MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — If you’re interested in giving Minnesota products this holiday season, what’s more Minnesotan than Minnesota beer?

With nearly 40 breweries in Minnesota, a guy like Mike Hoops has never been happier.

A head brewmaster at Town Hall Brewery in Minneapolis, Hoops and his fellow members of the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild are up to their pint glasses in winter beer.

“The winter beers will offer more malt, more body, deeper flavors,” he said. “Beer that can traditionally warm up a little bit. And the flavors will come out even more.”

Hoops helped assemble a Minnesota six-pack, with classics like New Ulm’s Schell’s Snowstorm, and Summit’s Winter Ale from St. Paul.

“Right away, you notice the color — deep chestnut, in come the chocolate, the caramel, the little raisin character,” Hoops said.

You’ll certainly want the Biscotti from Stillwater’s Lift Bridge.

“You can taste the honey,” he said. “It’s bready. You want to mix it with some foods. It would be great with turkey; give a little sweetness.”

Like many limited edition beers, it comes in a 750 milliliter bottle – great for a gift.

And there’s Twelve percent alcohol content in Yule, which is brand new from Boom Island in Minneapolis.

“Beers like this are designed to drink at 55 degrees,” he said.

Beer 5 is from Excelsior Brewing and in a half-gallon growler.

“People are finding more and more that the color doesn’t necessarily mean (it’s) bad,” Hoops said.

And the sixth beer comes from Hoops and Town Hall.

“We have three beers coming out in two weeks,” Hoops said.

Festivus is made with Belgian chocolate and bananas.


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