What to expect at MN Craft Beer Week: Special beer releases, parties, and tastings

Taps at Brau Brothers Brewing

Taps at Brau Brothers Brewing

There are roughly 10,000 minutes in a week, time that the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild is taking full advantage of with 10,000 Minutes of Minnesota Craft Beer from May 5 to May 11. The campaign is a weeklong celebration of the artisan brews and spirited growth in the brewing community, bringing together varied brewers, retailers, and bars and restaurants to celebrate a universal love of craft beer.

Throughout the week there will be special one-off beers, parties, fundraisers, tap takeovers, and tastings to highlight Minnesota's beer scene. Many local bars, restaurants, and breweries are doing something special, but we've highlighted a few of the 80+ events below ranging from a bike race to cask beer and new releases from Brau Brothers.

See also: Our round-up of breweries worth the drive in Minnesota

• Monday, May 5: Beer and cheese pairing seminar at Vine Park Brewing with a cheese expert from Mississippi Market; includes samples of cheese paired with craft beers

• Tuesday, May 6: Brau Brothers Brewing "Parti" at the Acadia Café, featuring new Parti-Gyle beers, ALTernative Imperial Alt & Paradox Black IPA. They'll also tap a cask of Chocolate Cherry MooJoos.

• Wednesday, May 7: Beer lovers speed dating at Herkimer Pub.


• Thursday, May 8: The Muddy Pig in St. Paul turns 48 tap lines over to six Minnesota breweries: Summit, Surly, Steel Toe, Indeed, Fulton, and Bent Paddle

• Friday, May 9: Surly's Pentagram Release Party at Amsterdam Bar and Hall featuring DJ Shannon Blowtorch.

• Saturday, May 10: Fulton Gran Fondo, a 100-mile bike ride that starts and ends at Fulton's new production brewery in Northeast Minneapolis. The beer-filled block party starts at 2 p.m., featuring their new summer Saison, the Randonneur.

If these ideas aren't to your liking, check out a full listing here as there's something for everyone across the state. To hear what brewers think of the week, we chatted with Dustin Brau of the aforementioned brewery based in Marshall.

"I am incredibly jealous that I won't be in the Twin Cities to go taproom-hopping for Craft Beer Week. Selfishly, I think it would be a trip to try new beers at all of the new and up-and-coming pubs. I'll do my best to seek out the new pilsners from Schell's (our neighbors to the east) and I'll probably visit some of the soon-to-open out-state breweries in our corner of Minnesota."

When asked if it is a game of one-upsmanship between himself and other brewers, Brau says he sees it more as inspiration. "I think there is more of an anticipation for what everyone will brew. It's very true that we help to make each other better by inspiring each other and pushing each other to try new beers, techniques, and ingredients. It's also true that we do not want to waste this opportunity to give our industry its due exposure and put our best (and most creative) foot forward."

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