The Mash-Up: Scotch, bourbon, and brandy barrel-aged beers lead the way

612Brew's Oatmeal Porter // Photo courtesy 612Brew Facebook

612Brew’s Bourbon Barrel–Aged Outfit Porter // Photo courtesy 612Brew Facebook

With well over 100 breweries now pouring their beer in Minnesota, there’s always something new to try. To keep you up-to-date, we present The Mash-Up—our weekly rundown of new beers and seasonal releases in Minnesota from your favorite local and national breweries. Visit every Friday for the latest or sign up for a weekly email.

Big, dark, barrel-aged beers rule the scene’s new releases this week. There are barrel-aged porters from 612Brew and Beaver Island, a Scotch barrel–aged stout from Dangerous Man, a brandy barrel–aged stout from Eastlake, and many more.

On the lighter color spectrum, Odell, Revelation Ale Works, and Ale Asylum are among the breweries with new IPAs in the market. Some are resinous and piney, others hazy and citrusy. On the wild side of the scene, Fulton’s releasing Tanager in their mixed culture series.

There are numerous bottle releases around the state, a Hibernation Party at Omni, and openings at Hop & Barrel and Venn in Minneapolis.



Each week, The Growler’s editorial team will highlight five of the most tantalizing new beers hitting taps and store shelves that we’re most excited about.

Ale Asylum Velveteen Habit IPA

Madison-based Ale Asylum is finally launching in Minnesota with an official release party tonight at Republic in Minneapolis. The brewery, which doesn’t use additives and only brews with malt, hops, yeast, and water, is initially bringing five brands to market, including Velveteen Habit IPA. At 7.5% ABV, this Citra-forward IPA has a juicy aroma and flavor, rich malt body, and a pleasing hop bite on the finish. Available now in six packs and on draft.

Bemidji Double Porter

Brewed once each year, this award-winning Double Porter came back to the taproom for a limited time on December 8. Big and bold, this imperial porter is a true winter warmer, pouring pitch black and full of chocolate and dark fruit flavors. The brewery sold 750-milliliter bottles and was pouring 2017 on draft at the taproom release party. If you missed out, you can look forward to the maple bourbon barrel-aged version coming out on March 17, 2018.

Hoops Brewing Cherry Ale #1125

Dave Hoops and Melissa Rainville know their cherry ales. While brewers at Fitger’s Brewhouse, Hoops and Rainville drew a fervorous following for their annual Cherry Batch release. Now, they are bringing their know-how to Hoops Brewing in Canal Park with their new Cherry Ale #1225. It’s a smooth malt ale conditioned on 800 pounds of cherries. “One taste and you will want to run away with some Crowlers for the fridge,” says the brewery.

Dangerous Man Russian Imperial Stout in Laphroaig Scotch Barrels

Rob Miller and the Dangerous Man brew crew were pretty excited when they came across Laphroaig Scotch whisky barrels. And we’re pretty excited to try the beer they aged in those barrels—their new Russian imperial stout. The brewery says the peated Scotch overtones dominate the aroma, and ribbons of dark chocolate roast give way to smoky peat on the palate. The beer went on tap Thursday and 1,200 750-milliliter bottles will go on sale this Saturday at the taproom.

Eastlake Tsathoggua Brandy Barrel–aged Imperial Stout

Bourbon barrels are ubiquitous. Red wine barrels are commonplace. But brandy barrels—now you’ve got our attention. Eastlake Craft Brewery is celebrating it’s three year anniversary and is bringing back their 14% behemoth of an imperial stout, aged on oak and Torres 10 Spanish Brandy. The beer went on tap and was released in bottles on December 12.


