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Minnesota: The Land of Ten Thousand Beers

A self-described amateur beer nut delves into the Minnesota craft beer scene.

Hello all, my name is Tony. I am 28 years old, and I love food, history, and culture. Over the past couple of years I have learned how those three things intersect in one glorious place—beer. Beer had its humble beginnings as a means of preserving grain and making water safe to drink. It went on to inspire philosophers and artists, influence governments, and become as diverse as the fish in the sea.

The more I learn about beer, the more intriguing it becomes. I have tasted many different craft beers, but it is only a fraction of the offerings available from the numerous craft breweries around the world. I have also been learning how to brew my own beer. After reading many brewing books, and brewing many batches of beer, I honestly feel like I have barely scratched the surface of different ingredients and techniques that I can combine to make different beers.

On Feb. 3, I was fortunate enough to attend the 11th annual “Winterfest”, hosted by the MN Craft Brewer’s Guild. The event was a chance for a group of talented brewers to share their best beers with the public. The best part, though, was that all of the breweries were from Minnesota! Surly Brewing, Summit, Harriet Brewing, Town Hall Brewery, Flat Earth and a myriad of others were there. It was really awesome to see a showcase of world class brews made in our own backyard. The selection of beers varied greatly. Pale Ales, Lagers, mightily hoppy IPAs, Belgian beers, wood aged beers, and even several “sour” beers were on tap.

Winterfest was a great event, but it’s not exclusively why I’m writing today. I’m writing because I am excited about the growing beer culture all around us. Micro-breweries, pubs focused on craft beers, and beer-centric events are all over the state. If you are someone who refuses to believe that beer is limited to a watery, flavorless “Lite” beers, then you live in the right state!

Beer has a rich history, closely tied to many cultures all over the world. It seems fitting that craft beer renaissance would take hold in the rich cultural melting pot that is Minnesota. New breweries are opening in the state frequently, and several activist groups are helping change laws that inhibit small brewing operations. It really is amazing how vigorous this young beer culture is!

I don’t claim to be an expert, but I am definitely passionate about beer. I enjoy learning the history of beer, brewing beer, and of course, tasting beer. I am hoping to use this blog as a platform to share my adventures with beer. Whether it be home brewing my own, tasting new local beers, beer related events, or just sharing a beer related discussion, I hope to do that all here. If you are a fan of one of the oldest fermented beverages on earth, this blog just may be for you. I will post here as I continue my journey with beer. Stay tuned!

-Tony Ebner, amateur beer nut

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Bill James March 01, 2012 at 09:42 PM
"You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer." -Frank Zappa
Michael Rose (Editor) March 01, 2012 at 10:11 PM
I wish I had a beer quote as good as that, but alas, I do not. Bravo, Bill!
Tony Ebner March 02, 2012 at 12:14 AM
It's never easy to top Frank Zappa.
strangedub March 17, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Beer is the food of life...

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