Boreal Brew Club Meeting‏

The Boreal Brewers will meet Tuesday, March 24th, 6:00 PM at the KAXE Boardroom in Grand Rapids.  We will have a slideshow on our club brewing event at Fulton Brewing.  We got great tours at both the old brewery, which still operates at their tap house site in North Minneapolis, and at the new state-of-the-art brewery a few miles away.  We will also welcome some new members who recently completed the intro to homebrewing class at Wine Creations in Grand Rapids.

We need to make plans for the international Big Brew Day, May 2nd this year.  The Boreal Brewers have been active Big Brew participants since 2009.  We have a couple of options on where to brew, which influences how we brew.  And it’s not too early to think about brewing for Deer River, or Grand Rapid’s own Oktoberfest!

Business-wise, we need to decide if we want to go for full 501(c)3 status.  We are a non-profit, registered with the Minnesota Secretary of State, but we have not taken the step to register as a Federal 501(c)3 non-profit corporation.  The advantage is that we can get free computer equipment from one organization, and donations would be tax deductible.  The disadvantage is that the filing fee for the feds is $400 for the most basic level of application.

Other than that, we’ll talk about, oh I don’t know … beer?

I’m showing up with Amarillo dry-hopped IPA, Barley Wine and beer bread.

-Steve Benson

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Advanced Homebrewing Classes 2015

Advanced homebrewing classes will begin Monday, March 16th at Wine Creations in Grand Rapids.  This is a four week class, which includes brewing four all-grain batches, bottling those and distributing them among the students to take home.  The class will use all-grain ingredients and brewing techniques to focus on recipe design and understanding the methods needed to brew the kind of beers you like.  We go over each component of beer, water, malt, hops and yeast.  We discuss the characteristics of each, how they influence beer and how to get the most out of them.  Students will decide what beers we brew.  This class is late enough in the year that brewing with maple sap is an option.

Since you can’t cover all the characteristics of beer just by talking about them, there will be a wide variety of samples in class.  You must be 21 to take this course.

We also cover growing your own hops, from rhizome selection to harvesting, drying and using.  You’ll learn how to keg beer, how to use, manage and clean kegging equipment.

The class is five hours per night, 4 nights.  We’ll bottle during the last class, and we may extend when that class occurs depending on what you choose to brew – some beers take longer to ferment.

The cost is $75 for all four nights.  To reserve a spot, call Wine Creations at 326-9490.

The instructors are Steve Benson and Chad Haatvedt, of the Boreal Brewers brew club.  Taking this class qualifies you for one year of free membership in the club.

Questions should go to Steve at


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Date Announced for the Deer River Bar-b-que & Brew Fest

Save the Date! July 18th, 2015, 3 p.m.

Deer River will be smokin’ for the 6th Annual Deer River Bar-b-que and Brew Fest, Saturday, July 18th, 2015 at White Oak Learning Center in Deer River.

Bar-B-Que & Brew FestThe event will kick-off as pit and brew teams assemble for the competition. The Burners and Smokers will be creating their best renditions of low and slow beef brisket, pork, ribs and chicken. Brewers will be chilling down their favorite recipes in up to four styles – IPA (India Pale Ale), Stout/Porter, Lager and Brewer’s Choice. All will be competing for awards and bragging rights Beginning at 3 p.m., the public is welcome to mingle with the champion cook while sampling sauce-smothered ‘que & brew.

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Boreal Brewers Go To The The Big City

DSCN3726aThe Boreal Brewers were recently invited to join the crew at Fulton Brewing in Minneapolis to brew a couple batches of beer.

We headed to the Cities on Friday afternoon, and made a stop at Northern Brewing to pick up ingredients, then off to our hotel to drop off bags.

First stop… Surly’s new tap room for a beer and dinner.  The food was great, the beer was great, and the company was better.  It’s fun spending time with folks who share a passion about great beer.

Next stop…Town Hall.  It is “Barrel Aged Week”here at Town Hall, and we could not pass up the opportunity to sample some of Master Brewer Mike Hoops’ amazing creations.

We had to wait a while for a table, but it is worth it.  Everyone raved about the beer they tried.  Wow!

See tomorrow’s post for info about brew day.


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