Photo by Caitlin Abrams
There are 10,080 minutes in a week, and the week of Monday, May 4 the MN Craft Brewers Guild is making the most of them with the return of its 10,000 Minutes of Minnesota Craft Beer. It doesn’t include every brew in the state, nor is it 168 consecutive sleepless hours of guzzling suds, but it is day after day of more than 125 total overlapping events throughout the state.
From the casual lite sipper to the hops cicerone, it’s a huge list to navigate on your own, so we’ve rounded up some of the highlights to give you a head start.
Monday, May 4
Indeed is tapping three pins (a pin is half a firkin) at Grumpy’s in Northeast at 5 p.m. and calling it PINdeed. $10 will get you admission to the classic movie Strange Brew plus the Brau Brothers brew of your choosing from 6-9 p.m. at Pepito’s Parkway Theater on Chicago Avenue. Cocina del Barrio in Edina’s Craft Beer Dinner features five courses, each paired with a cold one from a different local brewery.
Tuesday, May 5
At 2 p.m. Black Sheep on Robert Street will be tapping a firkin (a cask that holds about 11 gallons or 86 pints) of Extra Strong Bitter from NorthGate Brewing and pairing it with a pizza just for the occasion? No Firkin Way! It’s Cinco de Mayo, and fun awaits if you can make it out to Shakopee, where Badger Hill Brewing is serving up free tacos starting at 3 p.m. while supplies last, or White Bear Lake from 4-10 p.m., for happy hour specials and an open mic comedy night at Big Wood Brewery. They’re branding it “Tweet the Brewer,” but since the brewers of Bent Paddle and Carmody’s in-house beer will be at Carmody’s Irish Pub in Duluth from 5-8 p.m., you can probably just talk to them if you’re there.
Wednesday, May 6
Selections from Mankato Brewery are flowing from the taps—and a special firkin!—of the Champps restaurants in Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, and Richfield, all from 5-7 p.m. Day Block Brewing Co. in Minneapolis is holding a Janis Joplin tribute night with live music to celebrate the release of its new beer “Janis Hoplin.” Four Minnesota United tickets go to the winners of Tin Whiskers’ craft beer- and soccer-themed trivia in St. Paul.
Thursday, May 7
Interesting flavors abound today, starting at 2 p.m. when Wabasha Brewing Co. drinks to the St. Paul Saints with a tickets giveaway and a seasonal jalapeño cream ale. It’s New Beer Thursday at Fair State Brewing Cooperative in Minneapolis, where at 4 p.m. you can try your hand at sampling two special sour ales. Northbound Smokehouse has whipped up a new honeydew melon infusion of its Honey Wheat, and it’s hitting glasses from 5-7 p.m. Not all Minnesota craft beers are bitter!
Friday, May 8
Fishing opener is upon us, so if you find yourself near Nisswa, celebrate with live music at Gull Dam Brewing, and get a dollar off a pint if you bring in your MN fishing license. The head of ENKI Brewing comes to Bryant Lake Bowl at 5 p.m., pouring an IPA, a cacao porter, and a hefe from the taps. Grab a seat on the patio at the Seven Corners Republic for Lagerfest, with sample flights, blind tasting, food pairing, and giveaways, starting at 5 p.m.
Saturday, May 9
Nobody died last year, so at 9 a.m. they’re doing it again: the Fulton Gran Fondo, a 100-mile bike ride that begins and ends at the Northeast brewery. The Fondo block party starts at 2 p.m. and has $5 Fultons all day. A welcome addition to 612, both the brewery and the area code, is a brand new patio, having its grand opening at 12 p.m. and hopefully usable through 11 p.m.
All week long!
Some events take the whole week to aerate, like Urban Growler Taproom in St. Paul’s Week of Special Releases, a brand new brew (or rerelease of a classic one) each day until they’re gone. St. Paul’s Great Waters Brewing Company and the Herkimer on Lyndale are doing the same kind of thing. It’s Surly Week at Zorbaz up in Detroit Lakes, and Surly Night at various locations in the Twin Cities and beyond, with the brewery bringing an array of its taps to your town. Also roving are the aggressively-named Indeed Brewing Tap Takeover and Fulton Tap Invasion.