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.
The big, bold, and dark beers of Black Friday carry into another week. With Minnesota in stay-at-home mode and the daylight hours dwindling for another few weeks, it’s fitting to see so many heavy big-hitters that top 10%.
While there are multiple double barrel-aged beers on this week’s list of new releases, though, there are lighter flavors for every palate too. Lupulin has a traditional dark lager in the works, AEGIR recently tapped a black IPA, and there are plenty of spiced seasonal ales to enjoy.
Each week in Freshies Top Flight, the Beer Dabbler team highlights five of the most tantalizing new beers that we’re most excited to try.
Photos via the breweries
Back Channel Double Barrel Aged Soviet Slayer – An 11% ABV double barrel-aged imperial stout aged that debuted last week after spending time in both bourbon and cognac barrels.
Barrel Theory Superfly – “It’s a Berliner with passionfruit, blackberry, mango, boysenberry, tangerine, vanilla, and marshmallow. No lactose though,” Barrel Theory says.
Fair State Life Ain’t Fair – A big barleywine with a malt-forward chocolate note as well as sweet honey and caramel flavors. 14.8% ABV.
Modist Bite Size – Available at both the brewery and at liquor stores, Bite Size is a chocolate stout that was conditioned on peanut butter cup candy, coffee, and cocoa nibs.
Waconia Red Branch Irish Red – A new Irish red ale with biscuit, toffee, and caramel flavors with a subtle and dry hop bitterness at the finish. 4.6% ABV, 19 IBU.
New beers available this week
AEGIR Brewing Company
- Black Helmet – A black IPA named in honor of firefighters everywhere.
- Cinnamon Fall Stout – A limited Crowler beer that comes with a cinnamon stick in each can.
Alloy Brewing Company
- Hard Rapids Seltzer – A 5.3% ABV hard seltzer made with real lime and cranberry.
- Holidaze Old Ale – At 5.9% ABV, 40 IBU described as “gently spiced with a touch of cold-pressed coffee.”
????Beer & Seltzer Release????
Holidaze Old Ale (5.9% ABV/40 IBU) – gently spiced w/ a touch of cold-pressed coffee by @HerbanWolfDeli
Hard Rapids Seltzer (5.3% ABV) – a true craft seltzer, w/ real lime & cranberries
Mixed 3 Packs Available (limited quantity)https://t.co/HkPrdDwFxJ pic.twitter.com/E0l9npskV2
— Alloy Brewing Company (@AlloyBrewingCo) November 25, 2020
Back Channel Brewing
- Double Barrel Aged Soviet Slayer – Top Flight selection.
- Soviet Slayer – Back Channel’s base imperial stout returns. 10.0% ABV.
Bad Habit Brewing Company
- Punk-O with Dark Belgian Chocolate Chips – Designed as a dessert beer for the holidays, this is a spiced pumpkin ale with Belgian chocolate chips that debuted on Black Friday.
- Sugar High Wildberry Sour – A new sour ale available this week.
- Double Loop – An export stout that pours at 8% ABV, Bang describes Double Loops as “super smooth…with notes of caramel, toffee, chocolate and cherry.” Available in 750-milliliter bottles.
Just one more sleep until 750mls of our export stout are available! Double LOOP rings in at 8% w a super smooth malt bill. Beautiful roast w notes of caramel, toffee, chocolate & cherry. It’s been a YEAR. Our gatherings may be smaller though our gratitude is bigger than ever. pic.twitter.com/gibdROrfNx
— Bang Brewing (@bangbrewing) November 23, 2020
Barrel Theory Beer Company
- Super Devil Juice – An oat cream IPA with a sweet base paired with a bitterly hopped finish.
- Superfly – Top Flight selection.
Bauhaus Brew Labs
- Big Thank IPA – Available last week (hence the name), this IPA features Strata and Azacca hops for fresh berry, tropical melon, and cannabis notes. 6% ABV, 72 IBU.
Beaver Island Brewing Co.
- Tip Up
- Munich Dunkel – “A smooth, clean beer with notes of bread crust, toasted nuts and a dry, malty finish. Subtle spice and balance from Hallertau hops provides just enough bitterness to create a balanced pint,” the brewery says. Available from Bemidji now and hitting liquor stores next week.
Big Axe Brewing Company
- Crypt Kicker – An imperial stout that released in bottles last weekend.
Big Wood Brewery
- Black Anvil – A 9.5% ABV imperial stout that returned last week. Available at the brewery or via their delivery service for those in range.
- Thanks A Lot IPA – Made with Strata and Amarillo Cryo hops.
Block North Brew Pub
- The Gilby – A gluten-free apple beer from the brewpub in Aitkin. “Crisp and dry,” Block North says, and made with local apples and sorghum malt.
Boom Island Brewing Company
- Mexican Chocolate Porter – A small batch release that is available in take-home Crowlers from the Minnetonka-based brewery.
Bricksworth Beer Co.
