We're bigger than beer

Barrio beer dinner this Monday, Sunday taproom hours, and the State Fair: How to make the most of the rest of your summer
Posted Friday August 17, 2012
It may be cliche to say this, but we can't believe summer is almost over. Seize the day...and a beer.

Road construction aside, summer in Minnesota is a beautiful thing. Since September is just around the corner, it's time to make the most of every warm day we have left. Here are some of our ideas (warning: they all relate to beer) that you can use in the next couple weeks.

One of the best things about summer is the food. Fresh food is always best, and it's never more fresh than locally-grown food in the summer. The Minneapolis Parks & Rec Board knows that, so they've put together The Homegrown Experience, a smorgsabord of food, wine, and beer featuring prominent local chefs, farmers, and brewers. The event is this Sunday at the Nicollet Island Pavillion, and tickets are only $20 in advance.

Another path to summer beer + food nirvana is at Barrio 50th & France this Monday. We're teaming up with the chefs for a 5 course, 5 beer dinner, all for $55. Beer pairing will include Sweet Child of Vine, Lonely Blonde, The Ringer, cask-conditioned Sweet Child, and War & Peace imperial coffee stout. We've had some early samples of the pairings, and let's just say it'd be a good idea to get your ticket now while they're still available.

One of the best things about summer in Minnesota is biking. While truly hardcore cyclists ride through the winter, there's no denying that a weekend ride on a 75 degree day can't be beat. And nothing goes with a bike ride like a cold beer, so why not ride over to our taproom? We're now open Thursdays & Fridays from 3-10, Saturdays from 12-10, and as of this weekend, every Sunday from 11-7. We've got plenty of bike parking, too. If you join us this Sunday, we'll be tapping a cask of Sweet Child of Vine dry-hopped with Cascade hops.

Like all good things, summer must come to an end. Two indicators of summer's end, though, make that thought more bearable: the State Fair and the beginning of football season. The State Fair has always been great, but this year's going to be even better thanks to an influx of local beer. Our friends at The Growler Magazine have done a great job of mapping out where to get your local refreshments (pick up your free copy of the magazine in our taproom or at beer friendly establishments all over town). Two stops we recommend are the Ball Park Cafe, which will have 15 draft lines featuring Fulton & other local brews, and the Minnesota Craft Brewer's Guild showcase, which is located in the Agriculture-Horticulture building.

Football's beginning also makes summer's end a little better. We're not betting the brewery on the a Vikings playoff run, but we'll still be watching every week. If you're looking for a good place to get a beer before, during, or after the game, make the taproom your destination. We'll have every Sunday game on the big screen, and we're just steps from a quick light rail ride to the Metrodome.

Oh, and there is one more thing that makes the transition to autumn a welcome thing: The Libertine comes back in September.