March Brew Mood Board

I’m still not sure what to call this feature, but sitting down and thinking about all of the beers I want to drink and events I want to prioritize has been SO helpful. It’s a blessing and a curse to have a craft beer scene as lively as ours is here in the Twin Cities. 

Last month, I hit nearly everything on my February to-do list from downing plenty of rich, dessert-y stouts to tasting beers made with cherry, sumac and rosemary at the Tin Whiskers/Fair State brew off and checking out the Instagram darling, Milkjam Creamery. You can see more frequent glimpses of what I’m drinking and where on Twitter and Instagram

So, without delay, here’s what’s on my agenda for the rest of March — including a weekend trip to Wisconsin. 

{#BeerGoals for March}
{#BeerGoals for March}

My cold, dead heart doesn’t pause at telling Girl Scouts “no,” because for some reason, I just don’t like most of their cookies — no matter how many times they change the names to trick me.I got a kick out of this craft beer and Girl Scout cookies pairing guide from Craft Beer and Brewing. When I do cave, I like the simple shortbread cookies or the Lemonades, which are paired here with springy, citrus IPAs. 

Speaking of IPAs, my palate and appreciation for them is certainly growing. I’m still not into aggressively-hopped beers, but I am excited to try Summit’s new 30th Anniversary Double IPA

In need of a new watering hole? While the tap menus at many of my favorite bars are expansive and varied, you cannot beat the 90+ taps at City Works in downtown Minneapolis. I appreciate that 20 percent are local, but would like to see what they’ve got on rotation for lesser known breweries available here. Their flights also appear thoughtfully curated. I think this will be a go-to happy hour spot when I work downtown in the summer. 

Lift Bridge Irish Coffee Stout brownies
Lift Bridge Irish Coffee Stout brownies

St. Patrick’s Day is Thursday and while I didn’t party this past weekend with the green masses, I got my fix earlier this month at the Lift Bridge Irish Coffee Stout release party. This beer is a must-have for this holiday and Lift Bridge throws the best release parties. The Irish Coffee Stout is a mix of their Russian Imperial Stout aged in whiskey barrels, blended with a milk stout and Five Watt coffee. I find it highly drinkable with a bite of whiskey, plenty of roast character from the coffee and the smooth finish of a creamy milk stout. Last year, I came up with this Irish Coffee Stout brownie recipe using the beer for the Growler (don’t worry – there’s plenty left to drink). Bake some up for the office and get your St. Patrick’s Day fun started early! 

Lastly, I’m headed to Milwaukee for a girls weekend and I’ve got a brewery tour and cocktail room on my agenda. I’ve already spent some time at Lakefront Brewing in Milwaukee, which is known for its tour, but this time I’m checking out MKE Brewing. I’m excited to try some of their seasonal releases and other beers that I haven’t seen at the store too often. 

I had the opportunity to attend Minnesota Monthly’s Food & Wine festival earlier this month and discovered Bittercube + Twisted Path Distillery. Together, they operate a joint cocktail tasting room in Milwaukee called Dock18 Cocktail Lab. I’m excited to see what unique offerings they have this weekend, but I loved how a few drops of Bittercube’s Orange and Jamaican #1 bitters livened up my typical vodka soda. This is a must-have for my dream bar.

And, of course, I’m sure I’ll return from Wisconsin with some sweet, sweet New Glarus and anything else I can get my hands on.

Cheers!

-Cali

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