North Minneapolis is criminally under-represented in the recent blush of microbreweries that have been springing up all over the Twin Cities. Chalk it up to neighborhood stereotyping, disinvestment, or bandwagon-jumping, but Boom Island Brewing Company has been the sole provider of craft beer to all parts north of downtown and west of the Mississippi. Like Harriet Brewing in south Minneapolis, Boom Island focuses on the sweet and strong brews of the Belgian trappist tradition, and the owners finished a renovation earlier this year to allow for increased brewing capacity and a larger tap room. That extra space will come in handy for the brewery's first foray into an annual beer fest, Boom Days, scheduled in honor of the upcoming Belgian Independence Day. The star of the show for the three-day event is Boom Island's newest concoction, Cuvée de Boom, which incorporates a significant helping of pinot-grigio grapes into the brewing process, and is said to combine the flavor profiles of the classic Belgian Golden Strong Ale with the tang and bubble of champagne. Friday's festivities will feature trivia staffed by Ian Rans, and food from the always reliable Natedogs truck. Saturday will welcome food from Simply Steve's, music from cover band the Bill Patten Trio, and Belgian-inspired drinking games like sjoelbak, a table-top variant of shuffleboard, and the bocce-esque rolle bolle. Sunday's theme is "Beer Geek Belgique," a celebration of Belgian beer's history and traditions, with several classes and workshops throughout the day from Boom Island head brewer Kevin Welch and experts from Northern Brewer.
Fri., July 18, 4-9 p.m.; Sat., July 19, 1-9 p.m.; Sun., July 20, 12-5 p.m., 2014