After a bad weather-filled Home Run Derby, we're turning our attention to a kind of bad weather we like to have around: Minnetonka's Bad Weather Brewing Company and specifically, its flagship brew, Windvane.
Windvane is classified as a Minnesota Red Ale, bearing similarities to familiar West Coast or Irish red ales but deviating enough that the brewery distinguishes the beer's unique style.
"The fun thing about Windvane is it doesn't strictly fit a style," says head brewer Zac Carpenter. "There are not many beers out there like it. It's red in color, and has some malt sweetness which would point to it being a red ale -- where it differs is in the hops, along with a little bit of rye malt sprinkled in."
It is indeed a dark red in color with a foamy head, and a malt-forward aroma. The actual flavor begins with the familiar caramel roasted malt before a prevalent hop characteristic comes through. It's complemented with a spiced rye in the background that gives depth and successfully transitions the malt-to-hop impression. That blend provides a smooth and soft mouth feel and an easy finish that lingers very little, especially considering this beer registers at 65 IBU.
"The inspiration for Windvane was mostly based on wanting to do something a bit different that wasn't just another IPA out on the market," says Carpenter. "It is hoppy enough that you will get interest from the hop heads out there, but also approachable enough for your every day beer drinker. We wanted a really solid and tasty offering to anchor the seasonals that constantly rotate alongside it."
The beer also picked up a People's Choice Award at this year's Rochester Craft Beer Expo.
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