For a city whose history is inextricably linked to Minnesota’s first prison, it was only a matter of time until Stillwater’s Lift Bridge Brewing Company released a beer like their new seasonal, The Warden Milk Stout.
The beer’s name and packaging harken back to the Minnesota Territorial Prison, which was established in 1853 before Minnesota’s statehood and operated until 1914, closing shortly after a new maximum-security prison opened in nearby Bayport. The historic prison buildings were used for twine production and dairy food processing during the latter half of the 1900s before burning down by arson in 2002 after sitting vacant for several years. Today the Terra Springs condominiums stand on the site, which is located on the north end of downtown Stillwater.
The warden’s house at 602 N. Main Street in Stillwater was also finished in 1853 and housed 13 wardens during the time the prison was in operation. Today, the house is a museum operated by the Washington County Historical Society.
Lift Bridge’s Warden Milk Stout clocks in at 5.75% ABV and pours a deep black with a thin, whitish-tan head that quickly dissipates. Aromas of coffee with hints of smoke greet the nose, and the beer’s flavors include a complimentary combination of sweet and savory in the forms of chocolate and roasted malt. At 23 IBU, there’s a trace of earthy hop bitterness on the backend. The mouthfeel is silky smooth and the unfermentable sugar from the lactose leaves the sweetness on the palate that you’d expect from a milk stout.
Lift Bridge’s The Warden Milk Stout is available now in 6-packs of 12oz. bottles and in a new 12-pack sampler.