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|Beer Dabbler Winter Carnival
January 28th, 2012 - St. Paul, MN
|The temperature was a measly 18 degrees as 5,000 beer enthusiasts flooded the
farmers market parking lot in lowertown Saint Paul. Standing outside for four
hours in sub freezing temperatures sounds like it could be dangerous, but the never-
ending sea of body heat combined with fire pits and plenty of beer made for a cozy
environment at the fourth annual Beer Dabbler Winter Carnival event.
Sampling each of the 200 plus beers would have put someone in the hospital
(especially given the generous proportions many of the brewers were serving up), so
attendees had the luxury of being selective. While many of the brewers didn’t travel
far (Surly, Herkimer, Big Wood Brewery, Cold Spring, etc.), I was impressed with the
number of brewers that traveled long distances to get their product in front of a
bunch of thirsty Minnesotans. Alaskan Brewing (Juneau, AK), Deschutes (Bend,
OR), Samuel Smith (Yorkshire, UK), were just a few of the out of state (and country)
brewers whose taps attracted long lines throughout the evening.
If you didn’t know you were in Minnesota, it became obvious when you fixed your eyes
on the Surly tent with a anxious beer drinkers herding toward the taps like baby
cows competing for mama’s milk. Not even the Surly staff anticipated pouring that
much beer – they completely ran out with over an hour left in the event!
A hop fanatic, the best beer I drank all night was easily the Mojo Risin’, courtesy of
Boulder Beer Company in Colorado. Perhaps fueled by my love for Jim Morrison and
the Doors, this beer is also delicious. It isn’t your typical double IPA. It’s sweeter and
smoother. In fact, I have to stop typing about it now because I’ve produced a pile of
drool on my laptop.
The Beer Dabbler was a tried and true event for a Minnesota winter. Attendees left
the glamour at home, dressed in layers, and entered the gates with smiles on their
faces and plenty of room in their stomachs. Whether it’s 45 degrees or sub-zero,
expect this event to sell out every year, because not even mother nature can come
between Minnesotans and an endless sampling of mouth-watering beer.
|The Wine Thief & Ale Jail of St. Paul
brought along some great imports
|Hot women + cold beer = good day.
|Several fire pits were set up for
wussies to warm up in between sips
|North Coast Brewing from Fort Bragg,
|Never too cold to drink good beer.
|Care Bears drink... I mean... stare