BREAKING NEWS: Hops are good for you!

In case you didn’t know (which we certainly did), hops are actually beneficial to your health! Check out this product known as Hops X Factor: Cell Protector which was forwarded by a local nutrition aficionado:
Hops X Factor: Cell Protector

Go figure, a chemical compound found in hops “has been the subject of over 75 research papers due to its role as a cell protector, preventative phytochemical, and as a potentially longevity-enhancing compound.” AKA, hops act as an anti-aging agent, keeping you drinking craft beer longer than you thought! If you care to check out the page, click here.

While I have no idea what the scientific mumbo-jumbo means, and by NO means recommend buying a vial of a hop compound extract, I think that’s just another reason to grab a fresh, local beer.

Here are some more non-cited facts:

An Italian study of more than 200,000 people found those who drank a pint a day had a 31-percent decrease in heart disease risk. Beer can also raise HDL, the good cholesterol in your body.

  • A 2009 study found the high levels of silicon in beer can be good for bones, but too much could mean more fractures.
  • Harvard studies found beer can prevent blood clots and reduce the risk of stroke, and that a few beers a day lowered the risk of diabetes in middle-aged men by 25 percent.
  • Research in Europe found moderate beer drinkers had 30-percent higher levels of the disease-fighting vitamin B-6 compared to non-drinkers.
  • A study in Finland reports that men who drank a few bottles daily lowered their risk of kidney stones by 40 percent.
  • Research found marinating a steak in beer could reduce the risk of cancer. It wipes out the majority of carcinogens that are produced when meat is fried in a pan.

So there you have it, in case you needed more reasons to drink beer, we just gave ya some. BOOM!

Cheers!

Shagagogo Recap and Upcoming Shenanigans – Excelsior Brewing

Guessing by the turnout last Saturday, you were either AT the Excelsior Brewing Memorial Day Shagagogo Bash or you missed out on a freakishly good time. For those that weren’t there, let me recap:

– Worked our way musically from Bluegrass (Steve Howard and Phil Nusbaum) to eclectic covers (Chris Kelly) to full out rock mode (Refrigerager) to groovy throwbacks (Shagagogo).
– Packed the house with locals, newbies, men, women, young folks and seasoned veterans.
– Raised over $400 dollars for the ICA Foodsheld via Hammerschlagen
– Enjoyed copious amounts of Italian Beef Sandwiches and Chicago Hotlinks, courtesy of Duncan from Deli by the Bay

Thank you to all who came out, all the musicians who played, all the volunteers who poured and everyone else who made the event a success. It was a fitting way to officially kickoff summer, you folks freakin rock!

Now, we move forward to a jam-packed June. Let’s run down what we have in store (I’m just digging the lists this morning, roll with it):
– June 3rd: Summer Swing Golf Tourney at Deer Run Golf Course
– June 4th: Meet the Brewers Tap Takeover at Edina Grill
– June 7th: Kitchen Window Beer Dinner/Cooking Demonstration AND Republic Calhoun Square Afterparty
– June 12th: Concerts in the Park (debuting our new Root Beer)
– June 14th: Bayview Beer Dinner Cruise
– June 15th: St. Paul Summer Beer Fest
– June 16th: Woodland Winery Father’s Day Bash
– June 20th: Figlio Beer Series Beer Dinner
– June 22nd: Carver Ale Trail
– June 28th: MN Pride Beer Dabbler in Loring Park

You can find info on most of these events by heading to our Event Page, otherwise email ben@excelsiorbrew.com for more details or information.

Looking forward to a great summer and wrapping up our first year of being officially open. The last 11 months have humbled and excited us about our future in Excelsior, looking forward to many more years of brewing. YOU are the reason it happened so…you know…THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! You’re the best. Seriously.

Happy American/MN Craft Beer Week!

10,000 Minutes of MN Beer

Happy American/MN Craft Beer Week! Basically, the greatest week all year, this gives everyone a chance to celebrate our local (and national) beer community.

Know somebody who always wanted to start drinking craft, but didn’t know where to start? Take this opportunity to show them some of your favorite local breweries! Want to drink some rare and new beers? Check out all the local tappings taking place across the state!

We will be celebrating a couple different ways this week. First up, Pittsburgh Blue in Maple Grove for their patio kickoff and our Helios Hefeweizen release! Enjoy the summer evening with a couple seasonal beers, including the Sunburn Cherry Wheat!

