It’s Super Bowl weekend and frigid temperatures across the land. There are plenty of crisp Pilsners for the big game, but also dessert-minded pastry stouts modeled after ice cream, sorbet, and cheesecake.
In other news this week, Punxsutawney Phil foresaw six more weeks of winter but, shadow be damned, spring seasonals are starting to flow. Schell’s Bock is back, Maibock is on the way, and waves of spring are beginning to appear on the horizon.
February is Black History Month and Modist Brewing is partnering with Brewing Change Collaborative on a beer release and a live-streamed panel discussion on race, injustice, and equality, called “Breathing: Let’s Talk About White Supremacy happening Friday, February 5 at 7 pm.
February also marks a local beer holiday: Town Hall Barrel Week, rebranded for obvious reasons this year as Barrel Month. With a lot to look forward to, here is this week’s Freshies.
Each week, the Beer Dabbler team highlights five of the most tantalizing new beers that we’re most excited to try.
Badger Hill Brewing Company MSB – The Minnesota Special Bitter is back for a limited time at the Shakopee brewery.
Bang Brewing Huge – A brand new triple IPA available in bottles from the brewery (take-home) and at select liquor stores.
Milk & Honey Cider of the Woods – The third in this series, this batch offers a blend of heirloom and bittersweet apples aged in bourbon barrels, the cidery explains, with bright acidity and aroma complemented by bittersweet depth and body. 6.9% ABV.
Modist Breathing – Tapping on Saturday, this new double dry-hopped New England-style IPA showcases a Citra and Mosaic hop profile. It hits liquor stores next week and proceeds go directly to Brewing Change Collaborative.
Town Hall Double Aged Triple Barrel Twisted Trace – A 9.9% ABV barleywine aged in American oak bourbon barrels. After aging and blending, it presents flavors of maple, caramel, vanilla, black cherry, coconut, “and a viscous mouth feel that can best be described as luscious,” Town Hall says.
New beers available this week
- Cherry Wendigo Light – Available at the Anoka brewery and also to-go.
- Lingonberry Gose – Available at the Anoka brewery and also to-go.
608 Brewing Company
- Apple Brandy Barrel Aged Nebulous Void – Made in collaboration with La Crosse Distilling, this barrel-aged imperial stout is 12.7% ABV and available today.
- Big Game Punch – A gose made with strawberry, banana, marshmallow, lime, and sea sale. 5% ABV.
- Lumbersnacks – An imperial pastry stout with marshmallow, maple syrup, and cocoa nibs. 11.2% ABV.
- Sportsbowl Pils – A 4.9% ABV Pilsner.
Arbeiter Brewing Company
- Chocolate Imperial Stout – A 9.7% ABV, 63 imperial stout on cacao nibs. “Cacao nibs contribute a great dark chocolate aroma but do not typically impart much flavor – therefore the borderline bitter bakers chocolate, burnt caramel, dark roast black coffee, and even some black cherry and/or blackberry flavors all come from the extensive combination of all the malts,” Arbeiter says.
- Westküst – An American West Coast-style IPA brewed with Hallertau region German-sourced hops. “Westküst achieves an American pale ale flavor profile by enlisting a full array of German-sourced ingredients,” the brewery says, with a flavor profile that includes citrus, resinous, grassy, and some fresh herbal notes. 6.6% ABV, 69 IBU.
Avery Brewing Co.
- Bug Zapper – Back for 2021, Bug Zapper is a limited release sour ale made with lime zest, ginger, and mint.
- Sparkle Berry Pack – A new hard seltzer sampler is available from Avery featuring flavors of Blackberry Acai, Blueberry Lemon, Red Raspberry, and Strawberry Watermelon.
- MSB – Top Flight selection.
- Huge – Top Flight selection.
Bent Paddle Brewing Co.
- Playful Cream Ale – Crowler and growler purchases of this new cream ale will benefit the Duluth Children Museum. “Drinks like an IPA, finishes like a cream ale,” the brewery says.
- GameStop, Won’t StopRocketRocket – Made with strawberry, orange, passionfruit, banana, raspberry, vanilla, and milk sugar, this mixed culture popsicle-style Berliner offers a complex balance of fruity flavors. 6.9% ABV.
