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

As classic beer commercials will attest, there's nothing like the great outdoors to make us want to crack open a brewski and drink it all in.

In light of this, and in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness (FBWW) has announced plans to host a wilderness-themed beer contest. The Brews and Canoes Craft Beer Competition, open to all Minnesota commercial brewers, asks contestants to submit beers that fit into wilderness themes such as "untrammeled, nature, tranquil, rugged adventure, and camaraderie." Later this year, at a still to be determined date in September, a panel of judges will pick winners for each of the five different categories.

See also: Newcomer Zambaldi Bros. Brewing on samples, sour styles, and session beers

"Collaborating with Minnesota craft breweries was a natural fit," says Aaron Klemz, FBWW communications direction. "Many of the craft breweries in Minnesota are staffed by folks who love the Boundary Waters and people who travel in the Boundary Waters will often choose Minnesota craft beer as their beverage of choice. You can see that in the uniquely Minnesotan beer brands that are developing -- many of them revolve around adventure and the outdoors."

The categories included are:

• Best Northern Lights (Light-bodied, light-colored beers) • Best Night Skies (Heavy-bodied, dark-colored beers) • Most pioneering brew (Local, interesting ingredients and flavor profiles) • Best representation of the Spirit of the Boundary Waters (Name, label design, back story) • Star of the North (Best in show)

A panel of judges, blending beer and wilderness folk, will choose the winners this fall. "There's actually quite a bit of overlap," says Klemz, of the two types of judges. The event will be ticketed and open to the public for beer tasting.

FBWW has previously worked with several Minnesota breweries, including Indeed and Bent Paddle.

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