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Local Suds: 5 Minnesota beers to try in July

Hats (and caps) off to a great first year from Spilled Grain.

Hats (and caps) off to a great first year from Spilled Grain. Jerard Fagerberg

It's been an ongoing initiative of Local Suds to turn the lens on more smaller, newer breweries outside the reach of the Twin Cities. So far, we've been able to do that, featuring breweries from as far away as Nisswa, Big Lake, and New London. Lands so remote they're barely in Minnesota. Beers so foreign they require a full gas tank and some PTO to get to. But that doesn't mean we forgot about Northeast.

Though we start the list off with a fresh pour from Annandale, 80 percent of the brewhouses covered this month are stalwart Nordeast destinations. It's a great reminder that just because you're one of the most gabbed-about beermakers in the Cities doesn't mean there's no credence to all the hubbub. There's a reason Bauhaus, Dangerous Man, Indeed, and Northgate are trending names in local brewing. It's because they keep fresh, inventive stuff springing into the taplines.

Spilled Grain Anniversary IPA
India pale ale, 7.4% ABV, 57 IBU

Summit and Surly aren't the only Minnesota breweries with anniversaries in 2016. On July 30, Spilled Grain Brewhouse will wrap up their first year in production, and the Annandale brewery is kegging up a generously boozy IPA as an anniversary libation. Anniversary IPA has a brassy orange body and an herbal kick that hangs on each sip with tact. If this is the beer Spilled Grain is using to crown its first year in the biz, then hats off to the team in Annandale. It's a carefully balanced IPA that hides its high ABV well without leaning on a robust IBU.

If you're in the roadtrippin' mood, head up to Annandale on July 30 for the beer's release and the first anniversary party. It starts at 11 a.m. — the perfect time to start drinking an over-7% pale ale with a year's worth of anticipation brewed into it.

 

Northgate Golden Mile
Lager, 5.7% ABV, 21 IBU

Though Northgate Brewing's taproom is supposed to evoke the atmosphere of a down-home London pub, the Nordeast brewery has nailed the traditional German aesthetic on the brew floor. Golden Mile is their new Munich-style lager — a pale, refreshing brew that goes down best with a sunny deck and an appreciation for all things Bavarian. Unlike some lagers that skunk up around the rim, Golden Mile has a sweet, pleasing aroma that only builds as the gentle head evaporates.

Northgate threw a big party for Golden Mile's debut on July 9, but they've also released a Brexit IPA to less fanfare. For those who prefer a grassier, hop-forward beer in their mug, Brexit is the pick. On tap since July 13, Brexit is a tongue-in-cheek take on the British IPA with a complex Scottish malt build.

Indeed Wooden Soul: Heliotropic
Sour saison,  7.3% ABV, 20 IBU

Indeed Brewing would like to welcome all drinkers in Minnesota to a new era in their production schedule. Heliotropic is the inaugural entry in their Wooden Soul barrel-aged sour series, and it's a fruity, funky introduction to the sour trend for the Northeast quality factory.  Much of the flavor is derived from Brux III and Brettanomyces Claussenii yeast, which means it has a healthy straw flavor in with the body, but some conditioning could definitely update the Brett character. Buy two, drink one right away, and cellar the other. You won't regret it.

Indeed will release 750 ml bottles of Heliotropic unto the masses on July 25 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the brewery. If you can't make the party or swing the $50 ticket, a limited run of bottles will go on sale at the brewery starting July 28. Keep your eyes peeled for future Wooden Soul offerings going forward.

Dangerous Man Sour Delores #8 Mango!
Sour ale, 5% ABV, 4 IBU

If you stop by Dangerous Man's  Northeast taproom often enough, you may notice that their sour program is in full swing. They just retired their Righteous Babe watermelon sour, and the successor in the Sour Delores series is the #8 — a bright, brisk sour infused with mango tartness. With a strong Brettanomyces barnyard flavor offset by the fruitiness of the mango, Sour Delores #8 is another in the scene-leading brewery's small-scale sour mastery.

Taproom manager Sam Dahl Holzinger isn't sure how long Mango! will last on tap, but Righteous Babe made it all through June before tapping out. At any rate, they have a stone fruit sour in the kettle ready to pour when it's time for Sour Delores #9 to debut. Nothing lasts long at Dangerous Man, but it looks like you can count on an inventive Sour Delores to be running the line whenever you stop by.

Bauhaus Still Kickin
Pale ale, 5.6%ABV, 50 IBU

Indeed aren't the only ones with a new endeavor to announce. The hauslers over at Bauhaus Brew Labs have kicked off a charity arm in the vein of Surly Gives a Damn and Indeed We Can called On the Haus, and their first 501(c)3-supporting beer alongside Nora McInerny Purmort's Still Kickin. You can watch a video about that endeavor or read about it here.

As for the beer itself, Still Kickin is a "summer pale ale" that's equal parts refreshing and bitter. Bright Azacca hops tickle on the tongue. There's also an impressively complex aroma given the beer's single-hop formulation, but the real treat of the beer is in the pale Vienna malt. Of course, Bauhaus always tilts toward the German side of things, and this malt build is what gives Still Kickin the brewery's signature refreshment factor.

This will be a one-time release, and it's extremely limited. Your best bet is to get it July 25 during the brewery's On the Haus launch party, but it'll also be in local bottle shops while supplies last.