Mention the Twins this year and people start wincing and moaning. In this critic’s opinion, that’s because they’re not drinking enough. Actually, this is a banner year in new developments in beer for Twins fans! Two reasons. One, in the stands: Surly’s Bandwagon! Surly released an only-in-the-stadium-beer called Bandwagon. I was there last week, I asked the nice people at the door: Where is it? They said, “Oh ya can’t miss it, just look for the line! The really long line! It’s a long line, you can’t miss it!” Well, they were right. Beginning of the game, maybe 200 people, in two separate lines—one heading north, the other south. By the 6th inning, though, there were only about 10 people in line, and I made my move: Good stuff! A lot like Furious, but, if possible, even hoppier, with a woodsy non-fruit tobacco-box element. Big, strong, good. Not cheap, at $8.75, but you don’t need two. Is it worth buying a cheap ticket just to get one? Depends on how much of a Surly fan you are, but actually, I’d say why not. Sometimes tickets are only eleven bucks! Now you’re paying $19.75 for a Bandwagon, and that’s still less than the Surly Darkness mark-up madness that went on last fall. Now get a Kramarczuk sausage, and declare conclusive sports victory. Yours, anyway.
Even bigger news: Fulton Brewing’s new tap room is open two hours before every Twins home game, and is then open all through the game, and after. Here’s why this is big news: Fulton’s new brewery is in the shadow of the stadium, easy peasy walking distance, but also easy bask-in-the-energy-right-there distance. Of course you can hit the place on your way to the Twins. More interestingly, you can pull a classic urban non-ticket-holder move and get a Fulton Sweet Child of Vine for five bucks, sit on Fulton’s patio, and listen to the radio-broadcast of the game amplified by the roar of the actual real life stadium-sized crowd. That’s pretty cool. And that’s not all! Food trucks, of course, are this year’s super phenomena. Fulton doesn’t make food, but they invite food trucks to park in their parking lot, and they keep a schedule online: Nate’s Dogs, Vellee Deli, Hola Arepa, Fork in the Road. So now you’re drinking good beer, listening to baseball, eating good food off a truck—is this the good life circa 1920? If so it’s something new in downtown Minneapolis, and very, very welcome. Fulton Brewery, 414 6th Ave N., Mpls., 612-333-3208, fultonbeer.com/the-brewery