This past week, the hubby and I took in the Growler Magazine’s event in St. Paul, called Unlabeled: A Blind Tasting Beer Festival. This is a brand new kind of beer festival series, never before seen in Minnesota (or the U.S. for that matter!) which consisted of a blind tasting of 48 (plus one bonus beer they added at the last minute!) Hazy IPA’s from local breweries.
I had been looking forward to the event for weeks, studying up on Hazy IPA’s, what they were looking for when “judging” each beer and “virtually” getting to know the breweries that were participating and what possible beers would be there. I was feeling nervous…I wanted to take it seriously, while having fun and trying NOT to get too inebriated at the same time. Let’s just say, we mostly accomplished all three! 😂🙌
We started off with two of the different “color” sample stations, and then decided to take a break and visit some of the education booths they had.
One of those, was the “smell vial” test you could take. 9 jars were filled with different things and you had to guess what you thought each one was. My husband is a super taster/smeller and of course only got one wrong. He claims it was a “green Mango” and that thru him off. I don’t doubt for a minute he is wrong about that.
Next up was the Mighty Axe Hops booth. This is a local hop grower in the Foley, MN area, and had some samples of beer made with some of their hops. Definitely something I want to learn more about, and this event (see above) might be one I have to check out.
After that, we continued sampling…collecting stickers for the beer fridge back home…tried to find some shade…started meeting some super fun people and just continued to enjoy the event!
49 beers to sample is ALOT. And the last say, 12, well…we kinda powered thru those and by then, most of it was starting to blur together, in more ways than one! It was fun to see the top picks for the night, including a new brewery close to where I live, called Uncommon Loon. They were the #3 top pick of the night, just behind Omni Brewing and their delicious “FAD” and Fair State Brewing Cooperative’s “Mirror Universe” both in my top list of Hazy IPA go-to beers. And before the evening got too fuzzy, I managed to guess another one of my favorite breweries, Lupulin Brewing and their “Hooey”. That was fun, considering I don’t have the palate of my husbands!
By the end of the night, we made the trek up the hill with a group of attendees, who appeared to have had as much fun as us, and one poor guy trying to get what was left of his keg, back to his car in the parking lot! The hubby and I took turns helping him with it. We think maybe he was with 56 Brewing, but can’t remember at this point, lol!
And lucky for us, we thought ahead and rented a room at the Saint Paul Hotel, which oddly enough, after all the years working in hotels in the Twin Cities, I have never stayed there! We LOVED our room and would highly recommend you stay there, if given the opportunity in the future. Elegant, very clean & comfortable…it was a perfect way to end the night! Who knows, maybe we’ll book it again for the next Unlabeled event, coming this October! Buy your tickets here: https://growlermag.com/unlabeled/
See you soon friends, cheers! 🍻