Tagged ‘commercial-beer‘

All Pints North 2013

All Pints North Duluth

This past weekend, Mrs. Hopped Up Brewer and I road tripped to Duluth, Minnesota for the second annual All Pints North Summer Brew Fest organized by the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild.  The 4 hour event is set in Bayfront Festival Park along the shore of the inner harbor at Duluth with the iconic aerial lift bridge in the distance.

Duluth is a fantastic setting for a beer event like All Pints, which is perhaps best described as the most laid back beer festival you’ll ever attend. The breeze coming off Lake Superior keeps the temps tolerable on even the sunniest of days, and the festival grounds are spacious enough to park a couple lawn chairs in front of the stage and take in some live music while you enjoy generous pours of some fine Minnesota beer. If you’re into something more active while you rest your lupulin-weary taste buds, you can always challenge some fellow beer drinkers to a game of giant bean bag toss!

All Pints North

As usual, the Surly tent was swamped, but some newer breweries boasted impressive lines as well. Dangerous Man was pouring a couple variations of their excellent Milk Stout. I didn’t get a chance to try the Session Pale, but I heard good things, and their coconut milk stout was surprisingly refreshing, reminding me ever so slightly of the island where I vacationed in January.

Dangerous Man Tap List - All Pints North

New to Duluth, Bent Paddle took home the award for Best Brewery, and tied with Town Hall for Best Beer with their cold press Black Ale served on nitro. Their branding work is top notch, and it’s great to see the beer holds up to the same standard.

Bent Paddle Brewery Display - All Pints North

All in all, this was a great festival, and I definitely plan on attending next year. Attendance this year was double what it was last, but things seemed to go quite smooth. Four hours was the perfect length of time. Not so long that you feel like bailing early, but not so short you feel rushed to get through the tents, either. Couldn’t ask for a more beautiful day to sit outside and drink some beer!

All Pints North - Duluth

Caribbean Beer

A week ago, I left the sun-filled shores of Dominica and returned to the wind-battered plains of Fargo. The wife and I took a trip with two of our close friends and spent 10 days on the island with two days of travel on either end. It was a wonderful trip, and it was nice to spend so many uninterrupted days away from the office and get some time to just relax for a change.

Of course, what would a vacation be without some drinking? You might guess a Carribean island would have a heavy rum bias, and you’d be correct, though there is a not-so-small brewery tucked away on the south end of the island that churns out some decent beer.

Kubuli Beer

Employing more than 70 people, Dominica Brewery & Beverages Ltd. brews and bottles 6 different beverages (including Guinness Foreign Extra Stout), but primarily sells Kubuli, a nice, pale lager. Rated 3/5 on Untapped!

The beer, sadly, is better than American pale lagers. I hiked several miles with a handful of bottles in 80° jungle weather, and when we stopped for lunch and washed down cold sandwiches with a bottle of warm (hot?) Kubuli, it was still pretty decent. Try that with your Bud Select.

I also had a chance to try their shandy, which is perhaps more representative of the style than anything I can find locally (I’m looking at you Leinenkugel), though not really to my liking.

Next time you’re in the Carribean, be sure to try a bottle. It’s good to take a tolerance break from the rum now and then anyhow.

Surly Wet

Surly Wet

Be jealous.

Dead Drifter


If you haven’t had one of these, you need to! Half Widmer Drifter, half Rogue Dead Guy, all awesome.

Friday Photo – East Coast Beer Swap

East Coast IPAs

The brown truck brought me a package of East Coast IPAs last night! A fellow HomeBrewTalk member and I got to talking about clone recipes for Surly’s Abrasive Ale and I ended up sending a bunch of Surly out to North Carolina in exchange for some beer we can’t find anywhere near here. All told, I got 8 bottles of Dogfish Head 90 minute, 5 bottles of Uinta Hop Notch (1 broke in transit), 2 bottles of Smuttynose Finestkind, a 22oz bottle of Epic Brewing Company’s Imperial IPA from their Exponential Series, and a big bottle of Weyerbacher Double Simcoe.

Of that list, I’ve only tried the DFH 90, and only two bottles of that ever, so it goes without saying that I’m beyond excited to dig into this stack of brews and try out some East Coast hop bombs.