New beers available this week (December 11 – December 17)

Beaver Island Brewing's Louie, a part of their Oaklore series // Photo courtesy Beaver Island Brewing Co Facebook

Beaver Island Brewing’s Louie, a part of their Oaklore series // Photo courtesy Beaver Island Brewing Co.’s Facebook

12welve Eyes Brewing

  • Mango Milkshake IPA – Out today, 12welve Eyes says, “Brewed in a traditional milkshake IPA fashion with wheat, oats, and lactose for a smooth mouthfeel and packed with plenty of Citra and Mosaic hops for a tropical fruit bouquet aroma. Jammed with mango puree and vanilla.”

14 Lakes Brewery

  • Pig Lake Peanut Butter Porter – 7.2% ABV, 37 IBU.


  • Bourbon Barrel-Aged Outfit Porter – Available in 750-milliliter bottles today.
  • Shere Khan Indian Spiced Ale – Another popular offering from 612 is out for a limited release in 750-milliliter bottles.

Ale Asylum

Ale Asylum is now available west of the St. Croix. After a launch party at Republic, the brewery aims to be statewide by 2018.

  • Ambergeddon
  • Dr. Vennum
  • Hopalicious
  • Madtown Nutbrown
  • Velveteen Habit – Top Flight selection

Badger Hill Brewing Company

  • Porter infused with raspberry – One keg of this special beer debuted at the taproom on Tuesday.

Beaver Island Brewing Company

  • Louie – From the new Oaklore series of limited release bottles, the barrel-aged imperial porter is limited to 100 bottles. Doors at 10am on Saturday.

Bemidji Brewing

  • Coffee Stout – Out today, this beer uses coffee roasted by Wollman Coffee. “Single-origin Ethiopian beans bring notes of light caramel and berries backed up by the silky finish of this black ale,” the brewery says.

Birch’s On the Lake

  • Tamarind Sour – This new sour was made in collaboration with Indeed. Birch’s says it’s “5.1% ABV, 100% crisp Chevallier heritage malt, kettle-soured with the cultures from Indeed, then brewed with Amchur (green mango powder) before being mixed with lots of tamarind…very tart and refreshing with an Indian spice kick.” Available at the brewpub.

Boom Island Brewing Company

  • Chocolate Saison – 6.0% ABV, taproom only.
  • Cinnamon Brimstone Tripel – A limited release of Brimstone Tripel aged on cinnamon barks. 9.0% ABV and available in 750-milliliter bottles.
  • IPA – 5.5% ABV, 75 IBU, taproom only.

Broken Clock Brewing Cooperative

  • Russian Imperial Stout – Out today.

Chapel Brewing

  • Imperial Stout – This limited-release beer is described as “10% ABV, extremely flavorful, and deceptively smooth. Inky black, this stout is big, bold, and perfect for fighting frigid temperatures.” Taproom only.

Dangerous Man Brewing Co.

  • Russian Imperial Stout in Laphroaig Scotch Barrels – Top Flight selection.

Drekker Brewing

  • Freak Parade DIPA – This double IPA uses Vic Secret, El Dorado, and Mosaic hops. 8.2% ABV.

Eastlake Craft Brewery

  • Double Dry Hopped Sun Dogs
  • Everyone’s Invited Pink IPA – Juicy hops and hibiscus flowers are in this fruit-forward IPA now on tap.

Excelsior Brewing Company

  • Golden Ale #1 – “Light in color and body with a well-balanced sweetness and hop character,” the brewery says. 5.0% ABV, 22 IBU.

Flat Earth Brewing Company

  • Monkey Business Coconut Porter – Released in limited supply this Wednesday.

Fulton Brewing

  • Culture Project #3: Tanager – Tanager makes its bottle debut soon. This is a 100 percent barrel-fermented Brett IPA and the third release in Fulton’s mixed culture series.

Giesenbräu Bier Co.

  • Hildy’s Helles – “A crisp, light-bodied traditional German lager named after our Bavarian mom who once told us ‘Helles ist doch medizin’ (helles is medicine),” Giesenbräu says. 5.4% ABV, 11 IBU.
  • That Other Wizard The Brown – This is an American brown ale with notes of caramel and chocolate, according to the brewery. 5.7% ABV, 29 IBU.

