By: Anthony Brousseau
As the days get warmer and longer, there are few better ways to spend the sun-soaked evenings than sitting on the patio. Those wooden, brick or stone monuments to leisure provide the perfect backdrop for spring and summer nights.
And what is a night on the patio without a few beers? As winter fades away, we put away our stouts and porters for the year and reach into the cooler for something much lighter. Local breweries are happy to satisfy our hoppy hankerings, offering a slate of spring and summer sippers perfect for the patio. Here are a few palatable patio potables.
OMNI Brewing Company—Lake Day
“The best day in Minnesota is a day on the lake,” says OMNI Brewing Company co-owner Steve Hayes. “So we created our best easy drinking beer and gave it the moniker it has to live up to every day.”
He’s talking about Lake Day, OMNI’s flagship beer. This 4.9 percent ABV session pale ale is available in local liquor stores, on tap at the taproom and to-go in crowlers and growlers.
“It’s great for a drinking ‘session’ in any setting,” Hayes says. “Lake preferred, but not required.”
Unmapped Brewing—Purgatory Pils
A first place winner at the 2019 MN Brewer’s Cup, this Czech pilsner has a light ABV and flavor, perfect for long nights on the patio.
“Light and refreshing but with plenty of flavor and a hint of spiciness from the Czech Saaz hops, this pilsner is a great choice for any time of year,” the brewery says.
The name itself refers not to the limbo between this world and the next, but the Purgatory Creek Watershed in which Unmapped Brewing is located.
“We wanted to create a refreshing beer that is as cool and delightful as this scenic tributary of the Minnesota River,” they say.
Wayzata Brew Works—Get Lei'd Gose or Patrick Hazy IPA
At Wayzata Brew Works, a couple of fruity offerings will satisfy any type of beer drinker.
First up is the Get Lei'd Gose, "a tart wheat beer with guava, passion fruit and pineapple that’s refreshing like lemonade and bursting with tropical flavors that are perfect on a hot day sitting by the lake," according to the brewery.
For something more subtle, try the Patrick Hazy IPA, "a hazy New England style IPA that has a very low bitterness and intense aromas of peach, pineapple and citrus fruits for IPA lovers but also appeals to those who think they don’t like IPAs."
Back Channel Brewing—The Empress or Horny Sidekick
Spring Park's Back Channel Brewing specializes in lagers, IPAs and imperial stouts, but their first fruit beer is what you'll want to slip into your koozie this summer. The Empress is a wheat beer that incorporates a rotating fruit into the brewing process—the latest batch features 176 pounds of cranberries and raspberries, according to the brewery. Upcoming flavors include strawberry rhubarb and a tropical variety, which uses mango, passionfruit and guava.
Back Channel also highlights its Horny Sidekick (another winner at the Minnesota Brewers Cup, taking second in the Light Lagers category). They say it is "extremely light bodied with high carbonation that accentuates the crispness of the dry finish."