The Minnesota State Fair just announced the list of new beers for 2021 (56 of them! 56?!), and I have an inside look at the new beers at Ball Park Cafe. Why focus on just one spot? Ball Park has been the leader at bringing cool craft beers to the fairgrounds—they’re the ones who brought the beer that started all of this frenzy: Lift Bridge Mini Donut Beer. (It’s back again, obviously.)
For 2021 there are 16 new beers at Ball Park, 10 exclusive beverages you can’t get anywhere else, and a total of 24 craft beverages from 16 Minnesota brewers. Lots to be excited about. I’m looking forward to the Salted Lime Cream Ale from Bent Paddle—sounds perfect for a hot day at the fair. No doubt the dry-hopped Modist/Dangerous Man collab, a milkshake IPA, will be interesting, too. Bauhaus always nails the shandy, and this year they’re doing an Arnie Palmer-inspired version with a black tea infusion!
In this chart, asterisk means new and gold means exclusive:
Details on some of the new beers:
Clasico Salted Lime Cream Ale: An American classic cream ale made with Lake Superior water and CZN hops takes on south-of-the-border flair thanks to hints of salt and lime. 5% ABV. Brewed in Duluth by Bent Paddle Brewing Co.
Grip and Rip IPA: Brewed in collaboration with former Minnesota Twins baseball star Trevor Plouffe, this classic American IPA knocks it out of the park with bold citrus and tropical hop flavor and a dry finish. 7.5% ABV. Brewed in Minneapolis by Surly Brewing Co.
Kirby Pucker Watermelon Paloma: Influenced by the classic Paloma cocktail, this beer undergoes a second fermentation with lactobacillus and then adds watermelon and a kiss of salt for sweet summer goodness. 5% ABV. Brewed in Minneapolis by Eastlake Craft Brewery.
MN Brew Together Peaches and Cream Milkshake IPA: This milkshake IPA is packed with a creamy hop snap and conditioned on peaches and vanilla beans, then dry-hopped with El Dorado hops. 6.5% ABV. Brewed in Minneapolis by a partnership between Modest Brewing and Dangerous Man Brewing Company.
Mountain Brew: A fluorescent thirst-quencher, Mountain Brew is a bright citrus lager perfect for hot summer days. 5.4% ABV. Brewed in Minneapolis by Indeed Brewing Company.
The Shandlot Golden Tea Edition: With the flavor profile of an Arnie Palmer, this refresher pairs lemon shandy beer with an infusion of fresh-brewed black tea. 4.5% ABV. Brewed in Minneapolis by Bauhaus Brew Labs.
Sweat Back Together: Keep cool with this double-dry-hopped West Coast IPA that features notes of citrus and dank pine. 6.5% ABV. Brewed in Roseville by Bent Brewstillery.
Tropical Smoothie Sour: Tropical Smoothie Sour is brewed with malted barley, wheat malt and milk sugar, then conditioned with pineapple, mango and pink grapefruit. 7% ABV. Brewed in Minneapolis by Modist Brewing.
Some highlights from the State Fair’s overall List:
Bolo Blue: Tropical Punch Hard Seltzer: Set sail on the smooth seas of refreshment with this specially crafted tropical punch-flavored hard seltzer. This cerulean seltzer is swimming with fruity notes of pineapple, passion fruit and mango and garnished with a Swedish Fish. 5% ABV. Brewed in Minneapolis, Minn., by Bauhaus Brew Labs. At Café Caribe, located on the south side of Carnes Avenue between Chambers & Nelson streets
Caramel Apple Craft Seltzer: A light, bubbly and refreshing seltzer crafted with bright, crisp green apple. Served in a glass rimmed with buttery rich caramel, which blends perfectly with each tantalizing sip. 5% ABV. Brewed in White Bear Lake, Minn., by Big Wood Brewery. At Andy’s Grille, located on the south side of Carnes Avenue between Liggett & Nelson streets
Ginger Shandy: A collaboration featuring The Freehouse’s No. 1 Kölsch and Earl Giles ginger beer with a squeeze of fresh citrus. 5% ABV, 20 IBUs. Brewed in Minneapolis Minn., by The Freehouse. At The Blue Barn, located at West End Market, south of the History & Heritage Center
LuLu’s Juicy MN Midway Hazy: This juicy, fruity and hazy IPA is perfect for summer, with Amarillo and Citra hops and a flavorful assortment of malts. Brewed in Minneapolis, Minn., by Surly Brewing Co. At LuLu’s Public House, located at West End Market, south of the Schell’s Stage at Schilling Amphitheater
Orange Solstice Shandy: This golden witbier is brewed with oranges and fresh lemon juice. 4.5% ABV. Brewed in Mankato, Minn., by Mankato Brewery. At Giggles’ Campfire Grill, located on the southeast corner of Lee Avenue and Cooper Street, at The North Woods
Pomegranate Pils: A crisp German lager with pomegranate extract and notes of candied pomegranate. Bright nose with a slight tart finish. 5.1% ABV, 35 IBUs. Brewed in Minneapolis, Minn., by Indeed Brewing Company. At Dino’s Gyros, located on the north side of Carnes Avenue between Nelson & Underwood streets
Strawberry Cream Ale: This brew has a soft malty aroma and a slightly sweet creamy texture. It finishes smooth and clean and is infused with flavors of lush, juicy strawberries. 5.5% ABV. Brewed in Two Harbors, Minn., by Castle Danger Brewing. At O’Gara’s at the Fair, located on the southwest corner of Dan Patch Avenue and Cosgrove Street