Tag Archives: craft beer

A Beer to Savor – Schell’s

A Beer to Savor – Schell’s
Schell's has been making great beer since 1860!

Schell’s has been making great beer since 1860!

Nestled in the rolling wooded hills of central Minnesota is the bucolic Germanic themed enclave of New Ulm MN. It is a beautiful town with all the small-town trappings you would expect. A hometown café and sportsbar sit in juxtaposition with the ever-present mall mentality that has overtaken America. However New Ulm has one treasure that cannot be found anywhere else in the world—The world Famous Schell’s Brewing Company.

Schell’s is in its7th generation of having the same family working and creating great beers from their beautiful, well groomed gardener’s paradise of a brewery. On a trip to the rustic brewery I was entranced by the old fashioned buildings and the great little museum showing all the history of the family thru the years. A walk thru the gardens evoked a time past where you could enjoy the finer things in life such as good conversation, amazing scenery, and even the occasional Peacock strolling in front of your path! However the absolute highlight of any trip to the brewery is the Beer!

Schell’s has been making beers for over a hundred years. It has survived world wars, temperance movements, prohibition, great depressions, and even changing beer preferences! They have had an explosion of new beers and creative ideas in the past few years. They have continued making their standard Deer Brand lager, while expanding their roster of beers with a huge variety of yearlong staples and great seasonal offerings, along with a new initiative to create one of kind offerings where they stretch the imagination of their brew makers and consumers alike!

They have developed the Stag series of beers and the Noble Star series of beers. These are limited release and hard to find innovative, yet nostalgic beers that are one of a kind treat fro your taste buds.

Stag Series is an innovative series of beers released throughout the year. Their latest is the #8. The Stag #8 is a blonde dopplebock made in collaboration with a German based brewery. Both breweries are family owned and have over 570 years combined experience. Using a wide variety of hops, this unique beer has full flavor but is very drinkable!

The Noble star series are Berlin style wheat beers. They are aged in rare cypress tanks that Schell’s bought in 1936. These tanks are a one of a kind tool to create beers that simply can never be recreated! They are all bottle conditioned, hand labeled and hand filled. Truly a connoisseur’s beer! Their latest release is the North Country Brunette. It has a spicy complex flavor that can only come from the unique cypress aging tanks. It is tart and dry with a slightly fruity flavor.

All Stag series and Noble Star beers are limited and hard to find! If you find one, snatch it up because you will probably never see it again!

The everyday beers of Schell’s should not be forgotten. They have a great sampler pack that allows you to try 3 of their staple offerings while also offering a rotating seasonal beer that fits the climate and desires of Minnesota and the world.

My Favorite is the Firebrick. It is a Vienna style lager with a reddish hue. It has a nice malty flavor with a touch of hops to give it the bitterness you need in a good beer! Also don’t forget the Schell’s Dark. A great everyday dark beer that fits every occasion!

Coming soon is my favorite seasonal beer. Oktoberfest. A perfect blend of malts and hops, Crimson to deep brown in color, Oktoberfest beer is a great item and the history behind the recipe is a story of the ages. In September I will retell the epic tale of Love and celebration that spawned Oktoberfest beer and its traditions. Schell’s makes one of the best Oktoberfest beers and should never be missed!

As the locavore movement gains momentum, we need to remember to drink locally too! Schell’s is a Minnesota treasure that should never be forgotten! And if your travels take you to central Minnesota, you have to stop and visit—it is well worth the trip!

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Posted by on August 4, 2014 in beer, beverages, lifestyle, Uncategorized


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The Ever Changing World of IPA

IPA or India Pale Ale is a hoppy beer style that is part of the broader style pale ale. IPA is first known to be brewed in England in the 19th century, although the first time someone called it an IPA is in an advertisement in the Sydney Gazette in Australia. The term pale ale refers to an ale that is brewed from pale malt. This was obtained by breweries using fuel fired malt that produces less smoking and roasting of the barley. In the early 1800’s the beers were quite different than what they are today. They were much more lightly hopped than what we see today.  

Spiegelau IPA Glass

Spiegelau IPA Glass – Specially made to enhance the flavors and aromas of IPA.

IPA taste, which some say is an acquired one, consists of wonderful fruit, citrus and floral notes. While bitter for some, IPA offers a complexity that few beers can match. IPA popularity in the U.S. has been exploding! This has led to breweries experimenting and producing several styles of IPA to appease the growing demand coming from the “hopheads” of America.

Some different styles are East Coast IPA, West Coast IPA and Double IPA’s. East Coast IPA’s typically have a stronger malt presence that balances out the hoppiness of the beer. Also, because of logistics, East Coast IPA’s tend to use more European hops which results in a spicier style. Great examples of East Coast IPA are Brooklyn East IPA and Victory Hop Devil.

West Coast IPA’s typically have a much stronger hops flavor up front and use nearby hops grown in the Pacific Northwest such as Chinook, Cascade and Simcoe. Not as well balanced, but not intended to be. It is all about featuring the beauty of American hops and deemphasizing caramel and sweet notes. The name originated because San Diego breweries were the first to champion this style. Now West Coast IPA’s are now brewed all over the country. Excellent examples of West Coast IPA are Green Flash West Coast IPA, Lagunitas IPA, and Ballast Point Sculpin IPA.

For people who can’t get enough of the bitter, citrusy flavors of hops, Double IPA or Imperial IPA has emerged onto the American market. Typically, these beers are a stronger and hoppier version of traditional IPA’s. Usually the alcohol is above 7.5%. This is needed in order to supply enough malt to help balance out the extreme hops. Examples of this style are Bells’ Hopslam, Surly Abrasive Ale, and Great Divide Hercules Double IPA.

American brewers, ever innovating, have even started making an IPL (India Pale Lager) Strong hops that is fermented like a lager make this a lighter, cleaner style that is intended to show off the subtleties and complexity of the hops. Sam Adams Double Agent IPL is a great example.

With the massive proliferation of IPA in the U.S. and breweries that are always pushing the envelope, the lines between different styles are getting blurred. If the beer you are drinking is getting blah, an IPA of any style may be that beer you need to invigorate your senses.

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Posted by on April 30, 2014 in Uncategorized


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