(Twin Ports Brewfest in Action)

Last month, My friend Chris and I made the ridiculously icy trek from Saint Paul to Duluth for the Twin Ports Brewfest at the Black Bear Casino. It was cold and the roads sucked, but once we got there and the beer started flowing we had a blast!

One thing that struck me was the fairly small brewery turn out. I have been to a lot of beer events and this one had the least amount of breweries. Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty. And actually I am not sure this was a bad thing.

The smaller amount of breweries, while it limited variety a little bit, made it possible to actually hit every booth to sample every brewery. With most events having 30-70 breweries, this is impossible. Sometimes that leads to missing out on some pretty good beers. This time I was able to hit every booth and sample a beer from every brewery there…. although I didn’t hit up the wineries and of course skipped the Coors Light booth and the booth that had the Hard Mike’s and Hard Teas. What were those last two even doing there?!?!

It was nice to be out of town and trying some local breweries I haven’t tried before. Different area, different local breweries, right? One that stuck out, and actually was my favorite of the day, was Thirsty Pagan out of Superior, WI. They had one of only a few “special beers”, a sour! I love sours, and this one was good. Tart, a tiny bit funky, and not covered up with fruit. I like fruit sours, but I love a sour that can just stand on it’s own. This was my favorite of the event.
 
(Thirsty Pagan)

Chris’ favorite was the Apricot Wheat by Fitgers. Chris is somewhat new to the craft beer scene. It’s awesome when someone somewhat new to craft beer finds a beer that they say they could drink all day. This beer was a little malty, kind of fruity from the apricot, and really smooth. I swear he hit up that Fitgers stand so many times he was probably close to being on a first name basis with them by the end of the day!
 
(Fitgers)

There was a bit of a downer during the concert portion of the event. There was a small break where they got rid of all the brewery booths for the concert. The Dropkick Murphy’s totally rocked the house! But when we decided we wanted a beer, all they had for sale were a few national brands.
 
(Dropkick Murphys Rockin’ Out)

It was the casino that was handling the beer and alcohol sales at this point. But seriously, this was a craft beer event! You have a huge room full of craft beer drinkers! After spending the day drinking awesome craft beers all you can offer me is a Bud or a Miller Lite? Ugh! We had mixed drinks instead.
 
(Crap Beer… C’mon Man!)

All in all this was a pretty fun event. A couple small tweaks and maybe another couple breweries and this event will be top notch. I’m always up for a road trip, so I am sure I will be back!

http://thirstypaganbrewing.com/
http://fitgersbrewhouse.com/
www.twinportsbrewfest.com