New Specialty Brews and Beverages at the 2018 Minnesota State Fair


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Summit's Beer-on-a-Stick will feature the brewery's new Helles Ya, You Betcha in place of last year's State Fair brew

Photo courtesy Shanghaied Henri’s

A day of walking at the Minnesota State Fair, from viewing seed art to the Miracle of Birth center or Machinery Hill to the Midway, can work up quite a thirst. Luckily there will be a great selection of cold brews to wet your whistle with 27 new beverages premiering at the fair this year (the same number as the 27 new foods!) as well as 13 returning beverages that are found only at this year’s fair. That's a total of 40 specialty brews and beverages, and although the fair runs from Aug. 23 through Labor Day on Sept. 3, that is more than three different ones you would have to try per day to sample them all. If you have your phone with you at the fair, which I imagine you will, you can easily map out your selections with this post in hand.

Whether you need something to pair with cheese curds or mini doughnuts, or if you want nuances of those doughnut flavors in your beverage, there should be something for nearly everyone—of legal drinking age, of course.

Like much of the food at the fair, there is even “beer on a stick,” including Summit’s Beer-On-A-Stick at Shanghaied Henri’s in the International Bazaar. A flight of three different beers (7-ounce pours each) will feature Summit Extra Pale Ale, Oktoberfest and Helles Ya, You Betcha—the beer made exclusively for the State Fair and No. 7 in the list below. The Helles Ya, You Betcha replaces last year’s State Fair brew in the flight lineup, but we love how delightfully Minnesotan it is. 

Here's something to sip on while enjoying a cold one: The Minnesota State Fair is one of the largest and best-attended expositions in the world, attracting nearly 2 million visitors annually. Let's raise a glass to that! Cheers!

New Brews

Check out the following 27 new beverages premiering at the 2018 fair in alphabetical order. The numbers coordinate with their location on the map below.

1. Brewzo Lager: Inspired by Greek ouzo, this pilsner is infused with a touch of licorice and served with a sugar-spiced rim. Herbal ouzo flavors mingle with floral hops and a crisp malt flavor for a refreshing brew. 5.4% ABV. 40 IBUs. Brewed in St. Paul by Lake Monster Brewing.
At Dino’s Gyros, located on the north side of Carnes Avenue between Nelson and Underwood streets

2. Cake’d Up Celebration Beer: This deep-fried cake-flavored beer is a lightly hopped ale featuring a distinct vanilla aroma with a sweet cake-like finish. 5.0% ABV. 20 IBUs. Brewed in North Mankato by Mankato Brewery.
At The Hangar, located on the northeast corner of Murphy Avenue and Underwood Street

3. Caramel Corn Cream Ale: A generous amount of corn in the brewing process gives this beer a pleasant caramel flavor. Fermenting at a uniquely higher temperature also gives way to a harmony between the hops and light and toasty caramel malts. 5.4% ABV. 20 IBUs. Brewed in Minneapolis by FINNEGANS Brew Co.
At Hildebrand Concessions, located in the Grandstand concert venue

4. Frontier Summer IPA: A perfect choice for a summer day at the fair, this full-bodied crisp and hoppy IPA is not overly bitter but light and approachable. 5.5% ABV. 35 IBUs. Brewed in Minneapolis by Fulton Brewing.
At Frontier Bar, located on the south side of Carnes Avenue between Liggett and Nelson streets

5. Funnel Cake Cream Ale: Reminiscent of a State Fair classic, this lightly hopped cream ale is bright and refreshing with a sweet finish. Flavors give the beer a taste of gooey dough with a crispy crust, apple pie filling and a dusting of powdered sugar. 4.7% ABV. Brewed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, by Lakefront Brewery.
At Coasters, located on the southeast corner of Carnes Avenue and Liggett Street

6. Gaelic Dark & Stormy: This deep golden ale is brewed with bright, citrusy lime and spicy ginger. It’s refreshing and finished with a lime wedge garnish. 5.0% ABV. 15 IBUs. Brewed in Minneapolis by Surly Brewing Co.
At O’Gara’s at the Fair, located on the southwest corner of Dan Patch Avenue and Cosgrove Street

7. Helles Ya, You Betcha: This light, refreshing Helles-style lager offers flavors of tangerine and fresh blood orange for a clean mouthfeel and a hint of sourdough crust. 4.2% ABV. Brewed in St. Paul by Summit Brewing Co., proud sponsor of the International Bazaar Stage.
At Shanghaied Henri’s and the Summit Booth, located at the International Bazaar

