Libertine 2012 Release Tour Starts Saturday @ the Taproom

We're all about honoring the passage of the seasons here at Fulton, so we've decided to commemorate the onset of autumn by releasing our fall seasonal, The Libertine, this Saturday. To kick things off, we're holding a "Libertine 2012 Release Tour", which will start Saturday at our taproom, followed by a stop at each of the Original Six bars to carry Fulton. Here are the tour dates.

Saturday, 9/22 @ Fulton Taproom in Downtown Minneapolis: Libertine will be on tap and available in growlers when we open our doors at noon. As with last time it was available at the taproom, Libertine is $5 for a 12 oz pour and $18 for a growler. Also of note: we'll have some very cool limited edition Libertine T-shirts available for sale.

 Sunday, 9/23 @ Bryant Lake Bowl in Uptown Minneapolis: Laura and the great crew at BLB will be tapping Libertine to coincide with their weekly Neighborhood Night. Starting at 6:00, you can not only get Libertine, but also discounts on other local beers, appetizers, and bowling to boot!

 Monday, 9/24 @ The Happy Gnome in St. Paul: Head over to the Happy Gnome! If Libertine alone doesn't get you moving, consider this: The Gnome will have Sweet Child of Vine, Lonely Blonde, and yes, War & Peace on tap. Libertine and War & Peace are both rare in their own right; getting them at the same time is almost unheard of. 

 Tuesday, 9/25 @ 3 Squares in Maple Grove: We know there's a lot of beer enthusiasts in the Northwest Metro. We'll be joining the fine folks at 3 Squares for pints & perhaps some sweet Fulton giveaways as well. 

 Wednesday, 9/26 @ The Muddy Pig in St. Paul: Some purists say that cask-conditioned is the best way to experience a beer; others prefer it from a keg. (We believe there are many paths to nirvana, and will stay out of this argument). Come to the Muddy Pig and decide for yourself the best way to enjoy a Libertine: they'll be tapping a keg as well as a cask conditioned with Fuggles. 

 Thursday, 9/27 @ Acadia in West Bank Minneapolis: If you haven't been to Acadia for a Beer & Beast night, mark your calendar for this one. We'll be serving a cask-conditioned Libertine aged with hickory. Better yet, Acadia's smokemaster Ted will be serving steaks smoked with the same hickory! Sounds like a perfect pairing to us.

 Friday, 9/28 @ Edina Grill: Last but certainly not least, we'll be stopping by Edina Grill to finish out our Libertine Tour of the Original Six Fulton bars. Edina Grill holds a special place in Fulton's heart, as it's only three blocks from the garage where we brewed our first homebrew batches. Arrive early before Brian has a chance to eat all of the pierogies!

The Libertine Release Tour schedule is packed, but we know not everyone who wants a Libertine will be able to make an event. Many other bars & restaurants will be serving Libertine as well, so ask around. Also, as mentioned before, we'll be doing a very limited run of 750 mL (wine bottle size) bottles for our liquor store friends this year. We'll have more information about the mid-October release of those bottles as the date gets closer. 

Barrio beer dinner this Monday, Sunday taproom hours, and the State Fair: How to make the most of the rest of your summer

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.

Taproom now open at 3 on Thursdays - join us today for a celebratory cask tapping!

We've decided to open the taproom at 3:00 today and every Thursday from here on out. That alone should be enough to log out and head over to the brewery, but if you need extra incentive today, we're tapping a cask of Sweet Child dry hopped with Amarillo. Sure, adding to our taproom hours isn't that big of a deal, but we're big believers in celebrating life's small moments. Especially when you can celebrate with beer.

If you can't make it to the taproom for a pulled pint today, don't fret: our friends at Acadia have just installed a sweet 19th century style cask bar, and we're going to help commission it tomorrow with a cask of Sweet Child dry hopped with the rare and beloved Nelson Sauvins. If you haven't had a beer hopped with Nelsons before, you've been missing out, so don't let tomorrow end without a stop at Acadia.

Next Thursday, we're teaming up with our North Loop neighbors at Be'wiched Deli for a special beer pairing event called "Beerwhiched." We've eaten plenty of sandwiches in our lives, and it's no stretch to say these are among the best, so you can be sure that the pairings will rock. Details are still forthcoming, but if you're interested, call Be'wiched at 612.767.4330.

