Great local beers to get your dad to stop drinking cheap swill

Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

Dads come in many shapes and sizes.

Across all of their wild and beautiful forms, there is a unifying factor: their loving children wish they were drinking better beer.

If the aluminum contents of your family’s recycling bin looks like it belongs outside some college party pad in Dinkytown, make this the Father’s Day that you re-introduce dad to beer.

Make a date to go to the liquor store together, and march right past the 24-pack crap. Look for the bombers, Belgians, ciders, craft tallboy 4-packs and build-your-own 6-pack aisles. Discuss what you’ve learned at a brewery or even a homebrew supplier. Support good behavior, be patient, encourage curiosity, and remember that better beer is good for the whole family, if not the whole world.

Here’s a rough guide to some common metro-area dad types you may recognize, and suggested gateway drinks to get them started on their journey toward better beer.

The Anoka Dad (see above)
Fulton Standard Lager
Alternatives: Fair State Brewing Cooperative Pils, 612 Gateway Park Lager, a subscription to Garden and Gun, Twins Tickets.

Fulton is one of the most dad-est breweries, and their Standard Lager will give the smallest shock -- both in price and in taste -- for a dad-drinker used to Bud Light. It’s got that familiar refreshing drinkability, and it’s easy to crush a couple. Clean taste, but with a crafty touch, slightly toasty with a bigger body. This is the polite way to say that it'll remind you of a cheap beer, without the part about tasting like piss.

The Hippie Dad
Oliphant Brewery 32oz Crowler

Alternatives: Indeed LSD, Magic Hat #9, ENO hammock, Birkenstocks.

Oliphant’s elephant-sized and fantastically delicious 32oz “crowler” cans are steadily trickling across the border from their brewery in Somerset, Wisconsin. It’s a trippy brand, and their team delivers impressively consistent quality and complex, sweet flavors across the lineup, from the wifi-password sounding Dg2c2mf to their Smoked Wheat Erryday hefeweizen. If you see a row of big cans tucked back in your liquor store shelf, grab a couple for you, and a couple more for your laid-back dad.

The 89.3 The Current Dad
Lupulin Apricot Blonde

Alternatives: Bauhaus Sky-Five Midwest Coast IPA, Insight Dankbot IPA, graphic t-shirt from I Like You, Minnesota United Tickets.

Maybe you’ve got one of those “cool dads,” the type who comes strolling into the liquor store wearing Ray-Bans and humming whatever hot tune the local station was just playing. That’s a good start, but he loses all those cool points if he walks out carrying Miller Lite. The Apricot Blonde from Lupulin is a little more complex than your typical middle of the road offering. It’s just sweet and hip enough to entice a dad who goes to (at least the first part of) Rock the Garden.

The Wine Drinking Dad
Cuvée Des Jacobins Rouge

Alternatives: Excelsior Cherry Wheat Ale, Yellowbelly Ginger Cider, a set of Le Creuset pots, a Hammermade tie.

The local beers listed are worth a shot, but it might make more sense to turn your worldly father on to the Belgians. The Cuvee Des Jacobins is a wickedly sharp and sour introduction to the bounty of Belgium’s beer. You could even show dad this Wikipedia article (print it out, he’ll like that) and encourage him to explore the genre. If dad’s more of a Rosé drinker, a craft cider and/or fruit-infused beer will also do.

The Regular Dude Dad
Castle Danger Danger Ale

Alternative gifts: Schell’s Fort Road Helles, Able First Light, socks.
Regular dude dads savor beer in their comfortable habitats of the garage, porch, or easy chair. Beer is a reward for completing fatherly chores, or a tool for the times when sitting and contemplating future chores is in order. The Danger Ale from Castle Danger is an agreeable companion for just such an occasion. It’s a strong ale that strikes a nice balance between malty and hoppy, exciting but unpretentious. Besides, what dad doesn’t like thinking about a castle -- especially a dangerous one! -- as he sips? Bring a six pack out to the garage with a case, and prepare for some pondering.