2023 All Pints North Preview
A drive up Interstate 35 on the last weekend of July is a summer tradition that many a Minnesotan craft beer geek experience. The distination is the All Pints North craft beer festival, taking place on July 29th, 2023, at Bayfront Park in Duluth, MN, from 3-7pm. All Pints North is one of the best craft beer traditions put on by the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild.
All Pints North showcases a plethora of Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild members. These breweries set up at a grassy and breezy park right on Lake Superior for a great day of fun. It used to be just a beer festival, but All Pints North has evolved over the years. There is always amazing live music (Fenestra Funk and Big Wave Dave & the Ripples) , eye-popping brewery displays that are wacky and thematic, and this year, there will be live pro wrestling courtesy of F1RST Wrestling.
Now, for the bad news. This year’s All Pints North festival is officially sold out. So, you will have to keep your eyes open for people selling tickets. There usually are a handful of tickets that pop up here and there on Beer People, so check that out. If you missed out on tickets this year, I suggest signing up for the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild newsletter so you know when tickets are on sale for future events.
If you are going to the festival, the All Pints North festival beer list is up on Untappd! As of writing this article, it looks like not every brewery is in there, but there are enough breweries to get you really thirsty about All Pints North.
I have a little preview of what I am excited to drink. I am breaking it down into four categories: crispy, hoppy, dark, and mixed fermentation. Obviously, you like what you like and probably will have your own idea of what you want to try. However, I think that these beers are a nice starting point for anybody looking to enjoy a day drinking on the shores of the biggest Great Lake.
Arbeiter Brewing-Aurum Glow-Keller Bier 5% ABV
As gold as the shiniest Bitcoin, this beer not only lights up your tasting glass, but also your palate. Bright, crisp, and refreshing, this beer is the perfect way to quench your thirst at All Pints North. In fact, I might just be hanging around the Arbeiter Brewing booth because they are bringing a stable of options that I am pining for.
Hoops Brewing-No. 85 Mexican lager 5.1% ABV
This has, historically, been one of my favorite beers from Hoops Brewing. I love how it drinks crisp and has a bit of sweetness for balance. When you go into the Hoops Brewing taproom, and I urge you to do so because is just a stone’s throw away from Bayfront Park, you can find so many of the other wonderful, brewed exactly to style, offerings.
Insight Brewing-Avant dry-hopped Pilsner 5% abv
This GABF gold medal-winning beer from Insight Brewing is the perfect elixir for a day by the lake. It drinks crisp and clean with a nice hop bite at the end. I think it is a good idea to mix in a lower-ABV option when you are drinking in the sun to ensure you are able to keep your wits about you.
Jack Pine Brewery-Beer Flavored Beer-German Pilsner 4% ABV
While Jack Pine Brewery provides a wide range of styles brewed well, I bet they really shine when they do something simple. Their Beer Flavored Beer should be a good example of that. Up in the Brainerd/Baxter area, it doesn’t get better than Jack Pine Brewery when it comes to craft beer. I look forward to trying this one.
Wabasha Brewing Czechin In-Czech Pilsner 5% ABV
If you want to see how beers are evolving at Wabasha Brewing, Czechin In is a prime illustration of how things are going. Their new head brewer, Kabel Lefto, has things moving back towards consistency after a bit of time where that was not the case. If you take time to stop by their booth, you will see what I mean.
Hackamore Brewing-Let’s Go Hazy-NEIPA 6.1% ABV
Hackamore Brewing came out of the gates firing on all cylinders. This NEIPA is a good example of that. It bursts with juicy notes of tropical fruits while finishing with a balanced bitterness. This will definitely be one you want to try.
Lupulin Brewing-Flatulent Flamingo-Triple IPA 10% ABV
When it comes to hoppy, Lupulin Brewing Company does it right. Flatulent Flamingo is part of the alliterative animal Triple IPA series. They might be scraping the bottom of the mash tun with this particular beer name, but what do I know? I am sure that this is going to be of a similar balance and taste with their other triple IPAs when it comes to balance and drinkability. Where a lot of other breweries falter with a 10% hoppy beer, Lupulin finds success. I just hope this one doesn’t give me gas…
Omni Brewing FAD-Double IPA 8% ABV
There are a lot of beers that Omni Brewing does well, but FAD is one of their best. FAD has juicy and bright hop aromas and flavors. Don’t let the balance in the beer fool you, though, because at 8% it will sneak up on you.
Unmapped Brewing-Nectartron-NEIPA 6% ABV
Is there a style of beer that Unmapped Brewing doesn’t do well? The answer to that query is no. Nectartron is a juicy New England-style IPA that bursts with juicy citrus flavor and has a nice hop bite at the end. The result is an irresistibly delicious hoppy beer. Try it, you’ll like it.
Dark & Malty
Forgotten Star Brewing-Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Skies-Baltic Porter 10%
If I had a nickel for every time I found a Baltic Porter on tap, I would have enough money to out to a movie… in 1922. Forgotten Star Brewing knows how to brew the styles that a lot of us rarely are able to try. Lucky for us, Forgotten Star also knows how to brew these beers quite well. I am really excited to try this one and see how it drinks.
Heavy Rotation Brewing-London Calling-English Dark Mild-4% ABV
Heavy Rotation is bringing their award-winning London Calling for all of you who want big flavors with low ABV. This beer is incredibly satisfying if you like malt. English Dark Milds are definitely having a bit of a resurgence in the craft beer world. This makes me so happy. I know that we are a ways off from having them packaged by more than a handful of breweries, but one can’t have everything.
Town Hall Brewery-Double Barrel Czar Jack-15.3% Imperial Stout
When it comes to barrel-aging a beer, nobody does it better than the team at Town Hall Brewery. This beer is going to be one of the best things you drink at All Pints North. Mike Hoops will forget more than most brewers will learn in a lifetime about aging beer in barrels. Do yourselves a favor and try this beer. It is quite special.
Fair State Brewing Cooperative-Chapter Nine: Methode Traditionelle-6.1% ABV Lambic
At this point, if Fair State does something that is modeled after a lambic, I am drinking it. Fair State Brewing Cooperative has always been quite adept at putting out wonderful mixed fermentation beers. So, I am sure this one will be a good option for you to try. This beer will have a lot of funk to it, and I cannot wait to try it!
Little Thistle Brewing-Med City Beet-Kettle Sour 3.7% ABV
I love beets in my salads and on my dinner plates. After trying Med City Beet for the first time a while back, I now love beets in my beer. Little Thistle Brewing makes this beer to showcase the earthiness and sweetness that beets provide. The kettle sour nature of the beer gives it a tartness which comes off as bright and effervescent. While this beer is a treat any time of the year, it will truly be a great option at All Pints North.
Nouvelle Brewing-Painkiller-fruited Sour 4.5% ABV
I still need to visit the Nouvelle Brewing taproom. However, I have really liked every beer from them that I have tried at festivals. I am going to go out on a limb and say that this cocktail-inspired fruited sour will probably be quite delicious.
Uncommon Loon-Hang Tang-Berliner Weisse 5.3% ABV
I had this up at the Uncommon Loon Brewing taproom and it is such a great thirst-quencher. It has tropical fruit flavors and just enough brightness and acidity to make it really easy to drink. I think it will pair well with sunshine and professional wrestling at All Pints North.
See You At All Pints North!
I always have a fun time putting this list together, and I hope you find it helpful. All Pints North is a highlight of my summer every year. I am truly grateful for the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild providing me with a press pass so that I can cover All Pints North. I will hopefully see you at the festival or perhaps somewhere around Duluth given that there are never a shortage of fun things to do on All Pints North weekend. Cheers!