Beer Snob

​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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​Beer cocktails: beyond the boilermaker

by Chris Larson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | March 1st, 2017

Last Saturday, my wife invited a friend over to catch up and have a drink together. When she pulled out a Redd’s Wicked Blood Orange “beer” and took a sip it was decidedly too sweet for their tastes. Then inspiration struck me and I suggested they drop a shot of Sauza 901 tequila into the mix. The results were not only pleasant but became part of the inspiration for this week’s Beer Snob.

You might call it “a beer and a bump” or a “shot and a chaser”. In Philadelphia…

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​Nick Goldschmidt kicks off special dining experiences

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

When an opportunity to meet, dine and drink wine with a winemaker of Nick Goldschmidt’s stature was presented to me, I just had to seize it without hesitation and book a Valentine’s Day Dinner at The Boiler Room.

I had briefly met Nick five years ago, during his last visit to the market and have enjoyed his small production, world class, single vineyard wines ever since he first poured me a glass -- but a wine dinner of this caliber at the Boiler Room was not only a new experience…

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​Flatland brews begin to flow outside of their taproom

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

For the first time since they opened their West Fargo taproom last July, Flatland Brewery is now bringing their beer to your favorite ale houses and offsales through a series of tap takeover events in February and March.

When I last visited with brewer Frank, back in October, they had just expanded their tap room hours and were getting comfortable maintaining a steady flow through their twelve in-house taps.

This time around, I spoke with Chris Markwardt, a managing partner of Flatland…

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​Mead: an ancient wine for gods and lovers

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

On the day of our wedding, my wife and I were given a simple hand-made wooden box by a couple of dear friends. Inside the wooden box was a pair of goblets and a bottle of mead and inside the lid of the box: a story of the origins of the word “honeymoon.”

According to Susan Ruud, co-owner and operator of Prairie Rose Meadery, “There has long been the belief that mead was served to a newly married couple for the first month after marriage to ensure the birth of a son. (honey = mead)…

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​Beer for your sweetheart and your sweet tooth

by Chris Larson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | February 1st, 2017

With Valentine’s Day approaching and stout season in full swing, I decided to share some impressions of some dessert beers I’ve recently tried. There are many sweet, confectionary-like brews available in a variety of flavors and with varying sweetness, but I have selected just four to bring to your attention this week, as beers to share with your sweetheart or your favorite beer lover. And share you should, as most of these come in larger bottles and contain very high amounts of…

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​Twist: A new concept for downtown

by Chris Larson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | January 25th, 2017

When Dan Hurder and his staff were coming up with the food and drink menus for a rebranding and relaunch, a singular word seemed to dominate their discussions and descriptions of what they wanted to offer, and so that simple word became the name and concept of their latest downtown offering: Twist. It is a different take on typical bar food, and a focus on traditional cocktails “with a twist”. It is a concept focused on creativity and flexibility, which should allow them to easily…

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​Junkyard doubles its brewing capacity

by Chris Larson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | January 18th, 2017

Nicholas Friesen Photography

When Aaron Juhnke first began his hobby of homebrewing with canning jars, he had no way of predicting he would be in the position he finds himself in today. What started as a way to experiment, as well as ensure a regular personal supply of flavorful beer, has now turned into a major juggling act as he works diligently, expanding the brewing capacity of one of the area’s most popular and most talked-about breweries.

Shortly after relocating in the summer of 2014, Junkyard increased…

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​The soothing spices of winter

by Chris Larson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | January 16th, 2017

As the deep cold settles in and we retreat indoors to the warmth of a fireplace or pull out the heavy socks and blankets, it is common for many of us to turn towards darker, higher alcohol beers like stouts and porters.

Not to be neglected is the seasonal winter favorite, the winter warmer. Though the traditional English version would share the same malty, sweet characteristics, I chose instead to focus this week on what we mostly see in our market: the spiced winter warmer ale.…

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