If you've been by the taproom lately, you've probably noticed a lot's going on in the brewery. Three weeks ago, we slid three new 40 bbl tanks through the door. Two weeks ago, we picked up 16 whiskey barrels for a very special oak aging project (more on that later). Last week, we started installing a new 30 gallon pilot brewing system that we picked up from Northern Brewer. Oh, and our glycol chiller died a while back, so we've been scrambling from one workaround to the next to keep our tanks cool. Meanwhile, despite a slight keg shortage as we await delivery of 1,000 new kegs, we've somehow managed to keep up with our production schedule.

There's no shortage of excitement at the brewery, so stop by sometime soon! For all of the latest, be sure to hop on one of the free Saturday afternoon tours. Tours are first-come, first-serve, and depart at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, and a newly-added 4:00 slot.

Taproom now open Thursdays, brewery tours on Saturdays, and a CSA pickup at the brewery

Summer is here! Among other reasons, we love summer because it's good beer drinking weather. With that in mind, we've decided to expand our regular taproom hours to include every Thursday from 4-10 PM. (4-10 AM would be a little aggressive, even for us...although the idea of having happy hour before work is intriguing.) Thursdays will feature growler sales and a rotation of food trucks, just like any other day we're open. The new hours start today (Thursday, June 7th), so if you're looking for a new happy hour option this afternoon, stop by. Saucy Burts will be here to provide some hot meatball sandwiches for you.

If you're not stopping by the taproom but you're in the mood for a nice "dessert", head over to Stanley's Northeast Bar Room tonight, Thursday June 7th. Starting at 6:00 out on the patio, they'll be serving Worthy Adversary infused with coffee beans, vanilla beans, and oak chips, paired with a cigar hand-rolled on site by the folks at International Cigar! If you're looking for some lighter flavors, they'll also be rolling another cigar to pair with Sweet Child of Vine. This is not your average pairing event.

Another great thing about summer: fresh produce! We're big believers in fresh, local food (kind of like fresh, local beer), and we've found that one of the best ways to buy produce is through a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Program. Just because we're all about making your life easier, we've teamed up with our friends at Tangletown Gardens to offer a CSA pickup right here at the brewery! To sign up or for more information, click here, stop by the brewery and grab a form, or contact the kind folks over at Tangletown. The brewery pickup will be on Tuesdays from 4-6, starting on June 19th. You'll be able to pick up a growler on those Tuesdays as well.

Finally: brewery tours! We've been promising to offer tours for quite some time now, and we're happy to say that the first official day of tours will be this Saturday. Here's how they're going to work: We'll offer three tours every Saturday, at 1:00, 2:00, and 3:00. The only way to sign up is in person at the brewery on the day of the tour (sorry, no advance bookings at this time). We can take up to twenty people during each time slot. Tours are free, so whether you enjoy yours or not, you'll get your money's worth.

See you soon!

The Ringer now available in growlers. Plus, American Craft Beer Week is here...but food trucks aren't?

***Update: The Stanley's NE Barroom event scheduled for Tuesday, 5/15 has been postponed. We'll update this space when we know a reschedule date.***

Craft brewing has always been an exciting industry to work in (or is it more accurate to say "live in?"), but that may be more true now than ever before. Last weekend,we traveled to San Diego for the annual Craft Brewer's Conference.  CBC is always a good time, but this year, the energy in the air was almost visible. Craft beer is hot all across the country right now, and new breweries seem to be opening every day. It's great to see that the rest of the country seems to be undergoing a craft beer renaissance, similar to what we are experiencing here in the Twin Cities. The craft beer tide is rising, and all ships (ie, breweries, if you're metaphorically challenged) are rising with it.

One of the most exciting developments in the Fulton universe in the last couple months has been the opening of our taproom. Many of you have already visited us (and for those who haven't, what are you waiting for?) and enjoyed yourself, from what we hear. Drinking a pint of fresh beer at the brewery is a fine thing, but one of the things that's made it even more fun has been the addition of our friends from the food truck community. Fresh beer, hot street food, and cool people form a sweet combination. So, we were surprised when we found out last Monday that our scheduled truck was told they couldn't operate here...and that nobody else could either. Apparently, the city has a downtown operating zone for food trucks, and our brewery is just a few blocks outside of that. To make a long story short, we're working with city licensing, Mayor Rybak, and our Councilman Don Samuels to right the situation. They've been very supportive and responsive, and we're pretty sure things will be back to normal soon. Which is good, because we're starting to get hungry...