8. Horse Apple Ale: Brewed with pressed apple cider, this beer is the perfect kick-off to crisp Minnesota fall weather. 5.7% ABV. 8 IBUs. Brewed in Excelsior by Excelsior Brewing Company.
At Aldo’s, Sabino’s Pizza Pies, Swine & Spuds and Snack House, located in the Warner Coliseum

9. It Takes 2 to Tango and 3 to Mango: This beer is a traditionally brewed, mixed culture Berliner Weisse aged for one year in 80-year-old cypress wood lagering tanks and then aged an additional three months on mangos. It has a bright, fruity flavor of ripe mangos on top of a refreshingly tart and dry lemony acidity. 5.5% ABV. 5 IBUs. Brewed in New Ulm at Starkeller Brewing.
At the Schell’s Pavilion, located at West End Market, south of Schilling Amphitheater

10. Juicy LuLuLucy: This hazy, northeastern-style IPA provides a fresh, juicy orange and grapefruit-like hop flavor. 6.7% ABV. 40 IBUs. Brewed in Minneapolis by Surly Brewing Co.
At LuLu’s Public House, located at West End Market, south of the Schell’s Stage at Schilling Amphitheater

11. Key Lime Pie: A refreshing squeeze of key lime in a light biscuity golden ale, sweetened with a touch of lactose and rimmed with sugar. 4.5% ABV. 13 IBUs. Brewed in Stillwater by Lift Bridge Brewing Company.
At Café Caribe, located on the south side of Carnes Avenue between Chambers and Nelson streets

12. Kirby Pucker #34: This second in a series of State Fair exclusives undergoes a second fermentation with lactobacillus. It’s brewed with a classic Minnesota combination of strawberries and rhubarb. 4.0% ABV. 3 IBUs. Brewed in Minneapolis by Eastlake Craft Brewery.
At Ball Park Cafe, located on the east side of Underwood Street between Dan Patch and Carnes avenues, outside The Garden

13. The Kloser IPA: Former Twins pitcher Glen Perkins teamed up with Surly to brew this hop-heavy, citrusy IPA based off of one of his homebrew recipes. 5.0% ABV. 64 IBUs. Brewed in Minneapolis by Surly Brewing Co.
At Ball Park Cafe, located on the east side of Underwood Street between Dan Patch and Carnes avenues, outside The Garden

14. LimeLight: The crisp and refreshing LimeLight has a slight agave sweetness, partnered with a citrusy punch of lime and a hint of sea salt to create a balanced, drinkable brew. 5.4% ABV. Brewed in Minneapolis by The Freehouse.
At The Blue Barn, located at West End Market, south of the History & Heritage Center

15. Margarita-Style Kettle Sour Ale: Reminiscent of a classic margarita, this ale is a blend of soured and clean beer brewed with lime zest and salt aged in tequila-soaked barrel stoves. 5.0% ABV. 5 IBUs. Brewed in Minneapolis by 612Brew.
At Coasters, located on the southeast corner of Carnes Avenue and Liggett Street

16. Mobster Mule Bubble Trouble: This twist on a classic cocktail uses sparkling Edelweiss wine, ginger beer and sweet lime to create a perfectly refreshing drink. 10% ABV. Wine made in Cannon Falls by Cannon River Winery.
At The Hideaway Speakeasy, located in the Veranda, Grandstand upper level, northwest section

17. Orange Cream Ale: Deep gold in color with a soft malty aroma, this ale is infused with flavors of bright citrus orange and finished with a slightly sweet and creamy texture. 5.0% ABV. Brewed in Two Harbors by Castle Danger Brewery.
At O’Gara’s at the Fair, located on the southwest corner of Dan Patch Avenue and Cosgrove Street

18. Passion Fruit Pils: Bent Paddle’s Venture Pils is infused with passion fruit for a tart and tropical experience. 5.0% ABV. 38 IBUs. Brewed in Duluth by Bent Paddle Brewing.
At Ball Park Cafe, located on the east side of Underwood Street between Dan Patch and Carnes avenues, outside The Garden

19. Raspberry Champow: Bent Brewstillery teamed up with 2017 Minnesota State Fair Homebrew Gold-Medal Winner Mike Spores to create this white ale with red raspberries and champagne-varietal grapes. The super fruity ale is crisp, tart and refreshing. 5.0% ABV. 25 IBUs. Brewed in Roseville by Bent Brewstillery.
At Ball Park Cafe, located on the east side of Underwood Street between Dan Patch and Carnes avenues, outside The Garden

