Must-Try Microbrews for Winter

Midwest microbreweries have been popping up left and right lately. There are over 50 breweries in Minnesota alone and I am constantly hearing about new brewery releases — within the last few years, the number of microbreweries has doubled in Minnesota alone.

After constantly trying to keep my beer IQ up to date, I have come up with five different must-try microbrews for the cold Minnesota winter that you can find at any Eden Prairie Liquor location. I have included some information on each beer from the breweries’ websites.

Summit Winter Ale
Summit Brewing Co. describes this seasonal beer “as comforting as a down blanket, but way better tasting. A nutty roasted malt flavor with hints of coffee, caramel, cocoa and a dash of hop spice.” Summit Winter Ale can also be found in Summit’s 12-pack sampler.

Surly Furious
“A tempest on the tongue or a moment of pure hop bliss? This year-round IPA is brewed with a dazzling blend of American hops and Scottish malt, this crimson-hued ale delivers waves of citrus, pine and caramel-toffee. For those who favor flavor, Furious has the hop-fire your taste buds have been screaming for,” as described by Surly Brewing Co.

Third Street Sugar Shack
According to Third Street Brewhouse, “this seasonal Sugar Shack Maple Stout is a truly unique brew enhanced with maple syrup harvested at the Saint John’s Abbey Arboretum and Forest. This full bodied stout has subtle but distinct hints of roasted and specialty malts. Its dark appearance is a testament to its robust nature but it is delicately balanced with sweet and hoppy notes to produce a smooth, slightly creamy stout with an insatiable pleasant maple syrup flavor.”

Schell’s Snowstorm
“Much like snowflakes, no two Snowstorm beers are alike. Once a year, the brewmasters lock themselves in the testing room with a secret selection of fine malts and hops, only emerging when they’ve hit upon something truly extraordinary. This year it is a Belgian–style Golden Ale brewed with spices,” as described by Shell’s Brewing Co.

Lucid Foto
“Late hops, dry hops, hops, hops, and more hops create a power citrus aroma and flavor in this year round IPA. We use a whopping 4# per keg to create a delicious explosion. The late hopping process in FOTO allows this beer to present the full flavor and aroma of the selected hops without creating an overly bitter experience,” according to Lucid Brewing.

Cheers!
Ryan Pekarna

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ryan Pekarna
Liquor Store Lead

 

It’s Scotch Season!!!!!

There’s a chill in the air and it’s the perfect time for Scotch!!  We carry a wide variety of Scotch – one for every different type of drinker.  They can be single malt or a blend of several.  People tend to think that Scotch can only be expensive and that is just not true.  It is a very affordable and approachable spirit.  It is a great gift (The holidays are just around the corner) and a fun spirit to collect. 

Here are 4 great bottles that we carry and they are all under $30:

1. Black Bottle  – $17.99

It is a blend of all 7 Islay single malts

Created in 1879 – They must be doing something right

Has a beautiful golden color some sweet notes and a warm, smoky and peaty finish that is not overdone.

2.  Scottish Leader Blended – $ 15.99

Combination of single malt and grain whiskey

Beautiful aromas with a light peatiness

Starts off slightly sweet, but has a nice finish with a hint of peat.        

3. Deanston Virgin Oak – $27.99

“Un-chill” filtered – The Scotch will get slightly cloudy when water or ice is added.

They use new oak barrels that are made in the USA – This is the 1st time they are used. 

The new oak gives a hint of lemon zest and a touch of barley sweetness. 

The taste is a nice blend of sweet notes with a lightly spicy finish with a bit of peat.

4.  Glen Moray 10 year – $28.99

It is a Speyside single malt

It is aged in Chardonnay casks

The taste is rich and fruity and has a slight toastiness on the finish.

Great for wine drinkers!!!

A few things to keep in mind:

  1. Don’t sip Scotch like wine – When you take in too much air with Scotch, you will get the burn in your throat. 
  2. Adding just a splash of water will “open up” your Scotch.  The aromas and flavors will become much more enjoyable. 
  3. Have fun and Enjoy!!

Cheers!

Denise Barthel, Assistant Store Manager

 

 

Best Cheap Beer in America

A few months back, Fox 9 News came in to our store across from Cub Foods and was doing a story on the cheapest beer in America.  It was a very eclectic list of beers that I drink and wouldn’t you know it; Minnesota’s very own Grain Belt Premium topped them all! 

Amongst the top five we find: 

#5. Pabst Blue Ribbon.  Now, I get made fun of relentlessly because I like PBR.  It is a good beer for the price.  When you need a lot of beer for a little cash, this is the way to go.  The old recipe was not liked by many people, but recently they changed it up, and now people are jumping back on board.