Speaking of taproom news, here's some other pertinent info for you: First of all, The Ringer is now available in growlers. For those of you who haven't yet had it yet, The Ringer is our new American Pale Ale. It's a lighter bodied Pale with splendid citrus hop flavor and aroma. And at 5% ABV, it's a perfect one to take home and enjoy on the patio on a warm afternoon. Or morning, we suppose.

Next up: brewery tours! Yes, 6+ months in, we're finally getting the idea that people are interested in brewery tours. Beginning later this month, we'll be offering first-come, first-served tours on Saturday afternoons. Look for more an announcement with more details in the very near future.

In our world, every week is a craft beer week of sorts. Nonetheless, we especially enjoy the official American Craft Beer Week, which begins today (Monday the 14th). Bars & restaurants all across town are putting together a fantastic sampling of events to make sure you get your craft beer fix any day of the week, no matter where you are. Today, the Gold Nugget in Minnetonka will be tapping a keg of The Ringer, one of the few kegs that will make it out of the taproom this year. On Tuesday, Stanley's Barroom in NE Minneapolis is doing a craft beer & cigar pairing. We suggest the Maduro cigar with our Worthy Adversary, which will be randallized with oak chips, vanilla beans, and coffee beans. If that doesn't do it for you, look for us at Bryant-Lake Bowl on Wednesday, where we'll do a mini-tap takeover. This is more of our beers than we've ever had in one place at one time, and a great way to try some of the more rare Fultons in the family. The taps will include Lonely Blonde, grapefruit infused Lonely Blonde, The Ringer, Sweet Child of Vine, Sweet Child infused with orange peel and Cascade hops, The Libertine, and War & Peace. We recommend pacing yourself. Finally, on Thursday we'll be soaking it up at the Butcher & the Boar's brand new beer garden, where (in addition to all of the amazing food) you'll be able to enjoy cask-conditioned Worthy Adversary. To cap off the week, we'll be hopping on the Avalon riverboat for the 6th annual Stillwater Brewer's Bazaar. Most of our local brewery peers will be there as well, so it's a surefire good time.

We hope to see you out & about at an event this week. Thanks for supporting American Craft Brewers!

Sweet Child of Vine at Target Field, expanded taproom hours, an all-new beer & more

Here in Minnesota, there are three indicators that summer is upon us: melting snow, Twins baseball, and mosquitoes. This year, however, the only one we have is Twins baseball (though we fear the mosquitos are on their way). Here at the brewery, we have a few of our own seasonal indicators. Read on to find out more.

First and foremost: Monday marks the Twins home opener. We’re especially excited for baseball to be back for a couple extra reasons this year. Reason #1: the taproom will be open for every home game, and even if you don’t have a ticket, you can hang out in the taproom and watch the game on our 70” TV. (Note: the TV might not be up and running until later next week). Taproom beers will be $5 as always, we’ll have food trucks parked outside for every game, and growlers will be available for take home. For taproom hours and the food truck schedule, check out our new taproom page.

Reason #2 we’re excited for Twins baseball: if you do have a ticket to the game, you can get Sweet Child of Vine on tap inside Target Field! You can only get it at Townball Tavern, so make sure to stop in there. The coolest thing? You can see the brewery from inside Townball.

If you’re coming by the brewery in the next week or so, you’ll get to try our all-new beer, The Ringer! The Ringer is an American Pale Ale with a crisp hop character and bright citrus aroma. The Ringer, however, is lighter than it would appear, clocking in at only 5% ABV. (Put another way, The Ringer cannot appear weightless).

Another great thing about summer is fresh, local produce (because you can pair it with fresh, local beer, of course). Our friends at Tangletown Gardens offer a great CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program, and this year, they’re offering two pickup locations: one at their South Lyndale location, and one right here at the brewery! To sign up or for more information, stop by the brewery and pick up a form, or contact the kind folks over at Tangletown. If you sign up, you will be able to pick up your weekly share at the brewery on Tuesdays from 4-6.

We know a lot you are homebrewers, or perhaps interested in getting started. Our earliest garage recipe eventually evolved into the Libertine, our imperial red ale. Thanks to Midwest Supplies, now you can make it at home too! We worked with them to develop an extract brew kit. It’s the next best thing to taking a growler of Libertine home – and maybe even better because you get to make it yourself!

