Ryder Cup ’16- Fresh Hops & Private Oates

Professional golf is a sport played by gentlemen and ladies.  It is characterized by solitary contemplation, internal battles and perseverance– always with a focus on decorum, honor and respect…

and then there is the Ryder Cup.

Like Caddy Day at the Bushwood pool, it is the very antithesis of the norm.

Caddy Day at Bushwood CC

The Ryder Cup is different than any other tournament because it flips the script entirely.  At cup matches, team play, nationalism and camaraderie trump the staid tradition of the stuffy individual sport from Scotland –and it is glorious.

Polite golf claps are replaced by hugs, fist pumps and fanfare.  Boisterous fans come out in droves, geared up like a Colin Kaepernick nightmare, ready to cheer their country on to victory.  It is the ugly Americans versus the snooty Europeans and it is unlike any other tournament in the world.

And this year all of the excitement is local as Chaska’s Hazeltine National Golf Club will host the event September 27th – October 2nd.

The lessons that the Ryder Cup format teaches us are that teamwork and local pride are game-changers.  Golf as an individual sport is fine, but when golf meets nationalism and combines a team element, it is taken to the next level.

It is in this same spirit of teamwork and local pride that we introduce a new Ryder Cup tribute beer, our Rye-Der IPA.

This limited edition wet-hopped India Pale Ale is as local as it gets using hops sourced from Mound and Navarre.  Perhaps more notable, these hops went from plant to brew in less than 24 hours and it took a team to do it.  Taproom regulars combined with staff to source every batch of hops and refine the recipe to deliver the full flavor of each and every one.

It is a truly Minnesota beer for celebration of a Minnesota event.   But it is only available this (9/26)  in our taproom.

Be sure to stop in on Friday night as we’ve got the pre-eminent Hall and Oates cover band, Private Oates slated to headline at 9:30pm and kick the party into high gear.

So get local, find a team and grab a pint, it’s time to show our Minnesota pride.

Apple Day Beer – Grandma Millie Approved

An old Welsh proverb says that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but 103-year-old Mildred “Millie” Bowers has other ideas.

Bowers, who survived the depression and has outlived two husbands, has a unique take on her advanced age.

The centenarian credits her love of beer as a major factor in her longevity, even going so far as to convince her physician to sign off on her daily afternoon pint.

 

“Have a beer, doctor’s orders” –Mildred Bowers, party girl

 

This begs the question, which is the true source of continued good health– apples or beer?

The good news is that at Apple Day in Excelsior September 17th, you don’t have to choose.  Saturday apples and beer will combine for a tour de force for your immune system and mental health.

2016-apple-of-the-lake-poster

Excelsior is the place to be for an entire day devoted to celebrating apples.  Festivities include a 5k road race and pie-eating contest. In our taproom, we’ve even cooked up a specialty beer to mark the occasion.

Head Brewer Niles’ latest opus is a Nut Brown Ale infused with apple cider, nutmeg, cinnamon and clove that is sure to kick the festivities into high gear.

With only a single keg of  his masterpiece and an early open at 10am, interested parties hoping for a taste would do well to arrive early.

It’s Apple Day in Excelsior, stop off and enjoy a pint… or face the wrath of Grandma Millie.

 

The State Fair & those Delicious Invasive Species

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Candied bacon donut sliders, macaroni and cheese curds and the Cracker Jack Caramel sundae are just a few of the new gut bombs featured at this year’s Minnesota State Fair (August 25- Labor Day).

These dishes join the usual food favorites– namely anything in the world that can be deep fat fried, skewered on a stick and coated in powdered sugar.  The food at the fair promises to be as satisfying as ever, yet there is a noticeable gap in the state fair culinary game.  Where is the roughage?

This year the answer can be found in an unlikely place– your next cold beer.  Health nuts and beer connoisseurs alike should stop by the Agriculture/Horticulture Building for a sample of our Milfoil Lakehouse Saison.

Yes that milfoil.

The prop-clogging menace to local waterways is the key ingredient in brewmaster Nile’s latest opus, the Milfoil Lakehouse Saison.  For the first time ever, the Land of 10,000 Beers exhibit at the fair will be serving invasive species by the glass.

