This was the Beer Dabbler’s 8th Winter Carnival, featuring over 150 breweries (up from the mere 146 last year), held at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Tickets sold out just days before the event, which tells me most people who wanted to go, got to go. It’s unclear if we’ll be able to count on similar availability next year with Minneapolis hosting Super Bowl LII. Hotels in the area are already booking up for that event and this AirBnB is asking $10000 for the night of the big game. But I digress.
I started my dabbling this year at Cosmos, a Hugo based brewery that just began releasing their beer in December. Muttnik, a puppy chow porter, was a popular choice for my group and it did not disappoint.
From Cosmos we headed over to Bent Paddle for a pour of Double Shot Double Black, their black ale that has been aged in oak barrels with vanilla and coffee. It is one of my favorite beers. Thick and dark, but very well balanced. I’ve noticed the vanilla is most prominent when it’s fresh.
We also made pilgrimages to Indeed, Prairie, and 612. 612 had a great selection of unique brews which earned them the Beer Dazzler Award this year. And although we attempted a trip to Dangerous Man, they were out of everything and had begun packing up the booth by the time we got there. I can hardly be surprised when they were pouring their Peanut Butter Porter, a staple of the NE Minneapolis brewery.
TL/DR: It was another successful dabbler. I greatly enjoyed a pour of Bent Paddle’s Double Shot Double Black. And 612 walked away with the Beer Dazzler Award. Cheers!