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Local Suds: 5 Minnesota beers to drink in November

Jerard Fagerberg

Jerard Fagerberg

Do you love your family? If so, good, give them beer. If not, fine, but still give them beer.

Beer is the ultimate unifier, and this Thanksgiving season, it’s probably the only thing that’s going to get you through to dessert. So let’s give a whole-hearted, sincere thank you to the folks who spend their lives elbow-deep in the mash tun so that we can tolerate the people in our gene pool.

Thanks, brewers. You did it, and you did it for us. It’s a blessing how you boil all that grain and put it in metal tubes just so we have something to make the silence during halftime more tolerable. We love beer, and goddammit, we love you.

Mankato/Lupulin Hero Hazy IPA
Hazy IPA, 8.18% ABV, 66 IBU

November is Men’s Health and Cancer Awareness Month, and that message hits very close to home for far-flung neighbors Mankato Brewing and Lupulin Brewing. Their collaborative Hero Hazy IPA is inspired by Jonathan Zierdt, a close friend to Mankato founder Tim Tupy and brother to Lupulin co-founder Jeff Zierdt, who has been battling cancer for five years and uses his struggle to promote men’s cancer awareness through the Jonathan Zierdt Cancer Fund. Hero is much danker than anything you’d expect from Mankato, but it fits just right in Lupulin’s hop-crazed pedigree. It abounds with juice and resin, tasting like you’ve just cracked open a hop cone and drank from the source. Hopefully it’s enough to cure anything and everything that ails you.

Jerard Fagerberg

Jerard Fagerberg

Indeed High & Dry
Brut IPA, 5.2 % ABV, 20 IBU

There’s a lot going on at Northeast’s Indeed brewing. Not only are they on the verge of opening brand-ass-new Wisconsin facility, but they’ve also scored a new labeler that allows them to brand and distribute smaller-run beers to their home market. The first off the line is High & Dry, a San Francisco-style IPA made with champagne yeast. With a light preach aroma and a gentle pale pilsner malt bill, this new-style IPA goes down super clean and refreshing. Look for Neon Espresso, the coming scion of Indeed’s limited edition can series, next.

Jerard Fagerberg

Jerard Fagerberg

Utepils Broomstacker
Red lager, 6% ABV, 41 IBU

Fresh off their GABF bronze medal win, the staff at Minneapolis’ Utepils is gearing up to unwind with some curling. Broomstacker is their tribute to all the excuses Minnesotans invent to go outside during the hinterdays. The red lager is brassy and bready, looking like a full meal right from the pour. It’s named for the mid-game tradition where curlers will pile their brooms and share a beer, and it'll warm you right up with its deep toasted malts and pleasing Bavarian yeast esters.

Jerard Fagerberg

Jerard Fagerberg

612Brew Soft Skills
IPA, 7.2% ABV, 8 IBU

How do you make a hazy IPA stand out from the pack of hazy IPAs? Well, you can try not making it hazy at all. 612Brew’s new Soft Skills strives to do exactly that. The beer still bears all the ripe citrus flavors of Citra and Mosaic, and it still goes down with in downy-soft gulps, but there’s no haze to be found. Instead, this atypical IPA is near-brown and see-through. It’s not as fruity as its peers that depend on purees to fortify their aroma, instead opting for the fine resin on the nose. The finish is clean and unobstructed by the haze, leaving your mouth dry and ready for another sip.

Jerard Fagerberg

Jerard Fagerberg

Omni Strawberry Guava Milkshake IPA
Milkshake IPA, 7% ABV, n/a IBU

Omni’s Malt Shop is back open. After an incredibly successful string of hype-wrangling milkshake IPAs, including May’s Tropical Milkshake IPA, the Maple Grove brewery is at it again with their first dual-flavored entry to the series: Strawberry Guava Milkshake IPA. To make the beer, over 1,000 pounds of fruit was chucked into the fermenter, giving it an explosive aroma of ripe fruit, vanilla bean, and resiny hops. Omni recommends drinking this beer at room temperature, which only enhances the aroma and smoothens every juicy sip.

Brewers interested in being featured in Local Suds should email jgfagerberg@gmail.com.