53: Size 7 from Steel Toe Brewing

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.

See also: 54: The Southside at World Street Kitchen

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.

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