Excelsior Brewing Expansion Update!


A little over a month ago, we announced we were expanding. You know the basics…tripling square footage, more than quadrupling capacity, beginning to send out 12 oz. bottles.

Now that 2014 is underway, we’re a little more clear about the timeline and wanted to answer some frequently asked questions for your convenience:

  • Will this affect the taproom, aka “The Garage”? – Yes and no. Our taproom is moving up to the 3rd street side of our building, but will remain very low key and industrial. We love the atmosphere ourselves and wouldn’t want to get all way-too-fancy-pinky-in-the-air moving forward. You’ll still drink among fermenters and play giant Jenga with a pint in hand.
  • When will bottles be out? – We’re anticipating our filler arriving mid-April and pumping out bottles by early May. This means you’ll see Big Island Blond, XLCR Pale and Bitteschlappe Brown six-packs in your local liquor stores faster than you can say “reinheitsgebot”
  • How will you be celebrating such a big occasion? – You know we love an excuse to hold a party. Oktoberfest, Shag-a-go-go, Chriskindsmarkt, Arctic Fever…we just love ‘em. Well, to answer that we’d like to ask everyone to block off April 12th for our Wall Party. This will be the official removal of the last wall separating our new space from our current space. Most importantly, what would a Wall Party be without a Pink Floyd cover band? It would be a pointless Wall Party, that’s what. So we’ve booked out an awesome Pink Floyd cover band, began rounding up our sledgehammers and axes, and will be celebrating the merging of our spaces with all who wish to attend.

It’s about to get real. REAL real. Like, so Real it puts the “real” in “Superreal” (PS it’s a word. I googled it.)

Thank you to those who have helped us get here, those who are helping us move forward, and those that will join us along the way. It’s going to be awesome, cheers!

Rendering of what will be in May...

Rendering of what will be in May…

New Year, New Beer – Excelsior Brewing Co.


2013 EBC 0002


When was the last time you created a New Year’s resolution that you actually got to enjoy, a resolution that was actually worth keeping? Here at the Excelsior Brewing Co. we challenge you to try a new beer this year! We now have 6 taps displayed at our brewery that are nothing less than perfection. Expand your taste buds and beer horizons with our XLCR Pale Ale, Bridge Jumper IPA, Big Island Blond Ale, Bitteschlappe Brown Ale, Shattered Solstice Ale and Mr. Jimmy Ruby Brown Ale. Not only will you enjoy our beer, you will be able to brag to your friends that you have successfully fulfilled a New Year’s Resolution. Also, prepare yourself for the Oar Lock Oat Stout, our newest winter seasonal. The beer contains the perfect blend of roasted barley, black malt, and oats adding an impeccable texture of creaminess that’s sure to light a fire in your belly with distinctive flavor, balance, and class. So lace up your boots and brush the snow off your car because you should kick off this New Year the right way, with an Excelsior brew in hand.

Craft Beer Gifts for Festi-Chris-Kwanz-Hannu-day!

It’s that lovely time of year where Mariah Carey becomes relevant again as the Holiday music takes over our ear drums. Maybe you’re starting the mad dash to get some delectable gifts for you favorite people. Or maybe you need a beer to get over the mad dash of getting gifts. Either way, we’ve got you covered this month.

Swing into the taproom to check out our selection of apparel to keep beer lovers of all ages and genders looking as fresh as Will Smith. Sweatshirts? Got ‘em. Winter hats? You know it. Glassware? Boom, get some.

Can’t make it in during our standard taproom hours (Thu/Fri 4-10, Sat 12-10)? Fear not! Our front office will be open from 9-8 during the weekdays through the holidays to ensure those on Santa’s naughty OR nice list get what they want this year (we don’t judge). Head on over to get the gear you need whenever is convenient and we will make sure you leave happy and loaded with EBC branded goodness.

All the shopping getting you stressed? Get into the taproom for a pint of our three flagship beers, plus Mr. Jimmy’s Ruby Brown Ale and Shattered Solstice. Shattered is the latest seasonal to hit our taps, with a pleasant 6.5% ABV and a spice profile that will blow your mind (coriander, orange peel, and ginger). Shop, drink, repeat. Don’t forget: Growlers are the greatest gift/holiday meal accessory known to man. Stock up, you’ll need it to get through Christmas dinner with your Great Uncle Frank.

