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Minnesota’s most hop-crazed brewery is hosting an ‘IPA Invitational’

Lupulin's Dortmunder is a GABF gold medal honoree. Who will take home the win at their invitational in August?

Lupulin's Dortmunder is a GABF gold medal honoree. Who will take home the win at their invitational in August? Facebook: Lupulin Brewing Company

Beer industry critics have been calling the IPA a fad for more than a decade now. With every new iteration, they’ve forecasted the coming extinction of the style, and through it all, the breweries who built their reputation on IBUs have flourished.

In outstate Minnesota, no brewery has prospered more off their IPAs than Lupulin Brewing. The 2018 City Pages Best Suburban Brewery winners pour a full gamut of frothy, wonderful IPAs that have made their Big Lake taproom a must-visit for inbound hopheads. If you’ve ever had a Hooey, you know you’ve had one of the best IPAs the state has ever produced. But now, Lupulin’s putting their hype to the test by inviting the top brewers to strut their stuff in the first ever Lupulin IPA Invitational.

The invitational, which will take place on August 4 at ERX Motor Park in Elk River, will feature tongue-scraping specialty beers from IPA luminaries both local and international. The likes of Surly (makers of Furious), Barrel Theory (makers of Rain Drops), BlackStack (makers of Local 755), Fair State (makers of Mirror Universe), and Fargo’s Drekker will compete in a field of 22 breweries from across 10 states (see below for a full list).

“If you’re a hops fan, this is the ultimate sampling event,” Lupulin said in a press release promoting the event. “We’ve challenged brewers to create their most innovative, flavorful, and original single, double, and triple IPAs.”

Though the event is largely an excuse to sample world-class potent beer in a field, Lupulin will be donating a portion of ticket sales to Three Rivers Community Foundation, which provides grants and scholarships for the Elk River school district.

Tickets are on sale now, but numbers are limited, and the brewery claims they’re likely to sell out. General admission starts at $50, but there’s a $100 VIP option for those who need air conditioning and Wi-Fi to enhance their already indulgent afternoon.

Here's the full list of participating breweries:

  • Ale Asylum (Wisc.)
  • Barrel Theory (Minn.)
  • Bent Paddle (Minn.)
  • BlackStack (Minn.)
  • Brewing Projekt (Wisc.)​
  • Dangerous Man (Minn.)
  • Drekker (N.D.)​
  • Fair State Brewing Cooperative (Minn.)
  • Finnegans (Minn.)
  • Insight (Minn.)
  • Junkyard (Minn.)
  • Listermann (Ohio)​
  • Mikkeller (Calif.)​
  • Modist (Minn.)
  • Odd13 (Colo.)
  • Pipeworks (Ill.)
  • Surly Brewing (Minn.)
  • Tailgate (Tenn.)
  • Toppling Goliath (Iowa)
  • 12welve Eyes (Minn.)
  • War Pigs (Ill.)
  • 18th Street (Ind.)
  • Melvin Brewing (Wyo.)