Gull Dam Brewing

  • Nitro Chocolate Milk Stout – A rich, creamy milk stout with a smooth finish.

HammerHeart Brewing Company

  • Gesik – The brewery describes it as “a Finnish-style Sahti brewed traditionally with Juniper Boughs and Berries and a Hand-Hewn Kuurna.” One keg was released last week for the anniversary of Finland’s independence, and bottles go on sale Saturday.
  • Stjørdal – One of three HammerHeart beers to appear in bottles for their December 16 release, this is a unique Norwegian style of beer. “This is one of the first commercially-produced Stjørdalsølsl made in the U.S., to our knowledge,” HammerHeart says. “A beer style specific to the town of Stjørdal, Norway, it is a farmhouse ale made with Alderwood-smoked malt commissioned specifically for HammerHeart and a native Norwegian yeast.”

Hop & Barrel Brewing Company

Set to open on December 16 in downtown Hudson, Hop & Barrel is planning the following releases:

  • Crooked Grin IPA
  • Dirty Scowl Dark Ale
  • Minnesconsin Lager
  • “Rule of Two” rotating beers – Think SMaSH, but with two hop and malt combos instead of one.

Junkyard Brewing Co.

  • Sin Boldly – A Belgian-style dubbel with tart cherry puree. “A big helping of caramel malts creates the impression of toasty pie crust which is completed by the subtle flavor of tart cherries. The Belgian ale yeast adds suggestions of banana and clove,” the brewery says. 6.7% ABV, 24 IBU.
  • Starlight Motel – Oatmeal porter using locally grown organic oats, poured on nitro.

Klockow Brewing Company

  • Billy-Bumbler – Belgian tripel. 8.0% ABV.

Lake Monster Brewing

  • Trendy AF NEIPA – Lake Monster has some fun with hazy IPA with this new beer available in their taproom. “Brewed with oats, a blend of juicy hops, and blood orange puree… It’s trendy, and fun!” 7.0% ABV, 55 IBU.

Lakeville Brewing Company

  • Bon Voyage – Barleywine. 14.9% ABV, 55 IBU.

LTS Brewing Company

  • To The Quad – Available now, this is a Belgian-style dark strong ale with notes of dark fruits with a sweet yet balanced finish. 8.6% ABV, 29 IBU.

Montgomery Brewing

  • Jackalope – A barrel-aged imperial smoked porter coming in at 12.0% ABV, 48 IBU, 38 SRM.

Odell Brewing

  • Fee Fi Fo Fum – This Cellar Series beer is a sticky pine, tropical fruit, and citrus triple IPA at a whopping 11.1% ABV. Sold in single 12-ounce bottles.

Oliphant Brewing

  • She-Hunk – A milkshake IPA with coffee that debuted last week. 5.2% ABV.

OMNI Brewing Co.

  • Hibernation Party – The December 16 release event will feature exclusive, currently secret, barrel-aged beers.

Revelation Ale Works

  • Edison’s Medicine – A new citrusy, hazy IPA that premiered yesterday.

Sisyphus Brewing

  • Neverlasting Gobstopper – This is a new low alcohol apricot and peach kettle sour brewed with lactobacillus and American ale yeast. 3.0% ABV, 20 IBU.

Summit Brewing Company

  • Banjaxed Irish-Style Winter Ale – A Pizza Lucé and taproom exclusive Irish-style winter ale. 5.8% ABV, 38 IBU, and on nitro.
  • Oatmeal Stout with vanilla – A keg of this special beer will be available at the Third Annual Summit Beer Hall ArtisanALE Market on Saturday.

Tin Whiskers Brewing Company

  • Fourier Series: Red Rye IPA – The Fourier Series continues its head-to-head format, releasing two new red rye IPAs on December 15 and tabulating customer feedback over the weekend. Both feature rye and chocolate malts.
  • Mexican Punch Wheatstone Bridge – Also available Saturday, this is one of three new Holiday Infusions available in bottles only. Mexican Punch adds cinnamon, guava, sugar cane, and Mexican crabapple.
  • Mint Chocolate Short Circuit Stout – Another Holiday Infusion bottle.
  • Peanut Butter & Banana Brown Ale – Holiday Infusion number three. Limited supply.

