A bunch of Minnesota craft breweries made beers using a splash of water from Lake Superior, to highlight how water from the lake makes great beer.
Twenty Minnesota breweries were sent a vial of water from the lake to make a beer for the Superior Series.
These beers (more on them below) will be poured exclusively at Saturday's All Pints North beer fest in Duluth. The event is put on every year by the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild (it usually sells out, but some tickets are still left at the moment – buy them here).
Water is important
Having clean water is really important to breweries (beer is made up of about 90 percent water, after all), so if a local water supply has a lot of junk in it, the beer won't taste good.
And Duluth is known for its great brewing water, thanks to clean water in Lake Superior.
"Lake Superior water has a really low mineral content, so it provides a blank slate to start with. It allows Lake Superior brewers to brew really delicate styles of beer because it has very low flavor impact on finished beer," Clint MacFarlane, the founder and owner of Castle Danger Brewing in Two Harbors, told GoMN.
He called clean water a "differentiator," saying "the best water sources have the best potential for making great beer."
Other cities don't have as pristine of water, so brewers have to change it. Jacob Schnabel, the head brewer at Spilled Grain Brewhouse in Annandale, and Austin Jevne, the brewer at Forager Brewery in Rochester, both use a process called reverse osmosis to filter the water, making it cleaner to brew with.
Schnabel told GoMN the water is extremely hard in Annandale, so he uses reverse osmosis and then rebuilds the water profiles for every beer he makes by adding ions.
The Superior Series beers
Here are the beers that'll be featured in the series this weekend:
10K Brewing: Boathouse Bitter, a not-so-bitter beer made for a day on the lake that's slightly dry and a little nutty.
Cosmos Brewing: Saskatoon Moon, a wild saison made with Saskatoon berries.
Talking Waters Brewing: Gitche Gumee Gose, a traditional kettle sour German wheat ale with coriander and sea salt.
Spilled Grain Brewhouse: SMaSH Series #5, a single malt/single hop beer made with Chevallier malt and a new experimental "grapefruit" hops.
Eastlake Craft Brewery: Sun Dogs IPA, a dry, hazy IPA that's dry-hopped with Citra hops.
Lake Monster Brewing: North Shore Ale, a hearty ale brewed with spruce tips.
Grand Rounds Brewing Company: Hans Grubier, a kettle-soured Berliner Weisse fermented on Blackberries.
Sociable Cider Werks: Apple Blueberry Berliner Weisse, a kettle-soured Berliner Weisse fermented with blueberries and cider.
Forager Brewery: Superior Weiss, a Berliner Weiss style ale blended with fruit foraged from the Boundary Waters.
Inbound BrewCo: Lemon-Ginger Belgian Blonde, a medium-bodied beer that has aromas of lemon peel and fresh ginger.
Hayes' Public House: Captain McSorely's MN Ale, a Scottish export that has notes of caramel, fruity esters and fresh citrus with a spruce finish and aroma.
Bald Man Brewing Company: Strawberry Fields Forever Cream Ale, a strawberry cream ale.
Utepils Brewing: Ewald the Superior, a Bavarian-style hefeweizen that has notes of citrus and the aroma of bananas and clove.
Bent Brewstillery: Julio, a malt mead made with passion fruit and green chile suave.
Wicked Wort: Grrreat Flakes, an IPA that's crisp, dry and refreshing.
Wild Mind Artisan Ales: Sour Du Lac, a saison blended with an aged-sour ale that's aged on local blueberries.
Lupulin Brewing Company: Verticality #3, an amber-colored hybrid lager.
Voyageur Brewing Company: American Point Pale Ale, an American pale ale that has a light body and a hop-driven flavor.
Urban Growler Brewing Company: Hayloft Series Splash, a refreshing ale made with blueberries and "sea" hops.
Castle Danger Brewery: IPL, a lager that allows you to taste "the purity of Gitchee Gummi in each sip."