Castle Danger's Dark Chocolate George Hunter Stout • Photo via Castle Danger Brewing

Castle Danger’s Dark Chocolate George Hunter Stout • Photo via Castle Danger Brewing

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. 

January is always a long month in Minnesota. The holiday season is over and there are decorations to take down, extra calories to burn and, technically speaking, winter is still just getting started.

While it’s certainly been a year we’ll remember already, the doors are just opening. As of Monday this past week, Minnesota eased pandemic restrictions allowing for onsite, indoor consumption at taprooms, brewpubs, and restaurants. As we’ve come to expect over the past year, every brewery has its own process and policy, so whether you’re looking for curbside pickup, beer to go, or a fresh draft pint, it’s advised to call ahead.

And that brings us to what’s on tap this week. It wouldn’t be January without a Duluth hockey-themed beer. Pastry stouts and barrel-aging are also popular and varied in style, from sweet cookie-infusions to dry Irish stouts. Elsewhere, we get warmer flavors of honey, tropically-toned hops, and even some old-fashioned piney IPAs.



Each week, the Beer Dabbler team highlights five of the most tantalizing new beers that we’re most excited to try.

Boom Island Gemini – “Gemini is a full-bodied DIPA that is double packed with Mosaic, Cashmere, and Ekuanot hops, creating juicy notes of orange, mango, pineapple, and passionfruit,” the brewery says.

Copper Trail Black Betty – An oaked bourbon porter with a “sweet, yet semi-dry chocolate” finish, plus notes of vanilla and bourbon. 5.4% ABV, 21 IBU. Available at the brewery and select liquor stores.

Duluth Cider Grape Co-Fermented Cider – Released just before New Year’s, this cider is made with both fresh-pressed apple juice and locally-foraged grapes. It is dry with notes of fresh grape and faint tartness, the cidery explains.

Junkyard Ask Your Father – A big and bold imperial monster cookie stout that pours at 11.6% ABV.

Urban Forage Vin de Pomme Rose – A hybrid grape wine/apple cider beverage originating in France, Urban Forage made Vin de Pomme by steeping all of the white grape pulp and red grape pulp from the 2020 pressing some of the winery and cidery’s best hard cider. “To be honest, it’s in some ways better than cider or red wine by itself. It’s wonderfully zingy and fresh and worthy of a sampling,” says the brewery. Available now in 750-milliliter bottles for $10.

New beers available this week

608 Brewing Company   

  • Inquiring Minds –  A new 6.5% ABV hazy IPA featuring Strata and Mosaic hops. Available on draft and in take-home 4-packs.

Bad Weather Brewing Company

  • Vienna Lager

Blacklist Brewing Co.

  • OR Cran – The Belgian strong-style ale with cranberries is now available in 750-milliliter bottles.

Boom Island Brewing Company

  • Gemini – Top Flight selection.

Castle Danger Brewery

  • Dark Chocolate George Hunter Stout – A limited amount of this stout is available at the taproom as of this week’s reopening.
  • #FreeTheGrowler – As one of five Minnesota breweries unable to sell beer to-go, Castle Danger has teamed up with peers to raise awareness in hopes of updating state regulations. The brewery has a new dry-hopped double IPA to help that cause: A medium body beer that pours orange with a slight haze that the brewery describes as “Citrus and tropical fruit aromas come bursting out of the glass including notes of orange, apricot, and papaya.” Fulton and Lift Bridge also have unique beers with the same name scheduled for release.

Copper Trail Brewing Co.

  • Black Betty – Top Flight selection.

Dangerous Man Brewing Company

  • Blueberry Maple Stout – “Conditioned on blueberries and local MN-made Sapsucker Farms maple syrup, this stout has a zing of tart earthy blueberries, a hint of chocolate, and a slightly dry maple finish,” the brewery says. 7.3% ABV, 30 IBU.
  • Imperial Peanut Butter Porter w/ Chocolate & Marshmallow – Available in 750-milliliter bottles as of Thursday, Jan. 14.

Duluth Cider   

  • Grape Co-Fermented Cider – Top Flight selection.
  • Las Lajas Hot Mulled Cider – January’s featured hot mulled cider is made with coffee, plus spices, dark berries, and cocoa.

Fair State Brewing Cooperative

  • Sastrugi –  A double dry-hopped hazy IPA made in collaboration with Burial Beer, described by Fair State as “Dank, slightly dry but still soft and fluffy,  tropical, citrus rind, fruity pebbles.” 7% ABV.
  • Standard Fun Balls – “Standard Fun Balls is a blend of double bourbon-barrel aged stout with vanilla and pure barleywine. Almond and marshmallow from the extended residency in oak melds pleasantly with chocolate and stonefruit,” the brewery says.


