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Back when one of the Store Managers here at Top Ten ran a restaurant, he decided to put a craft golden ale on tap and take a domestic golden lager off tap. Long story short, it was very well received by his patrons.

Many were leary at first, and wanted their good old lager, but they gave the craft ale a try and preferred it. Brewers are choosing to use higher quality ingredients and make smaller batches of high-quality beer. So, this week I chose to write about some potential gateway beers into the wonderful world of Craft.

– Will

Stop in at any of our locations and see what we are raving about!

And Now, the Brews

Indeed Brewing Co. | Minneapolis, MN | Shenanigans Honey Wheat Ale | American Pale Wheat Ale

Shenanigans is a Wheat Ale series that has featured many different variations, including Mimosa Shenanigans, which has mango lemonade and citrus zest added, and Summerboy Shenanigans, which is an Arnold Palmer version of Shenanigans that Indeed created for the Pride Dabbler 2017. This version features locally sourced honey and is a perfect gateway beer. It is brewed with Sorachi Ace and Lemondrop hops, honey and white wheat. These aspects come together to create a zesty beer with a light citrus aroma, a refreshingly dry body and notes of honey. Indeed Brewery wants to emphasize to us that on those long and hot days in our near future, Summer is time for Shenanigans.
6 pk cans | 5% ABV | 14 IBU



Bent Paddle Brewing Co. | Duluth, MN | Trampled | American Golden Ale

Duluth’s own Trampled by Turtles collaborated with Bent Paddle to create this Hometown Collaboration Ale. They say, “Nothing pairs better with music than a beer in your hand – especially a beer that harmonizes in tune with the band.” Trampled is an American Golden Ale that features soft malt sweetness, a touch of hoppy citrus zest, and a bready palate with an easy and refreshing finish.

trampled_5_31**Side note: To my international readers, Trampled by Turtles is an awesome indie folk/bluegrass group from Duluth, MN. Minnesota is very proud to be able to claim them as its own.

6 pk cans | 4.6% ABV | 26 IBU



Castle Danger Brewery | Two Harbors, MN | Castle Cream Ale | Cream Ale

Castle Cream Ale is one of the main reasons why Castle Danger won Champion of the Star Tribune’s Minnesota beer bracket two years in a row. I would certainly argue that the common voter would be someone who has not tried most of the other beers. I would also argue that the best breweries in Minnesota are not driven by those who read newspapers (sorry Dad), but by those who get most of their news from social media. You know, the millennials. Either way, any beer fan will be able to appreciate the classic Castle Cream Ale.

Castle Cream was created white sitting around the table during Castle Danger’s start up days when the need for an (almost) sessionable beer became clear. Deep gold in color, it has a soft malty aroma, a slightly sweet creamy mouthfeel with a very balanced bitterness. The finish is super smooth and super clean, and will leave you needing, not wanting, another one or two or five.

6 pk cans | 5.5% ABV | No IBU


Fair State Brewing Coop. | Minneapolis, MN | Pils | Pilsner

I’ve been fortunate enough to feature Fair State before, and I know I’ll be able to feature them again. I’m in love with some of their IPAs, and it’s hard to complain about some of their sours. But here, we’ll take a look at their Pilsner. ‘Pils’ is a German-style pilsner, dry and crisp with a grassy hop aroma from a large kettle addition of Hallertau Mittelfrü. One hop, one malt, and lager yeast. Simple and delicious.
4 pk cans | 5.1% ABV | 40 IBU

* Please Note that not all products are available at all locations. Do you want one of the beers mentioned?

Ask your local Top Ten Liquors to carry it!


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