It's hard to imagine, but just a few years ago Surly and Summit were the only craft beer games in town. While the Minnesota market has stretched and is, across the board, filled with quality offerings, there are good IPAs available, and there are great ones. Steel Toe Brewing's Size 7 stands out in a crowded field.
The beer pours golden orange with a big citrus head. It's hoppy and pulls a 77 on the IBU (international bittering units) scale, but the hops aren't just bittering agents, they give a citrusy first impression with a floral finishing note. This is then balanced out with a caramel malt that evens out the beer and mellows that mouth pucker many associate with an IPA. It's got the hop complexity one expects but, in Size 7, head brewer Jason Schoneman hasn't just created another IPA, he's created something to carry his brand.
Steel Toe also maintains a low profile, keeping the focus on beer over brand, community over marketshare, and that local focus adds to the love for the St. Louis Park brewery, established in 2011.
Size 7 is available throughout the metro, including at beer-centric bars and restaurants like Happy Gnome, Republic, The Muddy Pig, Red Cow (both locations), and is in many local stores in 22 oz. bottles. Head over to the taproom on West 35th Street to get it straight from the source.
100: The Pickle Dog from the Minnesota State Fair 99: Mademoiselle Miel's Honey Bon-Bons 98: Giant Pretzel at New Bohemia 97: Kopplin's Breve 96: Corn Chowder at Barrio 95: Crescent Moon's House Special Football-Shaped Pizza 94: Buffalo Tots at the Blue Door Pub 93: Duck Burger at the Happy Gnome 92: Mac's Industrial Tuna Melt 91: Toast Bar at Canteen 90: Sonora Grill's Eggplant Fries 89: Brasa's Pineapple Ginger Ale 88: The Freehouse's Cheese Curds with Quince Jam 87: Black Coffee and Waffle Bar's Naughty Waffle 86: Czar Jack at Town Hall Brewery 85: Soft-Shell Crab Fried Rice at Tiny Diner 84: Sanduche de Pollo at Chimborazo 83: Grand Café's Eggs en Cocotte 82: Pollo Tacos at Las Teresitas 81: Chicken Tikka Masala at Himalayan Restaurant 80: Cornmeal Galette with Ham and Sweet Corn from Black Walnut Bakery 79: Cheddar Biscuits and Gravy at the Third Bird 78: The Buttermilk Chicken Sandwich at Lake and Irving 77: The Larry from Taco Cat 76: Lobster and Eggs from Eat Street Social 75: New York Strip with Trumpet Royale Mushrooms from Sparks 74: Icehouse's Sipping Shots 73: The Prairie Dog at Prairie Dogs 72: Dr. IPA at Public Kitchen & Bar 71: Patisserie 46's Éclair 70: Dong Hae's Korean Style Chicken Wings 69: Birchwood's Black Bottom Coconut Cream Pie 68: Coup d'Etat's Gnocchi 67: Egg, Cheddar & Bacon Biscuit Sandwich at Colossal Cafe 66: Red Wagon Pizza's Sausage Espagnole 65: Verdant Tea's Chinese Hash 64: The St. Paul Cheese Shop's Chorizo Sandwich 63: House of Curry's Pol Roti 62: Goat Cheese Curds from the Curious Goat 61: Post-Dessert Dessert at Spoon and Stable 60: Table-Side Caesar Salad from the Salt Cellar 59: Nam-Khao from On's Thai Kitchen 58: Poutine at Triple Rock 57: Black Sheep's Meatball, Ricotta, and Garlic Pizza 56: Eli's East's Pistachio Cheesecake 55: Shrimp and Grits at Smack Shack 54: The Southside at World Street Kitchen
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