Boom Island Brewing Company
- Rosa – Made with Valentine’s Day in mind, this beer is a Belgian-style strong ale that pours a deep mahogany with ruby red highlights. “A smooth sipper with tart raspberries, sweet toffee, and dark chocolate notes,” Boom Island adds.
Castle Danger Brewery
- Duncan’s Wee Heavy – A taproom-only pilot batch Scottish ale.
Copper Trail Brewing Co.
- Brambleberry – A new kettle sour with blackberry and orange taps today. 5.6% ABV.
- Copper Scotty – A Scottish-style wee heavy with bold caramel sweetness and earthy roast character, the brewery says. 8.2% ABV, 24 IBU. Now available in 12-ounce cans.
- Copper Sunrise – A new kettle sour with pineapple, orange, and cherry. 5.6% ABV and on tap now.
- Midwest Midnight – A milk chocolate stout with smooth chocolate flavors and hints of berry. 6.1% ABV, 45 IBU. Now available in 12-ounce cans.
Dangerous Man Brewing Company
- Nordic Lodge Ale – This beer is made with honey and conditioned on cedar while offering rustic earthy flavors and notes of citrus, melon, grapefruit, pine, and a hint of white pepper, the brewery says.
- Hater Blockers – “A tropically delicious double IPA! Oats, chit, and spelt are gonna keep it sliding real smooth into piles of our hand-selected Sabro, Mosaic, and Citra that smash out flavors of tangerine, coconut, and mango,” the brewery says.
- Slang Du Jour: Raspberry Cheesecake – Made with raspberries, granola crust, lactose, vanilla, and real cream cheese, “It’s decadent, creamy, and preposterously thick,” the brewery says. Available today. 7.5% ABV.
Fair State Brewing Cooperative
- Main Boss – Tapped on Thursday, this is a pastry stout collaboration with Pulpit Rock Brewing that was inspired by rum-based cocktails and was brewed with coconut, molasses, and house-made Orgeat syrup (a syrup made with almonds and orange).
- Petty Cash – A mixed fermentation table beer with both citrus and saison-like characteristics.
- HyperCold – The second batch of Fair State’s non-alcoholic lager. “We tried a new technique that removes the need for post-fermentation processing,” Fair State says, meaning “better foam and head retention, better clarity, and more authentic beer flavor. HyperCold batch 1 was great, and batch 2 is maybe even better!”
Junkyard Brewing Co.
- Ice Auger Lager – A winter lager released just in time for subzero temps. “It’s a clean, session lager with a crisp finish featuring Maris Otter Malt. This English based malt gives the beer a biscuity flavor, with a more golden hue and fuller body than most lagers,” Junkyard says.
- Spider – Inspired by Rocky Road ice cream, this imperial stout was conditioned with cocoa nibs, toasted black walnuts, and marshmallow.
- Keep Me Cold Rainbow Sorbet Sour – A fruited sour with orange, raspberry, lime, and a creamy body.
Lake Monster Brewing
- No Hops Hazy IPA – A pilot batch hazy IPA experiment made with no hops or pellets, but only extracted, distilled, cryogenically frozen, and concentrated versions. “The result is a surprisingly restrained, slightly prickly, very educational brew,” Lake Monster concludes.
- Raspberry Sour – The seasonal release is back and available in 6-packs at liquor stores.
Luce Line Brewing Co.
- Silver Creek – Hazy pale ale.
Milk & Honey Ciders
- Cider of the Woods – Top Flight selection.
Modist Brewing Co.
- Breathing: Conversations DDH IPA – Top Flight selection.
Oskar Blues Brewery
- Death By King Cake – Sold in 4-packs, this limited release was made with cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, cacao nibs, orange peel, and pecans.
- Oskar’s Lager – A new low-calorie lager sold in 15-packs.
Rogue Ales & Spirits
- Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout – 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.
- Bock – While the pandemic has delayed Bockfest for a year, the late winter seasonal is back for all to enjoy at home.
Surly Brewing Company
- Mapping the Multiverse – A new hazy IPA with bright, citrus flavors such as grapefruit, pineapple, tangerine, and lemon. 7.3% ABV.
Tin Whiskers Brewing Company
- Button Masher – A mixed berry smoothie sour ale made with strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, and vanilla too.
- Irish Cream Stout – A new recipe in 2021, “This year’s version is a classic dry Irish stout, infused with chocolate, coffee, and vanilla, then finished on Irish whiskey-soaked oak, Tin Whiskers says.