  • Northern Arms Scottish Stout – Celebrating “Dark Month” at FINNEGANS, this Scottish stout is described as featuring “A little bit of smoke, hops, and tobacco on the tongue and an aroma of toast, chocolate, and lemon zest.” 8.8% ABV, 73 IBU. Available for curbside pickup in growlers.


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Fulton Brewery

  • The Pale Ale Project – Fulton kicks off a new pale ale series, rotating recipes that all showcase the pale ale style and the four core beer ingredients through their 3-bbl R&D brew system. The first batch is available at the newly reopened taproom now, and some batches (not this one) will also be bottled and sold in 6-packs.

Great Lakes Brewing Co.   

  • Conway’s Irish Ale – Sold in 6- and 12-pack cans this year.

Hoops Brewing Company   

  • No. 37 Rat Rink Ale – Hoops celebrates local hockey with this 4.7% ale.

Hop & Barrel Brewing Company

  • Turning Violet – A blueberry kettle sour.

Indeed Brewing Company

  • Lull – Previously a taproom exclusive, Indeed is now canning its CBD seltzer. With lemon and lime on the nose, the crisp and bubbly seltzer contains no alcohol, rather 10 mg of full-spectrum CBD produced by Minnesota-based Superior Extractions.

Invictus Brewing Co.   

  • Passionfruit Sour – 4.5% ABV, 5 IBU

Junkyard Brewing Co.

  • Ask Your Father – Top Flight selection.
  • Mama’s Trip To Hawaii – “We brewed this tropical treat with a hint of hibiscus and conditioned it on passionfruit, guava, pineapple, mango, blood orange, and tangerine, plus a little tropical punch drink mix,” Junkyard says. 6.6% ABV.
  • Super Slush – The latest Junkyard fruited sour pours at 6.4% ABV and was made with guava, passionfruit, vanilla, and lactose.
  • Swimming in Chaos – A 9.0% ABV chocolate double stout conditioned on Oreo crumbles, vanilla, and lactose.
  • The Art of Selection IPA – A hop cocktail—six different hops at six pounds per barrel—this IPA offers notes of coconut, red berries, and peach, plus pineapple and citrus flavors. 7.5% ABV.

Lakes & Legends Brewing Company   

  • Adam Banks – A pastry stout made with coconut, cacao nibs, and a “hint” of pecan.” Inspired by German chocolate cake, this beer is 8.4% ABV.

Left Hand Brewing Co.

  • Bittersweet Nitro Imperial Coffee Milk Stout – This milk stout features dark roast coffee with berry notes and pours at 8.9% ABV.

Lift Bridge Brewing Company   

  • #FreeTheGrowler Pale Ale – A new pale ale sold at the taproom to raise awareness of Minnesota’s statewide restriction on growler sales for breweries over 20,000 barrels per year.
  • Silhouette – A complex and rich full-body barrel-aged imperial stout. This year’s batch offers notes of coffee, molasses, chocolate and prune and is available now. 11% ABV. Two variants are also available this year:
    • Mission Fig and Orange Silhouette
    • Vanilla Bean Silhouette

LTD Brewing Co.

  • Nightmare – The Irish dry stout is back.
  • Nutty Nightmare 2 – A Nightmare variant with vanilla hazelnut cold press coffee.

Luce Line Brewing Co.

  • Cuyuna Hard Tail IPA
  • Gitch-Gami Hazy IPA – A new juicy and tropical IPA with a soft body and notes of gooseberry, lime, and white wine grapes, the brewery says. To debut today.
  • Piedmont Pilsner! Beer – A lightly-hopped German-style Pilsner.

Lupulin Brewing Company

  • DDH Blissful Ignorance – The 9% ABV double dry-hopped double IPA is back.

Oliphant Brewing

  • SUPERTALENTFRAGILISTIC – 10% ABV and available in 16-ounce cans.
  • XUUL – An 8.0% ABV doppelbock lager, now available in 4-packs.

Rogue Ales & Spirits

  • Colossal Claude – Available nationally, this new imperial IPA is named for a mythological sea monster near Newport, Oregon. The beer has citrus and floral notes along with a bitter and resinous finish. 8.2% ABV, 75 IBU.

Rustech Brewing

  • Javamel – A caramel and coffee cream ale available from the brewery. 5.3% ABV, 14 IBU.
  • Tropical Holidaze – Back on tap, this milkshake IPA was made with banana, pineapple, coconut, and vanilla additions. 6% ABV, 25 IBU.

