Craft Beer Reviews: Our Thoughts on Minnesota's Best Brews

Posted by Beau Farrell on Jul 28, 2016 2:09:56 PM

We often write about Minnesota craft beers. Why? Because so many are truly well-crafted, rooted in tradition – and, most importantly, great to drink. Isn’t that what a good beer should be, thirst quenching good?

When we are asked for our thoughts on Minnesota’s best brews, we can offer our take on some of our favorites and some of the top sellers. But ultimately, after our craft beer reviews, we leave the final decision to you. After all, everyone’s tastes differ and there is no right or wrong when it comes to what hops make you happy. But we do have some opinions to share. 

Here are out thoughts on some of Minnesota’s best brews:

Lift Bridge – For those who love hops, check out Hop Dish (7.5% ABV) or the highly drinkable Farm Girl (5.8% ABV). Read our Lift Bridge blog.

Fulton Brewery – A standout IPA to check out, Sweet Child of Vine IPA (6.4% ABV). Find out what else these folks produce by reading our blog on Fulton. 

Summit - We love this American IPA, Summit Sága IPA (6.4% ABV).

Here’s more in our blog about Summit Beer.

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Made in Minnesota: Tattersall Distilling

Posted by Beau Farrell on Jun 28, 2016 4:32:51 PM

If you are a fan of craft cocktails, there is a good chance you’ve already tipped back some of the toast-worthy gin, vodka, and an aquavit from Tattersall Distilling. The Northeast cocktail room has only been opened a year and it has already garnered accolades including “Best Distillery” by the StarTribune. 

At Haskell’s, we have been proudly carrying these local libations so you can craft your own version of the killer cocktails you’ve had around town. You might be surprised to learn that the majority of Tattersall’s offerings are specialty liqueurs.

Tattersall Distilling Spirits: 

  • Gin – It’s their flagship with 22 botanicals in their recipe.
  • Barreled Gin – Their gin conditioned in French oak white wine barrels. Sipping gin. 
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Made in Minnesota: Bad Weather Brewing

Posted by Beau Farrell on Jun 2, 2016 2:37:02 PM

The weather. It gives even the quietest Minnesotans something to talk about. But in St. Paul, it’s the Bad Weather – as in Bad Weather Brewing – that has beer lovers talking. The 7th Street Brewery and Taproom is a hot spot in the Capital City, with a lineup of great seasonal beers and rotating food trucks bringing a sense of the unpredictable that is, indeed, like the Minnesota weather.


Bad Weather Brewing’s flagship beer is a four season IPA. No need to worry about high winds, humidity, or hot flashes.

ABV: 6.0% 
Malts: American & British Pale, Caramel, Roasted, Belgian


Pours gold with a thick white head.

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Made in Minnesota: J. Carver Distillery

Posted by Beau Farrell on May 10, 2016 4:16:48 PM

Drive about 35 miles southwest of the Twin Cities and you’ll find a town of 10,697 with a number of buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s a quaint town, by all means, but what Waconia has to offer besides its history, is a booming wine, craft beer, and distillery business. Enter J. Carver Distillery, named after pioneer and frontiersman Jonathan Carver – Carver County’s namesake.

Gin, vodka, bourbon, whiskey…..that’s all on the growing list of spirits being crafted at the J. Carver Distillery

They call their gin “a whiskey lover’s gin,” perhaps due to the fact that it starts with batches of gin ‘resting' in Minnesota-made virgin bourbon barrels for just weeks to months, depending on the maturity of flavors, with constant monitoring for progress and adjusting of botanicals. Even the hue of the gin is unique: medium amber rather than clear. 

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Made in Minnesota: Seven of the Best Minnesota IPAs

Posted by Beau Farrell on Apr 19, 2016 3:05:23 PM

The popularity of the bitter, hoppy IPA is a trend that keeps steadily moving forward. IPAs are always popular in Minnesota because we have so many local breweries producing outstanding India Pale Ales. We thought we’d share a six-pack-plus-one of our hoppy favorites. It’s like picking your favorite child – we have a special affection for all Minnesota breweries but for the sake of making a list, we’re taking a stand. Here in the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes, we’ve come up with seven of the best Minnesota IPAs.

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Made in Minnesota: 612Brew

Posted by Beau Farrell on Mar 22, 2016 4:51:44 PM

612 undoubtedly says Minneapolis. It’s the telephone prefix that separates the state’s largest city from the rest. And, at 612Brew, it is easy to see Minneapolis reflected in its massive industrial taproom and brewhouse.

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Made in Minnesota: Mankato Brewery

Posted by Beau Farrell on Feb 22, 2016 2:00:53 PM

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Made in Minnesota: Olvalde Brewing

Posted by Beau Farrell on Feb 4, 2016 4:58:10 PM

In the small town of Rollingstone, Minnesota, is a brewery creating some big, rich tastes. Small? We’re talking last count of 658 people in the town (which is a few miles northwest of Winona). The brewery? That’s Olvalde, owned by brewer Joe Pond. Since 2011, some mighty fine traditional ale has been brewing at what the Star Tribune called “the state’s most interesting brewery.”

The Olvalde Farm and Brewing Company is crafting ale in honor of ancient traditions. All of their ales are warm conditioned on their lees, unfiltered, and refermented in the bottle. The rolling hills of the small farm town and brewery not far from the Mississippi River may have lent a hand in the romance and poetry of their ales. These are some hefty names that match beautifully with their namesake. 

What’s brewing at Olvalde? Here’s a rundown of what Joe Pond has been crafting over in Rollingstone: 

The Auroch’s Horn

Brewed with barley, wheat, and honey, the brewer recommends serving at cellar temperatures – 50-55 degrees F. This one has a distinctly honey with complementing yeast, fruit, and alcohol notes. Well balanced. Thick, frothy white foam.

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Steel Toe Brewery: Made in Minnesota

Posted by Beau Farrell on Jan 14, 2016 3:26:27 PM

In St. Louis Park, Minnesota is a small brewery kicking out some big flavor. The family-owned Steel Toe Brewery has been producing west-coast style American ales and unique interpretations of German, Belgian and English beers since opening its doors in 2011. However, it took a decade of carefully crafting a plan to make it come to fruition. It’s quite a story. Kudos and cheers to them, because it means more locally made in Minnesota beer for you.

Let’s get to the Steel Toe brews themselves. There are four mainstays and a seasonal offering.

Size 7 IPA

While the size of the boot might be a bit small, the intensity of the hop flavor and aroma in Size 7 more than makes up for it. Steel Toe takes prodigious amounts of hops and adds them any chance they get to this Northwest style IPA.

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MN Beer Events in 2016 to Keep on Your Radar

Posted by Beau Farrell on Jan 7, 2016 3:44:11 PM

Enjoying a beer has long been a social event. We gather at bars, get together with buddies, and share camaraderie over a cold one. But don’t let cold weather keep you from getting out there enjoying all things brewed. There is always something fun happening in Minnesota because we don’t let cold temperatures or a little keep us cooped up. So, here is our list of MN beer events in 2016 to keep on your radar during the first few months of the year.

Into the Black Day

Imperial Black IPA Release Party

Bank Brewing Company – Hendricks, MN

January 9, 2016

Enjoy live music with the Carlson and Johnson band (goes on at 5:00 pm), pizza, nachos, and beer. For tickets, click here

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