Kids are off to school. Time for a beer.
The annual cycle pivots around back-to-school. Whether you have a child in your care or not, there is a liberation to the beginning of the school year – one that reverberates from person to person, beckoning for a celebratory beer (or five celebratory beers).
As luck would have it, Minnesota’s local brewers have come up with just the thing to help you with that. So, while Little Bobby and Little Sue are upstairs fastidiously studying, uncork one of these fresh new beers and cheers to the fact that they’ll be someone else’s problem in the morning.
Able One of Us
IPA, 6% ABV, 10 IBU
I’ve heard of messages in a bottle, but a message in a beer can?! Once you’re done forgiving me for that bit, have a try of Able’s new consciously minded hazy IPA, One of Us. 10 percent of all sales from the beer will be donated to the human rights organization RAICES, so a few sips will make you forget all about this writer’s propensity for punny bullshit. The beer itself is a “classic hazy IPA,” if there is such a thing, that goes down peach soft. That’s thanks to the oats added in, and because of that malt bill, it finishes clean, with a burst of juice at the end to keep you sipping. On top of that, you can drink with the satisfaction of knowing your beer money is going to support refugees. One of Us makes you feel good all over.
Headflyer Hawaiian Sophie
Pale ale, 5% ABV, 18 IBU
Just because summer’s over doesn’t mean you need to retire the tiki drinks. Headflyer’s new pineapple-loaded Hawaiian Sophie is an uplifting juicebox for when the gray days encroach and your patio goes into hibernation. Cloudy and overrun with both bitter and fruity hops, this limited release from the Northeast brewery is pure fun all the way through. At a kind 5% ABV, you get all the kicks of a juicy IPA without the head-caving hangover those big-body hopmonsters can bring. Sophie is a kinder breed of hazy.
Inbound MN Rice
Porter, 7% ABV, 27 IBU
Inbound BrewCo’s Wild Rice Porter is one of the North Loop brewery’s signature annual releases, but now it’s getting a makeover. Dialed down to 7% ABV (from 8.1% last year) and renamed MN Rice, the uberlocal delicacy is coming back in four-packs that make it even easier to share. Roasty as ever and backed with a soft, creamy finish, it’s a great beer to pass around the dinner table. Or, if this light-bodied English-style porter is just too good to share, abscond with your four-pack to the woods, where it pairs well with freshly fallen leaves and solitude.
Tin Whiskers Pixel Bot
IPA, 7.6% ABV, 11 IBU
Tin Whiskers has been trying on new flavors lately, creating a small army of robots to spread their influence far beyond their St. Paul footprint. Their latest automatic emissary is Pixel Bot, a dank little IPA programmed to trip the pleasure centers of your brain and make you submit. Mosaic and Nelson Sauvin hops make up the circuitry of Pixel Bot, giving the beer a sweet gooseberry aroma and a piney aftertaste to satisfy both poles of your tastebuds.
Spiral Third Street Saison
Saison, 6.5% ABV, n/a IBU
Since they’re made from a bushel of random ingredients, saisons can go one of two ways. Either you unlock a perfect combination of malt, adjunct, and herb, or you create an perfumey soup of esters and flavors. Luckily, Hastings’ Spiral Brewing achieved the former with their Third Street Saison, a farmhouse ale that melds rosemary and lemon into a spicy bronze base beer for a fitting salute to the harvest season. Third Street Saison was released in Spiral’s taproom in August, and you can drink it there as long as it lasts.
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