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The Current, Schell's brew up local music-inspired beer


A Minnesota music mainstay is teaming up with one of the state's bastions of brew.

Starting in May, The Current announced you'll be able to buy The Current beer from none other than Schell's.

The brew is a limited edition of Schell's Zommerfest – a seasonal offering. It will be available in 16-ounce cans throughout Minnesota. Any revenue generated from the sale of the drink will go back to the listener-supported alternative music station.

The flavor is described as "a Kolsch-style ale, a light, smooth variation of German Craft."

There is a music hook here too. The station, which debuted nine years ago at 89.3 FM on the dial, says it hopes to introduce its listeners (and drinkers) to local bands through a new Web page (which is not yet active), that will feature songs from different groups.

In a release, The Current's Program Director Jim McGuinn calls the pairing "a natural fit," saying many fans of the station also enjoy craft beers. He adds: "Through the downloads available at and upcoming shows featuring these artists, we hope to continue to support our local music scene."

The participating bands will be announced closer to the beer's May launch.

Schell's has a long history in Minnesota. The company says its first brewery was built in Minnesota in 1862 near New Ulm, Minnesota, and managed to survive through the Dakota War. During Probation, the brewery made near beer, soft drinks, and candy to keep the machinery running. It now produces over 100 different types of German-inspired beer.

It's the second business partnership for a Minnesota brew in recent days.

Just last week, Minneapolis-based Surly Brewing Company announced it would be available on all Sun Country Airlines flights. The announcement, via six-second Vine video, is below (click the speaker icon to enable sound).

Three varieties – Hell, Furious and Bender – are available at $7 a can in coach (or free if you fly first class).

Drew Hack, the director of marketing and sales for Mendota Heights-based Sun Country, said at the time, “It makes sense to tether ourselves to other brands that are Minnesota made.”

If you're interested in what other people think of these local brews (hint: they're well-liked), check out the current review scores on BeerAdvocate.

Schell's Zommerfest – 82/100

Surly Hell – 87/100

Surly Furious – 97/100

Surly Bender – 92/100

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