The Minnesota brew scene sees more start-ups each and every month, from outstate locations to the downtown metro. It's a pleasant chore to keep up with the news, and this rundown of the weekend's events is a good primer on where to get good, fresh, locally made beer right now.
Top billing goes to Lake Monster Brewing. On Friday, the brewery's founders will be on hand at Pig & Fiddle to share their first ever firkin of cask-conditioned Empty Rowboat IPA, as well as pouring samples of their flagship brews, Empty Rowboat and Calhoun Claw Pilsner.
On Saturday, GetKnit Events is hosting a daytrip tour of North Shore Breweries, bringing a few lucky beer tourists to Bent Paddle, Canal Park, Castle Danger, Lake Superior, Carmody Irish Pub, and Tycoons Alehouse over the course of the day, allowing guests to comfortably brave the elements and take in scenic views of Lake Superior without making the drive themselves. With 25 tastings and meals included, it makes for one busy day trip. A second trip is planned for March 29.
Harriet Brewing will host their Deep Winter Blues Showcase at the taproom on Saturday, January 18, with performances by Mississippi-born 81 year-old Leo "Bud" Welch, who just released a new record earlier this month, and Big Wu Duo. Cajun 2 Geaux will be selling food onsite.
In other beer and food news, Surly has Pentagram back on draft in the taproom and is offering tours on Saturday. This weekend, the Surly taproom will welcome food trucks Natedogs (Friday) and Lulu's Street Food (Saturday). Elsewhere, Sandy's Grill will be at Steel Toe on Saturday and Twisted Fork will be there Friday. On Saturday, Simply Steve's will be at 612 Brew and World Street Kitchen will be at Summit.
Meanwhile, breweries around the state are gearing up for the Beer Dabbler Winter Carnival next weekend.