Oktoberfest

Guten Tag!

This Saturday, October 13th, we will be hosting our First Annual Oktoberfest at the brewery!

Start your day with the debut of our Excelsior Oktoberfest Märzen, while working on your Hammerschlagen skills under our outdoor tent. Once 2:00 hits, belly up to the stage to hear Tim Mahoney of NBC’s “The Voice” belt out an outstanding acoustic set. Once you have your appetite in place, come grab some delicious food provided by Maynard’s and Patisserie Margo. A couple brats, some strudel and a homemade pretzel later, you’ll be ready to get your polka on with another brew!

After you grab a Bitteschläppe Brown Ale, head on back to the stage to hear Thee Unholy 3 unleash their awesome brand of Surf Rock on your ears at 4:00. All this drinking and eating got your lederhosen in a bunch? Come on out and polka throughout the day, with live German accordion playing in between sets!

XLCR Pale Ale and Big Island Blond Ale will also be on tap, so come grab a beer boot (or two) and load up on a couple more beers as well!

While the event is all ages, wristbands will be handed out at the door. EDIT: We will be doing cash/credit transactions, not tickets, throughout the day.

Any questions, feel free to email ben@excelsiorbrew.com and we will help you out. See you Saturday!

Prost!

Keggin’ Up!

Look at that beautiful sight. 200 kegs…all customized…ready to be filled with beer. Such a great thing to see on a Friday morning, we couldn’t be more excited!

For those who came out to Taste of the Lakes last night, you already know how awesome of an event it was. For those that didn’t, you truly missed out. Raising funds for the ICA Foodshelf and WeCAN, dozens of local restaurants and a certain local brewery came out swinging with great food and great beer. The hospitality by Bayview Event Center was outstanding, they did a wonderful job of putting it all together. It was a pleasure to meet so many folks for the first time and see some familiar faces in the crowd as well.

Last night also marked our first ever tapping of a Firkin in the taproom! We had some XLCR, dry hopped with Target hops, waiting in the cooler for the right time to bust it out. We figured last night was as good as any, and within hours, the Firkin was cashed out. After tasting the smooth texture and smelling the delicious hop aroma, I can certainly see why it was gone so quickly. We cannot wait to make that a staple in the taproom going forward, stay tuned for more details about ‘Operation Firkin’.

We’re only a few weeks out from our Oktoberfest, to be held at the brewery on October 13th from 12-9. Starting to put together the overall logistics but it’s safe to say, there will be a lot of beer flowing…

Swing on out to the taproom tonight for some XLCR, Big Island Blond and Bitteschläppe! Can’t wait, see you then!

What’s Happening with EBC – Sept. 4th – 8th

Can you believe it’s already been over two months since we opened our doors? Like any other small business, we’ve had our share of triumphs and pitfalls along the way. However, things seem to be hitting a groove and the timing couldn’t be better, as the pace is about to pickup heading into Fall.

First off, we have a bittersweet event at Old Chicago – Minnetonka this week. For those that have not heard, they are closing their doors on September 14th after years of serving a wonderful variety of craft beer, highlighting local brews before it was cool. Tonight, at 5:30, we will be heading down with a couple of kegs for a chance to meet the people behind EBC and to sample a couple of our beers. Please swing by and say hello to us and let’s send Old Chicago off in style!

Friday night, make sure you have your reservations to Bacio restaurant for their 10th Anniversary Party event titled “Brewers of the Western Burbs”. Come drink some beer from your friendly neighborhood breweries, featuring Lucid, Badger Hill and ourselves. Bacio is working on a food menu, utilizing each brewery’s beer in the featured dishes. I’ve heard some rumors of a Big Island Blond soup, can’t wait to try it out!

As usual, our taproom is open Thursday and Friday from 4-10, and Saturday from 2-10. Looking forward to another stellar week, hope to see everyone soon! Cheers!

 

Hey there, State Fair!

Good afternoon folks!

First off, thanks to everyone who made it to the taproom last night. You never would have known from the crowd that it was a Thursday, the place was HOPPING. Your desire to drink quality local beer and play copious amounts of Jenga made last night a huge success, we greatly appreciate it.

Secondly, we’d like to share something about ourselves with all of you. We at Excelsior Brewing have a certain preference when it comes to the seasons…

5) Spring – Although this means the start of baseball, hockey playoffs and outdoor activities of the non-ice related variety, it always seems to be too short. We love it, but not as much as the others. It’s basically the middle child of seasons.

4) Fall – Beautiful weather, leaves changing, football season. Fall has it going on, but doesn’t bring enough to the table to rank higher.

3) Summer – Lake Minnetonka. Enough said.

2) Winter – How can you EVER rank a time when folks are playing hockey at ponds and rinks across the state any lower? Minnesotans have an average body temp of 43 degrees (it’s a fact, look it up) so we can handle the cold. It just means that many more awesome things we can do outside.

