Now that all the hordes NCAA-crazed interlopers are gone, let’s take stock of what’s left.
Though Final Foursters may have left a trail of crushed Bud Lights and overly full porta potties in their wake, there’s much that April brought besides their bloated visages. For example, loads of fresh, locally made beers coursing through the Twin Cities.
April was the busiest month in terms of new brews. This list is woefully limited to five beers per month, but if you’ve been to a liquor store in the past two weeks, you’ll notice shelves bulging with some of the state’s finest debutantes. Don’t stop here. This is the time to back your truck up to HyVee and stock up for the spring.
Tin Whiskers Salted Nut Roll Ale
Cream ale, 5.5% ABV, 12 IBU
After the raucous success of their previous collaboration, St. Paul buddies Pearson’s and Tin Whiskers have again joined forces for a candy-inspired beer. This time, instead of loading up a porter with desserty goodness, they took Pearson’s signature Salted Nut Roll and reimagined it as a cream ale hopped up on peanut butter, white chocolate, and salted caramel. It's a sweet beer with a thick core of nougaty cream, but it finishes with a clean wipe of malt and peanut butter. Salted Nut Roll Ale hits Tin Whiskers’ taproom on April 19, and cans will be out on shelves in late April or early May, but attendees at this weekend’s Minnesota Craft Beer Festival can try it ahead of schedule.
56 Solarama Crush
IPA, 7% ABV, 30 IBU
The best story to come out of the Twin Cities beer scene was 56 Brewing releasing their first-ever solar-powered beer. A collaboration with local nonprofit Fresh Energy, Solarama Crush is a double dry-hopped IPA made with honey from solar farm apiaries and perennial grain. Brewed with a grip of grassy hops, Solarama Crush reminds you right from the nose that what you’re drinking is doing the planet good. The honey thickens up the body, making for a beer that fills up the belly and the heart.
Gluek Cream Ale
Cream ale, 4.6% ABV, 12 IBU
Nearly two years after returning to production in 2017, Minnesota heritage brand Gluek Beer has announced the first addition to their beer lineup: a gluten-reduced American cream ale. Released on taps in conjunction with Twins opening day, the cream ale is an easygoing classic that fits nicely along Gluek’s flagship pale lager. The team at Fulton Brewing is producing the beer for now, and they’ve done an admirable job maintaining the nuttiness of the style while reducing the gluten level below 10 parts per million. Baseball fans, you’ll be drinking this one all the way up until the Twins’ season ends in September.
Insight Llewd Llama
Milkshake IPA, 6.1 % ABV, n/a IBU
Milkshake IPAs have been subjected to just about every fruit addition under the sun, but, in their beer-centric wanderlust, Northeast’s Insight Brewing managed to find a novel ingredient for their lactose-infused IPA. Llewd Llama comes straight out of Lima, with an exotic addition of Peruvian golden berries. If you’ve never had a golden berry, it’s like a persimmon or a golden raisin. The fruit plays nicely with the milky body, lending some much-welcomed lightness to a style that can be tough to choke down.
Bauhaus Lounge Wizard
Pale ale, 5.2% ABV, 40 IBU
Wagon Party had a good run, but ultimately, the team over at Bauhaus had to give their time-tested “Midwest Coast” IPA a shove off this mortal coil to make room for something a little more in line with modern consumer tastes. Lounge Wizard, a cushy soft pale ale originally introduced as a taproom exclusive, is the beer The Haus has chosen to take on Wagon Party’s role in their year-round offerings. Unlike its predecessor, which toted a piney, biting hop profile, Lounge Wizard is, in Bauhaus’ words, “a leisure suit for your mouth.” Those words are not hyperbole: the beer is a fun and casual drink with a texture you’ll wish you could slide your freshly shaven legs through. Lounge Wizard will be in cans soon, but for now, grab your last rations of Wagon Party before this silky usurper takes its place in the Many Pack.
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