Harriet Brewing launch party at the Blue Nile

Harriet Brewing Company, the newest craft brewery in the Twin Cities metro, is having a launch party next Wednesday, February 9, at the Blue Nile. Harriet officially opened its doors last Saturday with growler sales at the brewery. Judging from photos posted on their Facebook page, attendance was good and sales were brisk, putting some much needed money into Harriet's coffers. Batch One, as the first beer was called, sold out yesterday. Growler sales will resume this Saturday from 1 to 6 p.m. The launch party at the Blue Nile will mark the first tapping of Harriet's beers in area bars. They have some special things planned for the event.

According to Harriet owner and brewer Jason Sowards, the Blue Nile launch will be the "first taste of the official 'West Side', Harriet Brewing's Belgian Pale Ale." This is the first "official" taste because the first batch didn't quite turn out as Sowards desired, thus the moniker Batch One. It can take time to dial in a new brewing system, especially when you are scaling up from five-gallon home-brew batches to professional batches of several barrels.

The Harriet Brewing Facebook page states that the first half-barrel of West Side will be on them, with free pints until it runs out. Pints will be $3 for the first half hour after that. Blue Nile beermeister Al McCarty tells me that there might also be a keg of Devine Oculust, Harriet's Belgian Golden Ale. I've tasted Soward's home-brewed version of this. If the big-system version is half as good it will be a real treat.

The Blue Nile kitchen is also preparing some special appetizers paired to the Harriet beers. McCarty didn't give me more details. For those who don't know, the Blue Nile has perhaps the greatest wings on the planet. It's worth a look at the apps menu just for those. The event kicks off at 6 p.m. at the Blue Nile, 2027 Franklin Avenue East in Minneapolis.

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