Posted: Tuesday, June 1, 2010
We are a beer-drinking nation. Wine's popularity continues to grow and the renaissance of the classic cocktail is a wonderful thing, but we still love our beer above all else. This is a fact not lost on Kowalski's as we begin to put full-service bottle shops into our markets. The Wine Shop in our Eagan and Woodbury Markets offers not just wine but an interesting selection of specialty beers and ales to satisfy the tastes of avid beer drinkers.
In a truly dazzling array of choices that confront every beer lover, there is one category that speaks to us more than the others: the craft brews – small, independent, entrepreneurial, artisan beers.
Some craft brews have achieved critical and commercial success and are available regionally or even nationally. But at the heart of the movement there is a local flavor, good beer from our own backyard.
Our beer specialists recommend these local brews:
Owned by brewmaster David Anderson, Dave's BrewFarm is located just off I-94 in Wilson, Wisconsin, about 60 miles from the Twin Cities. Powered by a 120-foot wind generator, they have peaked consumers' curiosity as much with their commitment to sustainability as with their exceptional "windcrafted" beers.
- BrewFarm Select: A full-flavored, all-malt Pilsner that starts light and crisp and ends malty but dry. It's an easy drinker intended to bridge the divide between "geek" beers and the macrobrews. Available in 12 pack cans.
- Matacabras: Named after the wicked goat-killing wind of Spain, this rye-based Belgian-style strong ale is sure to stop you in your tracks. It is billed as a "curious ale," as it is dark and well-hopped, yet balanced.
Lift Bridge Beer Co.
Not since it was a logging boomtown has Stillwater been a brewing hotspot. The surge of breweries helped quench the thirst of loggers and lumber barons alike. The Lift Bridge Beer Co., named for Stillwater's iconic bridge, is doing its best to change that historical oversight.
- Crosscut American Pale Ale: A refreshingly not-overhopped pale ale with a twist of grapefruit peel gives this brew a little extra zest. Refreshing after a long day's logging.
- Farm Girl Saison: Originally brewed to appeal to the ladies, the Saison (Belgian farmhouse ale) quickly became a favorite of the gents...and Lift Bridge's flagship beer. Smooth, pale gold, well-rounded and with more than a hint of spice; this Belgian inspired beer will please just about anybody.
Brau Brothers Brewing Co.
Brau Brother's is jokingly referred to as the most attractive brewery in Lucan, Minnesota: population 220. However, the quality of the beer is no laughing matter. This family-run operation – employing no less than four members of the Brau family – offers an imaginative lineup of beers that range from the 106-calorie Old No. 56 Light Beer to a robust Cream Stout.
- Sheep Head Ale: A bitter ale for a bitter game, so the label says. Those that know this card game can sympathize. Definitely one for the hopheads.
- Ringneck Braun Ale: A double nut brown ale with a fruity palate and a dry, nutty finish. Ideal for early fall evenings.