20. The Shandlot Pink Lemon Shandy: This pink, lemony concoction is a classic summery brew infused with strawberries and hibiscus. 4.5% ABV. 15 IBUs. Brewed in Minneapolis by Bauhaus Brew Labs.
At Ball Park Cafe, located on the east side of Underwood Street between Dan Patch and Carnes avenues, outside The Garden

21. Slipstream Black Currant Apple: Freshly pressed Midwestern apples fermented to a light bubbly effervescence then sweetened with floral and black currant berries for a flavor that is clean, crisp and fruity. 5.9% ABV. Brewed in Minneapolis by Sociable Cider Werks.
At LuLu’s Public House, located at West End Market, south of the Schell’s Stage at Schilling Amphitheater

22. Sociable Mimosa or Bellini: Orange juice puree is mixed with Sociable Cider Werks Freewheeler to make a refreshing mimosa or bellini. 5.9% ABV. Brewed in Minneapolis by Sociable Cider Werks.
At LuLu’s Public House, located at West End Market, south of the Schell’s Stage at Schilling Amphitheater

23. Spumoni Tsunami: Inspired by the famous Italian ice cream, this lager is infused with strawberries and vanilla. It’s finished off with a pistachio garnish. 4.8% ABV. 10 IBUs. Brewed in St. Paul by Bad Weather Brewing Company.
At Mancini’s al Fresco, located on the north side of Carnes Avenue between Nelson and Underwood streets

24. St. Apple Malted Cider: This malted cider is brewed with apple and pie spices from Minneapple Pie for a sweet and tasty end-of-summer treat. 4.9% ABV. Brewed in Minneapolis by Lakes & Legends Brewing Company.
At O’Gara’s at the Fair, located on the southwest corner of Dan Patch Avenue and Cosgrove Street

25. St. Pat’s Green Ale: Think green beer is only for St. Patrick’s Day? Think again. This green light-bodied ale has a slightly fruity and floral aroma with a creamy, crisp finish. 4.6% ABV. 22 IBUs. Brewed in Minneapolis by FINNEGANS Brew Co.
At O’Gara’s at the Fair, located on the southwest corner of Dan Patch Avenue and Cosgrove Street

26. Strawberry Mint Fro-Lé: This summer sipper features frozen strawberry lemonade with a hint of fresh mint. 5.0% ABV. Made by The Blue Barn.
At The Blue Barn, located at West End Market, south of the History & Heritage Center

27. Uffda Ale: This easy-drinking ale’s crisp and slightly tart flavors harmonize with honey aromas to make it the ultimate Norwegian-inspired session beer. It’s brewed with locally malted Rahr pilsner and wheat malts, a dash of honey malt, German Hallertau Magnum hops, Minnesota’s own Norsland Lefse, and Scandinavian lingonberries. Each is garnished with fresh lingonberries and a crispy lefse chip. 4.7% ABV. 21 IBUs. Brewed in St. Cloud by Beaver Island Brewing Co.
At Giggles’ Campfire Grill, located on the southeast corner of Lee Avenue and Cooper Street, at The North Woods

State Fair Exclusive

The following 13 returning beverages are found only at the 2018 fair:

28. Beer Malt: A spin on a classic malt, the Beer Malt starts with vanilla ice cream mixed with malt powder and a dash of vanilla bean flavor. It’s blended with Boulder Beer’s Shake Chocolate Porter for a mild chocolate taste. 5.9% ABV. Brewed in Boulder, Colorado, by Boulder Beer.
At Coasters, located on the southeast corner of Carnes Avenue and Liggett Street

29. Candy Apple Hard Cider: Freshly pressed Midwestern Honeycrisp, Haralson, and SweeTango apples are blended with brewed cane sorghum and Willamette hops, and then fermented using a fruit-forward wine yeast. It’s sweetened using cauldron-cooked wet caramel and carbonated to a bubbly effervescence. The result is a caramely crisp apple flavor with a not-too-sweet drinkability. Each pint is garnished with a caramel-drizzled apple slice. 6.0% ABV. Brewed in Minneapolis by Sociable Cider Werks.
At Giggles’ Campfire Grill, located on the southeast corner of Lee Avenue and Cooper Street, at The North Woods

30. Chocolate Chip Cookie Beer: Honoring two State Fair traditions—chocolate chip cookies and craft beer—this sweet sipper with a malty backbone is golden tan in color and features hints of chocolate and vanilla. Each glass is rimmed with semi-sweet chocolate. 5.2% ABV. 25 IBUs. Brewed in White Bear Lake by Big Wood Brewery.
At Andy’s Grille, located on the south side of Carnes Avenue between Liggett and Nelson streets