Steel Toe Brewing

  • Size 11

    – The triple IPA is available now from the brewery and also, for the first time, in 12-ounce cans at limited liquor stores too.

Stone Brewing   

  • Neverending Haze IPA – Previously a pilot program Stone offering, this sessionable 4% ABV IPA goes year round and national. “Stone Neverending Haze IPA lets off dank aromas of orange peel along with floral notes. Citrus flavors of orange and lime are intense up front, followed by oats, pineapple, star fruit and sweet strawberry preserves. It’s pleasantly weighty on the palate thanks to the addition of roasted malts and oats. The finish is dry with the slightest bitterness and just the right tangy tartness to refresh and implore another sip,” the brewery says. Sold in 4-pack 16-ounce cans.

Surly Brewing Company

  • Get Loud! – A new hazy wheat IPA with wheat-derived tang and fruitiness complemented by citrusy hop tones. Available in the Unusual Suspects sampler pack along with Furious, Razor Gang, and Rivet Head.
  • Pentagram – Pentagram sour ale returns as a part of the BC Small Batch Series, this time available in 12-ounce cans.
  • Razor Gang – An Irish-style stout included in the Unusual Suspects sampler pack, this is a malt-forward beer with a sweet cocoa body and a dry finish, the brewery says.
  • Rivet Head – “Rivet Head fastens a heavy dose of citrusy hop flavor to a dry and slightly sweet malt backbone for a classic take on the West Coast IPA,” the brewery says. Sold in the Unusual Suspects seasonal sampler pack.

Tin Whiskers Brewing Company

  • Exotic Bot of Prey – A 9.7% ABV double IPA made with pink guava, passionfruit, curuba, orange, Brazilian guava, plum, and Cape gooseberry.

Urban Forage Winery & Cider House

  • Vin de Pomme Rose – Top Flight selection.

Utepils Brewing

  • Munich Dunkel – A taproom only malt-forward Dunkel tapped last Friday.


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Venn Brewing Company

Vanilla Double Brown – As the name says, this is a brown ale with vanilla and American oak. 9.7% ABV, 40 IBU, and available for onsite consumption at Venn or to-go.

Waconia Brewing Company   

Buzz Off 2020 Honey DIPA – A double IPA with a soft, full body is described as “dank [and] honey-forward” with a unique, complex hop bill and additional depth from Eraclea Pilsner malt and wildflower honey. 8.0% ABV, 53 IBU.

Wild Mind Ales 

  • Wild White – Inspired by a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, this is a sour ale with lactobacillus, passionfruit, peach, and lime then dry-hopped. “The resulting beer is crisp without being bracingly acidic, and you can expect notes of limeade, musty tropical fruit, and mild herbaceous notes of gooseberry and bell pepper,” the brewery says. 6.0% ABV. Available in Crowlers and at the brewery.

Wooden Hill Brewing Company   

  • Mexican Hot Chocolate Stout – A limited 5% stout conditioned on roasted Serrano and Guajillo peppers, cinnamon, vanilla, and cocoa nibs.

Beers just announced

Castle Danger Brewery

  • Mosaic Fresh Hop IPA – According to a brand calendar shared by the brewery, this fall seasonal will be sold in 4-packs in October following the hop harvest.
  • Summer Crush Summer Ale – Available May through July this year.

Fair State Brewing Cooperative

  • Air Five – A mixed berry marshmallow sour to tap on Jan. 21.
  • Main Boss – This New Beer Thursday tapping is set for Feb. 4 and is a pastry stout collaboration with Pulpit Rock Brewing.
  • Mr. Falcon – A collaboration hazy double IPA with Barrel Theory scheduled to tap on Jan. 28.
  • Petty Cash – A mixed fermentation table beer coming on Feb. 4.


  • Hailstones Scotch Ale – This dark beer offers notes of peat smoke and toffee, the brewery says. It will be part of the Celtic Fan Pack, hitting liquor stores later this month along with Dead Irish Poet, Irish Amber, and Mischievous Pixie Lager. 6.4% ABV, 25 IBU.
  • Mischievous Pixie Lager – A new unfiltered Pilsner with citrus notes that will be sold in the Celtic Fan Pack. 5.1% ABV, 30 IBU.
  • Starry Night Stout – FINNEGANS continues its Dark Month celebration with a Belgian-style stout on Jan. 28. With blackberry, stone fruit, and mild funk on the nose, this beer spent a year in wild oak barrels. “[It is] reminiscent of Biere de Garde slightly but with a lot more chocolate character and that beautiful stout quality that the month of January deserves,” the brewery says. 7.8% ABV, 32 IBU.

