It’s the Most Wonderful Time… for a Beer

It’s the Most Wonderful Time… for a Beer

The holidays are all about families, so who decided we should squander our tryptophan buzz getting trampled at a local Wal-Mart?

Reject the commercialism of Black Friday and instead join us in Excelsior as we kick off advent in style with the traditional German festival known as Christkindlsmarkt.

Running Friday through Sunday Thanksgiving weekend, the all-ages festival offers Christmas crafts for the kids, music, traditional German food, a beer garden and much more.

Even St Nick himself is scheduled to make an appearance and he’s bringing live reindeer and a sleigh to add to the holiday revelry.

The fire pits will be lit, the brews will be flowing and the air filled with music.

Scheduled bands:

Friday:  6-8pm David Leduc,  9-11pm Chris Kelly Band.

Saturday:  2-5pm Alpensterne for your German needs.  Soon after, we turn it up w/ Alive (Pearl Jam) from 6-8pm, then Subliminal (Sublime) 9-11pm.

The fun begins at 10 am  on Friday and runs throughout the weekend so grab the kids and head over for a pretzel, a pint and some holiday fellowship.   It is truly a tradition like no other.

Christkindlsmarkt: light on vowels, but heavy on family fun.











Excelsior Brewing Company once again has partnered w/ Eriks Bike and Boards  to bring you

The 4th Annual Arctic Fat Tire Bike Race

Saturday 2/20/16.    

11am Registration at the Excelsior Brewing Company (421 Third Street, Excelsior, MN).

Race Cost:  $5.00

What you get?    Unreliable race conditions around and on Big Island, A free pint glass and bragging rights. 

Registration:  11am (At the brewery)

Demos: 12-4pm (on the lake)

Race Starts at 2pm (on the lake)

Register Here:  Excelsior’s Arctic Fat Tire Bike Race

Register Here: Excelsior’s Kite Open

EBC Logo Transparent


Historic Excelsior Personified- Mr. Jimmy

PrintHistoric Excelsior Personified- Mr. Jimmy


What makes Excelsior a superior place to live is her people. Despite being nestled in the suburbs of a major metropolitan area, the culture of small town values and the traditions of this community have persevered.

This is apparent from Excelsior’s main street to her town festivals to the continuing tradition of Excelsior Elementary School’s annual Halloween parade.  History is important here, as are the values that built this town. It makes Excelsior a truly unique place to live and work.

Perhaps no one personified this attitude quite as much as Jimmy Hutmaker. The late great city ambassador, he knew every local by name and was a fixture on and around Water Street for decades. Always up for a chat, the cigar-chomping legend even claimed his place in the rock history books by inspiring a young Mick Jagger– such was his way with people.

Jimmy epitomized life in a small town where residents take time to get to know each other and take care of their own. As both the recipient and the benefactor of this fine tradition he taught us that you can’t always get what you want, but as part of a community, you really do get what you need.

This is why we each year we brew a tribute beer to Mr Jimmy. Not only for what he did, but for what he embodied.   With each award-winning brew, he finally gets his cherry, and we all get to celebrate his legacy. Not only a win-win proposition, but a fine new tradition for a city that already has so many.

  • Now available in the taproom Mr. Jimmy’s Baltic Porter, our 2015 tribute beer to Jimmy Hutmaker.
    • Made w/ Licorice root and aged on cherry wood, this classic, true to style, Baltic porter will make you realize you got what you wanted!

More info:




National American Beer Day- Finally, a fake holiday for the rest of us



The greeting card companies have contrived many a holiday.

Virtually all of these involve some half-baked and poorly masked excuse to either make husbands feel guilty, drive sales or both. Just a week and a half ago something called Sweetest Day came and went.

Did you notice?

We were frankly dubious of the entire practice, until we checked the fake holiday calendar and saw that October 27th is something called National American Beer Day (NABD).  Suddenly our attitude changed.

A chance to crack a few cold ones on a random Tuesday in October? We’re in.