31. Cotton Candy Bubble Trouble: Sparkling Edelweiss wine is infused with a State Fair classic—cotton candy. Watch your drink fizz as sparkling wine is poured over cotton candy. It’s finished off with a cotton candy garnish. 11% ABV. Wine made in Cannon Falls by Cannon River Winery.
At The Hideaway Speakeasy, located in the Veranda, Grandstand upper level, northwest section

32. Dill Pickle Ale: This American-style ale’s light malt notes give way to a bright minerality and is dry hopped with fresh dill horseradish and spices. Each is garnished with a dill pickle and Havarti dill cheese. 4.2% ABV. 18 IBUs. Brewed in St. Paul by Tin Whiskers Brewery.
At Giggles’ Campfire Grill, located on the southeast corner of Lee Avenue and Cooper Street, at The North Woods

33. Frozen Grain Belt Blu or Red Sangria Lager: These mainstay beers that once debuted at the Minnesota State Fair are frozen into a foam and floated atop any Schell’s beer. 4.8% ABV. Brewed in New Ulm by August Schell Brewing Co., proud sponsor of the Schell’s Stage at Schilling Amphitheater.
At the Schell’s Pavilion, located at West End Market, south of Schilling Amphitheater

34. Grapefruit Ode IPA: Castle Danger has infused refreshing grapefruit into its classic Ode IPA for a hoppy yet fruity beer. With many tropical flavors and aromas, the citrus notes are at the forefront of this balanced IPA. 7% ABV. Brewed in Two Harbors by Castle Danger Brewery.
At O’Gara’s at the Fair, located on the southwest corner of Dan Patch Avenue and Cosgrove Street

35. Maple Bacon Brown: This richly colored brown ale is brewed with Minnesota maple syrup for hints of sweetness and balanced with smoky malts. Each glass is paired with a crispy smoked bacon slice. 5.0% ABV. Brewed in Excelsior by Excelsior Brewing Company.
At Giggles’ Campfire Grill, located on the southeast corner of Lee Avenue and Cooper Street, at The North Woods

36. Mini Donut Beer: This creative beer’s warm tan color, malty base and natural sweet flavors are reminiscent of a fresh State Fair mini donut. Each glass is served rimmed with cinnamon sugar. 5.0% ABV. Brewed in Stillwater by Lift Bridge Brewing Company.
At Ball Park Cafe, located on the east side of Underwood Street between Dan Patch and Carnes avenues, outside The Garden

37. Minnesota Mule Cider: A play on the popular cocktail, this gluten-free cider starts with fresh, Minnesota-grown apples and is transformed by adding hand-squeezed lime and ginger. The result is a little spicy and a little citrusy. 7.0% ABV. Brewed in Webster by Sweetland Orchard.
At Ball Park Cafe, located on the east side of Underwood Street between Dan Patch and Carnes avenues, outside The Garden

38. Original Beergarita: Award-winning Tejas Margarita Mix is frozen and blended with Leinenkugel’s Honey Weiss, a golden-hued American wheat beer with a touch of Wisconsin honey. This south-of-the-border-inspired thirst quencher is also available in strawberry and mojito flavors, and can be made gluten-free. 4.9% ABV. Honey Weiss brewed in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, by Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co., proud sponsor of the Leinie Lodge Bandshell.
At Tejas Express, located in The Garden, north wall 

39. Raspberry Hard Cider: A blend of Honeycrisp, Haralson and SweeTango apples is brewed with a touch of sorghum to add body, and then fermented dry for a tart, crisp apple flavor. Fresh raspberry puree in the brewing process sweetens the cider with a ripe berry flavor. Gluten-free. 6.4% ABV. Brewed in Minneapolis by Sociable Cider Werks.
At Giggles’ Campfire Grill, located on the southeast corner of Lee Avenue and Cooper Street, at The North Woods

40. S’Mores Beer: This chocolate-infused campfire original features the Cygnus X-1 Porter, an old English recipe with a natural hint of chocolate, a touch of smoke and added rye malt. Each glass of S’Mores Beer is rimmed with chocolate, dipped in crushed graham crackers, and topped off with a fluffy marshmallow. 6.5% ABV. Brewed in Excelsior by Excelsior Brewing Company.
At Giggles’ Campfire Grill, located on the southeast corner of Lee Avenue and Cooper Street, at The North Woods

Specialty beer at the State Fair for 2018.

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