Too busy decorating a tree/lighting the menorah/performing feats of strength to get into the brewery? That’s cool, we’ll have 22 oz. bombers of our Bitteschlappe Brown Ale and Big Island Blond Ale in liquor stores across the Metro (for locations, check out our map). We’ll also be sending out a limited number of 750ml Shattered Ale bottles for your cold weather pleasure. Get it while you can, because we know this beer will be gone faster than you can say “frostbite”.

From all of us at the brewery, we want to wish you and your loved ones a Happy Whatever You Celebrate! Hope to see you around the brewery, in the meantime, cheers!


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Thanksgiving Recipes…With Beer!

Everyone knows how a typical Thanksgiving menu is put together: Turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberries, etc. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with that (we, at EBC, are a HUGE proponent of the classic Thanksgiving menu) we wanted to give you some special twists you can throw into your family get-together that really sets the meal apart.

Chef Eli Renn of Gold Nugget has put together three AMAZING recipes that can work perfectly with your Excelsior Brewing Co. beers this year. Check out below and try your hand at some great courses your friends and family will really dig.

Check out all of Eli's great offerings at Gold Nugget in Glen Lake

Check out all of Eli’s great offerings at Gold Nugget in Glen Lake

Big Island Blond — Baked Brie with Mango Chutney

This recipe may seem intimidating, but it’s really not that difficult. As a pre-dinner appetizer it’s going to make you look like you know how to handle business in the kitchen. The tropical fruit in the chutney will hit the citrus highlights, and the earthiness in the brie will bring out the grassy straw notes and help you appreciate the complexity of the Big Island Blond.  The best part of this pairing is beers amazing ability to cleanse your palate, as well as anything in my opinion.  Yes, if the beer is way too hoppy or sweet it will leave those lingering flavors in your mouth.  With those exceptions, the combination of light ethanol and carbon dioxide brush all of the food and fat molecules off of your tongue.  The liquid and hops have a rehydrating factor.  So, your friends and family will be ready to enjoy another bite like it was their first.

Baked Brie

One 12-inch round of puff pastry

One 5-inch round of French Brie

1 egg slightly beaten


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lay the Brie in the center of the puff pastry circle.  Fold the excess pastry around the Brie wheel, completely enclosing it.  Turn it over smooth side up and place it on a parchment lined sheet tray.  Brush the top with egg.  Bake for 20 minutes or until the outside is golden brown.  Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and cook for 20 minutes longer.  Place the finished product on a nice plate, and top with the mango chutney.

XLCR Pale Ale  —  Roasted Brussells Sprouts

Everybody is doing Brussels sprouts this year.  They may become a new thanksgiving staple.  Start a new tradition by pairing it with Excelsior Breweries XLCR Pale Ale.  This match will bring out the tropical fruit and sweet caramel flavors in both the beer and the Brussels.

Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic and dried Papaya


3 pounds Brussels sprouts

½ cup olive oil

½  cup honey

¾ cup balsamic vinegar

1 cup dried papaya

1 cup water


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F

Trim/clean the Brussels sprouts, then cut them in half.  Arrange on 2 baking sheets and toss with the olive oil and salt and pepper.  Roast until brown, 25 to 30 minutes.

Combine the water and dried papaya in a sauce pot.  Bring it to a boil then shut it off. Let rest 10 minutes then drain off any excess water.

Combine the balsamic vinegar and honey in a sauce pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low and reduce to 1/3.

Toss the roasted sprouts with papaya and place into serving dish. Drizzle balsamic reduction over the top of the Brussels sprouts.

Bitteschlappe Brown Ale Gravy

What makes a thanksgiving dinner, other than the pie?!  The gravy of course, and I have an easy way to add tons of depth and flavor to your T-day gravy.  How is that possible you ask?  All it takes is a touch of Excelsior Breweries Bitteschlappe Brown Ale.  Realize your dreams of achieving the perfect gravy, all you have to do is follow these simple steps.

Bitteschlappe Brown Ale Gravy


2 cups defatted turkey juices from the turkey roasting pan or homemade turkey or chicken stock

½ cup heavy cream

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

10 ounces shiitake mushrooms, rinsed stemmed and sliced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ cup Excelsior Brewery Bitteschlappe Brown Ale

Salt and pepper


Bring the juice to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and reduce by 1/2. Add the cream and cook until reduced enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 8 minutes,

Heat the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, thyme, garlic, and the Excelsior Brewery Bitteschlappe Brown Ale and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 6 minutes.

