Hoppy October!

Expand your beer palate this autumn with tasty taps brewed around the Twin Cities metro.

You don’t need to make an appearance at Oktoberfest to enjoy the best beer drinking month of the year. Instead of spending your hard earned cash on lederhosen and two tickets to Munich, take a taste bud tour of the local Twin Cities beer brewing scene.

“I think a lot more people are ordering local beers—even out of towners,” says 10 year veteran bartender Ricky Howard at the Kitty Cat Klub in Dinkytown. Hop on the MN beer bandwagon.

 

Best Amber Ale: Fulton Libertine

Brewed in: Minneapolis, MN

 

Red ales lean far right when it comes to sweetness. The full-bodied Marilyn Monroe of beers has a gluttonous malty quality to match its rich color.

Make use of your mini-fridge freezer and pop in a lager glass or tumbler for an hour before this beaut fills in the hourglass figure.

The Libertine is fairly carbonated and forms an oatmeal-tinted head. A whiff of the molasses-caramel fusion alludes to cookies and candy stores, but satisfying your sweet tooth with this rusty redhead won’t give you gut rot or cause a cavity. The syrupy texture is surprisingly light and leaves an impressionable peppery bitterness and notes of rye.

 

Best India Pale Ale:
Town Hall Masala Mama
B
rewed in: Minneapolis, MN

 

India pale ales definitely up the ante in terms of bitterness and there has been a noticeable trend of beer connoisseurs ordering hoppier beers. Thank 19th century Englishmen for their makeshift solution to preserve their beloved barrels of brew—they tossed in extra hops for the extended trip overseas to India, ergo the name.

Be prepared to purse your lips after sipping the Masala Mama if the word ‘tart’ isn’t in your lager library. Keep it classy and serve this hazy copper brew in a tulip glass, then take advantage of the thick tan head for your frothy mustache-making pleasure.

The oily texture might not whet your appetite but is far from a crude IPA spill. The aroma alone could substitute for your firs and herbs 30-day faux freshener.

After knocking back the first few gulps, you’ll get a fruity kick to the shins. Don’t feel flustered—the malty caramel serves as taste bud TLC. It finishes dry and ashy.

 

Best Stout: Surly Darkness

Brewed in: Brooklyn Center, MN

 

Stouts are tall, dark and handsome—almost too sweet to be true. Chocolate and caramel aromas are common among  these roasted malts. The Irish may think they’ve pinned the tail on the stout stallion, but you’re no genius if you stop at Guinness.

Surly Darkness is seasonal; it’s only available during the month of October. It has a rich chestnut appearance and coffee quality to match, but this isn’t another lousy latte—it’s more like a creamy toffee sundae with cherries and raisins on top. Though sweet, this brew is more than a sipper—but do drink in moderation, the 9% alcohol content and demon themed labels creep up on you.

“It isn’t a personal choice of mine, but Surly Darkness is pretty tasty,” says Stub & Herbs bar manager Regan Haffele. The Russian imperial will be among their 32 taps starting October 26th.