Among all this other fun stuff, we have a great lineup of events this month. First up is the North Coast Nosh on 4/14, where we’ll join several local brewers and food purveyors at the Peace Coffee roastery for delicious food & drinks. The event is a great cause that supports the Heavy Table and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. There are only a few tickets left, so if you’re interested, surf over to Heavy Table to get yours.

We also have two beer dinners this month, at the Happy Gnome and the Bulldog Northeast. The Happy Gnome dinner on April 17th is a big one, with six courses and six beer pairings, all for $80. This will be the first time we’ve ever had all five of our beers (plus one cask) available in the same place, so come thirsty – and hungry. The Bulldog NE dinner is on April 24th, and will feature Lonely Blonde, Sweet Child of Vine, and Libertine paired with 3 courses, at the very affordable price of about $25 (final menu and price is TBD).

If you’re not looking for a formal beer dinner but are looking for some good beers and good times, we’re doing a Lonely Blonde infusion at Sapor on Thursday, April 19th. Chef Tanya will be whipping up something special to match the infusion, and judging by her performance at last year’s beer dinner, it will be superb.

Finally, on Thursday, April 26th, the Bullfrog will be tapping a surprise cask, to be accompanied by live tunes from Luke Warm and the Cool Hands. And, if you’re one of the first 24 people to purchase a Fulton, you’ll get to keep the Fulton pint glass! For more info on this and all our goings-on, visit our events page.

There – now you have no excuse to be bored in April. Baseball, new beer, casks, beer dinners. If you’re into beer, we’ve got something for you. We hope to see you out and about, or down at the taproom. Until then, cheers!

Taproom Grand Opening Saturday 3/10

Cancel your weekend plans: we're opening our taproom this Saturday! Here's the scoop: We'll be opening our doors at noon, just like we usually do for growler sales, only this time, you'll be able to belly up to the bar for a full glass of your favorite Fulton. We'll be pouring Sweet Child of Vine, Lonely Blonde, and Worthy Adversary. Of course, with all that beer, there's a good chance you'll want something to eat. We've got you covered there, too: the Barrio truck will be on hand with all of their delicious fare, including a very special Lonely Blonde-battered fish taco.

Can't make it right at noon? Not a problem -- we'll be open until 10:00! For the rest of March, our hours will be Fridays 3-10 pm, and Saturdays noon-10 pm. Beginning in early April (just in time for the Twins home opener), we'll be expanding hours even further, so stay tuned for updates. For those of you who (like us) fear change, fear not: We'll have growlers of Lonely Blonde, Sweet Child of Vine, and Worthy Adversary available as usual.

We hope you're able to join us on Saturday or some weekend in the near future. If you're not able to make it (and even if you are, for that matter), check out this video showing just how far the brewery has come in the last year and a half. See you soon!

Worthy Adversary and War & Peace cask tappings

Is there any time of the year more exciting than the end of February? In all honesty, yes...pretty much any time. In this admittedly boring time of year, we've found that a cask-conditioned imperial stout gives us a much-needed shot of adrenaline, just when we need it most. And if one is good, four is better.

Join us at Brit's Pub on Tuesday, 2/28 at 6:00 as we tap a cask of Worthy Adversary aged with oak and vanilla beans. Not that you'd need more incentive than that, but Brit's is making an entire festival of it, tapping limited release casks from Summit, Surly, New Belgium, and Crispin as well. Those beers and an hors d'oeuvre buffet are included in the $40 ticket price.

The next day, Wednesday the 29th, is Leap Day. Normally, not too much cause for pause, but this Leap Day, Republic will be tapping a War & Peace firkin at 6:00. It's one of just a few that we filled this year, and if your growler of War & Peace is already gone, it's one of your last chances of the year to get some.

Still need something for your Thursday? We've found that Thursday is a great day for giving back to your community, especially if you've misbehaved all week as we usually have. Fortunately, Share Our Strength is holding their winter fundraiser, the Cakewalk, on Thursday, March 1. In their words, the Cakewalk is a "night of drinks, dancing, and most importantly, delectable desserts from the best pastry chefs in the Twin Cities." We happen to know that Michelle Gayer and the crew from The Salty Tart are coming with a Worthy Adversary concoction...and there's a 100% chance it will be delightful. Tickets are still available here.

Finally, get your March started the right way by stopping by the Muddy Pig on Wednesday March 7th for a cask of Worthy Adversary aged with oak. They'll be tapping it right after they open at 11:30, so if you're nearby, sounds like a great day for an extended lunch break...or for taking the afternoon off entirely.

