Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Drinking locally

Daniela has written about the "Eating Locally Challenge" in which we're participating this month. She mentioned in one post that we're trying to drink locally, too, so I thought I'd expound on that aspect a bit.

Drinking locally is quite easy here in the Twin Cities. We have Summit, one of the larger "craft breweries" (they say they're too large to be considered a microbrewery these days) around, whose beers are available just about everywhere-- even at the Metrodome (home of the Twins and Vikings).

Then there's Surly, which Beer Advocate recently named the best brewery in America. I'm not sure I'd go quite that far, but Surly is undeniably very very yummy stuff.

Just this year we've also added Flat Earth, a brand new brewery operating here in St. Paul. I just had their Angry Planet Organic Pale Ale and found it to be very tasty.

Minnesota also has a number of old breweries which somehow survived the massive consolidation of the 20th century-- Schell, Grain Belt (actually now brewed by Schell, but still), Stite, Gluek, to name a few. These breweries generally make beers in the American light lager category (ala Budweiser), but at least they're local! Then there are the micros located outside the Twin Cities metro area, like Lake Superior (Duluth).

And last but not least, included in the "local" category are beers from nearby Wisconsin. That means that even the crappy bar with nothing but lousy beer might have something local (Miller, anyone? or Pabst, or even Leinenkugel, though they're better than the other 2). Milwaukee was recently named America's drunkest city, (Twin Cities were #2!) and there's no shortage of beer made in Wisconsin. Putting aside the bad stuff, there are some great micros from the Cheesehead state too-- New Glarus, Furthermore (whose interesting smoked stout I'm drinking as I type), Sprecher, and Viking, to name a few locally available ones.

All in all, I'd guess that outside of the Pacific Northwest or northern California, we're probably in the best area for beer in the country. Or right up there... (if only we could get Three Floyds beer here, I'd have no problem with the previous statement)


At 11:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it makes me feel proud to be living in such a burgeoning beer region! even though my tolerance level doesn't really allow for any appreciable consumption of such beer wealth! it's still nice to know others can enjoy!


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