Eric's Beer Blog

My online journal for beer (and other drinks) tasting, brewing, tourism, and general musings.

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Location: St. Paul, Minnesota, United States

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Drinking locally

(cross-posted at The Menagerie)

Daniela has written about the "Eating Locally Challenge" in which we're participating this month. She mentioned in one post that we're trying to drink locally, too, so I thought I'd expound on that aspect a bit.

Drinking locally is quite easy here in the Twin Cities. We have Summit, one of the larger "craft breweries" (they say they're too large to be considered a microbrewery these days) around, whose beers are available just about everywhere-- even at the Metrodome (home of the Twins and Vikings).

Then there's Surly, which Beer Advocate recently named the best brewery in America. I'm not sure I'd go quite that far, but Surly is undeniably very very yummy stuff.

Just this year we've also added Flat Earth, a brand new brewery operating here in St. Paul. I just had their Angry Planet Organic Pale Ale and found it to be very tasty.

Minnesota also has a number of old breweries which somehow survived the massive consolidation of the 20th century-- Schell, Grain Belt (actually now brewed by Schell, but still), Stite, Gluek, to name a few. These breweries generally make beers in the American light lager category (ala Budweiser), but at least they're local! Then there are the micros located outside the Twin Cities metro area, like Lake Superior (Duluth).

And last but not least, included in the "local" category are beers from nearby Wisconsin. That means that even the crappy bar with nothing but lousy beer might have something local (Miller, anyone? or Pabst, or even Leinenkugel, though they're better than the other 2). Milwaukee was recently named America's drunkest city, (Twin Cities were #2!) and there's no shortage of beer made in Wisconsin. Putting aside the bad stuff, there are some great micros from the Cheesehead state too-- New Glarus, Furthermore (whose interesting smoked stout I'm drinking as I type), Sprecher, and Viking, to name a few locally available ones.

All in all, I'd guess that outside of the Pacific Northwest or northern California, we're probably in the best area for beer in the country. Or right up there... (if only we could get Three Floyds beer here, I'd have no problem with the previous statement)


Anonymous stevenJ said...

After reading this blog, I have to ask-what about the grand American breweries? Where is Anhueser? Miller? Coors? Sounds like beer snobbery to me. I mean, one can't always eat steak and sauteed asparagus. Sometimes a body wants a burger, some curly fries, cotton candy.

1:58 PM  
Anonymous RTK said...

Speaking of drinking locally, here are the beers I had while in Europe. I had killer beers in France, Belgium, Austria and Germany. I drank at three of the most famous, oldest and renowned Munich beerhalls (Augustiner, Hofbrauhaus, Weisse Brauhaus).
Day 1: Pelforth Blonde-pretty good
Day 2: 1664 Blanc-great beer, reminded me of Sweetwater Blue
Day 3: Diekirch-very good, went down smooth with lunch
Leffe Blonde-delicous, aftertaste of something vaguely fruity
Karlsberg Urpils-not particularly good, skunky
Franziskaner Weissbier-very rich, smooth

Day 4: Kitzmann Leichtes Weissbier-one of the best beers I’ve ever drank
Kitzmann Edelpils-awesome because it was free

Day 5: Kitzmann Kellerbier-Delicious
Kitzmann Brauwasser-Delicious, packed a punch (Kitzmann is an old brewery in Erlanger-just outside of Nurnberg)

Day 6: Krombacher Pils-slight hop bite, quite tasty
Kostritzer Edel Pils-ingredients: wasser, hopfen, gerstenmalz, since 1543
Wernesgruner Pils-since 1436

Day 7: Krombacher Pils
Krombacher Hefeweizen
Krusovice Pils (Czech beer)
Erdinger Kristall Weizen (bubbling beer)
Erdinger Dunkel Weizen (sweeter than Guinness)
Pelinv-ovac (Croatian schnapps)

Day 8: Hofbrauhaus Berchtesgaden Leichtes- a perfect beer
Budweiser Budvar Lager- the original Czech beer, oddly enough no rice in the ingredients list

Day 9: St. Augustine (Augustiner) Hofbrauhaus Dunkel- sweet aftertaste
Hacker-Pschorr Helles
Paulaner Leicht-very thick, rich

Day 10: Hofbrahaus Munchen Weisse-at the famous Hofbrahaus
Schneider Weisse-at the famous Weisse Brahaus

6:40 PM  
Blogger bert said...

Stevenj is an idiot

9:51 PM  

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