New Belgium Eric’s Ale

May 11th, 2010 beckel

Though this ale only showed up on our local shelves recently it was apparently the third release of New Belgium’s Lips Of Faith Series. This ale was the handy work of it’s namesake Eric Salazar who decided to play with their Belgian Style Blond Ale; aging it in Oak, adding peach juice & Brettanomyces yeast to create a unique sour ale. I was happy to find this bottle at The Four Firkins but it should be pretty widely available right now. Pours a completely translucent light copper hue that borders on peach with three fingers of clean white head that settles within less than a minute. Small bubbles continuously trickle from the bottom of the glass popping on the surface. Clean assertive tartness followed by gentle peach esters, very light malts and just a touch of alcohol. Smooth but potent sour esters remind me of cranberry & tangerine tannins and contrast with sweet peach, gentle malt esters, light bitterness and very subtle alcohol. Bright sour notes are very enjoyable and play very well with the sweet peach and smooth mouthfeel created by the oak aging. The 7% ABV of this beer is occasionally noticed but overall an after thought in this delicious brew. Body is on the light side of medium making this complex brew go down very easily. If you enjoy clean, full flavored sour ales this one is definitely worth your time. Additionally if you are new to the style this one isn’t a bad stepping stone as the fruit characteristics and oak aging make this ale very palatable for a tart brew. I would happily drink many more bottles of this brew, and might just have to. Give it  a shot and ride your bike.

New Belgium Eric's Ale

Charatible Bike Rides & Some Fun Beer Posts

May 11th, 2010 beckel

Tiz the season for bike riding and as June approaches it is the time for me to heckle people for money, for a good cause of course. I don’t tend to enjoy asking people for money but these two charities are certainly worth your investment. Every year I participate in the Tour de Cure for the American Diabetes Association and the MS150 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The Tour de Cure locally is a 62 mile ride around the Twin Cities and nationally raised almost $17 Million last year to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. The MS150 is a two day, 150 mile ride from Proctor to White Bear Lake, Minnesota that has a goal of raising $2 Million locally this year to help cure Multiple Sclerosis and help support those suffering from MS. Both are wonderful rides that are very well supported with local variants in many cities. If you are interested in cycling and have a passion for any of these causes I would highly recommend you see what they are doing in your community as not only will you be able to help others but also have a lot of fun yourself. If you are able I would greatly appreciate of your support in our fund raising efforts. To donate to my team(s) please check my Donations page and follow the links there. Many thanks!

Back to the beer. Here are a few recent local posts that I have enjoyed. First from the Heavy Table and local author of  Land of Amber Waters; Doug Hoverson’s Let’s grab a beer chart. A handy and humorous guide to help you get what you really want to drink in times of distress.

Full Size Here

Less humorous but equally interesting was this recent post from Twin Cities Buisness Magazine complete with various statistics including barrel production and number of employees from almost all of the local breweries and brewpubs in Minnesota; in fact even some I didn’t realize existed. See the link above for original posting. I have copied the post in it’s entirety below in case they decide to break the link.

Ranked by barrels produced in Minnesota | List information taken from the 2009-2010 Business Information Guide
Source: Company representatives and Web sites. If you were not contacted for this list but would like to be in the future, please contact
*See note at bottom of list.



Barrels produced in Minnesota in 2008

Top local executive

Employees in
MN / worldwide

Most popular products


Cold Spring Brewing Company

219 North Red River Avenue
Cold Spring, MN 56320
320-685-8686 |


Maurice Bryan

160 / 211

Stite, Gluek, Northern, Cold Spring Crafts, Hard Lemonade


August Schell Brewing Company

1860 Schell Road
New Ulm, MN 56073
507-354-5528 |


Ted Marti

46 / 46

Grain Belt Premium, Grain Belt Premium Light, Schell’s Firebrick, Schell’s Octoberfest, Schell’s Dark


Summit Brewing Company

910 Montreal Circle
St. Paul, MN 55102
651-265-7800 |


Mark Stutrud

49 / Not provided

Summit Extra Pale Ale, Summit Pilsener, Summit Winter Ale, Summit Maibock, Summit Oktoberfest


Surly Brewing Company

4811 Dusharme Drive
Brooklyn Center, MN 55429
763-535-3330 |


Omar Ansari

8 / 8

Furious, Bender, Cynic


Finnegans, Inc.

619 South 10th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55404
612-501-7707 |


Jacquie Berglund

1 / Not provided

Finnegans Irish Amber


Granite City Food & Brewery, Ltd.

