The state’s oldest brewery might strike you as beer for dads watching the Vikings on Sundays. But, it’s much more than that. There’s a ton of history that comes with the name Schell’s, and you’re getting the classics with dialed-in recipes. But there’s also the outstanding Noble Star series of Berliner Weisse beers, fermented in cypress tanks purchased in 1936. If you just imagine someone sipping a Firebrick and nothing else when you think of Schell’s, it’s worth reconsidering your stance. (Though, go grab a Firebrick, too, because that’s a damn fine beer.)
Fall Seasonal to Try: Cave-Aged Barrel-Aged Baltic Porter (10.89% ABV)
Am I sucker for a Baltic Porter? Absolutely. Should my bias make you pause before getting this? Nope. It’s a wonderfully balanced porter that, despite the high ABV, shouldn’t induce fear in people who don’t typically reach for a barrel-aged beer. (Though, if you love barrel-aged beers, you’re still getting notes of oaky vanilla in here.) It’s not overwhelming and it’s got so much… so much… delicious.
St. Louis Park
You won’t find a ton of Steel Toe beers in cans or bottles, but what the brewery does, it does well -- which is kick you right in the chops. The Size 7 IPA is the perfect example. It’s everything a hops lover is looking for in a feisty hop-forward brew. Same goes for the Rainmaker India Red Ale. If most taprooms turn you off with their trivia nights and board games, Steel Toe is a minimal space and feels more like a bar than a taproom, except all the beer is good.
Fall Seasonal to Try: Beltline Brown (5.6% ABV)
I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes a brown ale can be a bit one-note. That’s not the case with Steel Toe’s taproom-only brown. This crisp, lightly-hopped brown ale is a delightful early fall beer. It’s a good place to start if you’re ready for the transition to fall beers.