt-forward flavors, big pastry ales, and barrel-aged stout and sours—and plenty of new seltzer news too.
Fruity and dessert flavors continue to inspire brewers, but not at the expense of crisp American lagers, Munich-style dunkels, and even a new Lichenhainer on the market. From one-off candy cane seltzer to brandy aged imperial stout, the scene is as creative as ever as local businesses celebrate a season that they hope is one-of-a-kind.
Each week, the Beer Dabbler team highlights five of the most tantalizing new beers that we’re most excited to try.
Bent Brewstillery Dark Fatha Brewer’s Reserve – Emperial stout with macadamia nuts, toasted pecans, and aged in 10-year Henry McKenna Single bourbon barrels. Two hundred bottles go on sale at the brewstillery on Friday.
Duluth Cider Partridge – “This semi-dry cider was made with local wild pears sourced from all over the Duluth area and pressed on-site, then the juice was added directly to a batch of our dry cider,” the cidery says.
Eastlake Cinnamon Vanilla Almond Milk Stout – A special variant of Almost Milk Stout, sold in a 3-pack with Vanilla Sun Dogs and Double Passionfruit Kirby Pucker 21.
Utepils Chocolate Orange Belgian Quad – Every Friday, Utepils will share a new limited release in the Finite series. This week’s beer is a chocolate and orange Belgian-style quad. “Hints of chocolate and orange are balanced with the slight sweetness of the Belgian Quad and bring back those memories of the classic holiday treat,” the brewery says, and it’s available in individual 750-milliliter jars or gift packages. 10.1% ABV, 27 IBU.
Waldmann Lichenhainer – An unfiltered, sessionable wheat ale with smoke, tart, and a hint of tang in flavor.
New beers available this week
608 Brewing Company
- Drip – An imperial coffee stout with caramel, dark chocolate, and molasses taffy flavors. 10.7% ABV.
- Hamscht – This is a 6% ABV American lager. Made with 6-row barley and flaked corn.
- Inquiring Minds 12 – Made with Strata and El Dorado hops, this 7.5% ABV hazy IPA has cantaloupe, orange kush, and Sunny Delight flavors, the brewery says.
- Mr. Dream: Raspberry Pomegranate – A 6.6% ABV milkshake IPA with raspberry and pomegranate. All of 608’s offerings are taproom only: draft and 4-packs to-go.
Alloy Brewing Company
- Hard Rapids Cranberry Lime Seltzer
- Mango Lime Earthshake
- Wild Rice Brown Ale – A brown ale with a self-described mild rice flavor addition.
Bauhaus Brew Labs
- Bolero: Peach Tea-Infused Hard Seltzer – In addition to Bolo hard seltzers, Bauhaus is kicking off a new line of hard seltzers made with real tea and real fruit. The first offering is made with black and green teas, rooibos, matcha, peach, lemon, lime, and papaya. Sold in 4-pack 16-ounce cans and also at Revival locations. 5% ABV.
- Wavy – Available now, this is a 7.2% ABV IPA with an oat base highlighting Mosaic and Sultana hops.
- Dark Fatha Brewer’s Reserve – Top Flight selection.
Dangerous Man Brewing Company
- Chocolate Macadamia Double Oatmeal Stout – A bold oatmeal stout brewers with lactose and dark brown sugars and fermented on roasted macadamia nuts, dark chocolate chips, cacao nibs, and vanilla beans. Nutty up front with complex underlying flavors, the brewery says. 9.6% ABV, 62 IBU.
- Cinnamon RIS – A limited bottle release that debuted last week. 10.9% ABV.
- Vanilla Breakfast Stout – Another limited bottle release from last week. 10.2% ABV.
DOUBLE BOTTLE RELEASE DAY!
Starting at noon today, in the Growler Shop, both of these bottles will be available for purchase. 🦧🥃🦧 CINNAMON RIS • 10.9% ABV • $20 a bottle • 2 bottle limit. 🐐☕️🐐 VANILLA BREAKFAST STOUT • 10.2% ABV • $22 a bottle • 2 bottle limit. pic.twitter.com/icgBmB5l5j
— DangerousMan (@DangerousMan7) December 10, 2020
- Double Down with the Citrus – A sour ale with Cara Cara orange, blood orange, and vanilla. 7% ABV.
Drastic Measures Brewing
- Smile With Your Eyes – An 8% ABV double IPA that features a blend of Citra and experimental hops from New Zealand. Brewed in collaboration with Talking Waters Brewing Company.
Dual Citizen Brewing Company
Dual Citizen is introducing 12-ounce cans, with the three following beers to be sold in 6-packs at area liquor stores:
- Caress Me Brown – A 5.4% ABV brown ale that the brewery describes as smooth and balances with notes of toffee, burnt sugar, and slight chocolate.
- Cashmere Rules Everything Around Me – A soft, pillowy New England–style pale ale made with Cashmere, Mosaic, and Citra hops that impart cantaloupe and honeydew notes. 5% ABV.
