A while back we headed up to cover the Twin Ports Brewfest at Black Bear Casino. It was a decent event with a few bumps. (You can read about it here). This year, the event was moved from the far north to the not so far north, Grand Casino in Hinckley, MN. Starting an event over at a different venue, much less one so far from the original spot, is a bit of a gamble. But this bet paid off!
Drinking some Lakefront Beer!
First, the new digs! Black Bear is a pretty small place. And frankly, it isn’t all that nice of a place either. Sure, it served its purpose for the brewfest, but this year’s venue was truly grand! The Grand Casino offered more dining options, more hotel rooms, and more after brewfest fun activities.
Next up, the beer! Many more local breweries were able to make it to this year’s event. Last year the combination of distance and some hellacious weather made for a bit of slim pickins’ when it came to breweries attending and gifting us with unlimited samples of free beer. This year, there was beer aplenty! I’ll touch on a few.
Bent Paddle pouring some great beer!
Bent Paddle had a couple pretty awesome offerings, Their Black Ale and their cold pressed Black Ale. It was fun to try both incarnations of this stout porter. Both awesome in their own right. The regular edition was a really smooth highly drinkable beer while the coffee was a bit more robust in flavor due to the cold pressed coffee addition. This coffee beer had the most coffee flavor I think I have ever tasted in a beer… And I liked that! Two great beers!
Burning Brothers pouring the best of the fest in my opinion!
My absolute favorite of the fest though was Burning Brothers Brewing’s Cranberry Infusion. Top notch! This is their Pyro APA infused with cranberry. It was so damn good I didn’t even care that I was drinking a pink beer! Evidently they do Pyro fusion beers of all different kinds at their taproom…. And evidently I need to hit up their taproom!
The bad of the fest? I really don’t think there was one. Towards the end it seemed like the lines to get a beer were getting a little big. One could argue it was a little oversold, but I more think that it showed what an awesome big ol’ party was going down that night!
Lynn from Brau Brothers making people happy!
Man, the beer, the music, the new venue, the shorter drive… just hands down a big improvement from last year! And really, forget about “improvement”, this event was just plain a great event! Or… shall we say, “Grand” (see what I did there?!)