While doing a taste test of local breweries for my next beer dinner at The Dining Studio, I decided to contact the folks at Flat Earth Brewery. Flat Earth is a little-known St. Paul brewing company that makes killer beer. While perusing its website, I discovered that it sells growlers (growlers are sixty-four-ounce refillable jugs) right from the brewery every Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Talk about fresh beer!
The beer in growlers is bottled within a couple of days up to the day of purchase (Eat your heart out, born-on dating!).
Flat Earth produces some very unique and ultimately tasty brews, most of which have enigmatic monikers, such as Element 115, which is the atomic number for a synthetic super-heavy element . . . do your own research! Element 115 is a great everyday beer. Not unlike Anchor Steam, it has a nice, up-front fruitiness with a gentle hoppy and easy finish. Some of the brews' names conjure up the X-Files , such as Black Helicopter. This porter-style beer is brewed with coffee and not just any coffee—but coffee from a Clover machine. The Clover machine coffee brewing process gives this beer every nuance of the best coffee enhancing the best porter, not too much coffee flavor, and it has a smooth molasses quality in the finish.
Back to the growlers. While purchasing them at the brewery, you can have a great conversation with the people that actually brew this beer, drink some samples, eat pretzels, and get in touch with your local producers. I get such huge satisfaction out of supporting a small, family-owned business that invites the general public to buy from them (sans the middle man) and actually takes the time to answer questions and have a beer with the rest of us. I am hosting Jeff and his wife/business partner Cathie, and it will be a pleasure to cook with the craft brews fresh in my mind. The Flat Earth Dinner at the Dining Studio will be March 6.