pick

August 3, 2022

Minnesota State Fair New Beverages List 2022 and my picks

Years ago I remember heading to the Minnesota State Fair and being thrilled when Summit Brewing started offering their IPA amongst the Miller Light and Coors Lights dominated national beer scene at the Fair. I would go out of my way to go to the International Bazaar to grab a Summit or head to the Leinie Lodge for at least a Wisconsin beer. Those days are no longer as the Minnesota State Fair now treats its beer list like a new foods list with the proliferation of craft beer makers throughout the State of Minnesota.
 
Today the Minnesota State Fair announced 46 brand-new beverages premiering or found only at the 2022 fair. In addition, there will be 43 returning beverages found only at the Great Minnesota Get-Together. In all, the fair features 300+ brews and beverages. The complete list is here.
 
Some trends can be spotted on the list.
  • Lots and lots of cherries, mango peaches, and pineapples make the list this year in various iterations. 
  • Citrus is still king, with plenty of lemon and lime-soaked varieties.
  • Sweets are a little less this year though there is a chocolate-infused Tootsie Roll and a Macaroon flavored beer.
  • Tart, Hazy, and Infused IPAs abound, and there is even an 8% ABV beer so watch yourself, kids.
  • Ciders played it pretty safe this year, but some interesting wine collaborations are happening with Round Lake Vineyards & Winery.
 
Here is my Day one Picks because a girls gotta pace herself and then my subsequent picks for the run of the fair. 
 
Day One:
 
Chili Pineapple Express Sour
This bright, refreshing pineapple sour ale is rimmed with a light coating of Tajin chili-lime seasoning to add a little extra layer of complexity to this refreshing summer sipper. But don’t worry – it’s just Minnesota spicy ;-). 4.8% ABV. Brewed in Minneapolis, Minn., by Pryes Brewing Company.
At Ball Park Cafe, located on the east side of Underwood Street between Dan Patch and Carnes avenues, outside
The Garden
 
Electrik Empress
After a year of long, slow-mixed culture fermentation in an original 1936 cypress wood lagering tank, this beer was transferred onto 6,600 pounds of plums for five more months of maturation on fruit. Electrik Empress is hazy, cotton candy pink in color and bursting with the fresh aroma of ripe plum skins. It is medium-bodied and fairly dry with a soft lemon-tart acidity and flavor of plums, lemon and pear. 5.9% ABV. 4 IBUs. Brewed in New Ulm, Minn., by August Schell Brewing Company, proud sponsor of the Schell’s Stage at Schilling Amphitheater.
At LuLu’s Public House, located at West End Market, south of the Schell’s Stage at Schilling Amphitheater
 
Pitt Boss
An exclusive State Fair beer collaboration between Bauhaus Brew Labs and Animales BBQ? Yes please! Feast your taste buds on this delicious blonde ale infused with juicy smoked peaches straight off the smoker at Animales BBQ. Expect this one to be slightly smokey, massively peachy and majorly crisp, with a touch of lingering malt sweetness that makes it the perfect pairing for delicious BBQ food. 5% ABV. Brewed in Minneapolis, Minn., by Bauhaus Brew Labs in collaboration with Animales BBQ Co. of Minneapolis, Minn.
At RC’s BBQ, located on the north side of Dan Patch Avenue between Liggett and Chambers streets
 
Strawberry Rhubarb Cider
Freshly pressed apples fermented dry then sweetened with the classic Minnesota combination of rhubarb and juiced strawberries. 6.2% ABV. Brewed in Minneapolis, Minn., by Sociable Cider Werks.
At LuLu’s Public House, located at West End Market, south of the Schell’s Stage at Schilling Amphitheater
 
Green Apple Wine Slushie
A is for apple, and this A+ refresher features apple wine with a green apple twist. Wine made in Round Lake, Minn., by Round Lake Vineyards & Winery.
At Minnesota Wine Country, located on the west side of Underwood Street between Carnes and Judson avenues
 