Inbound Brewco

  • Blueberry Peach Sour – A gose fermented with blueberries and peaches, this is a new Pastry Sour release that offers refreshing tart character. 5.5% ABV, 20 IBU, and available at both the brewery and liquor stores beginning next week.
Inbound Blueberry Peach Pastry Sour • Photo via Inbound BrewCo

Inbound Blueberry Peach Pastry Sour • Photo via Inbound BrewCo

Lupulin Brewing Company   

  • The Unicorn’s Share – An upcoming barrel-aged imperial stout made in collaboration with Little Thistle. 11% ABV and available on Jan. 29.

OMNI Brewing Co.   

  • Double Raspberry Malt Shop – A new milkshake IPA will be available in the taproom the week of January.

Pryes Brewing Co.   

The Pryes 2021 calendar was announced this week. Here is the seasonal and Cartographer Collection schedule for the year:

  • Main Squeeze – Lemon-lime blonde ale is back in cans in March.
  • Lost Moon – The popular Russian imperial stout returns in March.
  • Royal Pineapple – Available in May-June.
  • Blood Orange Miraculum – This blood orange infused IPA will be available in the cold months, returning in August (currently available until approximately March).
  • Barrel Carving    – A fall imperial pumpkin ale.
  • Barrel-Aged Lost Moon – Available in November 2021.
  • Northern Tropic – The first Cartographer Collection release of the year comes in February.
  • Halo Halo – An April pastry ale.
  • Infinite Groove    – A June Cartographer series smoothie-style ale.
  • Ocean Glow – Coming in August via the Cartographer series.
  • Star Seer – Available in October.
  • No Roads – A limited release pastry stout to close out the year.

Rogue Ales & Spirits

Rogue of Oregon shared its brand calendar for 2021. Plans include a nationwide 12-pack sampler, and the following:

  • 2021 Santa’s Private Reserve – A new year and a new recipe. Available in November.
  • Combat Wombat – A summer seasonal sour IPA. 6.7% ABV.
  • Cotes du Rogue Oud Bruin – Part of the foeder-aged sour series, this foeder-aged sour brown ale is tart and satisfying.
  • Cotes du Rogue Sour Blonde with Fruit – This limited-edition sour blonde made with fruit is part of a foeder aged sour series. It offers a tart flavor with hints of oak, lemon, vanilla, and apricot. Available April.
  • Cotes du Rogue Sour Kriek – This foeder-aged sour beer with cherries is part of a foeder-aged sour series.
  • Dead ‘N’ Dead – A limited 9.5% ABV variant of Dead Guy Ale, aged on Dead Guy Whiskey-soaked oak chips. Available in September.
  • Double Chocolate Stout – Available this winter in a new package, this is a 9.0% ABV double stout.
  • Jam Sesh – This Strawberry Ale is made with Oregon fruit & locally made up-cycled organic bread.
  • Jam Sess – A 5.5% ABV fall seasonal with upcycled bread and strawberries.
  • Newport Nights – This imperial West Coast IPA is back, come November, in 16-ounce cans.
  • Pineapple Party Punch – An 8.3% ABV hazy imperial IPA with pineapple and coconut, available beginning in September.
  • Pumpkin Patch Ale – Brewed with real pumpkins. 6.1% ABV and available September-October.
  • Raspberry Gose – A 4.9% ABV summer seasonal with fresh raspberries and sea salt.
  • Raspberry Tartlandia – This gose is brewed with raspberries and sea salt that was hand-harvested from Yaquina Bay. Available May–August.
  • Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout – Available in February, this is a unique barrel-aged imperial stout aged in barrels used for Dead Guy Whiskey.
  • Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout Finished in Chipotle Whiskey Barrels – A new twist on Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout. 13.9% ABV.
  • Shakespeare Stout Nitro – Shakespeare oatmeal stout with nitro for a softer body and accented malt sweetness. 5.7% ABV. A new year-round offering.
  • Yellow Snow – A 5.5% ABV winter seasonal Pilsner with spruce tips.

Utepils Brewing

  • Keller Pils – Previously available only at the taproom, Utepils is canning their Czech-style unfiltered Pilsner. Expect cans in liquor stores beginning next week.

Waconia Brewing Company

  • Mojito Seltzer – Set to tap next Tuesday.
  • Peach Sour – Tapping on Tuesday, Jan. 26.

Have a new beer we should know about? Send the details to for inclusion in Freshies.