Lupulin Imperial Raspberry Truffle • Photo via Lupulin 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.
There is a beer for every season and every holiday. This time around, show your true love how you feel with beer. Or maybe your true love is beer. In that case, then do we have a list for you.
This week’s newsletter is dominated by sweet and savory beers: think chocolate, vanilla, and even a cherry on top. While The Freehouse, Dangerous Man, OMNI, and Wild Mind all have beers in that big, bold domain, dessert comes in many seductive flavors from honey to passionfruit.
But not every beer can be dessert. And that’s why this list includes plenty of lagers, cream ales, brown ales, smoothie sours, and juicy IPAs too.
Each week, the Beer Dabbler team highlights five of the most tantalizing new beers that we’re most excited to try.
Birch’s on the Lake Kellerbier – A 5.8% ABV unfiltered German-style lager brewed with Hallertau hops.
The Freehouse Infinity Chocolate Covered Cherry Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout – A dessert-inspired barrel-aged imperial stout, limited to Valentine’s Day weekend (at all Blue Plate restaurants).
Jack Pine 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.
Lift Bridge Irish Coffee Stout – Preorders for Crowlers of this spring seasonal are available now. Irish Coffee Stout is a toasty and creamy milk stout that is blended with whiskey barrel-aged imperial stout and finished off with roasted Five Watt coffee.
Pryes Northern Tropic – The first Cartographer Collection release of the year is a fruited smoothie sour-style ale made with strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, and mango, and sold in cans for a limited time.
New beers available this week
608 Brewing Company
- Rype: Barney Blood – The latest Rype fruit sour features blueberry and passion fruit which impart acidic and fruity flavors in addition to bright, atypical colors. 5.5% ABV.
- The Number Guys 2 1/2 – A collaboration with 1840 Brewing Company of Milwaukee, this is a 9.0% ABV hazy double IPA that shows off Sabro, BRU-1, and El Dorado hops. “Bright tropical fruit flavors of pineapple and mango, with a note we can only describe as ‘fruity pebbles,’” 608 says.
Arbeiter Brewing Company
Arbeiter kicks off its new Acid Factory sour series with two brand new releases today:
- Acid Factory Peach – Using the same base beer as Plum AF, this kettle sour uses Wai-iti hops for nectarine-like flavors, which are then complemented with the addition of peach.
- Acid Factory Plum – “Arbeiter’s first kettle sour! The base for this version of Acid Factory was inspired by a traditional Berliner Weisse which is a very low-ABV wheat ale with a tart/sour component from either lactobacillus or other bacteria,” the brewery explains. With plum.
Bad Weather Brewing Company
- Dust Devil – A dark milk British-style session ale that pours at 3.7% ABV, 20 IBU with notes of biscuit, raisin, caramel, coffee, and a subtle roastiness,” the brewery says.
Birch’s on the Lake
- Kellerbier – Top Flight selection.
Chaotic Good Brewing Company
- Initiative Cream Ale – Now open (though not to the public) in Kasson, the brewery’s initial release is a 5% ABV cream ale made from all Minnesota malt and hops. Available via curbside and delivery in limited supply.
- Shed Drop IPA – “Named for a particularly eventful day in our construction this IPA comes in at 6.8% and features Minnesota-grown Centennial and Cashmere hops,” Chaotic Good says.
- Whats Sa Bro Hazy IPA – “Sabro hops! That’s what’s up! This Hazy IPA is bursting with tropical fruit flavors and hints of coconut and cream due to the massive hop bill containing the ever so elusive Southern Passion and Sabro hops.” 5.5% ABV.
- Stellar Series Pomegranate & Pink Guava Sour – “This rotating fruited sour series has a magnificent pucker with a lucious fruit aura to balance. Pink Guava and Pomegranate combine with subtle notes of white grape and citrus from Nelson Sauvin and Centennial hops that make every strata of this beer exceptional.” 5.6% ABV.
- Ruff Day Porter – “Rough Day?! It’s one of those times you just want to have a beer with your best canine pal. They know how “Ruff” it is out there. This dark delight boasts a bold roast upfront with smooth notes of chocolate and coffee that linger, with delicate herbal notes to balance.” 6.5% ABV.