#3. Coors.  This comes from Golden, Colorado and is symbolized by the original yellow cans and the small “grenade” bottles.  Coors has grown to become the 3rd largest brewer in America, behind Anheuser-Busch and Miller.  I personally like Coors Light, which is my go-to beer when I am sitting around a bonfire and telling stories.

And the Grand Finale, that I am certain all Minnesotans will be proud to see top the list:

#1. Grain Belt Premium.  After the repeal of prohibition, Grain Belt was here to stay in 1933.  In the early 1940’s, the giant neon sign that greets you as you enter Minneapolis was erected on the west shore of Nicollet Island, along the Mississippi River.  Grain Belt rolled out their “Nordeast” in 2010 and it was an overwhelming success.  The brewery could not keep up with the demand and it was very limited in stores.  Now that the craze has ended, Nordeast is still a very popular beer and one of my favorites!

Come on over to your local Eden Prairie Liquor Store and pick up some of these “cheap” beers today!

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  Eric Wahlund, Assistant Store Manager

 

Vino Classico – Our Biggest Event of the Year!

Our Annual Vino Classico wine and beer tasting is coming up fast!

A lot of grapes and a few hops are among the winning ingredients for “Vino Classico with a Beer Chaser,” a popular wine and beer tasting and silent auction fund-raiser that will be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, at the Eden Prairie Community Center, 16700 Valley View Road in Eden Prairie.

The Eden Prairie (A.M.) Rotary Club organizes the annual event to raise money for its many community, national and international programs, including STRIVE student mentoring; service projects in Peru, Africa, India and Honduras; the well-known Golden Eagle Award; and an annual recognition banquet for Eden Prairie High School behind-the-scenes achievers called Above & Beyond Awards.

Vino Classico, which annually draws more than 400 guests, will feature more than 100 varieties of wine and at least a dozen types of beer. Attendees will be able to order specially priced bottles of the beverages through Eden Prairie Liquor Stores. In addition, they can enjoy food samples from local restaurants and stores.  If you are new to Eden Prairie, you will not want to miss this opportunity to meet your new neighbors and share a toast to our great city!

The event features a silent auction, with dozens of items donated by area businesses – including event tickets and sports memorabilia – and a “Wall of Wine” raffle.

Mark your calendar now!  You can purchase tickets at any of our Eden Prairie Liquor Stores for $35 in advance or $45 at the door. 

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 Jessica Tapper, Liquor Store Manager

 

Platinka Vodka is HOT!!!

plantinkaWith our current day variety on wines and spirits, vodka still retains a strong favorite; holding over half of all liquor sales nationwide.  So it is not surprising that new brands emerge every day.  Some of our best known vodkas are considered to be Russian or Polish spirits, but a little country in between those two nations is trying to make a name for itself through Platinka vodka.

Shortly before last year’s holiday season there were no vodkas available that were made in Belarus, when a local resident of our neighboring city of Shakopee, Sergei Gremeniuk, introduced his platinum filtered Platinka vodka that his company imports from Belarus. 

This is what Sergei told us about Platinka:

“I was born and raised in Minsk, Belarus until I moved to Minnesota in 2001.  Growing up in former USSR (and later, Belarus) we did not have a big variety of alcohol products, but always had access to great vodkas.  Naturally, my taste formed and gravitated towards vodkas; However, I always struggled to find an affordable (around $20) alternative to ultra-premium vodkas that would have great taste and can be enjoyed neat without breaking the bank. 

I still have a family in Belarus and visit them from time to time, and every time I went to visit them, the only things I would bring back with me were different vodkas.  After a while, I set on a course to change the situation.  The search took about one year, but at the end we struck a deal with one of the oldest and the best distilleries in Belarus.  They’ve been around for 115 years, used to produce Stoli for export, and know their craft like no one else.  We developed the samples and entered them into the most prestigious competition in the U.S., the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, where every year 33 elite judges evaluate over 1300 spirits using blind tasting. 

I knew we had great vodka, but when Platinka took the Best Vodka of the show along with the highest ranking of Double Gold medal, all our “theories” got validated and we started to import Platinka in the U.S. later in that year.”

Platinka is made with 100% rye that is distilled five times before it’s blended with the finest artesian water and filtered through a platinum filtration system.  This system takes away all extra impurities and makes Platinka a very clean, sippable vodka.  Platinka is the spirit of the month in September at our Eden Prairie Liquor Stores and is only $15.99 ($4.00 off) for a 750ml bottle.  We have Platinka tastings scheduled throughout the month at all three stores so come out to meet Sergei and taste this award-winning, Best Vodka of 2012.

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Tammy Wanchena, Central Buyer