- Racks – A new 9.0% ABV double dry-hopped double IPA made with flaked wheat and flaked oats and showcasing a blend of Mosaic, Amarillo, Sabro, and Strata hops. The new Burnsville brewery also features rotating sours, Silverware Citra House Blonde, Head N’ Shoulders Coconut Stout, Universally Panned Hazy IPA, Pizza Rolls hazy IPA, and Styrofoam Cups Oatmeal Coffee Milk Stout.
Central Waters Brewing Co.
- Fat Elvis – A robust-but-smooth imperial IPA with chocolate and caramel flavors complemented by roast and bitter hop character. 10.6% ABV, 30 IBU.
- Laid Back – “Blooming with botanical flavors and aroma and blended with tangerines, this New England–style IPA is brewed with Amarillo and Simcoe hops, tangerines, and gin flavoring,” the brewery says.
Here’s a little something to brighten your day! Blooming with botanical flavors and aroma and blended with tangerines, this New England style IPA is brewed with Amarillo and Simcoe hops, Tangerines, and gin flavoring. Available in Amherst now and distribution markets soon! pic.twitter.com/YIr7Ivy3vu
— Central Waters Brewing Co. (@CWBrewing) October 22, 2020
Dangerous Man Brewing Company
- Matchbox Coffee Porter – “This smooth porter is dark and roasty with prominent notes of dark chocolate and robust coffee,” Dangerous Man says.
- Overfruited Blue Pom Gose – A 9.6% ABV self-proclaimed “juice bomb” with big flavors of fresh blueberry and pomegranate.
Fair State Brewing Cooperative
- Life Ain’t Fair – Top Flight selection.
- North Star Pils – “A crispy little Pilsner (only 4.4%) brewed to celebrate the debut of a new Pilsner malt of the same name from our local maltsters at Rahr in Shakopee. It’s a cool malt for lager nerds, because it’s moderately undermodified, meaning you have to work a little harder to get at the sugars in there, which is perfect, because doing that work tends to create lagers of greater nuance and depth,” Fair State said in its weekly newsletter. The new Pils uses Diamant hops for extra citrus character.
- Riffs and Filters – At 14.2% ABV, this is a big double barrel-aged stout that was over two years in the making. Available in limited supply today, this non-adjunct stout showcases complex flavors from spending time in two different barrels.
For the first time in our Foraging history, we will be releasing a double barrel beer which also happens to be our second ever non-adjuncted stout. This finely crafted beer, Riffs and Filters, has been in the works for two years and will make its debut this Friday. pic.twitter.com/MlC8iXenf5
— Forager Brewery (@ForagerBrewery) December 1, 2020
Great Lakes Brewing Company
- Christmas Ale
Junkyard Brewing Co.
- Keep Me Cold Jammy Sour with Strawberry and Mango! – Sweet and sour, juicy and tart, Junkyard explains of this recent Crowler release. 7.8% ABV.
- Uncrushable Imperial Stout – “This incredibly dark beer is filled with flavors of candied fruit, fig, and fudge,” Junkyard says. 13.7% ABV.
Lift Bridge Brewing Company
- Biscotti – Lift Bridge’s annual Belgian-style golden ale inspired by biscotti cookies is back. Brewed with golden and amber malts, vanilla, and cocoa nibs, this is a 7.48% ABV winter seasonal.
- Three Bandits – A coffee porter that Lupine describes as dark, rich, and smooth. 6.5% ABV.
Modist Brewing Co.
- Bite Size – Top Flight selection.
- Liquid Citra Crystals – Debuting at the taproom (to go) on Saturday, this double dry-hopped hazy IPA will also be sold in liquor stores starting on the 8th. The New England IPA features both Citra and Cryo Citra.
Rogue Ales & Spirits
- Yellow Snow – A 5.5% ABV Czech-style Pilsner with Oregon spruce tips.
- Apeel Me – A 5.4% ABV, 28 IBU blood orange and grapefruit wheat ale. Available in growlers and Crowlers from the brewery.
- Fruity Rubble – Cream ale with inspiration from Fruity Pebbles cereal, this beer is available in to-go Crowlers and growlers. Rustech will also begin a limited delivery route next week.
- Limited Resource – A limited release New England IPA that was made with an Austrian yeast strain and was then double dry-hopped with Amarillo and Azacca.
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Stacked Deck Brewing Co.
- 2 – Stacked Deck celebrated their second anniversary this week with a new double dry-hopped double IPA. The special release is simply named “2” and features Citra, Galaxy, and Nelson Sauvin hops.
- Bob Ross Masterpiece – A new IPA, as of last week, made with Idaho 7 and Simcoe hops.
Summit Brewing Company
- Winter Ale – Back in stores now.
Surly Brewing Company
- 13 – Sold in individual 16-ounce cans and special foil-embossed packaging, this is a maple barrel-aged imperial stout with vanilla beans and lactose. “Expect notes of dark chocolate, roasted malt, and aromatic vanilla atop the rich maple flavors,” the brewery says. 12.5% ABV.
- Abrasive – Surly’s regarded double IPA, defined by tropical fruit character and a bitter finish, is back for the season. 9.2% ABV.
- Fall To Pieces – 6.8% ABV and one of three seasonal beers in the new winter Mixed Messages variety pack.
- Grindcore – A 5.3% ABV espresso milk stout and one of three seasonal offerings in the Mixed Messages variety pack.
