July is a month of revolution, so here’s your call to arms:
There are many stupid liquor laws in Minnesota, but none is more insipid than the growler cap. If you’re not familiar with the law, it says that once a brewery surpasses a production level of 20,000 barrels of beer per year, they’re no longer allowed to sell growlers in their taproom. After attempting to get the law repealed, Castle Danger became its latest victim, prompting a renewed debate about who this law really services.
It is punishment for success, and it certainly isn’t in the best interest of the beer-drinking public. Only distributors—the inordinately legislative middlemen in the three-tier system—stand to benefit from prohibiting when and where people can buy beer. Before long, Bent Paddle, Indeed, and Lift Bridge will cross this imaginary threshold, and drinkers in the Twin Cities will be no better for it. Unless we support the movement to change it.
Omni FAD DDH
Double IPA, 8% ABV, 45 IBU
Fads aren’t supposed to last, but Omni’s tongue-in-cheek New England IPA FAD has certainly made an impression. Initially launched as an anniversary beer in 2017 before being canned last summer, FAD (short for Freakin’ Awesome Delicious) has made yet another reappearance, this time with 10 lbs. of hops added in per barrel. FAD DDH mollywhops you with pungent, grassy aroma, and the flavor hits with big notes of resin and juice, showcasing all there is to love about hops. FAD DDH hit stores July 12 (see delivery schedule here), but don’t expect it to hang around long. Haze hounds will be chasing down the trucks for this one.
Spiral Mississippi Fog
IPA, 7% ABV, n/a IBU
Hastings’ Spiral Brewing prizes drinkability above all else, and their new limited Spiral Selects series tests that principle in new forms. Mississippi Fog, July’s entry into the series, takes on the eminently-popular hazy IPA. Spiral’s version of the New England is an easy-drinking punch of juicy hops. It’s not overpowering, and at 7% ABV, it’s a lot kinder on the liver than similar hazebombs from other breweries. Mississippi Fog will be out in liquor stores this week, and it should stick around until the next Spiral Select rotates in later this summer.
Fair State Clouding of Consciousness
Double IPA, 8% ABV, n/a IBU
It’s unclear how Fair State’s newest double dry-hopped double IPA is related to their Surly collaborations Clarity of Purpose/Obscurity of Purpose, but being unclear is kind of the point. The beers share very little in common save for the juiciness. If it’s an evolution that’s being tracked, Clouding of Consciousness is the murkiest interpretation. It’s stuffed with Citra, Citra cryo, Simcoe cryo, Denali, and Strata hops, Clouding of Consciousness is nearly impossible to see through. It’s absolute hop candy, and like FAD DDH, this beer will probably be gone fast following its release last week. If you strike out on this one, try Fair State’s two other new beers: SuperClear pilsner or Pray for Mojo vegan milkshake IPA, both of which are available in crowlers.
Insight Old One-Eye
Blond ale, 5.6% ABV, n/a IBU
It’s not a coincidence that Old One-Eye’s can is decorated gold and purple. This is a viking beer. Brewed with the increasingly trendy Norwegian Kveik yeast, this blonde ale is fermented at high temperatures to harness the wonderful dried fruit esters of the strain. It’s a nice, bready beer, but don’t expect it to be Norwegian bland. Old One-Eye sports a hearty bouquet of citrusy hops, giving the beer a nice farewell tickle in the swallow. Old One-Eye is joining Insight’s year-round lineup, so it’s an early candidate for your tailgate beer this fall.
Surly Rocket Surgery
Pale ale, 5.5% ABV, n/a IBU
Surly has always had a penchant for hops. Abrasive and Furious may lead you to believe that they only only prize hops when they’re being used to wither taste buds, but the brewery in Prospect Park just dropped a brand new Hop Pack to show off their finesse with the bitter cones that make beer also pleasant to drink and smell. The star of the Hop Pack is Rocket Surgery, a hazy Citra- and Simcoe-hopped ale. Surly calls the beer “uncomplicated.” What that means in taste terms is that this sweet little baby will give you all the juice your hazeboi brain requires without gut-rocking you into a coma like those DDH IPAs you blew your paycheck on. It’s just a burst of grapefruit, and then it’s gone.
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