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Doin’ Beers: 5 Minnesota Beers to Drink in April

This month we’re doin’ shower beers.

Nissa Mitchell

When I published last month’s column, I asked my followers on Twitter and Bluesky—all 12 of them—what I should write about in April. I got some great suggestions, but Tim shared the best one: April Shower Beers.

The moment I read it, I was mad I didn’t think of it. So, I immediately went to the liquor store to find beers. After sudsing up with a few of them in my very own shower, I come to you with this list of beers to lather with. Sadly, the lighting in my shower is… well, it’s bad. So, as much as I wanted to give you pictures of these beers in situ next to my shampoo (for “dull and lifeless hair,” which definitely doesn’t affect my self-esteem), I ended up resorting to my usual tricks. Forgive me for this oversight 🙏🏻.

Dangerous Man Brewing Co.: Nordic Lemon Squeeze

Norwegian Farmhouse Ale / 5.8% ABV / 15 IBU

First things first: “Nordic lemon squeeze” sounds like a euphemism for getting handsy with your Scandinavian girlfriend in the shower. Is this the reason I bought this beer? Was I giggling like a middle school girl in the aisle at Zipps at the thought of it? Have I been waiting to share this dumb joke with all of you for a couple weeks? Yes. Yes to all of the above.

Innuendo aside, this beer has a strong lemon aroma, and that’s also its primary flavor note. However, the orange blossom honey used comes through as well. The juniper and smoked malts didn’t come through that strong for me. Instead, they seem to blend together to contribute to a more “generalized” sense of complexity. If you want to get a little weird in the shower (with or without your Scandinavian girlfriend), this is a great place to start.

Nissa Mitchell

Arbeiter Brewing Company: Bowie In Space

New Zealand Pilsner / 5.3% ABV / 36 IBU

OK. So. Whoever named this beer needs to be my friend. Please find me on the socials and become my 13th follower. I think you’re cool. And, for those who didn’t immediately pick up the reference: “Bowie’s In Space” is a song by the New Zealand musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords, and one of the best David Bowie pastiches to have ever pastiched. Jemaine Clement does an especially great job. But, you didn’t come here for my opinion on a nearly 17 year old song.

This beer has an aroma I can only describe as “dank limes.” What are dank limes? I don’t know, but this is what they smell like. The flavor is light and crisp with a mild juice character. It’s shockingly flavorful for a pilsner, and very worthy of the Flight of the Conchords reference. Hop into the shower and crack this beer open, and you will feel like you’re orbiting Pluto—pulled in by its groovetational pull. When you finally come to, the water will have gone cold, and you’ll realize you forgot your towel. Yes, it’s pretty far out, man.

Nissa Mitchell

‘Ssippi Squeeze: 56 Brewing

Hazy IPA / 6% ABV / 25 IBU

I can’t cover Minnesota “shower beers” without acknowledging the fact that, at least for those of us in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, the water in which we bathe and sing along to Lana Del Rey comes from the Mississippi River. And, when you’re drinking beer from a Minneapolis or St. Paul brewery, you’re likely getting a bit more of the Mississippi in ya—in the best way possible.

56 Brewing obviously understands this fact, and their ode to the Mississippi is a great hazy IPA. Aroma is citrus and berries, and the flavor hits similar notes, though with a more pronounced bitterness than many hazy IPAs or that 25 IBU figure would make you believe. It’s also got a bit of a grassy note, which I actually enjoy in a hazy IPA. It’s a nice reminder that hops are flowers after all—even if we mostly use them to make faux fruit juice these days. Drink this in the shower when you feel the need for a little Mississippi’ception. Are you in the Mississippi, or is the Mississippi in you? Does it matter?

Nissa Mitchell

Fair State Brewing Cooperative and Bent Paddle: Rudimentary Scrapbook

Pale Ale / 5.1% ABV / ?? IBU

Fair State may have filed for Chapter 11, but their brewing acumen is anything but bankrupt, and they continue to produce reliably delicious beer. I see a new Fair State release, I buy it. It’s that simple.

The cooperative brewery offers tasting notes of “mango and pineapple” for this pale ale produced in collaboration with Bent Paddle, but honestly, I didn’t get much of that. In fact, I perceived this to be much closer to the woodier pale ales of yore than the fruit bombs we’ve been getting from breweries the last few years. That’s likely due to the chinook hops used in this one. Chinook is an iconic American pale ale hop. That said, there is a little citrus and fruit here that pulls it back from being a “classic” American pale ale. The result is what you might call a “post-modern” take on a Pale Ale. However, unlike anything Derrida ever did, this is actually good!

Shout out to everyone who is either very happy or very mad about me hating on Derrida. We should all get together and cry while holding our humanities degrees sometime. It’d be cathartic.

Nissa Mitchell

BlackStack Brewing: Sponge Bath

Hazy Double IPA / 8.5% ABV / ?? IBU

Listen, I said “shower beers,” and here I am with a literal “bath” beer. I know. Please don’t yell at me. I feel justified in this decision because my shower is also my bathtub, and sometimes my showers turn into baths. It happens. And besides, I get to make the rules here. OK?

At 8.5%, Sponge Bath absolutely qualifies as a “bath beer”—because you’ll likely want to sit down. Its aroma and flavor are tropical fruit, skewing toward mango. The cans I got were maybe slightly under-carbed compared to what I expected, but that could have been intentional given the beer’s focus on being soft and pillowy. BlackStack says that it is “[s]oothing and refreshing, just like a sponge bath at Burning Man.” I don’t know what that means, and the burners I know just stared at me when I asked, and then went back to talking about their bus that’s also a dragon sculpture idea. So, take that for what you will. I can say, however, that this beer is delicious.

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