Posts Categorized: Announcements

Expansion Update: Walls going up, Walls coming down!

EXPANSION UPDATE: It’s only been 5 weeks, but things are looking a WHOLE lot different on the other side of our brewery wall. The walls separating the two adjacent spaces is officially gone and some new walls are going up! We have finished our plumbing installation, framed/sheet rocked the bathrooms and are beginning the process of finishing our floors. This means a couple things for the month of March:

  • Our new walk-in cooler is getting installed right after the floors are done
  • New tanks (7-40 bbl fermenters, 2 40-bbl bright tanks and a cold liquor tank) will be arriving towards the end of the month
  • Taproom walls will begin getting painted
  • Replacement glass for the taproom windows will be installed

This leaves our bar installation, bottling line arrival and merging of the two spaces into one as our April agenda! Things are getting real, looking forward to getting more beer sent your way in the VERY near future.

Expansion as of March 3rd

Expansion as of March 3rd

Excelsior Expansion Update – Jan. 29th

 

 

Updated Jan. 29th

EXCELSIOR EXPANSION UPDATE – January 29th

Holy cow…those walls came down fast. For those unaware, we began knocking down walls in our building 8 days ago. The adjacent space quickly went from two separate entities (one an auto shop, another a storefront) into one massive/awesome space. After stripping away the stucco, insulation and wall coverings we were left with gorgeous red brick, windows just begging to see the light of day and a ceiling with as much history as Excelsior itself.

To give you some more perspective, check out the first couple days of demolition below

From Day 1 of Demo to Day 3, we saw massive changes.

From Day 1 of Demo to Day 3, we saw massive changes.

As of now, we are still on pace to have the new taproom open to the public in late April/early May. We are also still on track to get 12 oz. bottles on shelves around May 1st as well. We’re obviously excited about our soon-to-be ability to get beer to more and more folks in the Metro, but in the meantime make sure to check out www.excelsiorbrew.com/locations for information on where to find our beer currently.

Thanks again to the folks who helped get us to where we are and the people involved in our expansion. Things are getting real here at the brewery, stay tuned for more updates!

Cheers!

 

 

Excelsior Brewing Expansion Update!

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…

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!

 

keyword: craft beer gifts, holiday gift, minnesota beer, craft beer, shattered solstice, excelsior brewing, excelsior brewery

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

Directions

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

Ingredients

3 pounds Brussels sprouts

½ cup olive oil

½  cup honey

¾ cup balsamic vinegar

1 cup dried papaya

1 cup water

Directions

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

Ingredients

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

Directions

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!

aw31NWexbreweryexpansion

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!

 

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.

Celebrating One Year in Beer – Excelsior Brewing

Dear Drinkers:

It seems like yesterday I was writing to say ‘thank you’ to everyone who came out to support Excelsior Brewing in our opening week. I distinctly remember sitting on my couch starting to draft a blog post on Sunday morning, drinking coffee and wondering ‘what the hell just happened?’

Well, I can safely say we’re all STILL wondering ‘what the hell just happened?’ one year later. It’s been a 365 day blur since that was written, but now things are becoming more clear. In our infrequent moments of lucidity amid the frequent moments of chaos, here’s what we’ve taken from our first year of being in production:

  • Our locals are awesome. Seriously. From the folks in the brewery on day one to the regulars we have today, our locals are what make the brewery what it is.
  • Bob DuVernois makes some tasty beers. Don’t believe me? Look at any of our four medals from the World Beer Championships or try some for your self. Malty or hoppy, lager or ale, Bob finds a way to balance out whatever beer he puts in your glass.
  • Persistence is the biggest key to success. While we’ve hit some rough patches along the way, our staff just kept on moving forward. The learning curve in operating a brewery is steep and takes some getting used to. Without everyone’s persistence, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
  • Beer is a powerful community building tool. Every time we do a community based event, the best part is witnessing folks come together over a beer. From neighborhood block parties to the Burgers, Beers and Bingo Bash to raise money for the fireworks, sometimes all it takes for someone to make a new friend is grabbing a beer.

We are humbled by the support of our community, the establishments that choose to carry our beers and the industry members that provide advice and support for everyone involved. There are few people that have the opportunity we do, and rest assured, we do not take it for granted. Your appreciation for Excelsior Brewing keeps us moving forward, and we think that’s pretty cool.

Now, most importantly, it’s time to celebrate! Come out to the brewery on July 20th for our first “Beerthday Party”. We’ll have live music all day, an outdoor beer garden and plenty of partying. We’ll also be breaking out a couple beers that you haven’t seen yet, and most likely won’t see again after the 20th.

So put on your party hats and come grab a beer. Oh yeah…once again: THANK YOU FOR MAKING OUR FIRST YEAR FREAKING AWESOME.

Stay tuned for more info on the party leading up to the 20th. Cheers!

Sincerely,

Excelsior Brewing Co.

Chef DuVernois on Twin Cities Live

Chef DuVernois

In case you missed out on the chance to see our head brewer Bob DuVernois on Twin Cities Live last week, here’s the link to his gorgeous mug on TV. Bob was invited to challenge Antigoni Sander McCloud (co-owner of Kafe 421) to devise a recipe using our Bitteschlappe Brown Ale. Based on Bob’s reaction, I’d say she did a stellar job of meeting the challenge. Huge thanks to Twin Cities Live and Antigoni for having us on, great work on the dish! The full video can be watched here.

Speaking of cooking with beer…one of our favorite locals, Bayside Bar and Grill, will be hosting a beer dinner cruise this Friday June 14th. Two tickets for $75 gets you four courses, four of your favorite Excelsior Brewing Co. beers AND the opportunity to drink on Lake Minnetonka with the fine folks from EBC. Tickets can be purchased here, hope to see you out there this weekend!