BUT most importantly, our favorite season which is almost upon us…

1) State Fair Season.

This year at the State Fair is a special one for us. We will be on tap at the Ballpark Cafe with our XLCR Pale Ale! We are BEYOND psyched to get a chance to showcase our brews at the Great Minnesota Get-Together. In addition to Ballpark, swing on by the MN Brewer’s Guild booth where they will be showcasing new beers everyday, including the ever-so-delicious Big Island Blond Ale. When temps reach 90 and you’re surrounded by thousands of peeps clamoring for corn dogs, the Big Island Blond is a stellar way to cool off AND compliment your deep fried deliciousness in front of you.

For those concerned with calories and going to a “light” beer at the fair, I have to ask what the heck you are thinking?! You’re at the fair to eat your body weight in cheese and battered covered Snickers. Don’t you dare go for a light beer to save a few calories when you could enjoy a Craft brew! Shame, shame!

Another exciting event for us will be the New Brewer’s Discussion panel, which we are sharing with Fulton Brewing, on August 26th at the Brewer’s Guild booth. Swing by to hear us discuss how we came to be, where we are at currently and what the hell we plan on doing with ourselves now that we have a fully functional brewery.

The fair starts next Thursday so make sure you wind down that diet, invest in some elastic waist pants and come say hello! Until then, Cheers to you!

Helping the hungry…with beer!

Association of MN for helping us raise over 1k for our local ICA Foodshelf last month!

When we started planning out our brewery, the most important idea that we always come back to is supporting our community. Being a local brewery intended in taking care of those who support us, a lot of thought went into the ways we can make our area better, through both our beer and our actions. Thanks to the Heart Association of MN matching donations that we collected in our taproom for our local ICA Foodshelf, we were able to raise over $1,000 in the month of July! One of the most important and helpful groups in our area, the ICA provides assistance to folks struggling to get something as basic as food and we’re proud to work with them in their cause. Thank you to everyone who donated in the taproom, your money is going to a great cause.

On that note, we’ve also been able to raise over $1,400 in silent auctions and donations throughout our first month, going to children’s cancer research, local non profits and other foundations doing work locally in the community.

Between the chaos of opening a brewery, brewing enough beer and running a taproom, we’re psyched that we still have been able to help out these awesome organizations so far. A brewery is a powerful thing to have, and so far our taproom and tours have really helped us promote and fundraise with some wonderful people. Thanks to those who have helped make our launch a success and who have donated to the various groups so far!

We will be announcing some very promising local partnerships in the near future so stay tuned!

TAPROOM:  Last night was a helluva Thursday, with a great crowd and plenty of beer flowing. For those who have yet to visit (shame on you!), Jenga has become our staple taproom competition. Things get pretty tense once in a while, good thing there’s beer to alleviate some of that stress! But since everyone has stepped up their Jenga skills, we figured we should step up ours. I present to you, the Excelsior Brewing Party Pillar!

 

Unveiling this badboy tomorrow night in the taproom, be prepared. You have 1 week to strategize before our 1st annual Excelsior Brewing Co. Prestigious Party Pillar Olympics. In honor of the closing ceremony of the London games next week, we will have a tourney going Saturday afternoon to determine the ultimate champion! Details to follow this week, check in to Facebook for updates and signup. You know we’ll have some nice prizes for the winner so this is not to be missed out on!

Taproom is open 4-10 tonight and 2-10 tomorrow, let’s finish the week strong and celebrate with a beer. Cheers!

What’s on Tap July 30 – August 5

First off, let’s all hear it for ‘Merica and the Olympics kicking off. It’s the only time of the year where people find themselves thoroughly entranced with whether or not the 118 lb girl from Kazakhstan can clean and press 280 lbs (she can, FYI) or who will come home with the Air Rifle gold?

We are celebrating by brewing up a double batch of our XLCR Pale Ale today, which will COMPLETELY fill our tanks for the first time in our brief history. That’s 240 1/2 bbl kegs just waiting to get out to people of the greater Excelsior area. It’s a beautiful thing.

For those participating in the Tour de Tonka, make sure to look out for our guys volunteering at the event. We’re jacked to see some local bike action, hopefully we’ll spot an Excelsior Brewing Co. bike jersey or two in the crowd (now available for purchase in the brewery, FYI).

Anyone in Minneapolis will have a shot to sample some of our brews next Sunday at the Inaugural Minnesota Food Truck Fair. Those unfamiliar with our downtown food truck scene are missing out, there are PHENOMENAL items to sample. Of course, nothing goes better with food trucks than craft beer. Check out the info here: http://www.mnfoodtruckfair.com

Taproom hours this week are Thursday and Friday from 4-10 and Saturday 2-10, with tours from 12-2. Hopefully we won’t be too tired from staying up all night watching Olympic Badminton. Cheers!

Niles Lewin, making the beer happen!