Combine the mushrooms with reduced gravy and season to taste with salt and pepper. Reheat, if necessary, transfer to a boat and pour all over your plate.



Excelsior Brewing Expansion!

The day we’ve been waiting for is here…it’s time for the Excelsior Brewing Expansion to kick off! 2,700 sq. feet wasn’t enough to contain all the awesomeness coming from our  brewery so we FINALLY pulled the trigger and have begun expanding our brewery. Expansion will include the addition of seven 40 bbl fermenters, two 40 bbl conditioning tanks and, most importantly, a bottling line! WHOOOOO!


This will all take place in our current location, with the new equipment going into our existing space and the taproom moving to the street-side location of our 421 3rd street home. We expect the new taproom to be ready sometime around March, with all of our additional capacity and bottles being ready to go around late April.

We couldn’t do this if it weren’t for our locals who have shown us they can drink as much craft beer as anyone out there! We’re looking forward to growing into other markets around the lake and in the cities and cannot wait to meet some new beer drinkers in the process.

Until then, we’ll keep making as much beer as we can to satisfy the thirsty people of Lake Minnetonka. In the mean time, cheers!

Brewing Up Some Mr. Jimmy’s!

DSC00217You see that? That’s a beautiful sight. That’s the sight of this year’s Mr. Jimmy’s boiling in our brew house. You may remember last year we made a Baltic Porter conditioned on Cherry Wood, winning a Gold Medal in the World Beer Championships in the process. Well, this year is going to be a little different (in an awesome way).

“But, Excelsior Brewing,” you may say, “why would you change a Gold Medal winning beer that we thoroughly enjoyed last year? Have you had one too many Bitteschlappes?”

Nay, we haven’t lost our minds. 99% of the beers we make are brewed using ALE yeast. This yeast strain ferments at warmer temperatures and takes around 16 days from start to finish. For those unaware, last year’s Jimmy beer was a LAGER. Lagers are made using cold fermenting yeast, taking significantly longer for the yeast to do its work, but ultimately leaving a very clean finish to the beer. Our two lagers that we’ve made (Jimmy’s and last year’s Oktoberfest Marzen) were done when we had more time and tank space to work with. This year we don’t have the same luxuries, and thus, are forced to make an ale.

The 2013 version will be an imperial version of our Black Ale, Nunnmorblak, with the addition of Cherry puree and Belgian Candy Sugar to bring our ABV up a bit. This beer will be perfect for your cold Minnesota winter days when you need a beer with some beef to it. We expect it to be ready around Thanksgiving, making it the perfect beer to drink while sitting next to that Uncle who cannot wait to tell you about the latest addition to his vintage cereal bowl collection.

For those unaware of Mr. Jimmy, or his connection to our town, click here and you’ll understand why we plan on including some form of Cherry in every version of Mr. Jimmy’s we do. As we did last year, a portion of our proceeds from sales of the beer will go to our local ICA Foodshelf to assist in their efforts in lending a helping hand to those who need it in our area.

Stay tuned for the official release date, cheers!


The Return of Oktoberfest!

Oktoberfest!Join us for our second annual Oktoberfest at Excelsior Brewing Company! We’ve made this into a two-day Bavarian Bash to make sure everyone gets a chance to grab a beverage in our outdoor Biergarden, featuring live music and the chance to drink over 12 different beers!

Oct. 11th: 4-10; Oct. 12th: 12-11



4-6 – Alpensterne

6-7 – A Little Bit Rusty and the Russians

7-9- Slip Twister


12-130 – Hofbrau Trio

2-330 – Chris Kelly Band

4-5 – Hofbrau Trio

530-7 – Bob Barley and the Al’ers

715-9 – Alpensterne

Be one of the first to drink Excelsior’s newest seasonal beer, the Nunnmorblak Black Ale!

