One of the oldest family-run breweries in the country, Schell’s Brewing Company knows the value of sticking to its roots. But that doesn’t mean getting stuck.
Last Thursday at O’Gara’s in St. Paul, Schell’s released its latest line of brews in celebration of the 30th anniversary of Schell’s Pils, the brand’s acclaimed Bavarian Pilsner-style beer. Included to the grouping are its current pilsner in a redesigned package, the 1984 original recipe, and two new tastes to honor the occasion.
The 1984 is a classic Bavarian-style brew, and one that many Minnesotans may find familiar. The 30th anniversary version is still of the Bavarian variety. The difference comes from the decision to go with 100 percent 2-row barley malt, and the brew is dry hopped. These changes give the beer a richer, maltier taste.
Mandarina Bavaria, one of its new brews, puts citrus flavors on display. This brew features a new German hop that helps bring out notes of tangerine, making it a crisp drink ideal for warm spring days ahead.
The final selection is the Roggen Pils, a spin on the traditional pilsner taste. It’s crafted with spicy rye malt matched by equally spicy German hops to give it a slight but tolerable kick.
As craft brewing has become more competitive in recent years, with independent breweries and taprooms seeming to pop up weekly, the old guard of Minnesota beer needs to stay on its game. St. Paul’s Summit Brewery has successfully produced fifteen experimental beers as part of its Unchained series over the past five years, a signal that the Schell’s strategy may work as well. With Schell’s planning another special package for the Hefeweizen’s 30th anniversary late this summer, it’s reclaiming its relevancy in a world it’s ruled for 150-plus years.