Venn Brewing

  • Batch #1 Golden Ale
  • Batch #2 Black Lager
  • Batch #3 Petite Saison
  • Batch #4 Pale Ale
  • Batch #5 Blood Orange Witbier
  • Batch #6 Citra Mosaic IPA
  • Batch #7 Winter Ale
  • Batch #8 Session IPA

Waconia Brewing Company

  • Mo’Winta Milk Stout and Raspberry Mo’Winta Milk Stout – Out on December 16.
  • Single Hop Series: Galaxy – This one releases today.

Waldmann Brewery

  • Wiener – This is a unfiltered Vienna-style lager. “A blend of Czech pils malt with floor malted pils and dark malts sets the soft malty base with a light copper color. The big body belies the dry finish with notes of Cluster & Styrian spicy hops,” the brewery says. 5.0% ABV.

Wild Mind Artisan Ales

  • Layz Hayz – Released last Friday, this is a hazy, tropical IPA with wild yeast cultures.
  • Lost Shoreline – “Brewed with dry, unsweetened coconut flakes and a heavy malt bill, the Lost Shoreline is a robust, complex porter,” the brewery says, with additional notes of chocolate and coconut.
  • Mirabelle Blackberry – A golden sour ale aged in Tattersall gin barrels, then re-fermented and aged on blackberries.

Seasonal or rotating returns

Inbound Brewing Company's Russian Imperial Stout // Photo courtesy Inbound Brewing Co

Inbound Brewing Company’s Russian Imperial Stout // Photo courtesy Inbound Brewing Company

12welve Eyes Brewing

  • Winter Brown Ale – WIth notes of nuttiness and roast, this brown ale also uses a 25 percent rye grain bill for subtle spicy notes. Available since last Sunday.

Bemidji Brewing

  • Double Porter – Top Flight selection.

Disgruntled Brewing

  • Ella – Tapped last weekend for a limited time to raise funds for Perham Giving Tree.
  • Oktoberfest – Also back on tap for a limited time.

Eastlake Craft Brewery

  • Tsathoggua – Top Flight selection.
  • Kirby Pucker #8: Beet Gose – The return of the brewery’s beet gose with pickling spices.

Fair State Brewing Cooperative

  • FSB – “This year’s Russian Imperial Stout is a blend of 90 percent clean-fermented RIS aged in 45th Parallel Distilling bourbon and rye whiskey barrels and 10 percent Brett. Finished with Old Ale that was similarly barrel-aged for nearly two years. Roast, oak, vanilla, and chocolate notes pair with a hint of dark fruit, leather, and a touch of funk,” Fair State says. On sale December 16.
  • Raspberry Roselle – After winning recognition at Winterfest, this raspberry-forward beer is now available in cans.
  • U-Pick 2017 – This popular beer from last winter is back, with strawberries. Taproom only, beginning tomorrow.

HammerHeart Brewing Company

  • Midvinter Øl – HammerHeart’s Norwegian-style winter ale is back on December 16. The brewery describes it as a black ale that’s spiced, then aged in Gamle Ode aquavit barrels.

Hoops Brewing

  • Cherry Ale #1225 – Top Flight selection.
  • Hell Ale #89 – This German-style golden ale is crisp and clean. 5.1% ABV, 19 IBU.
  • Hoops IPA #48 – A robust and fruity IPA, says Hoops, dry hopped twice. 7.7% ABV, 97 IBU.
  • Weizenbock #23 – This holiday-minded wheat ale is described as having “notes of chocolate, cocoa and banana with a rich body.” 8.3% ABV, 39 IBU.

