By: Anthony Brousseau
With so many different craft breweries and beers to try in Minnesota, how do you sort the wheat from the chaff?
Luckily, the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild is here to help. Recently, the state’s preeminent organization of beermakers held its inaugural MN Brewers Cup, “the Guild’s first state-wide professional brewers competition.” Perusing the list of winners and runners-up will give you plenty of local beers to sample.
According to the guild, more than 500 beers from 80 breweries statewide were submitted for 24 categories—plus, a Best in Show award was handed out.
The beers were blindly judged by a panel of “certified beer judges.” Members of the guild voted for Most Innovative Brewery, Best Collaboration Beer and Best Beer Art.
City South’s Wild Mind Artisan Ales was clearly a favorite of the judges, placing in three separate categories.
A first place award was given to the South Minneapolis brewery’s Spontané in the Wild & Sour Ales category. In the Sour Fruit & Spice Beers field, they earned second place with Spontané Framboise.
To round out their trophy cabinet, they took home third place in the American IPA Variations category for Menacing Vibrations. From their website: “This fruited IPA has a tropical-forward nose sprinkled with citrus peel to accompany a creamy body with notes of grapefruit, guava, and sweet orange.”
On the other side of South Minneapolis lies Venn Brewing, another big winner at the MN Brewers Cup. The top prize in the Non-Sour Fruit & Spice Beers went to Venn’s Breakfast Stout. “Actual coffee, actual chocolate, actual awesome,” the website reads. “An American-style stout infused with coffee & chocolate.”
In the American Double IPAs category, Venn earned second place for the West Coast DIPA, “a classic West Coast-style IPA with the volume turned up.”
Lastly, the East 46th Street spot took home the bronze in the Sour Fruit & Spice Beers for their Triple Berry Kettle Sour, “a Venn-style kettle sour infused with Blackberries, Raspberries, & Boysenberries.”
The City South love doesn’t end there—downtown Minneapolis’ Lakes and Legends grabbed a gold medal in the Belgian Other category for their Barncat Farmhouse IPA.
“BarnCat leaps at you claws-first with mosaic hops and the pleasing aroma of tropical fruit,” their website reads. “As distinctive as The North itself, with a taste that declares, ‘I am NOT your kitty.’”
To see the full list of MN Brewers Cup winners, click here.