If you can swing an afternoon off on Friday, head out to Deer Run Golf Course in Victoria, MN. We’ll be hosting their Funplay Friday, pouring beer on the 4th tee box and kicking off our partnership with happy hour specials in the clubhouse.

For the grand finale, the St. Croix River will see its first taste of Excelsior Brewing as we climb onboard one of Stillwater’s historic paddleboats for the Brewer’s Bazaar. If you live in the East Metro, this will be your first chance to have our beer on that side of town.

We hope everyone enjoys the hell out of a week celebrating local beer, make sure to drink responsibly and set a good example for those just learning about Craft Beer. Hope to see you this weekend, cheers!

30 Shades of (Bitteschlappe) Brown

Amar is the "Indian in the Cupboard"...ya get it?!

Amar is the “Indian in the Cupboard”…ya get it?!

Welcome to 30 Shades of Brown, where we will be featuring all things Brown-related at the brewery. If you don’t already know, our Bitteschlappe Brown Ale (one of three flagship brews) has taken off over the past few months. With a hefty amount of Vienna malt, you get a delicious blast of sweet caramel and soft roasted flavors throughout the beer. It features a medium body and low bitterness, making this beer the most flavorful and drinkable combination we could imagine. In our numerous beer dinners, this beer finds its way as the feature of the night paired with the main course. With Eat Shop’s Pork Loin, Pittsburgh Blue’s Ancho-Crusted Filet, Pig and Fiddle’s Braised Beef Cheeks (among many others), this beer has proved to be the quintessential beer to enjoy with food.

Currently, restaurants like Nightingale, Butcher and Boar and Ike’s have looked to the Bitteschlappe to go with their delicious grilled items. BUT let’s not forget our BBQ brethren Chuckwagon Charlies, Famous Daves and Hurricane Wings, where their sauces have met their match with our brown ale. Sweetness and char take the beer to a WHOLE other level.

This brings us to our 50 Shades of Brown:

Bitteschlappe is currently on tap at:

  1. Biella
  2. 318 Cafe
  3. Jake O’Connors
  4. Hurricane Wings
  5. Franc 44 Cheese Shop
  6. Chuckwagon Charlies
  7. Pairings Food and Wine
  8. Eat Shop Kitchen/Bar
  9. Wayzata Bar and Grill
  10. Birches
  11. Butcher and the Boar
  12. Bulldog NE (cask)
  13. Dakota Jazz Club
  14. Bachelor Farmer
  15. Moto-i
  16. Rye’s Deli
  17. Nightingale
  18. Famous Daves

That’s a nice selection across the metro, with a wide range of food styles to suite your palette, no matter what mood you’re in!

WHICH brings us to the second portion of 30 Shades of Brown, our profile on accountant/financial manager extraordinaire, Amar Patel. Featured above as an “Indian in the Cupboard” (because he’s Indian…and it’s a pun. Ya get it?!), Amar has worked with us from the get-go. If you’ve been in the taproom or at events and have had the chance to meet him personally, you’ll know he’s the most easy going human you could ever meet. BUT there are a ton of other facts about our “Knight of Numbers” that you may not know. So, without further ado, here are 12 facts about Amar:

  1. Graduated from THE Ohio State University
  2. With HONORS
  3. Biggest Beer Geek at the brewery
  4. Grew up in Plymouth, MN (right down the road from us)
  5. Loves Phish. Likes fish.
  6. Has culinary skills that you CAN’T believe
  7. Huge fan of ‘Hopping Frog Frosted Christmas’ beer
  8. Competed in the Ultimate Frisbee Club at OSU
  9. Loves Game of Thrones. Loves it. Lives for the realm.
  10. Has traveled extensively to other nations
  11. Can grow a wonderful mustache
  12. Has excellent fine motor skills.

There ya have it, 30 Shades of Brown to get you ready for your weekend! See you in the taproom soon, cheers!

Bridge Jumper is BACK

When we opened our doors 9.5 months ago, we were greeted with a beautiful accident that came to be known as Bridge Jumper. The result of an uber-efficient brewhouse and a craft veteran Head Brewer, this behemoth didn’t just knock the doors off our opening, it blasted those suckers into kingdom come! Our locals have waited patiently for the return, asking when the malty monster would be returning to their palate in our taproom.

The wait is over.