Are you new to the rich and storied tradition of NABD? So is everyone.

Since the whole thing is pretty loosely defined, we decided to lend a hand and add some structure.

Effective immediately…

  • Greeting cards of any kind are not allowed for NABD. A simple left-handed handshake delivered while clutching a malt beverage will suffice as acknowledgement of the High Holiday.
  • Buffalo wings (a quintessential American food) are now the preferred food accompaniment for all NABD celebrations. Also acceptable, apple pie. If celebrating alone- Funyuns and beef jerky.
  • Consumption of cheap swill at NABD sanctioned events is verboten. Since Belgians and South Africans own the two major breweries, this should be obvious. Support your local brewery and their superior products.

That’s it, pretty straightforward. If an enterprising young EBC aficionado could see to it to post these regulations on Wikipedia, we’ll make this thing quasi-official.  Thank you in advance and Happy National American Beer Day.

  • What did we miss? Got an idea for another new NABD tradition? Post it on our Facebook page.
  • Looking for last minute NABD gifts? Growler koozies makes a fantastic present and are available in the taproom all this week –with special NABD pricing (not really).

Brews, Walter and a Fireside Chat

Brews, Walter and a Fireside Chat

Corporate retreats typically involve C-suite executives jetting off to luxury hotels to squander shareholder money on lavish vacations under the guise of discussing strategy. These involve plenty of consultants, P & L statements, expense accounts and probably a little adultery.

At EBC none of that is our style. Our focus is elsewhere, primarily on brewing superior beer and secondarily on slaying walleye.  So it is appropriate that two of our owners and a few close advisors recently set out for a different kind of corporate retreat.  This one held in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area where minimalist camping met malt beverage and some solid fishing.

It was a chance to put the day-to-day tactics of running a brewery aside and focus a little more on enjoying God’s creation and focusing on the why behind this business.

Sitting around a campfire our two owners along with a few good buds came up with the following founding principles– not only where we stand, but who we are.

Excelsior Brewing Founding Principles

  • At Excelsior Brewing we believe a life well-lived is lived outdoors
  • We believe that genuine people and majestic natural resources make Minnesota a superior place to live
  • We believe in slowing down, taking the scenic route and catching your own dinner
  • We believe warm sun, a cold beer and a live bite nurture your soul
  • We believe we have a responsibility to leave a legacy to the next generation
  • We believe that what you drink matters, so you should make it great

A little hokey perhaps, but knowing why you are in business gives you clarity to tackle the everyday tasks while still retaining your focus.  For us, the retreat served as a good reminder that it’s not all taproom parties and shenanigans, though there are plenty of those too.

  • See all the pictures from our corporate retreat on Facebook:   Pictures
  • Got ideas on adding to our list of Founding Principles? Share them via twitter @ excelsiorbrew    #XLCRBWCA

Cool things to follow…

A YEAR IN THE WILDERNESS:   This fall, follow explorers Dave and Amy Freeman on their next adventure advocacy expedition:
spending a year in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness to help protect the area
from the threat of proposed sulfide-ore copper mining on the Wilderness edge.  Trip dates are September 23, 2015 – September 22, 2016 and you can follow them here:

A Year in the Wildnerness: Save the Boundary Waters







Docktoberfest 2015 – Harvesting of the Docks

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We’ve all heard of Oktoberfest. Two Austirans get married. Lots of flowers, plenty of beer, and we celebrate it in September for some reason. Well we like it as much as the next guy here at Excelsior, but around these parts we celebrate an even prouder tradition. Docktoberfest!


Docktoberfest is an annual celebration of the ritualistic harvesting of the docks—that time of year when we say “see ya later” to summer and bring the docks ashore. Heavy from a season of soaking up fun (and water), hauling them in can be hard work! So we celebrate these docks, and those who harvest them, in a party of pierless proportions.


So don your ceremonial Waderhosen, grab your stain-glass stein, and go from harbor to hops at the Excelsior Taproom and our annual Docktoberfest celebration.


