9 local breweries compete to create special Wilderness Act beers

9 local breweries compete to create special Wilderness Act beers
Bala Sivakumar

Brews and Canoes, a beer-themed celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the Boundary Waters Wilderness Act, is approaching, and to celebrate the milestone, the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness (FBWW) put out a call to Minnesota's commercial brewers to submit special brews that reflect the spirit of the FBWW.

The final entrants in the contest have now been identified, with nine local breweries and 25 unique recipes in various thematic categories. Judges will determine a winner among the competing brews with a September 10 public tasting and awards event.

See also: Breweries craft wilderness-themed beers for Boundary Waters "Brews and Canoes" contest

The awards ceremony will be set up similar to a beer festival, with sample cups, food, and live music for 200 guests. It will be held at Aria in Minneapolis and tickets go on sale August 1 via EventBrite. Wine and non-alcoholic beverages will also be available.

Participating breweries include: • Bent Paddle Brewing Co. (Duluth) • Big Wood Brewery (White Bear Lake) • Dangerous Man Brewing Company (Minneapolis) • Indeed Brewing Company (Minneapolis) • Lake Monster Brewing (Minneapolis) • Lift Bridge Brewing Company (Stillwater) • Mankato Brewery (North Mankato) • NorthGate Brewing (Minneapolis) • Summit Brewing Company (St. Paul)

Award categories: • Star of the North (Best in Show) • Best Northern Lights (light-bodied, light-colored beers including but not limited to lagers and pilsners) • Best Night Skies (heavy-bodied, dark-colored beers including but not limited to ales and stouts) • Fish Fry's Finest (best beer pairing with a shore lunch) • Best Campfire Companion (best beer to drink around a campfire with friends) • Call of the Wild (most pioneering brew or experimental beer)

While specific beers have not been released at present, the entries are expected to hit the market as soon as participating breweries reveal their special recipes. Taprooms will likely be the most common sales point in advance of the Aria event. Separate taproom release parties may occur as the beers are ready for the public.

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