We will also be releasing special one-off beers for the weekend, check out our list of releases below:

FRIDAY:  All taps open @ 4pm  – Limited Supply

 Sprucenweizen – ABV 5.3%

Hefeweizen brewed w/ Colorado blue spruce tips

Firkin – Bitteschläppe w/ licorice root – ABV 6.5%

Cask conditioned brown ale aged with licorice root

Strum und Drang – ABV 6.5%

Brown ale brewed w/ sarsaparilla root

Bridge Jumper IPA – ABV 7.5%

Big and balanced, malt forward IPA

SATURDAY:   New Beer tapped hourly til its gone…..Limited Supply

 1pm – Schmällbier – ABV 3.3%

The lonely child of the Nunnmörblak Ale;  A hoppy, sessionable ale

 2pm – Helios Hefeweizen – ABV 5.3%

Straw colored German style wheat beer

3pm – Oktoberfest Märzen – ABV 5.2%

An unfiltered lager packed with Vienna malt

 4pm – Dunkelweizen – ABV 5.4%

Traditional dark wheat beer with clove and banana notes

 5pm – Pin – Ginger Hefeweizen – ABV 5.3%

Cask conditioned Helios Hefeweizen tea bagged w/ ginger root

 6pm – Bridge Jumper IPA – ABV 7.5%

Big and balanced, malt forward IPA

7pm – Firkin – Schmällbier & Dunkelweizen blend w/ cocoa nibs – ABV 4.8%

We will have LIMITED 0.5 Liter and 1 Liter EBC Oktoberfest German Tankards that you can purchase at the event as well.

Questions, shoot an email to ben@excelsiorbrew.com. See you this weekend at Oktoberfest!



MN Beer on a Stick – EBC at the State Fair

It’s soooo hot outside….

“How hot is it?” you may ask?

Hot enough where the $1 “All-you-can-drink-milk” at the State Fair is a bad choice (for those that missed the reference, click here)

Sure, the heat was devastatingly and disgustingly overwhelming enough to reduce even the manliest of men to a mere husk of their former self, but that didn’t stop us from heading out to the Minnesota State Fair to show some love for the Minnesota Craft Beer scene, and hang out with some other daredevil fairgoers in the process.


John Klick and Bob DuVernois schooling the crowd with some Beer Knowledge

We were fortunate enough to share the stage with Lucid Brewing, another great West Metro brewery located right down the road from us, and discuss how and why we’ve gotten into the Craft Beer industry. It was a solid opportunity for those in the crowd to ask questions, pick the brains of the folks behind some of their favorite beers, and maybe consume one or two in the process. This was just a small part of the Land of 10,000 Beers exhibit, taking place at the MN State Fair for the second year in a row. Organized by the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild and One Simple Plan, this has proved to be a great way of getting out the word of small, local breweries that many people may have never heard of.

Jeff Troldahl's State Fair inspired art work.

Jeff Troldahl’s State Fair inspired art work.



Some of the many pieces of breweriana from days of MN Beer past

Some of the many pieces of breweriana from days of MN Beer past











Among the available flights of Minnesota Beer and the educational aspect are some very unique pieces that both beer drinkers and teetotalers alike can enjoy. New to the exhibit this year, MN breweries were asked to showcase art from their breweries. We commissioned Jeff Troldahl, our resident designer and all-around awesome dude, to put together a piece that encompassed the fair and EBC as a whole. He definitely knocked it out of the park, looking forward to the piece hanging on the brewery walls for years to come. Reminding folks of where MN beer has come from, the 10k Beer Hall also features a TON of historical brewery memorabilia, bringing back memories of the Glueks and Schmidt days for those old enough to remember.

President John Klick and Head Brewer Bob DuVernois then took to the stage to walk WCCO host Jason DeRusha through some of the beer available at the fair, if you have a minute the video can be found here. We appreciate them having us on, it’s always an honor to represent Minnesota beer in front of thirsty patrons!

The day was capped off by a Bitteschlappe Brown Ale and some Indeed Brewing Day Tripper battered onion rings (featuring a Bitteschlappe Spicy Mustard) at Ballpark Cafe, the perfect way to end a scorching, yet enjoyable, day at the Great Minnesota Get Together.

Ballpark Cafe featuring a ton of great MN brews, including EBC

Ballpark Cafe featuring a ton of great MN brews, including EBC

Catching Up – August 13th at Excelsior Brewing

It seems we’re always doing this to ourselves. We come into work Monday, proceed to blink, and it’s already Saturday evening. With summer in full swing, it’s hard to keep up with everything going so let’s recap some of the things that have been happening with us the past few weeks:

Brew Love: Supporting the Ronald McDonald House, this fundraiser is one of the most entertaining around due to it’s focus on drinking beer for a good cause! Not that we need an excuse to sample great local beers, but this just adds a nice element of helping out a premier non-profit that really does good within our community. We look forward to doing some more fundraising with these folks in the near future.