Lucky for you, the milfoil joins other more traditional Minnesota ingredients like locally sourced hops and Minnetonka Gold Honey to deliver a fruity, slightly spicy take on the traditional Belgian style beer.

The exotic, invasive ale will be one of nearly 200 local beers available for purchase in mixed sets of four from a variety of breweries for just $10.

So when you grow weary from trudging through animal barns gawking at the overfed animals (and humans) at the fair, be sure to stop over and swill an aquatic hitchhiker or two.  It’ll not only quench your thirst, but also raise awareness of invasive species.

And if you can’t make it to the fair, stop by our brewery for a pint of the Saison and a discussion about other invasive species found in Minnesota like zebra mussels and packer fans.

Excelsior Brewing Now More Open

Due to overwhelming feedback from local beer enthusiasts, our taproom hours have been expanded.  Effective immediately, we’ll now open at 2pm on Tuesdays and noon on Friday.

The earlier open times give visitors a chance to enjoy our brews during Excelsior’s Farmers Market on Tuesday as well as get an early leg up on the weekend each Friday!

In addition, we’ve added special bike jersey pricing to our flagship pints on Thursday.  Thirsty patrons who arrive in a past or present EBC bike jersey will receive $3 flagship pints for the duration of their stay each and every Thursday.

But we aren’t just more open because of our new hours, we are also working to cultivate a diverse community.  To that end we have identified several underserved client groups and will be using our change in hours to welcome them to our taproom.

Farmers Market Shame

VSS Sufferers 
Vegetarian Spouse Syndrome (VSS) is an affliction affecting the significant others of vegetarians whereby the carnivorous spouse may face meat-shaming and nutrition lectures.  Studies show flare-ups are most likely to occur near large patches of organic vegetables.  Tuesdays in Excelsior the VSS threat level is at the highest –Dark Green.  Our new hours on Tuesday mean the brewery will serve as a registered safe space for at-risk spouses and a respite for victims.

Discouraged Anglers
Pursuing trophy fish is sometimes a lonely battle. After spending an entire morning trolling for lunkers the transition back to society with an empty livewell can be traumatic.  Our taproom has malt beverage based re-entry resources designed to smooth this transition.  Join us on Fridays beginning at noon for some beverage therapy.  That way when friends ask if you caught anything you can proudly hold your head high and announce.  “Yes… a buzz. “

Newbie Cyclists
While cycling has never been more popular, group rides are fraught with peril for entry-level cyclists.   Experienced groups routinely drop slow riders from their peloton.  This can be a humbling experience.  If this happens to you, don’t fret about your failures.  Instead swing into the brewery for Thursday beer specials and a chance to socialize in those sweet spandex pants.

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Pokemon GO, Kettle Sours & Nerd Evolution

In the past week or so, one of two things has happened.  Depending on your perspective either…

A cool new game is bending the lines between the virtual and real-life world, simultaneously reuniting people with a nostalgic pastime from their childhood

Or

It is the nerd apocalypse.

Tri Lambda Road Trip

Regardless of your perspective, you’ll agree that Pokemon GO is a phenomenon because it took something people already enjoyed and enhanced it with technology.  It is an evolution.  The game was re-imagined and updated with some clear advantages.

Why interact with actual people using a card game in your mom’s basement when you can instead stare at your phone and wander into traffic?

A similar (and decidedly much cooler) technology innovation has similarly changed the brewing industry.

Brewing sour beer was once the exclusive purview of large scale brewers who used a process called age-souring to deliver their distinctive tart bite.  This was done via a long process, only possible for those with both the capacity and patience to ferment large batches over long periods of time.

The sours used extra fermentation in a chemical tug-of-war to deliver a distinctive tart taste.  The process was tricky.  One false move could mean contaminating an entire brewery.  This made sours expensive to brew and purchase.

Bring on the innovation.

Kettle souring appeared on the scene and re-imagined the entire ballgame.  By tweaking the order of the process, brewers could deliver the distinctive flavor profile of sours in small batches without the drawbacks and hazards.  This made sours viable to smaller breweries.

EBC is fully on board with innovation and has several kettle-brewed sours to deliver via a limited release in our taproom beginning on July 21st.

Peach Kettle Sour ABV 4.7% IBU 11
This kettle soured ale is brewed with fresh peach to deliver a light and tart profile. The effervescence and low IBU makes this brew perfect for summer.