Finishing Up Month #1

I cannot think of a faster month in my entire life. It seems like just yesterday we were opening our doors on July 2nd, unaware of what kind of support we would see and how our beer would be received. From the first person that walked through our door, we knew this was going to be a crazy/awesome experience and we haven’t been let down yet. Everyone that has contributed, either by volunteering or drinking our beer, thank  you for making our launch as stellar as possible.

Last weekend we poured at our first official beer fests as a functional brewery. Head Brewer Bob DuVernois exposed the northern half of MN to their first taste of our beer at the All Pints North festival in Duluth, while Senior Ambassador Ben mingled with the beer drinkers at the Highland Beer Dabbler. Thank you to everyone who had kind words to share, it was an honor to be part of those events and we are already psyched for more opportunities to pour for more folks.

We’re pouring this evening at the Toast and Taste in the Garden event, taking place at the University of Minnesota Arboretum. Tickets can still be purchased at the door, it’s going to be a helluva event with all the local restaurants, wineries and (most importantly) breweries attending.

As usual, our taproom will be open Thursday and Friday from 4-10 and Saturday 2-10. If you’re around, swing by for a beer or two.

Until next time, Cheers!

Growler Care and Events

Good morning folks!

Last week we debuted our XLCR Pale Ale to the masses and have gotten some great responses. We’re glad to see that the beer is being well received, thanks to everyone who came out last week. We dig the support!

This has meant we are swamped on growler sales at the moment, literally selling out our ENTIRE inventory the last couple weeks. Fear not, we have another shipment arriving mid-week so there will be chances to take home our Big Island Blond, debuting this week! For anyone who came out and was unable to get a growler last week, we are really, truly sorry. As in any business, it can be hard to gauge what kind of response you will receive your first time around. Fortunately the response has been great, unfortunately it led to a shortage in our growler inventory. We appreciate the patience on your end as we figure it out.

HOWEVER, on the growler note, we have some requests from those who have purchased growlers. Since we have refilled a ton of growlers in the past week, we are starting to notice something you folks can help us with a little bit:

  1. Once you finish off the beer in your growler, PLEASE give it a quick double rinse in hot water. This will make sure to eliminate some of the “funkiness” that has come back in some of the growlers.
  2. After you rinse, please let it dry, preferably upside down, without the cap on. Air ventilation = good thing.
  3. Please do not use dish soap, as this is a pain in arse to get out when we sanitize. Nobody wants a soapy beer

Going forward, we will be giving every growler that comes back the “sniff” test. Don’t be offended when we do, we trust you. It’s just the OTHER guy we’re worried about. If it’s funky, we will kindly remind you about proper growler care and probably give you a mean scowl. If it’s clean, you will be rewarded with a smile and a high five.

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

July 19-21 – Crazy Days:  We will be open for normal taproom hours (Thu and Fri 4-10, Sat 2-10). Swing on by during the festivities and say hello!

July 21 – All Pints North Beer Fest – Duluth, MN

July 21 – Highland Park Beer Dabbler – St. Paul, MN

No tours this week due to the massive amount of events, but please come say hi at any of the above listed places!

As usual, cheers and have a great week everyone.

Friday the 13th Updates

For those unfamiliar with our Bridge Jumper IPA(ish) story, let me recap. Upon receiving our equipment, we had to take a bit of a stab in the dark as to how much grain we would need for our first official batch of XLCR Pale Ale. After all, we never really had a chance to learn our evaporation levels, mark our water lines in our brewhouse or know what kind of efficiency we would get from our brand spankin’ new system. We just wanted to jump feet first off the proverbial “bridge” and make our beer!

Turns out, we have a REALLY efficient system and instead of getting the more mild 5.5% XLCR, we produced the monster that has become known as Bridge Jumper. While it certainly is a bit more of a beast than our pale ale (8.5%), it was extremely well received by brewery employees and taproom attendees alike. So now, we feature our Bridge Jumper as one of our staple beers!

Since we sold out of the entire first batch in roughly 5 days, we are brewing up batch number two this morning! How fitting that a freak beer like the Bridge Jumper is being made again on Friday the 13th. Beautiful irony, really…

EDIT:  Brewed up Big Island Blond again on the 13th, brewing Bridge Jumper again on the 18th or 19th.

Hope to see everyone in the taproom tonight from 4-10, until then, Cheers!

Our Time to Shine!

In case you missed the news yesterday, we’re pretty cool. As further proof of this, Kare11 had President John Klick and Head Brewer Bob DuVernois on to talk about our story and, most importantly, try our XLCR Pale Ale. Just released yesterday, you can grab XLCR at 318, Republic and the taproom in Excelsior.

Thanks again to Kare11 for profiling Minnesota’s amazing local beer, it’s always good to be mentioned in the same series as Summit, Surly, Fulton and all the other phenomenal MN breweries.

Check out the story here: http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=982866