2021 Summer Beer Dabbler Recap

On Saturday, August 28th, the 12th annual Summer Beer Dabbler took place at CHS Field in St. Paul. Even with a last-minute time change to avoid impending storms, this event capped off the craft beer summer drinking season in fine fashion. There is something really fun about being able to sample both local and regional beers out on an impeccably groomed baseball field.

Another Much-Needed Step Towards Normalcy

Not only was the 2021 Summer Beer Dabbler a fantastic time. For many, including myself, it represented another step towards getting back to what we used to do. For beer enthusiasts far and wide, beer festivals like the Summer Beer Dabbler are a tremendous social waypoint. To be able to converse with so many people in the local and regional beer scene all at one time is something we all cherish, and I daresay maybe came to take for granted. The pandemic’s temporary elimination of festivals was a tough pill to swallow. However, the return of The Summer Beer Dabbler almost made the time feel worth it because seeing so many jovial dispositions and pretzel necklaces certainly warmed my heart.

Best Beers of the Dabbler

As our local craft beer scene matures, the bar for what beer festival-goers expect continually raises. I thought that the array of beers on display from a lot of our local breweries seemed elevated this year. Also, I was happy to see so many delicious clean and crisp offerings.

I had some takeaways from The Summer Beer Dabbler that were both expected and surprising. There were many local breweries that answered the call when it came to beers that both impressed and reaffirmed my faith in humanity. Some of the regional breweries in attendance were new to me, and I was thankful for the opportunity to get my mitts on some of their beers.

Copper Trail Brewing-19th Hole Scottish Ale

Of the beers from Copper Trail Brewing in Alexandria, MN, that I have enjoyed, the malty offerings are definitely my favorites. The 19th Hole Scottish Ale is no exception. The aroma of this beer is roasty and enticing. The flavors all come together masterfully-a hint of caramel, nice biscuit and tasted bread, and a subtle hint of nuttiness. The body of the beer is nicely settled between light and medium. This is a wonderful beer. I wish Alexandria was closer because I still haven’t made it there. However, I had a great chat with Copper Trail’s Head Brewer, Adam Graf, and I assured him he would see me sooner than later in his brewery.

Lakeville Brewing’s-Lulu’s Royal Wheat American Pale Wheat Ale

A style that is not going to get much publicity, but a style done impeccably well. Aromatic coriander and orange peel burst into your olfactory senses like the Kool-Aid man making an example out of a brick wall. The mouthfeel and finish of this beer is absolutely textbook. Lakeville Brewing’s Randy Clay deserves quite a bit of credit for this one. If more American Pale Wheat ales like this existed, people would rave more about this forgotten gem of a beer style.

Dual Citizen Brewing Company Elbow Bender Kölsch

A perfect summer beer for the a day on the outfield grass at CHS Field. With this style, there is not much that a flaw can hide behind. So, it was with great gusto that I enjoyed this well-made Kölsch-style beer from Dual Citizen Brewing Company in St. Paul, MN. Bradley Zimmerman created a beer with a nice bit of honey along with a crackery malt character. The finish is nice and crisp and the body is light and effervescent.

Revelation Ale Works-Upriver Utopia Hefewizen

Hefeweizen, the original hazy, is a style that I love. It is hard to brew, and if a brewer doesn’t have their chops, it can go south in a hurry. Luckily, the yeast in this beer is happy as a clam and the aromas and flavors of banana, clove, and lemon all shine bright like a diamond in this beer. The mouthfeel is perfect and almost pillowy. Ryan Evenson, the Head Brewer at Revelation Ale Works really outdid himself with this one.

Weldwerks Double Chocolate Medianoche

I think that my beer writing license would be revoked if I went to a beer festival and didn’t rave about a stout. Luckily, Weldwerks Brewing out of Greeley, Colorado, brought a decadent imperial stout with the perfect mix of sweetness and roasted malt to enchant my palate. I have had several different variations of the Medianoche beers, both regular and barrel-aged. I have to say that this one is up there with the best of them. The chocolate sweetness in this beer isn’t cloying and has enough notes of molasses and roasted malt to balance it out.

These are just some of the many beers that I tried. The afternoon was really wonderful. Between the people, the music, and the fact that I was amongst so many other like-minded individuals having fun, I don’t think I could have asked for a better day. I want to give a huge thanks to The Beer Dabbler for allowing me to cover this event with a press pass. The Summer Beer Dabbler was a wonderful way to bid farewell to our Minnesota summer. Prost!

Dan Beaubien has been involved with Beerploma since 2014 although his passion for craft beer dates back to 2006 when he started traveling for beer.  He mostly covers craft beer events, festivals, brewery openings/releases, and beer reviews. Dan has a soft spot in his heart for authentic British Style ales, IPAs, and all things barrel-aged.  If you have any questions or comments about this article feel free to email Dan at dan.beaubien@beerploma.com .