Apricot Kettle Sour 5.4% 11 IBU
This brew balances the tartness of the sour with the sweet earthiness of apricot. The bubbly sour is a wonderful introduction to the innovation of kettle sours.

Raspberry Kettle Sour 5.2% 14 IBU
Loads of fresh raspberries shine through with every sip of this framboise style sour.  It will appeal to the nerdiest of the beer nerds while also acting as pleasant entry point for novices.

To clarify, our new kettle sours are not cartoons you harvest with your mobile phone, but actual beers that you consume in our taproom with your friends.

For Pokemon Go players we should clarify that friends are other carbon-based life forms who you interact with via a process known as communication.  This results in relationships.

While this may be out of your comfort zone, if you take it slow you should be fine and the beer can help.

Symbiosis: Cycling & Free Beer

Researchers at Oklahoma State recently published results of an exercise motivation study.

Their research concluded that wearing step-counting fitness monitors did not significantly motivate fitness activity in their test subjects.  So that got us thinking.  What would motivate people to exercise more?

Our hypothesis is that free beer would do the trick.

Since we are always interested in advancing scientific discourse, we knew we must put our hypothesis to the test.  To that end, Excelsior Brewing has commissioned a large scale study to test the impact of free beer on cycling activity in the Excelsior area.

We are now soliciting test participants for this important work.  

You are eligible to participate in this study if you are at least 21 years of age and thirsty.  To sign up for the study, simply stop by the taproom and purchase our new 2016 bike jersey.

2016 Excelsior Brewing Bike Jersey

All study participants who don the jersey and bike to our labs/taproom for the rest of the year will be compensated for their participation with one free pint of beer per visit per day.

Please consider helping us with this groundbreaking research.  Jerseys are on sale now for $79 and all proceeds will go to fund additional research this fall, including the first double-blind study of the science behind beer goggles.

Fishing Opener 2016: The Beer Pairings

Minnesota Fishing Opener

The fishing opener is thankfully almost upon us.

This year conveniently scheduled the weekend after Mother’s Day so we can begin our annual walleye harvest free from the guilt associated with leaving an empty spot at the brunch table.

This year as aspiring anglers gather up their Lindy rigs, spinner baits and Swedish pimples, they’d do well to consider more than just what fishing gear to bring.  In 2016 a proper beverage pairing can prove just as crucial to successful a day on the lake.

Luckily we’ve got you covered, the perfect elixir no matter the species of fish you fancy.

Walleye
The quintessential Minnesota fish.

When seeking a classic, always pair it with a beer that is just as classic. Our flagship XLCR Pale Ale should do the trick delivering a truly balanced bite, just like your average Walter.  Consume an XLCR while on the hunt, then be sure to pair it with your catch for a shore lunch tandem featuring two of the best our state has to offer.

Musky
The ultimate trophy fish is said to require 1,000 casts per fish landed– this means you may be out for a while.  Therefore a proper beer pairing must be a session beer, able to help ensure that 1000th cast is just as true as the first. 

We recommend the classic Big Island BlondNow available in cans, this brew is easy and approachable and therefore a good complement to a musky which is neither.  We urge you to cast responsibly however as no one wants to catch an errant double-ten-bladed bucktail in the melon.

Bass
Any angler who likes a vicious fight on the end of their line loves hooking into a bass. They may battle and strike like they’re angry, but the ultimate show of respect is when they jump.  Therefore we recommend an angry beer synonymous with taking a leap.

Bridge jumper IPA packs just as big a wallop with 7.5% alcohol by volume.  With a number like that, the savvy sportsman might consider ceding control of the trolling motor.

Northern Pike
The world record Northern Pike was a 55 pounder caught in Germany 30 years ago by local fisherman Lothar Louis.  Since the granddaddy of all lunker pikes hails from Germany, why not seek to best the record while sipping on a German inspired Bitteschlappe Brown Ale.  Oh sure, the tiny hammer handles that you’ll catch will never approach 55 pounds, but then again, your name isn’t Lothar, so what did you expect?

Sunnies
If you are heading out in search of sunnies, we recommend a zebco, a dock and a simple juicebox.

