Posts Categorized: Announcements

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!


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

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!


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!

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!


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 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!