Hopefully these casks will get you through these otherwise dull days of winter. When we come out of this two week stretch, the first day of spring will almost be here (at least on the calendar), baseball season will be less than a month away, and more importantly, you'll have a new taproom to visit and maybe even a new beer to drink while you're there.

War & Peace growlers this Saturday at noon!

Most of life's important decisions require some sort of trade-off. That decision making process can be emotionally and physically taxing. Since we're here to make your life easier, we've decided to remove one of those tough decisions for you. That's right: this weekend, you won't have to choose between drinking coffee and beer, because we're giving you both in one attractive package. (Hint: it's an imperial coffee stout in a growler).

The War & Peace growlers will be available when we open at noon on Saturday. We're expecting a good turnout, and we've only made a limited quantity, so make sure to come by earlier in the afternoon if you're dead set on getting one - they may run out before the end of the day. We'll be releasing a few kegs and casks of War & Peace to some of our bar customers, but this will be your only chance to take it home with you this year.

How did we make War & Peace? It started with our Worthy Adversary. When the rest of the batch of Worthy was done fermenting, we filtered it and sent it on to the brite tank to carbonate. But the War & Peace was just getting started, so we left it behind in the fermenter. We picked up about 15 lbs (which is approximately the same amount of coffee  Brian drinks in a week. That may sound like a lot for one person, but trust us, the alternative is worse) of whole bean Guatemalan Dark Roast from our friends over at Peace Coffee. Pete and Mikey filled two mesh bags with the coffee beans and lowered them into the fermenters with fishing lines (which is a key step, if you ever want to get the bags back out).

After about 4 days, the War & Peace took on a wicked coffee aroma and flavor. The only downside? After savoring it, you may find yourself wondering why any stout would be made without coffee.

Also, you may heard tomorrow is Valentines Day. Regardless of your opinion of this love/hate holiday, it's guaranteed to be a great day this year. Why? The good people at Republic have put together a 3-course, 3 Fulton meal, all for just $30. Those of you who have eaten at Republic will know that their food is excellent, so this deal is a steal. And, for all of you procrastinators out there, it's a great bailout for your failure to plan something nice for your sweetheart. 

Oh, by the way: we're building a taproom. We're making great progress. The bar is framed and mostly finished, the plumbing and electrical work are almost done, and the city council has approved our license. We have a little more painting to do, and we'll be putting in a window that will make it easier to keep an eye on Pete and Mikey over in the brewhouse...or for them to thirstily eye your pint of Lonely Blonde while they're busy making your next one. We intend to open the taproom for business sometime in mid-March (we'll keep you posted with an exact date), as soon as we complete the construction and our inspections are all finished. You can get a good look at the progress if you stop in this weekend; otherwise, see below for a quick preview.

Happier Hour!

Thursday, January 19th, we were lucky enough to be invited to Kitchen in the Market for their monthly Happier Hour.  If you've never been, check them out, they do a ton of fun cooking classes, or you can grab some food from one of the many awesome food vendors in the Midtown Global market, pull up a chair, and enjoy your meal as you watch caterers, food trucks, etc... preparing food in the commercial kitchen. 



For this Happier Hour, Chef Molly made a Worthy Adversary Barbeque sauce, which was just as amazing as it sounds (the recipe is below!).  She used it in black bean empanadas to pair with the Lonely Blonde, smothered chicken wings in it to pair with the Sweet Child of Vine, and finished the hour off with a Worthy Adversary Milkshake!  We had an absolute blast, good food, good beer, and fun people.  Happier hour indeed!



     




Worthy Adversary bbq sauce: 

makes about 1 pint


Ingredients:

1C Worthy Adversary russian imperial stout

6oz can tomato paste

2 cloves garlic, split

4T pomegranate molasse

4T tamari

4T honey

4T maple syrup

1/2C bittersweet chocolate chips

4T white wine vinegar

2T canola oil

black pepper to taste


Instructions:

• heat oil in saucepan

• add garlic and sauté until fragrant over med heat

• add tomato paste + stout; stir to combine

• add remaining ingredients, except for chocolate + black pepper

• bring to a simmer

• add chocolate and stir until melted

• add black pepper to taste

• remove from burner and let cool or use immediately

will keep in refrigerator for up to 4 weeks in covered container

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