Inbound BrewCo

  • Russian Imperial Stout – Out today, Inbound says: “Intense chocolaty notes balance with a slight warming throughout. A subtle smokey aroma gives way to that rich and complex hop bitterness. Low hop aromas combined with the roasty, burnt dark fruit characters create our well rounded RIS.”

Pryes Brewing Company

  • Barleywine – This barleywine comes out on December 16. Pryes says it has a sweet malty aroma, followed by caramel and roasty malt with a heated and dry finish.

Shakopee BrewHall

  • Nutty Mad – On nitro.

Sisyphus Brewing

  • Winter Warmer – Returning for 2017, this American brown ale has malt and caramel sweetness with big roast at the finish. 6.7% ABV, 40 IBU.

Unmapped Brewing Co.

  • Map of the Mind – English ale

Beers just announced

Copper Trails Chenterelle Belgian Workhouse // Photo courtesy Copper Trail Brewing Company Facebook

Copper Trails Chenterelle Belgian Workhouse // Photo courtesy Copper Trail Brewing Company Facebook

Bemidji Brewing

  • Maple Bourbon Barrel Double Porter – Bemidji put its 2017 Double Porter into bourbon barrels only 48 hours after they were emptied of the locally-made maple syrup they held for the last six months. Set for release on March 17, 2018.
  • Raspberry Sour – Returning to taps next Tuesday, December 19, this version of the sour ale was made with more locally grown raspberries so you can expect a more robust berry note, says the brewery.

Copper Trail Brewing Co.

Copper Trail celebrates their first anniversary on December 26. To mark the occasion, they have a week of special beers planned.

  • Belgian Workhorse – Available January 2 on tap, and coming to Crowlers on January 7.
  • Belgian Workhorse with Chanterelles – Available January 5.
  • Black Betty – Out December 30 to kick off the big week.
  • Cold Press Midwest Midnight – Available January 3.
  • Peanut Butter Black Betty – Available January 4.
  • Peppermint Downtown Dunkel – Coming on January 6.
  • Raspberry Midwest Midnight – This version of Midwest Midnight is out on New Year’s Day.
  • Super Blue Indigo Wheat – Out on New Year’s Eve, this Indigo Wheat is infused with blueberries and vanilla beans.

Giesenbräu Bier

  • Life Day – “A smoked dark ale named after the Wookiee holiday, this is the first in a series of smoked biers by assistant brewer, Tom Giesen,” the brewery says.
  • Novy Praha Med – Czech for “New Prague Honey,” this is a Russian imperial stout with 75 pounds of local honey. Some will be set aside in bourbon barrels for a future release.

Lift Bridge Brewing Company

  • Silhouette – Lift Bridge’s massive Russian imperial stout returns on January 20. However, pre-orders begin on Sunday December 17. The brewery describes it as follows: “Brewed in the style of a Russian imperial stout and aged for up to two years in bourbon barrels. Black as a moonless night, this complex beer’s notes of coffee, roasted malt, rich toffee and black licorice meld with an intense roasted character to provide a complex, rich and full body.” 10.5% ABV, 80 IBU.

LTS Brewing Company

  • Go Big Rouge: Sour Red Ale – An oak aged kettle sour with subtle cherry notes, the brewery says. 6.1% ABV, 16 IBU.

Surly Brewing Company

  • Witch’s Tower with Nutmeg – Available for Cask Tuesday at the Beer Hall, this is a one-off that Surly recommends visitors pair with Szechuan wings.

Wicked Wort Brewing Co.

  • Wicked Wood Series #4: Barrel-Aged Imperial Red Rye IPA – “Our Stepchild Imperial Red Rye IPA has been aging in high west double rye whiskey barrels,” says the brewery. 8.3% ABV, 85 IBU, available on December 16.

Curious about recent releases? Peruse our Mash-Up archives. Did we miss a beer release or announcement? Email us at [email protected] to let us know about new beers from this week and beyond. Or let us know what new beer you’re enjoying by using #TheMashUp on Twitter and Instagram.