- Exhaustdead Smoked Black IPA – New to stores. This Black IPA has a hint of smoke over a roasty malty backbone, providing a slight dryness that compliments an herbal bitterness. It will remind you of bonfires and bacon, while making you forget the horrifying bacon bonfire of ’75. And yes that is a fictitious and delicious event.” 7.5% ABV.
Dangerous Man Brewing Company
- Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout – A barrel-aged imperial stout sold in 750-milliliter bottles.
- Cherry Twist Stout – Made with chocolate, vanilla, and dark cherries, “The Cherry Twist Stout dances with coffee and caramel notes, and undertones of cherries. We swirled in vanilla and dark cherry puree. It’s a rich stout with a zap of cherry tartness,” Dangerous Man says.
Earth Rider Brewery
- Stoney Point IPA – The IPA is now available in a new package: 4-packs of 16-ounce cans.
Fair State Brewing Cooperative
- Dessert Week – “An homage to sticky toffee pudding, a classic British dessert I would never have known existed were it not for Netflix,” the brewery explains. Dessert Week is made with lactose, caramel, date syrup, and vanilla, atop a stout base. “The vanilla really pops in this beer,” Fair State says. 8.1% ABV.
- Too Far Juice – A 5.9% ABV fruited smoothie sour with plum, blackberry, lactose, and marshmallows made in collaboration with Drekker.
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.
High Pines Brewing Co.
The newly-open Roseville brewery is currently pouring the following:
- Invisible Barricade – An IPA with orange, grapefruit, and pineapple flavors with a crisp, bitter finish.
- Honey Pines Honey Blonde – A smooth blonde ale with a sweet hint of honey from the inclusion of honey malt while brewing.
- Liquid In Your Jacket – A session IPA with melon, papaya, and mango-like flavors.
- Love Letters To Whatever w/ Raspberry – “This wheat beer is delightfully tart with bright notes of raspberry and peach,” the brewery says on its website.
- S’mores Please Brown Ale – Described as a robust and smooth brown ale with notes of chocolate and marshmallow.
Jack Pine Brewery
- Dead On Dill – Top Flight selection.
Junkyard Brewing Co.
- Pulpasaurus New England Style IPA – “Together, Citra and El Dorado hops bring aromas of apricot and citrusy zest. These aromas are paired with flavors of tropical fruit, juicy orange, and a touch of herbal notes,” the brewery says.
- Saturday Things – A tart sour IPA brewed with strawberry, passionfruit, and “a dash” of lactose. 7.5% ABV.
- Wake Up Late Vanilla Coffee Stout with Maple – Stout with maple, vanilla, and caramel espresso roast coffee that combine to give French toast, milk chocolate, and cold brew coffee-like flavors, the brewery says. 10% ABV.
Lakeville Brewing Co.
- Blackberry Smoke – “Take an imperial-sized porter brewed with a healthy dose of smoked malts, then finish it off with a hearty addition of blackberries,” Lakeville says of this 8.2% porter that taps today.
- Hanappe Ranch Organic Brown Ale – An American brown ale brewed with organic malt and wheat, plus local honey. “Light orange citrus and honey aroma give way to a full-bodied malt-forward flavor balanced by a firmly bitter finish,” the brewery says.
- Welch Woods Cherry Picker – At 9.3% ABV, this is a Belgian-style winter warmer with cherry. Expect notes of cherry, honey, dark chocolate, and spice.
Lift Bridge Brewing Company
- Irish Coffee Stout – Top Flight selection.
Luce Line Brewing Co.
- Dakota Hazy Double IPA – A new hazy double IPA.
Lupulin Brewing Company
- 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.
Modist Brewing Co.
- Fruitropolis – “An imperial smoothie sour brewed with barley malt, wheat malt, milk sugar, double the passion fruit, double the raspberry, and double the pineapple,” Modist says. 8% ABV, and available at the brewery as well as liquor stores.
New Glarus Brewing Company
- Triple 5 – The first 2021 release in the Thumbprint series is a Belgian-style tripel made with five unique grains and a 9% ABV. Available across the border only, as always.
OMNI Brewing Co.
- Barrel-Aged Raspberry Cacao Léon – A Valentine’s Day-only release, just 60 Crowlers of this Léon will be sold in a special package, paired with a mini bundt cake and set of coasters.
Pryes Brewing Co.
