We attended the St Paul Summer Beer Fest this past weekend. It was our first time to this event and it was the first time the event has been held at the International Bizarre on the MN State Fairgrounds. Previously it had been in the parking lot of Midway Stadium. We gotta say, Mark and Juno (the organizers and promoters) made an excellent choice. This place was perfect for an event like this. Turns out we had some light rain most of the afternoon so it worked out even better and people could still walk around under the canopies etc. Great planning and layout and 76 breweries represented made for a great day.
We got there early, got our credentials and then got to work, craft beer abound! We got a chance to visit with friends and fans alike and met tons of new people. Several new breweries that we hadn’t had the opportunity to chat with before and many new products. Beer Guys TV kept very busy interviewing the beer fest goers as well as the brew masters and beer representitives. Of course we had to sample a beer or two as well, I mean come on!! Both of us Beer Guys agreed that there were really some outstanding selections. While we weren’t able to try them all, we both had a few that stood out to us.
The Beer Snob and The Beer Slob agreed that Lucky Bucket Brewing out of La Vista NE had one of the best IPA’s there. The Slob, who doesn’t care for IPA’s in general actually liked that one and The Snob agreed. Balanced and didn’t come off overpowering… it had some bite but not over the top. Good job Zac!
One of the most unique ales that we tried was from Olvalde Farmhouse Ales out of Rollingstone MN. A very small brewery utilizing some old world recipes. Joe Pond, owner and brewmaster, along with his wife Dinel, introduced us to Auroch’s Horn. This ale has lots of honey and barley/wheat in it and just a touch of hop. Very interesting and at 10% ABV you have to pace yourself. Very tasty and you don’t have to be a barbarian to enjoy it!
The Snob found the Vienna Country Lager from Herkimer Pub and Brewery in Minneapolis to be very refreshing and simple while still enough body to make it interesting.
The Sierra Nevada Summerfest also met the Beer Snob with grand approval, great on a warm Minnesota summers day. Clean and just enough hop to give it some crispness. The Slob enjoyed it as well.
St Croix Brewing Company offered a Cream Stout from the cask that was exceptionally tasty. Full bodied, dark ale had lots of chocolate taste
to it but was very smooth and drinkable. Shane our producer liked this one and thought a good cigar would make a nice pairing.
New Belgium Brewing from Ft Collins CO had their summer offering called ‘Somersault’. Very easy drinking , a touch of ginger gives it a unique tastes without overdoing it. The Beer Guys both enjoyed this one.
We both agreed on the Sason Nourrice from Harriet Brewing Company of Minneapolis. Very unique taste from a very unique brewery. The people who run the show there are having a good time and are all about being just a little different. Enjoyable atmosphere and beer!
There were many others and I wish we would have had the time (and bladder) to try more. While not all made our list of ‘must trys’, a larger than normal percentage did. It all comes back to what we talk about here on Beer Guys TV, try something different once in a while, ya never know when you will discover a new favorite.
So, despite the damp conditions, the St Paul Summer Beer Fest was success. We look forward to attending more events, with Mark and Juno putting them together, that’s a great start right there. Thanks to everyone we had a chance to talk to. Watch for video from the event coming soon. Until then …beers to ya!