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Summit Brewing Co. Intends to Let a Random Beer Drinker Name Its Limited Minnesota State Fair Beer

Brewery to Source All Local Ingredients, Outsource Beer’s Name

summit on a stick

It’s true, dontcha know: The Minnesota State Fair is still months away. But the refreshing, one-of-a-kind, all-local-ingredients beer we’re making special for the Great Minnesota Get-Together won’t just appear out of nowhere; like all good things, it’s gonna take some time. First, we have to source the ingredients and brew the beer, then we have to taste it and deem it fit for public consumption. On top of all that, we have to find a name for it — that’s where you come in.

In conjunction with the Brewers Association’s 12th Annual American Craft Beer Week, which celebrates small and independent craft brewers in the U.S. and runs from May 15–21, we’re going to ask all you loyal Summit beer drinkers to help us craft a name for this year’s Minnesota State Fair Beer. So, before you get distracted by visions of Pronto Pups and pork chops on a stick, crack open your favorite Summit brew and get inspired.

To participate, email the following information to [email protected] between May 15 and May 21:

  • Your full name.
  • Your phone number and address.
  • Your proposed name for the beer.*

*Please make sure your beer name hasn’t been used previously by another brewery. You can do this by searching for the name at RateBeer.com, BeerAdvocate.com, or on Untappd.

From the suggestions, we’ll choose our four favorite names and then let the public vote on a winner via one of those newfangled social media channels. (This way we can avoid names like Berry McBeerFace and I Can’t Believe This Is Beer OMG.)

If you win our Craft the Name contest, you’ll brew our 2017 State Fair beer with Head Brewer Damian McConn, right here at Summit Brewing in St. Paul, MN (Date TBD). And if the brewing experiment goes OK and you don’t break anything, you’ll be invited back a few weeks later to be the first person to drink the new beer. Before everyone else. Which is a pretty big deal.

P.S. If brewing and drinking beer doesn’t tickle your fancy, perhaps you can trade your prize for one of those giant stuffed purple monkeys found on the Mighty Midway.

state fair 3

Low in ABV and IBUs, our State Fair beer will be a Kölsch-style ale featuring complex malt notes of shortbread and light toast, thirst-quenching drinkability, and fresh berry characteristics. Strawberry, to be exact. We’ll also be using Cascade and Crystal hops grown right here in the Gopher State.

All ingredients used in the beer, in fact, will be bred and grown in Minnesota, thanks to our partners at Shakopee’s Rahr Malting Co., Ham Lake’s Mighty Axe Hops, and the barley researchers and strawberry breeders at the University of Minnesota.

“The Fair is ultimately the Great Minnesota Get-Together,” says Head Brewer Damian McConn, “so our beer will focus on Summit Brewing’s relationship with Minnesota growers, researchers, and academia.”

“The U of M horticulture department recommended showcasing strawberries as part of the ingredient list and flavor profile,” McConn adds. “There is a significant amount of strawberry production here in Minnesota and the University has a strong, nationally recognized breeding program.” Plus, a light and refreshing beer spiked with fresh strawberries sounds like just the thing on a hot day, whether you’re gliding down the Giant Slide or crammed up close to a dozen strangers waiting for deep-fried cheese curds. Uff da.

“We’re very excited Summit is featuring Minnesota ingredients in this summer’s State Fair beer,” says Professor Kevin Smith of the University of Minnesota’s barley research and breeding programs. “We have been working with Rahr for the past few years to ramp up our two-row breeding program.… and the renaissance in brewing in Minnesota provides an opportunity to restore locally grown Minnesota barley to support local farmers, maltsters, and brewers, and provide consumers with a quality locally bred, grown, malted, and brewed product.”


state fair taps

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