Talking Waters Brewing Co.
- Island Escapades – The inaugural beer in a new series of imperial sour releases from Talking Waters. Beer number 1 is infused with pineapple, toasted coconut, tangerine, nutmeg, and molasses. 7.5% ABV.
- Muletide – Inspired by the Moscow Mule cocktail and out just in time for Christmas, this new holiday gose is an ale with added cranberry, pomegranate, fresh ginger and lime. 5.5% ABV.
Tin Whiskers Brewing Company
- Cherry Dream State – A cream ale with cherry and vanilla that Tin Whiskers describes as “[a] perfect blend of sweet, tart, and smooth.” Available in liquor stores and from the brewery to-go.
- Winter Wheatstone Bridge – A new take on Wheatstone Bridge, this variant is infused with real cinnamon and orange peel. Available to-go from the brewery now and at liquor stores next week.
Toppling Goliath Brewing Co.
- Kauiju Clash – “Kaiju Clash is the collision of two stout behemoths with notes of vanilla frosting, dark chocolate, and espresso up front, that gently segues into bourbon drizzled brownies,” Toppling Goliath says. On draft for a limited time at the Decorah, Iowa taproom on December 4–5.
Waconia Brewing Company
- Jan’s Juice – An American-style hop-forward pale ale made with Mosaic and Strate hops, and dry-hopped with Citra.
- Red Branch Irish Red – Top Flight selection.
- Robust Porter – The base beer for Waconia’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter. 6.1% ABV, 30 IBU.
- Dusseldorf Alt – “Brewed with a mix of German noble hops, our version is fermented with a classic ale yeast at cooler temperatures and then lagered for several weeks to produce both the nutty malt aroma of a brown ale and the dry finish and lingering hop aroma of a dark lager,” Waldmann says of this new offering. Available in takehome big cans from the brewpub.
Wild Mind Ales
- Electric Rainbow – Available in 16-ounce cans at liquor stores only (not at the brewery), this is a 4.5% ABV sour ale brewed with raspberry, peach, and lemon, before dry-hopping with Azacca to emphasize the stone fruit and citrus character.
- Punk Tacos – A mango-forward hazy IPA that pours at 6.5% ABV. “To push this beer to the next level of fruit flavor saturation, we then added over 100 lbs of mango puree. The resulting product is a tropical fruit bomb, with fleshy mango taking center focus, but you can also expect soft notes of stone fruit, and a sprinkling of pine needles,” Wild Mind says.
- Strawberry XXIII – Another liquor store exclusive, this sour ale is a collaboration with New Image Brewing Co. as is modeled after a strawberry gin cocktail. 4.5% ABV.
- The Mission Begins – A hazy pale ale made with Simcoe, Motueka, and Ella hops. $1 from each Crowler will be donated to Mission 22.
Wooden Hill Brewing
- Mango Habanero Kolsch – A new “extremely small batch” beer, available from the Edina brewery. 4.7% ABV.
Beers just announced
Dual Citizen Brewing Company
- Mayhem and Mischief – Just brewed this week, this upcoming American-style barleywine promises caramelly malt-forward flavors with a dose of Cascade, Centennial, and Magnum hops shining through.
Lupulin Brewing Company
- Black Lager – A traditional light-body dark lager with hints of coffee and chocolate. At 5.0% ABV, 30 IBU, Lupulin will share this beer in mid-December.
- Cerise De Chance w/ Cinnamon & Vanilla – An upcoming bottle release, this beer will be a Belgian-style ale w/ Brettanomyces, fruit and spices.
- Chocolate Orange Lateralus – The next Lateralus series imperial stout infusion will feature cacao nibs and orange peel. 11% ABV and coming mid-month.
- Fugacity #6 – An upcoming bottle release, this will be a barrel-aged golden sour with apricot, tangerine, and blood orange.
- Keep The Change You Filthy Animal – A Red Cow and Red Rabbit collaboration hazy double IPA with mango, grapefruit, and passion fruit flavors. Coming later this month. 8.0% ABV, 70 IBU.
Surly Brewing Company
Three variants of Darkness 2020 will hit area liquor stores on December 11.
- Double Vanilla Darkness – A rye barrel-aged Russian imperial stout with cacao and vanilla beans.
- Mole Darkness – This Darkness variant was aged in bourbon barrels, with additional flavors coming from the inclusion of vanilla beans, cinnamon, chilies, and chocolate.
- Vietnamese Coffee Darkness – Darkness aged in rum barrels, with added Robusta and Arabica coffee, vanilla, and coconut.
- 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. Available Dec. 18.
- Moving Pictures – A new juicy IPA with flavors of grapefruit, mango, and papaya and dry-hopped with Amarillo, El Dorado, Mosaic, and Lotus hops will debut mid-month.
- Periscope – Sold in the Mixed Messages variety pack, this new West Coast-style pale ale has crisp, citrus, and floral character and pours at 5.5% ABV.
Waconia Brewing Company
- Mint Porter – Scheduled to be available beginning Dec. 8.
Have a new beer we should know about? Send the details to firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion in Freshies.