There you have it, perfect beverage accompaniments for a great weekend on the lake.  Remember, they may say that a bad day fishing beats a good day at work, but a great beer trumps them both.

Big Island Blond- Now Available in Cans

Beginning this week, Big Island Blond will be available in aluminum cans at your favorite liquor store.  Though the change may seem subtle enough, we assure you the benefits are too numerous to mention…

OK we’ll give you five.

The Top Five Benefits to new Big Island Blond cans

5. Your recycling bin just got 75% lighter

4. It’s now less dangerous to crush empties on your head

3. No longer are you forced to recklessly tie empty bottles behind a new couple’s “Just Married” car

2. Excelsior Beer now Apple River compliant for the first time ever. So grab a sixer, a tube & some penicillin!

1. Can finally exclaim “Man that blond has some nice cans!” without getting slapped… (maybe)

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Walk Talk Connect – May 14, 2016

WALK 3-miles along the Lake Minnetonka Trail, beginning and ending at the Excelsior Brewing Company in downtown Excesior, MN.

TALK with patients, caregivers, families and friends affected by brain and spinal cord tumors.

CONNECT with each other over a cold brew while listiening to live music, enjoying catered food and buy a raffle to win one of many great prizes donated by local Minnesota companies and entrpreneurs.

CAN’T MAKE IT? You can still participate via donating to Courage Kenny Foundation https://donate.allina.com/sslpage.aspx?pid=355
Or through our upcoming wesbite by purchasing merchandise with a portion of sales going back to Courage Kenny.

COMING SOON: Full website with Registration, Donation information and how to participate from afar.

WHY DO THIS WALK?
As so many of you know, I had surgery in Nov 2014 to remove an ependymoma from my spinal cord – just one type of brain and spinal cord tumor too many people suffer from. It is actually more common in pediatric cases as a brain tumor. In fact, my chance of being diagnosed as an adult was 1 in a million. I always knew I was 1 in a million, and now we have confirmation ;-)

OUR WAY OF SAYING THANKS!
This walk is to raise awareness of brain & spinal cord tumors, as well as raise funding for the Courage Kenny Foundation. I spent my first month after surgery at Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute learning to walk – and live – again with my “new normal”.

I spent another 8 months out patient perfecting my stride and learning to drive, among other things, with the help of so many of you! So this is also a THANK YOU to Courage Kenny and all of you who have been there for Tom and I ~ We wouldn’t have made it this far without you!!!

Its not over for me, and the other brain & spinal cord tumor survivors. So I hope you can join us on May 14th to walk or participate from afar. We have some very cool items coming up for sale that you can purchase that will show your support and a portion of sales will go back to Courage Kenny.

Follow the event updates on Facebook

Twins 2016: The Call for Optimism

Baseball and Beer

With temps in the upper 30s and the Twins at 0-6 headed into a home opening series with the White Sox, we are in mortal danger of Debbie Downer claiming the hearts and minds of Twin City baseball fans.

Have no fear, the EBC positivity train is running.

Five Reasons for Optimism heading into Monday’s Home Opener

At least we’re not the Cubs.
There is no curse.  The Twins have a legacy of success and Wally the Beer Man trumps Steve Bartman any day.  Twins 0-6 > Cubs 5-1

Twins currently undefeated at home.
There’s still an outside chance of going 156-6. We’re not great at math, but that seems like at least a wild card.

Honus Wagner couldn’t make this roster.
Twins shortstops are currently hitting at a .428 clip. Even if you re-animated Mr. Wagner in his prime, he’d have been cut in training camp.

Joe Mauer’s salary remains flat.
That’s right, there was no cost of living increase for your 1% first baseman.  This not only clears room on the team books, it also means you will only make $22 million and change less than him this year– and the gap is closing!

The Metrodome is now rotting in a landfill.
Do you really miss narrow concourses, the right field baggie and tasteless dome dogs?  The memories are great, but we’d argue it was a mercy killing.  Target Field still rules.

Still not sold enough to sit out in the cold on Monday?

How about curling up on the couch with a Dockbox sampler instead.  Our four flagship, packaged together and ready for action. That’s 12 beers embracing diversity, sitting in the bullpen awaiting your call.

While the local nine can sometimes be fickle, the local 12 never are.