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Taste test: We drank and rated 38 summer beers from Minnesota (part 1)

38 beers is a lot.

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 blondes, sours and hoppier beers they tried (see the 1-5 rating scale here). For the pilsners, lagers, ryes, and wheat-y beers, check out part 2. Watch our video review here

The blondes and ales

Paddle Break Blonde – Bent Paddle
A Belgian-style blonde that's described as balancing "hints of citrus and Belgian yeast."
Alcohol: 6 percent. IBUs: 17.
1-5 rating: Melissa gave it a 3, Josette a 2.
Melissa's take: "It definitely has a more pilsner-y vibe to it ... it's a good outdoor beer."

Mo'Summa Raspberry Blonde – Waconia Brewing
It's a pink beer.
Alcohol: 5.4 percent. IBUs: 18.
1-5 rating: We both gave it a 3.
Josette's take: "It almost reminds me of a rose in a way. The way it's fruity but still dry."

Shenanigans Summer Ale – Indeed Brewing
Described as having a zesty, citrus aroma, refreshingly dry body and notes of honey.
Alcohol: 5 percent. IBUs: 14.
1-5 rating: Melissa gave it a 3, Josette a 2.
Josette's take: "Dry at the end, fruity at the beginning."

Summer Crush – Castle Danger
It's Castle Danger's take on a shandy, without being one.
Alcohol:4 percent.
1-5 rating: Melissa gave it a 2, Josette a 1.
Josette and Melissa's take: Both thought it kind of tasted like a really ripe banana.

Blueberry Blonde Ale – Freehouse Brewing
Described as a medium body with warming finish.
Alcohol: 4.9 percent. IBUs: 65.
1-5 rating: We both gave it a 2, and agreed it's very blueberry-y.
Melissa's take: "It tastes like blueberry muffin batter."

Canoe Country Cream Ale – Northgate Brewing
It's a collaboration between Northgate and Save The Boundary Waters.
Alcohol: 5.5 percent. IBUs: 25. 
1-5 rating: We both gave it a 4.
Josette's take: "It's very smooth ... I would sip this on a summer day. I feel like I could drink a lot of this, too."

The hoppier ones

Be Here Now Golden Ale – F-Town Brewing
Described as "smooth and citrusy for your now moments."
Alcohol: 5 percent. IBUs: 35.
1-5 rating: Melissa gave it a 5, Josette a 2.
Melissa's take: "It's the pale ale/IPA flavor and smell, but not the bitter taste."

Hidden Beach IPA – 612 Brew
Described as a hazy IPA, "with orange, citrus and tropical fruit aromas."
Alcohol: 7.2 percent. IBUs: 66.
1-5 rating: Melissa gave it a 3, Josette a 1.
Josette's take: "I don't want that. I don't like the bitter, I really don't. ... If you like IPAs, it's probably good."

Kanu – Bent Paddle Brewing
A session pale ale that's described as having a "brilliant hop expression with a structural malt 'hull.'"
Alcohol: 4.8 percent. IBUs: 48.
1-5 rating: Melissa gave it a 4, Josette a 1.
Melissa's take: "It's bright at the beginning. There's a good amount of bitter, and it's still refreshing."

Hopstar – Fulton Beer
A session IPA that's twice dry-hopped with Citra, Mosaic and Amarillo hops.
Alcohol: 4.9 percent. IBUs: 37.
1-5 rating: Melissa gave it a 4.8, Josette a 1.
Melissa's take: "Well done Fulton, well done."
Josette's take: "I don't like that. It's so bitter, but it doesn't smell as bitter as it tastes."

White IPA – Badger Hill Brewing
The award-winning beer is a "hoppy Belgian wit beer with orange zest and coriander."
Alcohol: 5.6 percent. IBUs: 50.
1-5 rating: Melissa gave it a 5, Josette a 3.
Josette's take: "It's actually pretty good. It's pretty bitter, you sip and it's hefeweizen, and then it becomes bitter. ... It doesn't hit you in the face bitter."

Hairbanger Belgo-style American Pale Ale – Bau Haus Brew Labs
Described as "toasty and tropical."
Alcohol: 5.5 percent. IBUs: 55.
1-5 rating: Melissa gave it a 3, Josette a 1.
Melissa's take: "It kind of tastes like toasted wheat bread."

Pahlay'Ahlay Hawaiian Pale Ale – Fair State Brewing Cooperative
A "new-school pale ale" that's hopped with Citra and Simcoe hops.
Alcohol: 5 percent. IBUs: 45.
1-5 rating: Melissa gave it a 3-4, Josette a 1.
Melissa's take: "That's a Citra hop right there. I could drink this at a luau."

Polonaise APA – 56 Brewing
An American pale ale that's described as starting with a "caramel sweetness" and finishing with "tones of grapefruit, which lingers after each sip."
Alcohol: 5.4 percent. IBUs: 38.
1-5 rating: Melissa a 3, Josette a 1.
Josette's take: "That's bitter. That's really bitter. It's hoppy, it's bitter everywhere, all the time. ... If you like the bitter taste it's probably fine."

Peach Bum IPA – Indeed
Described as having "subtle notes of peach cobbler and tart citrus."
Alcohol: 6.2 percent. IBUs: 70.
1-5 rating: Melissa gave it a 4, Josette a 1.
Melissa's take: "It smells really peachy, but it doesn't taste too peachy, which is good because I don't like peaches. It has a lot of bitterness that goes with an IPA."

The sours, ciders and fruity brews

Mumzo the Sour – Lakes & Legends
A kettle-sour IPA with pink guava fruit.
Alcohol: 5.3 percent. IBUs: 45.
1-5 rating: Josette gave it a 4, Melissa a 3.
Josette's take: "So this is my first sour beer ever – I don't think it tastes like a beer. If I were to get this and no one told me it was a beer, I wouldn't think it was a beer."

Galactic Collision – Schell's Noble Star collection
A Berliner Weisse-style beer that was fermented and aged for 10 months in 1936 cypress wood lagering tanks.
Alcohol: 5.6 percent. IBUs: 5.
1-5 rating: We both gave it a 5, and agreed it tastes like a mix between Prosecco and cider.
Melissa's take: "I want to drink this every day for the rest of my life." (Note: We finished the bottle.)

Road Rash – Sociable Cider Werks
It's Sociable's take on a shandy.
Alcohol: 6.6 percent. 
1-5 rating: Josette gave it a 5, Melissa a 4. We both agreed it tasted like a shandy.
Josette's take: "It's very sour, very tart – oh I love this."

The Dreamscicle – Wicked Wort Brewing
Alcohol: 5 percent. IBUs: 18.
1-5 rating: We both gave it a 4, and we both agreed it tastes exactly like a dreamscicle.
Josette's take: "I think you need this ice cold like a dreamscicle – really cold."

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