We officially tapped it this past Saturday in the taproom, but have no fear if you missed out. We have 20 bbls of it ready and waiting for you in both the taproom, and select bars. Are you a member of the Beer Club at Eat Shop Kitchen/Bar in Plymouth? Grab a pint or two this Thursday night with us! If you aren’t a member, you’re missing out as it may be the best beer deal in town. Have plans Friday? Cancel them now. Pig and Fiddle will be our destination to launch Bridge Jumper to the waiting masses in Edina/South Minneapolis. We’ll be tapping at 6:00 so come early and come thirsty!

This beer will only be around for a limited time, make sure you don’t miss out on the chance to find out what the fuss is all about. Cheers!

 

Craft Brewer’s Conference Recap

EBC's recap of the 2013 Craft Brewer's Conference

EBC’s recap of the 2013 Craft Brewer’s Conference

Heading into the Craft Brewer’s Conference last week, we intended on blogging everyday about what was happening, what we were discussing and which of the thousands of available beers we were consuming. However, as can happen in life, we became distracted by our surroundings and missed out on keeping folks up to date. Having the chance to attend seminars from some of the most respected names in beer, along with walking a showroom floor with everything from barley to canning lines, definitely was worth the trip but also kept us preoccupied.

What you do need to know is that we were humbled and amazed to see the number of breweries represented at CBC. Over 1,000 different breweries, along with 6,400 different people, took to DC for education, lobbying and (of course) beer drinking. Getting the chance to speak to smaller start up breweries like ourselves about dilemmas we have faced, or asking some of the established breweries advice on growth, gave us the chance to focus on what we’ve done right and what we can improve. The social nature of this industry shined through the entire conference, validating some of the hours and labor that most people at the conference have put into starting something as crazy as a brewery.

Among the many highlights for us were getting to meet our representatives and their aides, getting locked IN the House of Representatives Office Building and exploring Jason Bourne style, and of course, checking out the local beer scene. DC Brau and Capital City were our two favorites of the week, but other regional folks like Flying Dog and Dogfish Head also made their way onto our palates quite often. Classes and seminars took place all day from Wednesday through Friday, with courses ranging from draft system maintenance to sour beer production dominated our days. Industry related tap-takeovers and get-togethers were constantly happening at night, leading to some rough 9am classes. The Brew-Expo is something to behold for those in the beer industry. Vendors from all walks of beer come together to hawk their goods for attendees. Over 400 different vendors came together with some impressive machinery, hops and neon signs to force us into making some important purchasing decisions in the very near future.

Our highlight was certainly the Thursday night event, Amber Waves. Along with 24 other breweries, many of them well known and established, we were able to pour beers for the thirsty people of DC and bring art together with beer. The premise was based around beer being an artistic interpretation, one that comes across in the liquid form for most of us. To demonstrate this to others, each brewery was asked to bring along a piece of art that represents the beer being poured as well. Jumping at the chance, Head Brewer Bob Duvernois tapped into his naval roots (both of his own doing AND ancestrally) to devise a Revolutionary-Era Spruce Beer. Made with very little hops (all grown in Bob’s backyard) and Colorado spruce tips to bitter, Bob then added sarsaparilla root and black strap molasses to the recipe for a ridiculously intriguing spice profile. With the help of our Assistant Brewer, Niles Lewin, our guys put together a beer that George Washington himself would have been proud of. To cap it off, it was then aged in rum barrels for a couple months to add some more depth and complexity, before being shipped out to Washington DC.

After a stressful few days of locating our keg in DC (with a huge thanks to the Brewer’s Association and Premium Distributors for giving us a helping hand), the beer was successfully delivered and ready to pour at the event. Hosted by Dogfish Head and Victory Brewing, the event was high-class all the way. With great beers, great food and great all-around people pouring and attending, there wasn’t much more to ask for. Unless you’re a Gwar fan. In which case, you were also in luck, as 3 Floyds put in a call and, low and behold, we received the demon-centric metal band Gwar! Pretty much a night of randomness and awesomeness, combined into one. Our beer was extremely well received, with most drinkers never having tasted such a satisfying and intriguing beer like that. Even Dogfish Head brewers, strange in their own right and toting a beer made with Deer Antlers to the event itself, said Bob and Niles’ beer was one of the most interesting beers they had experienced. Validated by Brewer’s Association President/Dogfish Founder Sam Calagione, along with Victory Brewing President/Brewmaster Bill Covaleski, the spruce beer aptly titled “George’s Wooden Teeth” stole the show for many. HUGE thumbs up to Bob and Niles for putting together a beer like that and a big thank you to those who helped put the event on.