- Northern Tropic – Top Flight selection.
- Celtic Glow – A 5.4% ABV, 15 IBU lemon and lime sour ale.
- Royal Bean – A 5.4% ABV, 15 IBU pineapple and vanilla sour ale.
- Infinity Chocolate Covered Cherry Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout – Top Flight selection.
Thor’s Hard Cider
The cidery in Stillwater celebrates its “season opener” this weekend with taproom hours beginning today at 10 am.
- Arctic Rosé
- Dry Cran
- El Thoro
- Forget Me Not
- Ginger Fizz
- Norse Berry
- Pom Cheri
- Winter Solstice
Thousand Lakes Brewing Co.
- Tent Pitcher – Tapped last weekend, “This spin on a traditional German Pilsner is made with relatively new German hops – Perle and Mandarina Bavaria. These new-age hops add an assertive fruity/floral hop nose and flavor that balances the light grainy/honey sweetness from the Pilsner malt base,” the brewery says. 4.9% ABV.
Tin Whiskers Brewing Company
- Pineapple Smoothie Sour – Available now in Crowlers only.
- Salted Nut Roll Ale – The Pearson candy collaboration is back for 2021. Inspired by the Nut Roll candy bar, Tin Whiskers (to-go only) is selling this offering in Crowlers beginning today.
Town Hall Brewery
Barrel Month continues with new themed releases each week. are available at Town Hall-7 Corners and sold in limited Crowlers. This week marked Double Barrel Week, consisting of beers that aged in multiple barrels as they finished. Check out the full monthly listing in last week’s Freshies, including special releases tapping on Monday, Feb. 15.
- 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.
Urban Forage Winery and Cider House
- Blackcurrant cider – On tap at the newly opened taproom this weekend.
- Cran-cherry cider – On tap at the newly opened taproom, where the entire lineup is red in color to mark the occasion.
Venn Brewing Company
- Cosmosis: Black Currant Passion Fruit – The latest in Venn’s imperial kettle sour Cosmosis series blends black currant and passion fruit for a 9.0% ABV, 0 IBU sour ale.
Wild Mind Ales
- Imperially Yours – A dessert-minded Valentine’s Day beer made with cocoa, caramel, vanilla, sea salt, and lactose. Available in limited supply and sold in a special merch bundle to add a little extra love to the holiday.
Wooden Hill Brewing Company
- HoneyComb – A cream ale brewed with lactose and Minnesota wildflower honey. 6% ABV and available from the brewery on CO2 or nitro, tap or to-go.
- Pixie Catcher – A sweet and tart sour ale made with cranberry, raspberry, and lactose. 4.5% ABV and back on tap (and in Crowlers) for a limited time.
Beers just announced
- Crispy Business – A Czech-style Pilsner brewed with Saaz hops. This beer taps next week at the brewery and will also be sold in cans at area liquor stores. 4.4% ABV.
- Tippled Brown – “A light and flavorful brown ale with a hint of roast,” the brewery says. 4.4% ABV and available only at the taproom, beginning next week.
- Contains Bees – Tapping again next Monday, Contains bees is a peanut butter honey blonde made with Minnesota honey that adds bright notes to the PB-sweetened blonde.
Inbound BrewCo Contains Bees • Photo via Inbound BrewCo
Lake Monster Brewing
- Ginger-Lemongrass Sour – According to a brewery newsletter, an upcoming pilot batch beer is a kettle sour made with ginger and lemongrass.
Lupulin Brewing Company
- Barrel God: Woodford Reserve – An upcoming barrel-aged imperial stout. 14% ABV.
- Tropical Fun Pants – A fruited blonde ale is in the works. 5% ABV.
OMNI Brewing Co.
- Garage Karate – A New England IPA in a series of hazies named after moments from Will Ferrell’s career. This IPA will be sold in cans at area liquor stores later this month.
Waconia Brewing Company
- Barley Wine – Available beginning on Tuesday, Feb. 23.
- Driftwood – The bourbon barrel-aged Russian imperial stout will be sold soon, the brewery says in a recent newsletter.
- Lunchbox Porter – Available next Tuesday, Feb. 16.
- Mint Chocolate Chip Porter – Available next Tuesday, Feb. 16.
Have a new beer we should know about? Send the details to email@example.com for inclusion in Freshies.