Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Summit Brewery and home brew supply run

A couple of years ago, I started a tradition of running up to the Twin Cities for some IKEA retail therapy.  This year when I went I brought my friend Ryan with and added a few beer stops to the itinerary.

We headed up on Friday night, and even though the forecast said no snow, about an hour outside of Minneapolis, the white stuff started to fly.  We arrived at the hotel safely and got checked in.

When we woke up on Saturday morning, the snow hadn't really stopped and while it was pretty to look at, wasn't as much fun to drive in.  We had made reserverations for a 10am tour at Summit Brewery, which has been one of favorite midwest craft breweries ever since I started getting into craft beers many years ago.

Summit's tour is free and includes 3 - 10 oz samples. #ilovefreebeer  The tour begins in the Ratskeller (German for "council room") with a short presentation on the history of Summitt, which has been making awesome beer since 1986, then we split into two groups and began our tour of the brew operations including the copper brew kettles and brew-house, the fermentation cellar, and the bottle-house.

After our tour was the best part, the samples.  The main beer I was looking forward to trying was the Oatmeal Stout, which is nitrogen carbonated and only available in draught.

The folks at Summit are fun and knowledgeable and I would highly recommend a tour, maybe just not during a snow storm.

Ryan is a home-brewer, and had got me started in home-brewing as well.  After starting our morning with some brews, we then stopped by Northern Brewer and Midwest Supplies to pick up some kits, and other supplies (so we could save on shipping of course, I'm pretty sure we made up for the savings).

I ended up buying three kits, a Spiced Winter Ale from Northern Brewer, Hex Nut Brown Ale and Peace Coffee Java Stout from Midwest Supplies.

After out stops at Northern Brewer and Midwest we stopped by Steel Toe Brewing and sampled a flight of their beers, before grabbing dinner at Five Guys and heading back to the hotel.

Even with the snow, it was a great trip and I look forward to heading back next year.  Maybe even sooner.