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Taste test: We drank and rated 38 summer beers from Minnesota (part 2)

It was hard work, but we did it for you.

GoMN producers Melissa and Josette were recently lucky enough to sample 38 summer beers made right here in Minnesota. Below are their reviews on the pilsners, lagers, ryes, and wheat-y beers we tried (see the 1-5 rating scale here). For the blondes, sours, and hoppier beers check out part 1. Watch our video review here

The pilsners

Pils – Omni Brewing
It's Omni's first lager.
Alcohol: 4.8 percent. IBUs: 42.
1-5 rating: Josette gave it a 2, Melissa gave it a 3.
Melissa's take: "I usually don't like pilsners – it hurts my tongue when I drink them, but this one doesn't."

Pilsner – 56 Brewing
Described as a "malt-forward pilsner" that's "refreshing and highly drinkable."
Alcohol: 4.4 percent. IBUs: 35. 
1-5 rating: Josette gave it a 2, Melissa gave it a 3.
Josette's take: "I'd drink it again, like on a patio, that would be really good."

Parity Pils – Tin Whiskers
Described as "a smooth and full-flavored classic American pilsner."
Alcohol: 4.8 percent. IBUs: 42.5.
1-5 rating: We both gave it a 3.
Josette's take: "Dry finish and still refreshing. ... I like this, there's more to it than just beer."

Keller Pils – Summit Brewing
It was named the No. 2 pilsner in the world by Paste Magazine last year.
Alcohol: 5.1 percent. IBUs: 38. 
1-5 rating: Melissa gave it a 4, Josette a 2.
Melissa's take: "I feel like this would be real great to day drink with."
Josette's take: "I like the initial taste a lot, but it's the after taste – it's like a subtle bitterness on the back of your tongue."

The lagers and ryes

Mid-City Lager Vienna Lager – Northgate Brewing
Described as "malty, bready, mildly bitter, highly refreshing."
Alcohol: 4.8 percent. IBUs: 23.
1-5 rating: We both gave it a 3.
Josette's take: "It's smooth. It's refreshing, a little bit bitter at the end."

Mexican Honey Imperial Lager – Indeed Brewing
Described as "refreshing and dangerously smooth."
Alcohol: 8 percent. IBUs 17.
1-5 rating: Melissa gave it a 3, Josette a 1.
Melissa's take: "If you like to put honey on your toast like I do, you'll like this a lot."

Mary Ann – 612 Brew
A German-style lager brewed with grated ginger, described as "refreshing and spicy."
Alcohol: 4.5 percent. IBUs: 20.
1-5 rating: Melissa gave it a 2, Josette a 1, and we both agreed it was hard to describe.
Josette's take: "It has an interesting smell. It has an interesting taste."

Lake Sandy Rye – 56 Brewing
Described as being "refreshing enough for a hot summer day, yet bold enough to be enjoyed year round."
Alcohol: 5.6 percent. IBUs: 19.
1-5 rating: Melissa gave it a 2, Josette a 1.
Josette's take: "It's too bitter for me. It's too much harshness on my tongue."

The wheat-y beers

Watts Wheat Wine – Tin Whiskers
The brewery's anniversary beer, described as a "flavor-packed and complex wheat wine with notes of orange, honey and peppercorn."
Alcohol: 9.4 percent. IBUs: 15.
1-5 rating: We both gave it a 4.
Josette's take: "It tastes very peppery. You taste it immediately and it's fine, and then you kind of breathe out and swallow and it's really full and peppery and smokey."

WacTown Wheat – Waconia Brewing
It won the bronze medal at the 2016 U.S. Open Beer Championship.
Alcohol: 5.1 percent. IBUs: 25.
1-5 rating: We both gave it a 1.
Josette's take: "It tastes very orangey, like if you ate an orange peel. That kind of bitter taste."

Hunny Do – Third Street Brewing
Described as "a refreshing wheat beer with a crisp honey dew melon flavor."
Alcohol: 4.8 percent. IBUs: 18.
1-5 rating: We both gave it a 3, and agreed it'd be great to drink on a patio.
Josette's take: "The melon-y taste is refreshing and it's different."

Showgirl Raspberry Wheat – Wicked Wort
It's a pink beer.
Alcohol: 5.5. IBUs: 15.
1-5 rating: Josette a 4, Melissa a 3.5, and we both agreed it'd be great as a beer popsicle or in a beer float with ice cream.
Josette's take: "It's raspberry but it's not overly sweet. It's a good amount of tart."

The hefeweizens and Belgian styles

Wit Bier – Summit Brewing
Described as a traditional Belgian white beer that's "refreshing, citrusy and herbal ale a light body and slightly tart, dry finish."
Alcohol: 4.8 percent. IBUs 15.
1-5 rating: We both gave it a 4.
Melissa's take: "These are beers I like to drink in the summer. It's a happy beer. It's fruity, but not obnoxiously fruity."

Hefeweizen – Schell's
The award-winning beer is described as having a "fruity, ale character with undertones of banana and clove."
Alcohol: 4.75 percent. 
1-5 rating: We both gave it a 3.
Josette's take: "It has a fuller body compared to the ones we tasted before. There's more to it."

Hefeweizen – Omni Brewing
Described as the "perfect combination of heavy and light" with hints of banana and clove.
Alcohol: 4.5 percent. IBUs: 9
1-5 rating: We both gave it a 3.
Josette's take: "I would guess that it would have a lemony, citrusy flavor to it. ... I'm finding beers I could order at a bar." (Note: She isn't the biggest fan of beer that tastes like beer).

#10 Hefeweizen – Roundhouse Brewery
Described as having hints of clove and banana.
Alcohol: 5.1 percent. IBUs: 15.
1-5 rating: We both gave it a 4.
Melissa's take: "It's very smooth, and has a lot flavor ... I want to drink this and play fun yard games."

Royale Wit – HeadFlyer Brewing
The Belgian Wit beer is described as having a light tone and subtle complexity.
Alcohol: 4.4 percent. IBUs: 10.
1-5 rating: Melissa gave it a 4, Josette a 3.
Melissa's take: "It's very smooth, very refreshing. Perfect to play games with outside."

Ewald the Golden – Utepils Brewing
A Bavarian-style ale described as smelling of bananas and cloves.
Alcohol: 5.2 percent. IBUs: 14.
1-5 rating: We both gave it a 3.
Josette's take: "It's light, it's crisp, its summery."

Leaves of Grass – Lakes & Legends
It's the brewery's saison, aged on lemongrass, which adds "floral and citrus to the saison's crisp peppery finish." It pairs well with Pad thai, poached fish, and lemon tarts.
Alcohol: 5.8 percent. IBUs: 39.
1-5 rating: Melissa a 2, Josette a 1.
Josette's take: "It tastes like nature – like I'm eating nature: leaves and roots. ... it's confusing."

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