- Hola Beaches – A New England–style IPA at 5.7% ABV with coconut, banana, tropical fruit, and citrus elements. “Tasting notes are soft on the palate and finishes slightly sweet,” the brewery says.
Dubh Linn Brew Pub
- Peach Radler – Available in growlers according to a recent social media post from the Duluth brewpub.
- Partridge – Top Flight selection.
Eastlake Craft Brewery
Celebrating six years, Eastlake is releasing several to-go options to bring the party home.
- Barrel Reserve Red Sour – A new batch of this limited red sour is now available in 750-milliliter bottles.
- Cinnamon Vanilla Almond Milk Stout – Top Flight selection
- Double Passionfruit Kirby Pucker 21 – A special anniversary variant, sold in a 3-pack with Cinnamon Vanilla Almost Milk Stout and Vanilla Sun Dogs.
- Eastlake IPA – “This clear piney IPA hearkens to a time when breweries didn’t come up with ridiculous names for their beers. Bitter, grapefruity, and copper-toned. Classic,” Eastlake says, recalling their early days in the mid-2010s. 6.2% ABV and available in Crowlers.
- Saazall Kolsch – A 4.5% ABV spritzy Kolsch-style ale.
- Tsathoggua 2020 Imperial Stout – Imperial stout matured on cherrywood and Spanish brandy. Sold in Crowlers and, for the first time, also in 4-packs. 10.5% ABV.
- Vanilla Sun Dogs – A new variant, sold in a 3-pack with Cinnamon Vanilla Almost Milk Stout and Double Passionfruit Kirby Pucker 21.
- Fogburst – A limited juicy IPA.
Fair State Brewing Cooperative
- BRAAAAAM – An English barleywine aged in a variety of barrels. “First use bourbon and some interesting wine barrels used to finish bourbon were allowed to mellow for over a year before being bottled at a completely reasonable and responsible 16.5% ABV,” Fair State summarizes.
Falling Knife Brewing Co.
- Hypebeast – Sold in 4-pack 16-ounce cans, this BlackStack collaboration is a triple dry-hopped hazy double IPA that offers tropic fruit, bright citrus, resinous, and floral notes.
- Mutagen Man – A new limited variant, Mango Colada Mutagen Man, is now available. Made with toasted coconut and real mango, this is a collaboration with Dangerous Man.
Firestone Walker Brewing Company
- Comet – One of two new Propagator series releases, both sold in a new Crafted Thru Hops variety pack and described as “a single-hop IPA featuring the Comet hop that offers a bright floral citrus fruit character with hints of coconut.” The pack also includes Propagator’s new Mandarina, plus the latest Luponic Distortion, Union Jack, and Double Jack.
- Mandarina – Also sold in the Crafted Thru Hops variety pack, this single-hop IPA features Mandarina, also used prominently in Easy Jack and Mind Haze IPAs.
Tenzing Norgay – This barrel-aged maple coffee stout will be available for purchase in-person at the Rochester brewpub today at 11 am. The cost is $50 and the limit is 2 bottles per person. “All remaining bottles will be sold online at 2 pm for $55 and the limit is 1 per person. If you purchased in-person, you may NOT purchase again online,” says the brewpub.
Indeed Brewing Company
- Chai Velvet – The herbed winter beer is back. This year it’s paired with four infusions as well, which can be purchased in a Crowler variety pack from Indeed (curbside and delivery available).
- Cinnamon & Coconut
- Espresso & Whole Coffee Beans
- Steamed Cacao Husks
- Scorpion Peppers
Ineffable Brewing Co.
- Holiday Berry Ale – Burnsville’s brewpub describes Holiday Berry Ale as “A revamped Mixed Berry Ale (only a few left!) infused with cranberry and lemon to give you a full and festive holiday experience. Only available in Crowlers.”
- Peanut Butter Double Shot – A white stout with a dose of peanut butter. In limited supply, Crowlers only.
- Gravity Well – This year’s imperial stout release was a bit quieter without the annual parking lot party. But Insight is still celebrating Gravity Well by offering it again this week, including all four variants, sold in Crowlers at the Minneapolis brewery:
- Bourbon Barrel Coconut Creme
- Red Wine Barrel Tart Cherry Chocolate Gravity Well
- Rum Barrel Peach Cobbler
- Tequila Barrel Orange Chile
Lupulin Brewing Company
- Black Lager – A traditional light-body dark lager with hints of coffee and chocolate. 5.0% ABV, 30 IBU.
- Cerise De Chance with Cinnamon & Vanilla – Available today, with a bottle release party in Sioux Falls also, this beer is a Belgian-style ale with Brettanomyces, fruit, and spices.
- Chocolate Orange Lateralus – An infused Lateralus imperial stout, this robust beer was made with kveik yeast which imparts subtle orange citrus notes, complemented by the use of cacao nibs and orange peel. 11% ABV.
OMNI Brewing Co.
- Orange Creamsicle Melt – Sold in 4-packs at area liquor stores next week.