Thursday October 8, 4-11pm

Friday October 9, 4pm – 11pm

Saturday October 10, 12pm – 11pm

Sunday October 11, 12pm – 6pm

 Band Schedule Here

As the tradition calls for, there will be refreshing season brews, delicious food and fare, live music and authentic Docktoberfest bar games. Most importantly, it’s a time of year when a community can come together to drink while we dry, and have a great time doing it.

MinneGose Gose Style Ale- new release!

MinneGose Gose Style Ale- new release!




EXCELSIOR, MN—June 8, 2015—Local craft brewery Excelsior Brewing Company is launching a new limited seasonal brew unlike anything they’ve crafted before: a Gose-style wheat beer that’s been christened MinneGose (pronounced Minne-goes-uh).

Based on the regional specialty beers of Goslar, Germany, Excelsior’s take on the Gose uses the same coriander and sea salt agents and a unique top-fermentation method. It’s not a particularly easy style of beer to make, but it’s extremely easy to drink, with a light citrus body, no hop bitterness, and a dry finish. According to President John Klick, MinneGose will pair well with light bodied foods like sea bass, lobster, and avocado salad, mild cheeses, and deserts like lemon tarts, salted caramels, and roasted pears.

Available now in 6-packs and on draught lines throughout the state, once MinneGose goes away, it’s gone!

XLCR- Now with all American hops!

XLCR- Now with all American hops!



Excelsior flagship brew XLCR to become more XLent

EXCELSIOR, MN—June 9, 2015—Local craft brewery Excelsior Brewing Company is announcing a new recipe for its flagship XLCR pale ale. The brewery has grown a lot in three years since opening its doors, and now XLCR is growing too, with more complex flavors that should delight fans of the brewery’s lineup.

Head brewer Niles Lewin explains that the recipe now features strictly American hops, resulting in a truly American Pale Ale with better mouth feel and an improved nose, while retaining the toasty, malty characteristics that helped launch the beer (and the brand) in 2012. Suggested pairings include grilled meats, sharp cheeses, and fruit-based desserts. In short, it goes with just about everything that makes America a great place to eat and drink.

If you love America, and you love beer, you’ll love this even-more-American Pale Ale. Try it today (or tonight, if that’s more convenient)!


Maifest May 5, 6, & 7



Our annual Maifest is May 5-7 2016

Join us at the brewery for live music and the release of our Maibock.

Maibock is the lightest of the bock beers, with ours featuring a medium body, unfiltered with a mild toasty aroma. We brewed this in celebration for our Maifest using 21 lbs of Minnetonka Gold Basswood honey.


Music Line Up:

Thursday May 5th
– Alpensterne (Indoor stage) 8pm-11pm

Friday May 6th
– Tubby Esquire 5pm-7pm
– Kirk Humbert Band 7pm-9pm
– Dan Rodriguez Band 9pm-11pm

Saturday May 7th
– Trainwreck 11:30am-2pm​
– Alpensterne (German Party Music-outdoor stage) 2pm-5p
– Big Wu – 6pm-9pm (Outdoor stage)
– Kind Country – 9pm -11pm (Indoor stage)


Gideon’s Red Brings Home Gold

Gideon’s Red Ale has won a gold medal from the Beverage Tasting Institute rating a 94/100. This brew was a new Off Shore Series beer released in mid-February in the taproom.

The rating stated “Clear copper color. Lively, earthy, fruity aromas of creme brulee, candied mango, and pine sap with a silky, lively, finely carbonated, fruity sweet medium-to-full body and a warming, refreshing, medium-long caramelized pineapples and carrots, pepper bread, radish sprouts, and salted nuts finish. A great savory beer for the table.“.

Named for Gideon’s Bay, after Minnesota Farmer Peter Gideon who created the first winter resistant apple, it’s bright red color, smooth balance of hops and malt and lively carbonation will leaving you want more.

Try this brew as well as 15 others on tap in the Excelsior Brewing Company taproom!