Brew at the Zoo: Yet another worthy cause, this beerfest did a phenomenal job raising money for one of our state’s main attractions, the Minnesota Zoo, and exposing a sold-out crowd to amazing craft beers. On top of that, we totally got to check out the new bear exhibit…so you know, we’ve got that going for us.

Excelsior Brewing Co. 1st Beerthday Party: Holy cow. That was a party. We had all of our regulars and a whole crop of new faces celebrating our one year anniversary and couldn’t be more humbled by the turnout. That party had everything: dunk tanks, live music from phenomenal local artists and our Head Brewer Bob DuVernois in a crash test dummy morph suit. THANK YOU to everyone who came out to celebrate with us, and thanks to Yamamoto for helping make our first Beerthday party something to remember.


Minnesota State Fair: We will be on tap at the Ballpark Cafe with our Bitteschlappe Brown Ale and in the Minnesota Craft Brewer’s Guild tent with various beers for their MN beer flights. Last year was a stellar success in promoting Minnesota beer, we can only imagine this year will be even better. The space is expanded greatly and will give our Minnesota brewers a chance to showcase more of their personality (including a beer related art exhibit that is sure to be intriguing to say the least). Stay tuned to Facebook and Twitter to find out when we’re heading to the fair and come join us for a beer or two!

Border Battle Beer Fest: We, at the brewery, live by the mantra “Better dead than Red”. Everyone knows a Badger can’t hold a handle to a Gopher and this is our chance to show it. Minnesota breweries will face off against some of Wisconsin’s finest in a quest for border dominance! Our locals will have the luxury of signing up for a bus ride to and from the festival, held in Somerset WI, to represent their state with pride (and drinking). Tickets can be purchased here, make sure to get yours and help us kick some ‘Sconnie ass!

Autumn Brew Review: Assuming you were one of the lucky folks to get a ticket for this sought after event taking place at the original Grain Belt Brewery, you’ll have a chance to sample some VERY special beers we plan on busting out for this MN Brewer’s Guild event. Debuting some new seasonals and twists on some old favorites, make sure to swing by our booth and enjoy some deliciousness that you won’t get anywhere else.

As always, stay tuned for more updates on beers and announcements on upcoming beers (hint: special release for our upcoming Oktoberfest celebration on Oct. 11/12).



keywords: Excelsior Brewing, Border Battle Beer Fest, Autumn Brew Review, Brewlove, Minnesota State Fair

Ales for ALS at Excelsior Brewing

A lot of people are familiar with ALS (commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease) but are unfamiliar with what really happens to those afflicted.

ALS stands for “amyotrophic lateral sclerosis” and refers to a progressive neurodegenerative disease affecting nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. This will eventually lead to those with the condition to lose the ability of muscle control and, eventually, will lead to paralysis and inability to breathe.

With 20,000-30,000 currently suffering from ALS and another 5,000 being diagnosed annually, this disease currently sits with no known cure. One of the institutes studying this disease, the ALS Therapy Development Institute, took to a creative way of raising awareness and funds for their cause.

Ales for ALS is a program organized by the ALS TDI and B.T. Loftus Ranches and Hopunion to create a specific blend of experimental hops, which craft brewers across the nation will use in a beer to raise money for ALS research.

Upon hearing about this opportunity, we called them up and jumped in at the last second to take part in what we consider an amazing opportunity to gain traction for a crippling disease through the power of local beer. Bob DuVernois and Niles Lewin took to brewing a sessionable pale using the experimental hop blend, and we’ve been patiently waiting for the right time to bust it out.

Welp…we think our 1st Beerthday Party taking place this Saturday would be a PERFECT time for you to enjoy it. So when you come out to the brewery and celebrate our anniversary with us, make sure you grab a pint of Biscuit Pants Pale Ale (Biscuit Pants was Lou Gehrig’s nickname, the most well known case of ALS). $2 from every pint of that beer will go directly to ALS research, and hopefully, contribute to a cure for those ailing from a debilitating and heart breaking disease.

More information on the program can be found at www.alesforals.com.