Oskar Blues Brewery
- Bitter Citrus Spritz – One of four new cocktail-inspired hard seltzers sold in Wild Basic 12-pack variety pack, which also includes the following three seltzers.
- Fruity Sangria
- Habanero Piña Colada
- Mango Mai Tai
- Joe Appleseed – A tart apple and guava sour ale. 6.1%A BV, 25 IBU.
Surly Brewing Company
- Dumpster Fire 2020 – “Years ago, we released a beer called Dumpster Fire named after a literal dumpster fire in our parking lot. We never thought we’d need to brew a second version. We thought wrong. As 2020’s metaphorical Dumpster Fire rages out of control, we’re making the best of this mess with a double dry-hopped hazy double IPA, brimming with juicy hop flavor,” Surly says.
- Moving Pictures – A new juicy IPA with flavors of grapefruit, mango, and papaya and dry-hopped with Amarillo, El Dorado, Mosaic, and Lotus hops.
- Cake Beer – Sisyphus’s annual Cake Beer (imperial stout) made with cocoa nibs, cinnamon, ancho chilies, vanilla, and, of course, cake is back now. This year it pours at 11.5% ABV and is vegan. Available in Crowlers now.
Tin Whiskers Brewing Company
- Fudge Brownie Cherry Dream State – A cream all with the dessert-focused ingredients listed. 5.5% ABV, 12 IBU.
- Key Lime Pie Pastry Sour – “A perfect blend of bright citrus, tart lime, and just a touch of a sweet baked good finish,” the brewery says. 4.8% ABV, 12 IBU.
- Piña Colada Smoothie IPA – A hazy IPA with added pineapple, coconut, lime, and vanilla. 5.5% ABD, 32 IBU.
Ursa Minor Brewing
- Enthusiastically Naïve – “This special beer was aged in barrels for over two years with a vibrant culture of fantastic microbiological organisms. These bacteria and wild yeasts have worked together with time to create this robust and complex brew for you to enjoy,” Ursa Minor says. Available in bottles now.
- Essential Optimism – A second new bottle release, this is a new barrel-aged imperial stout. “Aged in whiskey barrels, this brew is rich, chocolatey, and perfectly roasty. It’s sure to warm you right up this winter with a hefty ABV of 9.0%,” the brewery says.
- Chocolate Orange Belgian Quad – Top Flight selection.
- Munich Dunkel – A traditional Dunkel-style lager with malt-forward flavors. Both beers are available to-go, and also to be enjoyed at Utepils’ outdoor patio, which opens to the public again on Saturday.
Waconia Brewing Company
- Flashpoint – A cream ale made with vanilla beans and German Oak smoked wheat malt. A portion of each sale goes to the Minnesota Volunteer Firefighter Relief Association. 5.5% ABV, 16 IBU. Available in cans and at the taproom.
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- Lichenhainer – Top Flight selection
- Weihnachtsbier – “Translated ‘Christmas Eve’s beer,’ this the one time of the year that even traditional German brewers like us kick the Reinheitsgebot to the curb and add a few fun spices. This year’s batch is a traditional North German tawny altbier (ale) brewed with orange peel, cinnamon, coriander, star anise, and nutmeg,” Waldmann says, and it’s available at their biergarten this weekend or take-home via Crowler.
Wooden Hill Brewing Company
- Candy Cane – A new, extremely limited batch of holiday candy-inspired hard seltzer. 5.5% ABV, crisp, and minty, the brewery says.
Beers just announced
Founders Brewing Co.
- Más Agave Clásica Grapefruit – Returning as part of the Barrel-Aged series, Clásica Grapefruit (9.7% ABV) will return in May alongside Más Agave Clásica Lime (10% ABV) and a yet-to-be-announced new flavor. To be sold in 4-packs of 12-ounce bottles.
- Más Agave Clásica Lime – Returning in May as part of the Barrel-Aged series, and part of the expanding Más Agave line.
- Más Agave Premium Hard Seltzer – Currently available in 10 states (Minnesota not included), this hard seltzer will become available nationwide in 6-pack cans and 15-pack variety packs this spring. Flavors include strawberry, lime, and grapefruit.
- Moon Rambler IPA – A winter seasonal available from January–March 2021.
LynLake has a new Crowler 4-pack coming next week (no substitutions):
- Ali’s Dumb Idea – A 4.4% beer for breakfast. This new beer is a golden ale made with coffee, cinnamon, and marshmallow.
- Luke’s Dumb Idea – A saison fermented on blueberries with blackberry, vanilla, and marshmallow. 7.6% ABV.
- Johnny’s Dumb Idea – A peanut butter and jelly imperial stout brewed with honey and strawberries and aged in Heaven Hill barrels. 8.7% ABV.
- Paul’s Dumb Idea – Another imperial stout, this version was brewed with honey, bananas, and chocolate and aged in Heaven Hill barrels. 8.7% ABV.
Have a new beer we should know about? Send the details to firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion in Freshies.