10 things you need to know about Winter Beer Dabbler 2018

Beer Dabbler Winter Carnival 2017 goers // Photo by Kevin Kramer

Beer Dabbler Winter Carnival 2017 festivalgoers // Photo by Kevin Kramer

Dabbler Day is nearly upon us, and we couldn’t be more excited. This year’s event is shaping up to be the best one yet, incoming snowstorm and all. For those who are new to the Winter Beer Dabbler, or just as a quick refresher for everyone before Saturday, here are 10 things that you may be interested to know about this year’s event.

There’s wine and cider

So beer isn’t so much your thing? Worry not. You can enjoy some delicious local wines courtesy of Parley Winery, Falconer Vineyard, and Flower Valley. The event will also have all sorts of ciders pouring from cideries like Urban Forage Winery and Cider House, Blake’s Hard Cider, Loon Juice Cider, Sociable Cider Werks, and Milk & Honey Ciders.

Laser light show

New this year is the laser light show, happening in the Coliseum throughout the entirety of the event. Warm up inside while pleasantly tripping out with your fellow Dabblers. Also in the Coliseum will be a free meat and cheese showcase, provided by Lunds & Byerlys, which will serve as the perfect supplement to a kickass light show.

American Brewer Warrior

The American Brewer Warrior competition is coming back for year two at the 9th Annual Winter Beer Dabbler. On February 24, the gloves will come off when brewery reps from around the country compete for the coveted title. Dabbler attendees will have the opportunity to cheer their favorite breweries on as they attempt to navigate a specially designed obstacle course that includes a forklift challenge, malt sack race, keg toss, and more. The team that completes the course in the shortest amount of time will be crowned the second winner of the American Brewer Warrior competition.

Rhombus Guys participating in the 2017 American Brewer Warrior // Photo by Kevin Kramer

Rhombus Guys participating in the 2017 American Brewer Warrior // Photo by Kevin Kramer

Lyft Shuttles inside the event

Lyft will be on-site running shuttles for Dabblers from the bus and taxi drop-off to the front gate, and from the main stage area to the Coliseum. Routes will be static, so no ordering personalized drop-off locations, but catching a ride from one end of the festival grounds to the other could save you precious time that could be better spent enjoying beers from one of our 160 breweries. Why hoof it when you could ride in style?

deM atlaS is headlining

Since signing to indie heavyweight Rhymesayers Entertainment in late 2013, deM atlaS hasn’t wasted any time in spreading his brand of hip-hop across the world. On the road since his signing, he was able to find the time to release his unofficial debut, “DWNR,” in late 2014. “DWNR” was a special release with each album cover uniquely hand-drawn by deM atlaS himself. Released to critical acclaim, the first pressing of over 1,000 copies sold out within 48 hours. deM atlaS will take the main stage at 5pm, preceded by some badass brass by the McNasty Brass Band at 4pm and choice beats spun by DJ Tiiiiiiiiiip to start off the event at 2:30pm.

Free shuttle buses to and from the event

Get a free ride to and from the fairgrounds from one of our fabulous partners (check with locations for shuttle schedules). You can also get your wristband from 11am–2pm at the shuttle locations and skip the wristbanding lines at the festival grounds. Shuttles are available from Mortimer’s, Joe Senser’s–Roseville, HopCat–Minneapolis, O’Gara’s Bar & Grill, The Original Gabe’s By The Park, and Stout’s Pub.

Homebrew Contest is free to enter (with ticket purchase)

We’re excited to once again host our BJCP sanctioned Homebrew Contest for attendees at the 9th Annual Winter Beer Dabbler, sponsored by Dakota County Technical College. Register your best homebrew online by Friday, February 23 (midnight), and deliver it to the Coliseum by 3:30pm on event day. Each participant will have his/her beer evaluated by BJCP judges onsite and the winners will take home prizes.

Judging at the Beer Dabbler's Homebrew Contest // Photo by Aaron Davidson

Judging at the Beer Dabbler’s Homebrew Contest // Photo by Aaron Davidson

There’ll be all sorts of new breweries

Among the over 160 breweries pouring at this year’s event are a flock of nearly 30 newbies. Breweries new to the event, whether newly opened or coming in from out-of-state, include Madison’s Ale Asylum, Superior’s Earth Rider Brewery, Eau Claire’s Brewing Projekt, Chicago’s Pipeworks Brewing Co., Minnesota’s Klockow Brewing Company, Tanzenwald Brewing Company, Island City Brewing Company, and so many more. Don’t make the mistake of sleepin’ on the new kids as you make your rounds.

There’s a mechanical bull

It’s an unproven fact that nothing mixes better than an afternoon of drinking and challenging physical activity. Show the Dabbler audience what you’ve got on our mechanical bull, which will be bucking from beginning to end. There won’t be a prize for the first daring rider to climb on, but just know that we all have immense respect for you.

VID and VIDD ticket holders get their very own survival kit

In addition to early entrance to a heated VID tent, exclusive specialty beer offerings from Ale Asylum, a hot catered meal provided by Aesop’s Table, and exclusive live musical performances, VID and VIDD ticket holders will also receive a super cool survival fanny pack to address all of their Dabbling needs. In the pack will be a Bizzy Coffee shot, beef jerky, Advil, Chapstick, Tums, a Beer Dabbler branded bottle opener/LED light keychain combo, gum, hand warmers, a free coupon for HopCat “Crack Fries,” and last but sure as hell not least, a hacky sack.