While it was great getting to meet everyone, learn a good amount of information and drink a copious amount of beer, there’s nothing like coming home. We’re happy to be back and look forward to some great taproom nights with an open garage door soon enough. Keep your eyes open for our beer on tap at your favorite bars and restaurants, and more importantly, thanks for being awesome supporters of well made local beers.

Cheers!

 

keywords: Craft Brewer’s Conference, Amber Waves, Craft Beer

Luck o’ the Lake Recap

run16By now, everyone has (hopefully) recovered from the past weekend and the festivities that come along with St. Patrick’s Day. In case you weren’t at the brewery, let me quickly recap what you missed out on:

– Over 500 folks took off from the brewery on the Luck o’ the Lake 5k run. The winner finished in roughly 17 minutes, motivated by the thought of coming back to the brewery for a celebratory beer.

– Irish Elvis knocked the doors off with a SICK performance, setting the tone for the rest of the night

– Copious amounts of beer were consumed throughout the day, making the Giant Jenga games that much more entertaining

– Chris Kelly, yes THE Chris Kelly, made an impromptu appearance Saturday night and showed off some serious musicianship.

St. Patrick’s Day was, is, and always will be, my favorite holiday. Thanks to everyone who came out to make our first one ever something special!

To recap last week, we headed over to our neighbors at Gold Nugget for a five-course beer dinner that was insanely tasty. Chef Eli worked his magic and put together some of the best pairings imaginable, complimenting our beers perfectly. My personal favorite was the Beer Battered Lobster with Big Island Blond Ale, but it’s not easy picking a favorite at this point. Thanks to everyone involved, both attendees and staff, for putting on a great dinner. We cannot wait to come back again this summer and hopefully do it again!

Next week, Niles and Ben will be heading to Washington D.C. for the 2013 Craft Brewer’s Conference. Ben will be live blogging from seminars, events and the after party’s to keep everyone up to date on the state of our Craft Brewing industry. Most importantly, we will be showcasing our Barrel Aged Spruce Beer, aptly named “George’s Wooden Teeth Spruce Beer”, at the Amber Waves event, sponsored by Dogfish Head and Victory Brewing. We are one of 25 breweries selected, head to amberwavesevent.com for more information.

Moving forward, we will have a couple VERY exciting beer related announcements to stay tuned to our Facebook page for real time updates as to what’s coming out.

Follow us at facebook.com/excelsiorbrew and on twitter @excelsiobrew.

 

keywords: MN Beer, Gold Nugget, Luck o’ the Lakes, St. Patrick’s Day, Amber Waves

 

Catching Up – EBC

Good morning!

It’s been a while since we’ve had a chance to update folks as to what’s happening at the brewery!

In beer related notes, our Oar Lock Oat Stout is down to the last few kegs, meaning this weekend in the taproom will most likely be your last chance to drink it! Make sure to swing on out and get your final pints of this tasty stout before it’s too late! In its place will be our red ale, which offers a very easy drinking malt sweetness and low bitterness. The perfect beer for ringing in St. Patrick’s Day in a couple weeks!

We have a couple of surprise brews coming out in the next few months as well, stay tuned for updates as we move forward.

A week or so ago, we had the pleasure of hosting the Red Shoe Society, a group of young professionals that work with the Ronald McDonald House on raising funds. With such a great cause, it should be no surprise the number of people who came out to support the house. The taproom was packed, beer was flowing and money was being raised! Thanks to the Red Shoe Society and Juan Palomo for putting on a great event.

Last week was an awesome one for the foodies in our group, as we partnered with Pittsburgh Blue on a PHENOMENAL beer dinner. Four courses of amazingness that everyone who has ever eaten there has come to expect. My personal favorite was the ancho-crusted filet paired with the Bitteschlappe Brown Ale. Now, we look forward to our beer dinner with Gold Nugget, taking place on March 14th. Five courses, all very unique and creative menu ideas and only $55 (includes tax and gratuity).

Capping off a crazy busy two weeks was the Food and Wine Experience at Target Field, and the Mille Lacs Kite Crossing in Garrison, MN. President Klick found his way up to the kite racing event, finding time to pour a TON of beer for the competitors and get in a little racing himself. Down at Target Field, we sampled among some of the best beers, foods and wines that are available in MN. While the Sunday session didn’t QUITE go as planned (our kegs were tossed in a freezer overnight, leaving us with some Popsicle action in the kegs) our Saturday session was stellar. We cannot wait to do it again next year, hopefully this time with our beer in a liquid state.

