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Star Tribune Virtual Beer Tasting

Summer Six Pack

1. Farm Girl, Lift Bridge Brewing, Stillwater

Notes: Light and refreshing with a bready/cracker malt character, spicy hop bitterness and a crisp dry finish. It displays the typical clove, pepper and citrus notes from Belgian Saison yeast.

2. Ewald the Golden, Utepils Brewing, Minneapolis

Notes: This mouth-filling, bready brew favors the spicy side of the style’s characteristic clove and banana profile. But underneath the clove is a basket full of fruit. Bright lemon pairs with ripe banana and subtle stone fruit, making this a juicy treat.

3. Castle Cream Ale, Castle Danger Brewing, Two Harbors, Minn.

Notes: Lightly sweet and eminently quaffable, with notes of grainy malt, biscuit and corn. Bitterness and alcohol are both low, so it won’t tax the palate. A hint of spicy and citrus hops complete the picture.

4. Lucy, Indeed Brewing Co., Minneapolis

Notes: This wheat-based beer is flavored with lemongrass, bitter orange peel, passion fruit and hop oils. The bitterness is sturdier than many kettle-soured beers, giving it a strong impression of dryness in the finish. A touch of bready malt balances the sourness. It’s a bit like a lightly sour American pale ale.

5. Fort Road Blonde, August Schell Brewing Co., New Ulm, Minn.

Notes: It’s an excellent example of the German kölsch-style ale. A delicate base of crackery malt is perfectly balanced by the floral and citrus-zest flavor of hops from Germany. The special kölsch yeast adds subtle fermentation-derived notes of apple and pear.

6. Size 4, Steel Toe Brewing Company, St. Louis Park

Notes: Bitterness is moderate, making for an overall balanced beer. They don’t skimp on hop character, though. Pineapple, passionfruit and citrus dominate the flavor and aroma. It’s sure to keep even the most hardcore hop fan happy.

Participants:

Michael Agnew, beer columnist for the Star Tribune and a certified cicerone (the equivalent of beer sommelier)

Sharyn Jackson, food and drink reporter for the Star Tribune

Chris Riemenschneider, pop music reporter and beer enthusiast