Cucumber Summer
Bright golden with a gentle haze, tropical hop aroma and flavor, and packed with refreshing cucumber, this IPA is somehow both bold and hoppy yet refreshing and herbal. It’s the best of both worlds. 6.5% ABV. Brewed in Minneapolis, Minn., by Indeed Brewing Company.
At Ball Park Cafe, located on the east side of Underwood Street between Dan Patch and Carnes avenues, outside
The Garden
 
Epic Yuzu
The heroes and heroines of the classic epic poems sang of Ambrosia, the nectar of the gods. We’re pretty sure they were talking about this beer. Light, crisp, tart and refreshing, this exotic yuzu-infused creation is fit for peaks of Olympus. 4.5% ABV. 20 IBUs. Brewed in Minneapolis, Minn., by Surly Brewing Co. At Dino’s Gyros, located on the north side of Carnes Avenue between Nelson and Underwood streets
 
 
Run of the Fair:
 
Hard Lemonade Slushie
A special-edition Squoze Hard Seltzer release. Fresh lemons, lemon zest and cane sugar are frozen and served as a slushie. 5.2% ABV. Brewed in Minneapolis, Minn., by Sociable Cider Werks.
At Shanghai Henri’s, located at the International Bazaar
 
Mango Miraculum
Pryes adds a surge of fresh mango puree to its signature Miraculum IPA for a refreshing, tropical-summer-worthy twist on a longtime fave. 6.4% ABV. Brewed in Minneapolis, Minn., by Pryes Brewing Company.
At O’Gara’s at the Fair, located on the southwest corner of Dan Patch Avenue and Cosgrove Stree
 
MN Brew Together – Blue Macaroon
Celebrating the best of our state – much like the Minnesota State Fair – this pastry lager is brewed with pilsner malt, almonds, milk sugar, marshmallows, vanilla bean, lemon, coconut and blue spirulina. Is it blue? Oh yeah. 5.5% ABV. Brewed in Minneapolis, Minn., and Rochester, Minn., by a partnership of Modist Brewing and Forager Brewery.
At Ball Park Cafe, located on the east side of Underwood Street between Dan Patch and Carnes avenues, outside
The Garden
 
Olive Lager
This olive-infused golden lager is a nod to the classic Midwest Martini and is sure to be endlessly satisfying. 5% ABV. 15 IBUs. Brewed in Minneapolis, Minn., by Insight Brewing.
At Giggles’ Campfire Grill, located on the southeast corner of Lee Avenue and Cooper Street, at The North Woods
 
Piña Colager
If you like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain, then here’s the escape for you! This crisp American lager is brewed with 100 percent real pineapple puree, fresh lime zest and a special blend of hops that imparts notes of coconut and tropical fruit. 4.5% ABV. 12 IBUs. Brewed in Minneapolis, Minn., by Bauhaus Brew Labs.
At Cafe Caribe, located on the south side of Carnes Avenue between Chambers and Nelson streets
 
Tootsie Hop
A sassy raspberry and chocolate dessert ale. 7.2% ABV. Brewed in Minneapolis, Minn., by Lakes & Legends Brewing Company.
At O’Gara’s at the Fair, located on the southwest corner of Dan Patch Avenue and Cosgrove Street
 
Walking on Sunshine Watermelon Blonde Ale
A refreshing light blonde beer brewed with all-natural watermelon makes this a perfectly carefree summer brew. 4.4% ABV. Brewed in Eagan, Minn., by Bald Man Brewing.
At Coasters, located on the southeast corner of Carnes Avenue and Liggett Street
 
All Day A-Fair! NA Beer
This non-alcoholic IPA has all the intense hop aromas and bitterness an IPA drinker would expect but in an N/A craft beer. It’s golden yellow in color with aromas of melon, pear and apricot leading to flavors of breadcrust. It finishes clean and pleasantly bitter. 0.5% ABV. Brewed in Saint Paul, Minn., at Summit Brewing Company, proud sponsor of the International Bazaar Stage.
At Shanghai Henri’s, located at the International Bazaar