Thanks again to everyone who supports us by drinking our beers, whether it be at a restaurant, in the taproom or in a growler. You folks are the BEST and we’re proud to serve you!

Cheers!

How ’bout this weather?

Welcome to Minnesota, home of frozen people, frozen cars and frozen lakes!

While our fat bike race may not have gone off as planned with the weather conditions, I have to commend the folks that came out anyway. Whenever you bank of certain weather conditions as a determining factor for an event in our state, you’re taking a chance. While the temperature cooperated, the massive wind gusts did not. That being said, it was hella cool seeing over 100 fat bikers lined up for our race on Lake Minnetonka. We knew we were in for some trouble when course officials were being blown across the lake while standing on their feet, but that didn’t deter our racers. Everyone made an honest effort to trek out onto our course and it was a badass scene to say the least.

Despite having to call the ride off early on, some brave individuals (including our head brewer Bob Duvernois) completed the trek anyway. Hats off to the folks that made an effort and to the few that finished anyway. There are hardly any friendlier people than bikers, and they all seemed to take the day in stride. The rest of the day was awesome, with Tim Mahoney and Bob Barley putting on stellar performances and Deli By the Bay providing AMAZING food for visitors. Thank you to everyone (bikers and drinkers alike) who made the day a success in spite of Mother Nature’s intentions.

We also had the chance to pour at the first annual ‘Hops for Hunger’ event in NE Minneapolis. This was a kickass fundraiser for the SACA Foodshelf and featured great beer and music at Uppercut Boxing Gym. Props to Dave for putting it on, cannot wait to do it again next year.

Now that we’ve gotten in our workout for the winter, it’s time to focus on drinking some beer! This weekend, we have a bevy of events for you to quench your thirst. Saturday we will be participating in the Winter Beer Dabbler in downtown St. Paul. Over 7,500 are expected to attend, it’s going to be a party and a half. That same day, we are sampling with the folks at Warehouse Winery in an attempt to break down the boundaries of fermented grains and fermented grapes. Finally, this Sunday, we will be pouring at Biella for a 6 course beer dinner. Tickets are still available, call Biella ASAP to make your reservations. If you cannot make any of these events, fear not! The taproom is open as always, swing out for a fresh pint and play a game of jenga or two.

Again, thanks to everyone who helps us do what we love everyday. Those who support us are not forgotten, we wake up everyday knowing that we can only do what we do because of you folks. Cheers to everyone who came out last weekend and those we will see this weekend!

Gold Medals, ICA and Arctic Fever

We have quite the exciting Friday on our hands, folks! Just found out that Mr. Jimmy’s Baltic Porter, our first of many tribute beers to Jimmy Hutmaker, won a GOLD medal with the World Beer Championships (full details can be found here). Full credit to Bob and Niles for coming up with such a freakin awesome beer and bringing recognition to a style that flies under the radar.

Another great aspect that this beer brings to the table is the idea of giving back. When deciding to honor Jimmy Hutmaker with a series of beers, we wanted folks to remember the legacy of giving back that his name conjures up among locals. For every pint of Mr. Jimmy’s we sold in the taproom, $1 would go back to the local ICA Foodshelf as our way of remembering Jimmy. On Wednesday, we were proud to walk over the ICA with a check for over $1,600 (plus another $500 raised in the taproom separately). We’re fortunate to be involved with a program like the ICA and always look forward to contributing to their cause whenever possible.

We plan on celebrating our Gold this Saturday during Arctic Fever, taking place at the brewery. We are hosting our Fat Bike race, starting at 2:00, and setting up our heated beer garden for folks to embrace the MN winter, all within the comforts of a warm tent. Live music from Tim Mahoney will start at 5:00, with Bob Barley and the A’lers finishing out the night at 7:00. Amazing food from Deli by the Bay will be available, plus plenty of beer to warm up the bikers coming in from the race. It will be an event to witness, don’t be ‘that guy’ who misses out.

As always, thanks to the folks that have come out to the taproom and those who grabbed a pint of beer at one of the restaurants/bars carrying our beer. You allow us to do what we love and for that, we are always grateful.

Cheers to you folks, see everyone tomorrow!