Beer Snob

​Drumconrath: A wee bit of Ireland in Mapleton

by Chris Larson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | May 17th, 2017

Late in March, just barely missing the St. Patrick’s Day weekend, Drumconrath opened the doors to their brewery and taproom in the rapidly growing community of Mapleton.

For Mapleton locals, being able to catch up with old neighbors or meet new ones while drinking a pint of great beer that was brewed in their own town is not only a new source of pride but also something that has never been legal in Mapleton since prohibition ended.

And while his laid back demeanor and humble persona…

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​Junkyard Brewing now available in off-sales

by Chris Larson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | May 10th, 2017

There are certain brewery names that are constantly requested by customers in the local metro area. Many of them, like New Glarus, Yuengling, and Dogfish Head will probably never become available for purchase at your local retailers, though these days we have been seeing more and more of the commonly requested breweries launching into the local market.

While it’s always great to see some heavy hitters giving our smaller market a bit of attention, we really love our local beer and…

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​Mezcal: Tequila’s history makes a comeback

by Chris Larson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | May 3rd, 2017

Until very recently, there was probably only one option for those who were interested in tasting non-tequila mezcal. The Mexican heritage spirit that was responsible for the creation of the subcategory of tequila was very poorly represented most places, but especially in North Dakota.

For many of us in this part of the world, the only non-tequila mezcal we knew had that nasty little worm in the bottom of the bottle and was typically purchased as a gag gift or a dare.

That is very rapidly…

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​Cooking with beer (not just in your hand)

by Chris Larson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | April 26th, 2017

If you are at all like me, you have been itching to fire up the grill and get down to some outdoor cooking. If you and I are really alike, you probably almost always have a beer in one hand when there’s a grilling utensil in the other. Why not be a bit adventurous and add some extra flavor to your food by cooking with beer?

There are countless different ways to enhance your culinary creations with the flavors of your favorite beers, and searching online will easily yield a wide…

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​Session ales for sunny days

by Chris Larson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | April 12th, 2017

Spring is officially here and of course that means spring cleaning, yard work, grilling and socializing outdoors. Often this also means more time with friends or family in situations where you may want to have more than just one or two beers.

Historically, these beers were probably very light, fairly flavorless but just as refreshing as a glass of cool water. This spring and summer, thanks to an ever-expanding market of “session” beers, you no longer have to sacrifice flavor in…

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​Founders KBS released to the local market

by Chris Larson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | April 5th, 2017

While it is true that beer aged in wooden barrels has been around for centuries, the modern practice of aging beer in a whiskey barrel was first tried in the early 1990s, with the initial experiments that would become Goose Island Brewing’s “Bourbon County Brand Stout.”

Since then, scores of craft brewers, both large and small, have taken to aging different brews in barrels that were formerly used for whiskey, specifically: bourbon or rye casks.

Though Goose Island still sees a huge…

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​Fargo Whiskey Fest offers whiskey from around the world

by Chris Larson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | March 29th, 2017

Whether you consider yourself new to the experience of drinking whiskey or are a seasoned whiskey aficionado with hundreds of whiskeys sampled over the years, you will not want to miss the 2017 Fargo Whiskey Fest at the Sanctuary Events Center on April 12th.

Republic National Distributing company, in conjunction with over twenty distilleries, will be providing samples of almost ninety different American, Irish, Canadian, and Scotch whiskeys. In addition to “neat” samples of the pure…

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​Local craft brewers see no shortages of hops

by Chris Larson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | March 22nd, 2017

It was right around this time last year that news articles around the world were spreading fear about a looming hop crisis. Supposedly driven by an overwhelming influx of new brewery startups, as well as the American craft beer consumers desire for ultra hopped-up brews, there was a hop crisis in the making that would result in both huge spikes in hop prices as well as possible shortages of some of the most commonly used hop varieties. Stories were coming from a wide variety of media…

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​Spring brings a flood of IPAs to market

by Chris Larson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | March 15th, 2017

The last few years have really been hopping for craft beer sales, especially one specific style of brew known as the IPA. While stouts, porters, helles, kolsch, belgian ales and wild or sour beers are all seeing more and more interest from adventurous consumers, it is the bold and usually bitter India Pale Ale that is really driving craft beer sales at most retail and on premise locations.

Every day, without fail, the number one question we get at my store is “What are the newest IPAs…

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​Shandys and Radlers aren’t just for summer

by Chris Larson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | March 8th, 2017

Last week I wrote about the beer cocktail and there was one specific beer cocktail that was left out of the discussion completely, with intent. The history of mixing beer and soda, lemonade or fruit juice (usually a half and half mix) dates back to the early 1900s in Germany and is called either a “shandy” or a “radler.” Lower in alcohol, with some even coming in at or around 2% ABV, they are usually bursting with so much flavor that any beer taste is usually completely buried…

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