5402 Parkdale Drive, Suite 101
St. Louis Park, MN 55416
952-215-0660 |


Steven Wagenheim

575 / 2,956

Northern Light Lager, Brother Benedicts Bock, Duke of Wellington IPA, Oktoberfest, Belgian Wit


Blue Diamond Brewing Company

25 Dale Street North, Suite 112
St. Paul, MN 55102
651-221-0899 |


Frank Yarusso

1 / 5

Brewer’s Cave Golden Caramel Lager, Blue Diamond Lager, Blue Diamond Light, Riverside Light (private label)


Fitger’s Brewhouse

600 East Superior Street
Duluth, MN 55802
218-726-1392 |


Tim Nelson

130 / 130

Starfire Pale Ale, Lighthouse Golden Ale, Park Point Pilsner, Witch Tree Extra Special Bitter, Big Boat Oatmeal Stout, Apricot Wheat


Lake Superior Brewing Company, LLC

2711 West Superior Street
Duluth, MN 55806
218-723-4000 |


Don Hoag

2 / 2

Special Ale, Oatmeal Stout


Brau Brothers Brewing Company

201 First Street
Lucan, MN 56255
507-747-2337 |


Dustin Brau

12 / 12

Scotch Ale, Strawberry Wheat, Cream Stout, Sheep Head Ale, Ring Neck Braun Ale


Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery

800 LaSalle Plaza
Minneapolis, MN 55402
612-332-2739 |


Jim Gose

60 / 2,000

North Star Lager, Erik the Red, Stillwater Stout, Itasca Extra Pale Ale, Big Horn Nut Brown Ale, Hop Bomb IPA, Angry Hippie Ale, El Jefe Hefeweizen, Saison, Belgian Tripel Bock, Fallen Angel Abby Ale, Black Bull Imperial Stout


Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

1430 Washington Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55454
612-339-8696 |


Pete Rifakes

35 / 35

Masala Mama IPA


Flat Earth Brewing Company

2035 Benson Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55116
651-698-1945 |


Cathie Williamson

2 / 2

Belgian Pale Ale, Element 115 Lager, Cygnus X-1 Porter, Black Helicopter Coffee Stout, Northwest Passage IPA


Great Waters Brewing Company

426 St. Peter Street
St. Paul, MN 55102
651-224-2739 |


Sean O’Byrne

54 / 54

Not provided


McCann’s Food and Brew

3320 Third Street North
St. Cloud, MN 56303
320-217-5800 |


Nick McCann

30 / 30

McCann’s Golden Ale, High Bank Amber, Deep Seven IPA, Triple Trouble, Apricot Coriander, Prairie Porter


Barley John’s Brew Pub

781 Old Highway 8 Southwest
New Brighton, MN 55112
651-636-4670 |


John Moore

15 / 15

Little Barley Bitter, Stockyard IPA, Wild Brunette, Old Eight Porter


Wellington’s Backwater Brewing Company

1429 Service Drive
Winona, MN 55987
507-452-2103 |


Chris Gardner

18 / 18

Wheat, Pale Ale, Nut Brown


Lift Bridge Beer Company

1906 Greeley Street South
Stillwater, MN 55082
888-430-2337 |


Dan Schwarz

4 / 4

Farm Girl Saison, Lift Bridge Pale Ale, Harvestor, Biscotti, Kimono Girl


Boathouse Brewpub & Restaurant

47 East Sheridan Street
Ely, MN 55731
218-365-4301 |


Mark Bruzek

30 / 30

Entry Point Golden Ale, Rye Fish At All Pale Ale, Eel Pout Oatmeal Stout, Wild Rice ESB


Vine Park Brewing Company

1254 West Seventh Street
St. Paul, MN 55102
651-228-1355 |


Andy Grage

5 / 5

Loose Moose Lager, Red Hyena Ale, Walnut Brown Ale


All American Grill & Brewhouse

101 Summerfield Drive
Waverly, MN 55340
763-658-4040 |


Steve LaPlant

67 / 67

Golden Ugly, Ugly Red


Mantorville Brewing Company, LLC

101 East Fifth Street
Mantorville, MN 55955
651-387-0708 |


Tod Fyten, II

1 / 1

Stagecoach Amber Ale, Stagecoach Golden Ale, Stagecoach Smoked Porter


St. Croix Brewing Company, LLC

363 Webster Street
St. Paul, MN 55102
651-387-0708 |


Tod Fyten, II

1 / 1

St. Croix Cream Ale, St. Croix Cream Stout, St. Croix Maple Ale, Serrano Pepper Ale

Note: Chatterbox Pub, The Herkimer Pub & Brewery, and Pig’s Eye Brewing Company, LLC, do not appear on this list because they would not provide ranking criteria. Crispin Cider Company and McCoy’s Public House do not appear because all products are brewed in another state.
• Finnegans, Inc., is a contract brewer that gives all profits to local charities.
• Blue Diamond Brewing Company and Lift Bridge Beer Company’s products are contract brewed.
• Vine Park Brewing Company operates exclusively as a brewery in which customers create their own beer on the premises.