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Five favorite Minnesota beers

New brews: five local beers we love.

New brews: five local beers we love.

Think globally, drink locally, right? Minnesota's recent craft brew revolution has given us tons of options.

Here are five of our favorite Minnesota beers that have found their way to local taps in the past few years:

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5. Lift Bridge Farm Girl During the summer months, we like to drink a Belgian saison, and Lift Bridge's Farm Girl is especially good at bringing depth of flavor (hints of fruit and spice) to a light, easy-sipping beer. Watch yourself, though, as this innocuous-seeming brew isn't really a post-lawn-mowing thirst-quencher--it packs a substantial 6% alcohol punch.

Seasonal variants include the lemongrass-infused Kimono Girl and the Indian-influenced, cinnamon-y Chai Girl.

4. Brau Brothers Moo Joos Consider Moo Juice an upgrade of Brau's original Cream Stout: a smooth, dark brew rich with flavors of chocolate, coffee, and malt. As any good oatmeal milk stout should be, Moo Juice has a slight sweetness and pleasant, creamy mouthfeel.

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3. Flat Earth Belgian Style Pale Ale Our favorite Flat Earth is the seasonal-only funky, sour beer, Rode Haring Flanders Ale, but if we're limiting our picks to year-rounders, the Belgian Style Pale Ale also deserves a shout-out. It starts out slightly sweet and fruity, while just enough hops give it a crisp, slightly bitter finish. The seasonal, apricot-infused version is even tastier.

2. Grain Belt Nordeast Last year, the century-old Grain Belt Brewing introduced its third formulation, the amber-colored Nordeast, as an alternative to its longtime lager, Premium. For those who find craft beers overwhelm both the palate and wallet, Nordeast offers a smooth, mild brew with light notes of caramel and nuts.

1. Surly Furious This is the beer that really put Minnesota's recent craft beer renaissance on the map. Surly Furious, a high-octane, hop-heavy beer with a lulling grapefruit aroma and an ultra-bitter attack, has won legions of national awards as well as a place in our hearts. Curious: Have any of you DIY-ers tried Northern Brewer's DIY Furious kit?

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