- Guilty Marder – Back on tap now.
Town Hall Brewery
- Unthaw IPA – A truly Minnesotan winter IPA that pours at 7.1% ABV with flavors of mango, papaya, strawberry, plus a subtle malt base and a touch of vanilla.
Barrel Month kicks off with the “Barrel Crew Select” batch of aged beers, which were personally chosen as staff favorites and became available on Feb. 1. All beers will be available at Town Hall-7 Corners and sold in limited Crowlers.
- Czar Jack – A 2001 GABF gold medal winner, this annual imperial stout is aged in American white oak whiskey barrels. “We get a huge contribution of oak, vanilla, toasted caramel flavors, to name a few additions. The deep fruit flavors of the beer deepen and become nearly cherry-like, roasted malts turn to dark chocolate as the maturation in the barrel happens,” the brewery says, adding, “[that] Barrel manipulation gave us less leather/tobacco than the past couple years.” 9.5% ABV.
- Double Aged Triple Barrel Twisted Trace – Top flight selection.
- Single Barrel Manhattan Reserve – Inspired by the Manhattan cocktail and a popular annual bourbon barrel-aged cherry grand cru, 2021 presents a hand-selected single-barrel offering.
- #QuadGoals – On nitro today in the Finite Friday series, this is a one-off variant of Quadriga infused with caramel coffee beans. 10.1% ABV, 27 IBU, and very limited.
Venn Brewing Company
- Peanut Butter Oatmeal Stout – A thick 6.6%, 25 IBU peanut butter oatmeal stout.
- Helles – A new bright, blonde-in-color lager brewed with Tettnanger and Hallertau Mittelfrüh hops and a rarely used Minnesota Summit barley collected for the USDA Seed Bank from Central Minnesota in 1916.
Wild Mind Ales
- Ninja Smoke Bomb – An oak foeder-lagered smoke Helles with maple syrup and the third oak-lagered beer to be released from this foeder: “Rather than adding sweetness, the addition of maple syrup creates a subtle woody note, meant to play off the tannic character picked up [lagering],” the brewery explains.
- Planetary Shoes – A smoothie-style sour ale made with pineapple, mango, lime, and lactose. Coming in early 2021.
Beers just announced
- Oberon – Spring begins with Oberon on March 22.
Chaotic Good Brewing Company
Opening mid-month in Kasson, beginning as production only with plans for Crowlers later this year. The lineup will include:
- American IPA
- Belgian Tripel
- Cream ale
- Rye oatmeal stout
Dangerous Man Brewing Company
- Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout – Next Monday, Feb. 11, Dangerous Man will begin selling 750-milliliter bottles of this barrel-aged beauty.
Dual Citizen Brewing Company
- Mayhem and Mischief – “Amber in color, this classic American-style barleywine has aromas of overripe stone fruit, malt-forward flavors, and finishes hoppy. Hopped with Cascade and Centennial, we’d consider this a pretty approachable barleywine,” the brewery says. Coming in 750-milliliter bottles this month.
Fargo Brewing Company
- Oat Inna Boat – A new 6.6% ABV, 52 IBU oat IPA made with malted and rolled oats that give a full body and fluffy mouthfeel. To debut on Friday, Feb. 12.
- Infinity Chocolate Covered Cherry Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout – A dessert-inspired barrel-aged imperial stout, limited to Valentine’s Day weekend only (at all Blue Plate restaurants).
Indeed Brewing Company
- Pistachio Cream Ale – This was previously announced but now they’ve sent a save-the-date. Indeed’s popular cream ale will be sold in 6-packs year-round, with brand new artwork, beginning on Feb. 15.
Jack Pine Brewery
- Dead On Dill – A 4.3% ABV, 10 IBU dill cream ale, described after rigorous testing as “Cream Ale with just enough dill pickle juice added to complement the beer.” Available at the Baxter taproom on Monday, Feb. 8.
Lupulin Brewing Company
- Dave Duty – A 5.8% ABV festbier with spruce tips, coming this month.
- Imperial Raspberry Truffle – Just in time for Valentine’s Day, this is an imperial porter infused with rich chocolate, raspberry, and vanilla. 9.0% ABV, 30 IBU.
