Well from Summer to Fall to Winter and Spring there is very rarely a season where you can’t find a beer festival here in Minnesota. With under a week until the Twin Cities Beer Fest I figured this was a great opportunity to start my series on Minnesota Beer Festivals to showcase all of the opportunities the people of Minnesota have to sample exciting new beers.
Twin Cities Beer Fest
As I noted above the Twin Cities Beer Fest is less than a week away as I write this post. The fest now in it’s 2nd year of operation is run by John Wolf of Chicago Lake Liquors in Minneapolis. In 2011 the event was called the Minneapolis Beer Fest but the event was moved from downtown Minneapolis to Bloomington and the Mall of America for 2012 and renamed I’m sure as a result. The event was also at the end of September in 2011 and in 2012 it will take place on August 11th. I’m assuming this is a welcomed change for many since August doesn’t currently have any other large beer festivals in the Twin Cities.
The festival runs from 3 to 7 PM, four hours seem to be the standard length of most beer festivals here in Minnesota. In my experience from pouring at and going to beer festivals I’d say four hours is the perfect amount of time for everyone on both sides of the beer tables. Unlike many of the popular craft beer festivals that you will read about in this series The Twin Cities Beer Fest is not limited to craft beer.
We sample every type of beer – Craft, Domestic and Imported – All of the other other events focus on craft beers and exclude the likes of Budweiser, Miller, Corona, Guiness, Heineken, Grain Belt, Stella, Becks, Sapporo, etc. We also sample ciders.
In the e-mail I received from John Wolf he noted that there were 4,000 attendees in 2011 and he expects to sell at least that many tickets in 2012. With tickets being sold for the event on Groupon ranging from $17 to $36 (35% to 51% off of normal ticket prices) he shouldn’t have a hard time exceeding the 2011 numbers.
While some might swear this festival off as a beer fest for the masses and not a craft beer fest according to their lineup there is a large craft beer presence at the festival including some special firkins. One of my sources also noted that this is a very well organized beer festival and that a lot of money is put into it to make it a quality event. I cannot say from experience how the event was in 2011 and due to a prior engagement won’t be able to share notes from 2012 but if the event is back in 2013 I will be sure to check it out. Please feel free to share your thoughts below.
One last thing to mention is that a percentage of money from the event is donated to the Finnegan’s Community Fund which then directs the money to the Emergency Foodshelf Network. John noted that in 2011 over 25,000 pounds of fresh food was donated as a result of this event. I invite to you check it out and again please feel free to let us know how it was.
Next week I will highlight Autumn Brew Review one of my favorite Minnesota Beer Festivals.
Take a moment to leave a comment or hit me up on Twitter. What are you favorite beer festivals in Minnesota or beyond our borders? What make a certain festival unique or special to you? Feel free to offer any other comments on this post.