Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild
WCCO Holiday Beers Tasting Notes
August Schell Brewing Co.
August Schell Brewing Co. was founded by German immigrant August Schell in 1860 and passed into the possession of the Schell family in 1866. It is the second oldest family-owned brewery in America and became the oldest and largest brewery in Minnesota when the company bought the rights to Grain Belt in 2002. In 2010 the brewery celebrated its 150th anniversary.
– 2012 Snowstorm
Biére de Noél
- Much like snowflakes, no two Snowstorm beers are alike.
- The 2012 Biére de Noél is a French style Christmas beer.
- A light amber beer with red tints. Malt-forward with noticeable yeast flavors of white pepper and citrus from an authentic French ale yeast.
- Slight herbal hop note in the background, with a spicy, citrusy, peppery aroma.
- Available in November, December, and January
Lift Bridge Brewing Co.
Lift Bridge Brewing Co., Stillwater, Minnesota’s first brewery since Prohibition, brews an array of beer styles, including their signature Farm Girl Saison and Pale Ale, as well as several seasonal styles. The Stillwater taproom is open for tours Saturdays.
-Biscotti Belgian-style ale has become Lift Bridge’s truest seasonal beer, with limited runs for the last four winters.
-Biscotti was created to emulate the traditional Italian cookie baked during the holiday season.
-Utilizes an array of malts, oats, wheat, local honey, light European hops and delicate spicing with Grains of Paradise, Madagascar vanilla beans, whole star anise, and traditional Belgian yeast.
-Available December 15, 2012
Summit Brewing Co.
Summit Brewing Company in St. Paul was founded in 1986 by Mark Stutrud, and is one of the top 50 breweries in the United States by output (approximately 105,000 barrels of beer per year). Summit’s Extra Pale Ale and Unchained Series (Summit brewers brew a beer of their choice for special release) are popular throughout the Twin Cities and beyond.
– Winter Ale
-Based on a British Winter Warmer style
-Spicy hops balanced by German black malts
-Nutty roasted malt flavor with hints of coffee, caramel and cocoa
-Velvety smooth finish with a hint of spice
-Available in stores now
Excelsior Brewing Co.
Founded in 2012, Excelsior Brewing Co. is a microbrewery located in downtown Excelsior, MN on Lake Minnetonka. The brewery is dedicated to honoring lake life and serving the surrounding communities. The brewery offers tours and growler sales, and Excelsior beers are on tap at a curated list of local bars and restaurants.
– Mr. Jimmy’s Baltic Porter
-A traditional Baltic lager crafted with licorice root and aged on cherry wood.
-A complex beer with notes of plum and raisin.
- The beer is the first in a series created by Excelsior Brewing Co. to honor Jimmy Hutmaker, Excelsior’s ambassador, greeter and historian, who passed away in 2007.
-While the lager may not be a substitute for the cherry soda Mr. Jimmy famously lamented (the reference that supposedly ended up in the Rolling Stones song “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”), it does promise to build on Jimmy’s charitable legacy. Excelsior will donate 10% of all proceeds from the limited edition porter to local food shelves.
-Available at the brewery now
Boom Island Brewing Co.
Boom Island Brewing Company opened in 2011 on the shores of the Mississippi, a hops throw away from their namesake island. Inspired by traditional Belgian recipes and brewing techniques, head brewer Kevin Welch brews Boom Island beers using pure Minnesota water and natural ingredients.
– Yule Ale
Belgian Strong Dark Ale
- This bottle-conditioned ale is Boom Island’s first seasonal brew.
-Aroma of malty richness layered over fruit and holiday spice.
-Rich dark malts meld with a handful of seasonal spices. Light fruit occasionally surfaces, along with the presence of the beer’s 12% ABV as it warms in the glass.
Olvalde Farm and Brewing Company is a small, traditional brewery located on a family farm in Rollingstone, Minnesota. Olvalde aims to craft fine ales that honor ancient brewing traditions and culture. Ales are warm conditioned on their lees, unfiltered, and refermented in the bottle.
– Ode to a Russian Shipwright
Imperial Stout Porter
-Rye, spruce, and roast highlight the nose and flavor, with complementary fruit and spice emerging as you drink.
-The flavor is malty and balanced, with a slightly sticky mouth feel.
-Recommended for cellaring.
-The 2012 release has a pronounced spruce character resulting from an exceptionally early and dry spring.
-Available in stores now
Third Street Brewhouse
Third Street Brewhouse is a newly constructed state-of-the-art craft brewery in Cold Spring, MN opened in 2011. The core beer styles include Bitter Neighbor Black IPA, Lost Trout Brown Ale, and Rise To The Top Cream Ale. Tours of the facilities are available Fridays and Saturdays.
– Sugar Shack Maple Stout
-Full-bodied stout with subtle but distinct hints of roasted and specialty malts.
-Its dark appearance is a testament to its robust nature, but it’s balanced with sweet and hoppy notes to produce a smooth, slightly creamy stout with a maple syrup finish.
Town Hall Brewery
The Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery was founded in 1997 by childhood friends Pete and Scot as a relaxed brewpub that serves as a gathering place for award-winning beer and great food. Town Hall attracts a diverse crowd of college students, business people, theater patrons and many more.
– Grinch’s Grog
-American pale ale featuring the pine-like Simcoe hop
-Available on December 10.
– Elves Elixir
-Baltic porter lager beer that is thick, rich and full of caramel and chocolate malt goodness
-Available on December 17.
-Chocolate banana wheat beer
-Dark Belgian chocolate and banana create a delicious holiday treat!
-Available on December 17.
**Festivus and Elves Elixir both debut on the night of Town Hall’s annual holiday (outdoor) fire and complimentary mulled ale tasting!