- Operation CoHoperation: Melvin – A collaboration with Melvin Brewing of Alpine, WY. “This West Coast-style double IPA is big and bold with a fruity kick. A clean canvas malt bill supports the bodacious amounts of Simoce and Columbus serving up their grapefruit and dank aromas. Then we bumped it up a notch with Talus to add citrus, woody, and floral notes,” Lupulin says. 9% ABV, 100+ IBU.
- Seeds of Change – Aged in Vikre bourbon barrels, Seeds of Change is an imperial stout with ancho, guajillo, and arbol chili peppers. Bottle release is set for Feb. 19 with a portion of proceeds to be donated to Witch Hunt.
- Sophistry 09 – The next Sophistry is described as a citrus bomb with Trident, Citra Cryo, Kohatu, Chinook, Ekuanot Cryo, and Bravo hops. 7.5% ABV, 60 IBU.
- Sticky Puddles – An 8% ABV imperial fruited sour, coming this month.
- Baltic Porter – Available in the next sampler pack from Mankato, a smoky and falt-forward porter with acidic fruit notes.
- Haymaker IPA – “The rich, malty base provides the windup for the hops’ crisp, bright citrus flavors.,” the brewery says. Available in their upcoming sampler pack.
Oskar Blues Brewery
- Slow Chill – A 5.0% ABV Vienna-style lager. Coming soon.
- Maibock – Back for 2021 in the next sampler pack.
Town Hall Brewery
Barrel Month continues with new themed releases each week. We’ve listed the beers in their order of release rather than alphabetically. All beers will be available at Town Hall-7 Corners and sold in limited Crowlers.
Double Barrel Week begins on Monday, Feb. 8, consisting of beers that aged in multiple barrels as they finished.
- Double Barrel Extra Milk Stout – A bourbon barrel-aged double milk stout. “Expect rich, baking spice, nuts, vanilla, oak, chocolate milk, and spicy whiskey in the nose. The flavor will keep you guessing with dark chocolate, nougat, additional baking spice, caramel, and more chocolate without the acidity one may expect from a beer such as this,” Town Hall says. 9.4% ABV. No actual chocolate was used in making this beer.
- Double Oak Eye of the Storm – A strong honey ale aged in a red wine barrel, then a fresh bourbon barrel, then another red wine barrel. A complex beer with traits from various stages in the finishing process, the beer presents caramel, vanilla, spice, and more. 9.7% ABV.
- Double Barrel Czar Jack – Imperial stout, first aged in a whiskey barrel, then a bourbon barrel. A 9.9% ABV unique twist on a classic Barrel Week/Month recipe.
Dessert Week begins on Monday, Feb. 15.
- Kentucky Truffle – “We made a strong stout with milk sugar that is rich in dark chocolate and fruit character and aged it in barrels chosen for caramel and vanilla notes, then finished the beer with a fantastic new chocolate,” the brewpub explains. 9.4% ABV.
- Vine’s Eye – “Our strongest American honey ale aged in French Oak red wine barrels,” this 9.2% ABV big beer gives complex honey sweetness complemented by pronounced red wine grape flavors and tannins, the brewery notes.
- Strawberry Stave – This dark wheat with strawberry ale is back, aged in American white oak bourbon barrels. Think of a drunken strawberry cobbler, Town Hall says, with sweet fruit and caramel notes, plus graham cracker, brown sugar, and a hint of whiskey. 9% ABV.
Classics Week begins on Monday, Feb. 22.
- Rye Barrel – A Roggen bier aged in American rye bourbon barrels. The final product gives traditional rye spiced and earthy notes, plus toasted fruit, rose petal floral, sweet cake frosting, caramel, and rich cherry tones. 8.3% ABV.
- Foolish Angel – A Belgian-style quad aged in bourbon barrels, this beer includes plum, banana, and fig flavors complemented by caramel, toffee, and chocolate tones from the barrel-aging process. 10% ABV.
- Twisted Trace – A bourbon barrel-aged barleywine that pours at 10% ABV and winner of the silver medal at 2013 GABF, Twiced Trace 2021 is a “Deceptively smooth and rich offering” defined by notes of dark berries, vanilla, sweet caramel, and Minnesota-made maple syrup.
Wild Mind Ales
- Imperially Yours – A new limited beer made with cocoa, caramel, vanilla, sea salt, and lactose. Available next Friday, Feb. 12, and sold in a special Valentine’s Day package.
Have a new beer we should know about? Send the details to firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion in Freshies.