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All Pints North, a MN Craft Brewer’s Guild beer festival, will take place at Bayfront Park in Duluth this Saturday from 3-7pm.  This 21+ event will feature 120 breweries pouring amazing beers that pair best with sunshine and fun.   If you were one of the lucky ones to get a ticket to this SOLD OUT event, you are in for a treat.

There’s an App for that

The MN Craft Brewer’s Guild is ditching the paper program in favor of an eco-friendly app that you can download for iPhone or Android.  To find it on the App Store or the Google Play Store, just search All Pints North.  I have been playing around with it a bit and it is very user-friendly.  You can see the beers that the breweries are bringing (except for a few) so you can map out an itinerary.

The other thing I like about the app is that it tells you if a beer is going to be tapping at a specific time.  This helps with my plan for the festival and will help me maximize what I want to try.  I am glad that I will not have to lug around a packet of paper that I might glance at once or twice and then throw away.  It seems to make sense that a festival held in such a pristinely beautiful part of MN would want to reduce waste.

10 MN beers To Be Excited About

As I perused the app to find what people were bringing, I found a lot of offerings that caught my eye.  Some of these beers I have had in the past, and some just sound intriguing.  This is not a “best of” list, it is simply a collection of what caught my eye.  There will be something for everyone at this festival.  Once you download the app, start looking through it and find what tickles your fancy.

Lupulin Brewing Hashed! Mosaic

Lupulin is giving their patrons an education in how hops can make beer spectacular.  This beer is a shining example of why you need to make sure you visit their taproom.  Sure, we all know how splendid and hoptastic Hoey and Blissful Ignorance are.  However, Hashed! Mosaic is a single batch that showcases Mosaic hops in an intense manner.  If you don’t like Mosaic hops, you might want to steer clear of this one.  If you do like Mosaic hops, you might want to leave the life you know behind and ride off with this beer and never look back.

Birches on the Lake Toasted Coconut Porter

Birches on the Lake is adept at brewing beers with food flavors.  Though I have never had this beer before, Birches does not disappoint when they traverse into the realm of dessert beers.  I remember the Salted Caramel Quad from Winterfest being a marvel.  I am hoping this beer delivers on the toasted coconut in a way that accents the beer and doesn’t overwhelm it.

Bauhaus Brew Labs Homeguys Helles

Given that the weather is going to be around 80 degrees and sunny, this beer is going to simultaneously dazzle and refresh your palate.  This beer is clean and crisp and was brewed perfectly in my opinion.  I had it a few weeks ago at the taproom, but then when I returned a week later, it was gone.  I am happy to be able to drink it again.  I might need some quiet time by the lake with this bad boy.

Junkyard Jelly the Nut

Junkyard, for being as small as they are, brew some of the best beer in the state in my opinion.  I have yet to have a subpar beer from them and I don’t anticipate that happening here.  They have dialed in the peanut butter in beer thing with the best of them.  I am anxious to try the PB & J in a beer with Jelly the Nut.  The label art for this beer is reminiscent of the Jabba the Hut playset I had as a kid.  I am hoping that some crowlers of this make their way into my beer fridge, but until then, I will have to settle for having it at the fest.

Dangerous Man Lemon Meringue Ale

Dangerous Man can do very little wrong in my book when it comes to beer.  I saw this beer in the program and I instantly did a mental cartwheel.  The physical cartwheel would have landed me in the ER due to my “low center of gravity.”  The flavors and textures of lemon meringue pie are unique and distinct.  My hope is that elements of this timeless dessert will be front and center in this beer.  I know that when Dangerous Man tackles unique brews like this,  they are usually done with a high rate of success.  I can’t wait to see how this one turns out.

Fair State Curation

I had this a few weeks back at Fair State’s Mixed Culture event held at their St. Paul production facility.  This is a new pale sour aged in plum barrels and it is absolutely magnificent.  This taps specially at 4pm and I would make sure that you are in line to get a taste.  The plums add a depth of flavor that really go well with the base beer.  This beer is a treat for summer and you should not miss it!

Urban Growler Sticky Rice

This is a two-pronged attack to get beer and Thai food lovers alike enchanted by flavor.  Originally brewed for a Tin Whiskers Brew-Off, the recipe stuck (see what I did there??) and it has become a yearly beer that people look forward to.  Ginger, mango, jasmine rice, and coconut are all present in this beer.  It is definitely a great summer beer and another in a long line of fabulous things that have come out of Urban Growler.  I know that this will be on my radar for a few pours.

Waconia Brewing Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter

This beer is not new, but it is one of the best.  It will be on tap randomly at the Waconia Brewing, but that doesn’t come anywhere near to sating the appetite for this beer’s demand.  This is one of the rare instances where you can taste-teste all the best examples of this style against each other at one place.  I am speaking of Empyrean’s Long Route and Dangerous Man’s Peanut Butter Porter as being the other best examples in this market.  So, this is your chance to have dessert in a glass in its best form.

Schell’s Electrik Empress

Leave it to these masters of berliner weisse at Schell’s to transfer a beer aged for a year in a cypress barrel onto 6,600 lbs. of plums.  Do you think this beer is going to be good?!?!?  Hell yes!!  A tart and refreshing beer on the shores of Lake Superior is going to be just what you need.  This is just one, in a lineup of several, that will definitely make All Pints North memorable.  I can’t wait to have this in my glass and then repeat 3 or 4 times.  Mmm, berliner weisse. . .

Modist Double Shot w/ Vanilla 1st Call

It is to the point where the 37th level beer wizards from Modist shouldn’t even be allowed to make something that is perfect better.  However, that is what this beer sounds like to me.  This beer is in a class by itself because nobody is making a beer this exquisite with coffee.  Insight and Birches come close, but Modist has the ability to brew it the way nobody else in this market can.

All Pints North

These should keep you busy, but there are more beers that you should seek out, for sure.  There are also a lot of awesome regional beer offerings at this fest.  I will cover those and more in my recap of the festival.  This is just a primer.  I would also encourage you to try any of the series of beers made with water from Lake Superior.  I know that several of the breweries are participating in that series and it should be fun to see what they come up with.


All Pints North Survival Tips

Have a plan of attack for the fest.  If you highlight the beers you want ahead of time, it will be a lot easier to taste what you like at the fest.

Don’t forget to eat.  There will be a bevy of food trucks available and so you want to make sure you eat at the festival. Also, get a good base before the fest.  There are plenty of places to grab food in Duluth and your body will thank you.

Hydrate at the fest.  There are lots of water stations for a reason; use them.  I try to stick to a tried and true method of hitting a water station after every 3 or 4 breweries.  This ensures I stay hydrated and don’t make an ass of myself.

You don’t have to finish everything.  This is a sampling event.  You paid for unlimited samples.  If you don’t like something, dump it.  Life is too short for beer you don’t like.  Don’t be an asshat and dump it out right in front of the booth, but wander away and be discreet about it.

Wear comfy/sturdy shoes.  I stepped on some lady’s foot a few years back and she got all mad.  I felt bad until I looked down and saw that she was wearing some Jimmy Choo designer “I am asking to be impaled” sandal.  Also, the fact that she was just standing in the middle of the aisle was dumb, but you can’t fix stupid.  Move along in your comfy and sturdy footwear once you get your sample!

Don’t Drink and Drive!  Plan for a safe ride.  Lyft, Uber, and taxi should all be in the mix for your transportation.

Hopefully this helps you get the most out of All Pints North.  The festival is top-notch when it comes to offerings and people.  Keep a look out for me and let me know if there is something that you tried and loved!  Prost!