Weather Forecast


Minnesota beer expert discusses state of suds

Doug Hoverson, author of the book "Land of Amber Waters: The History of Brewing in Minnesota," discusses beer Thursday at Minnesota State University Moorhead. Special to The Forum

MOORHEAD - Like a lot of other kids, Doug Hoverson developed a taste for beer in college.

Thankfully for Hoverson, and now all Minnesota beer drinkers, his friends had a taste for some of the better beers.

"I didn't really have part of my life where I was drinking Old Milwaukee because it was cheap. ... I was introduced to flavorful import beers," Hoverson says from his office at St. Thomas Academy in Mendota Heights, Minn., where he teaches social studies.

These days the 45-year-old is also a beer scholar with the publication of his colorful and engaging book "Land of Amber Waters: The History of Brewing in Minnesota."

He comes to Moorhead State University Moorhead on Thursday to discuss the tasty tome and help soak up the sudsy history of the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Here's a little of what the certified beer judge and associate editor of American Breweriana Journal had to say last Friday.

On the state of brewing in Minnesota

"Minnesota ranks very highly. We might not be where California, Colorado, Oregon and Wisconsin are, but we're easily in the top 10. We've got some really innovative brewers like Surly Brewing Co. and Flat Earth Brewing Co. The Brewpubs like Town Hall (Minneapolis), Fitgers (Duluth), and Great Waters (St. Paul) are the equal of anyone in the country."

On what would be the iconic Minnesota beer

"Grain Belt would be the beer most associated with region right now, because Grain Belt is still produced here (as Grain Belt Premium). In terms of iconic Minnesota beers, we can't leave out Schmidt, which was not only a pretty decent beer, but also had the scenic cans, which pretty much got every kid started in beer can collecting.

When asked for some of his favorite beers

"I like to change around what I'm drinking and that's one of the problems with craft beer drinkers, we have very little brand loyalty."

Still, he lists some favorites for this time of year:

Summit's Maibock: "A lighter-colored bock beer with a nice blend of mat and hops."

Surly Brewing Co.'s Coffee Bender: "A brown ale with coffee actually brewed into it."

Schell's FireBrick: "A good, standard, Vienna-style lager. A good year-round beer."

If you go

What: Doug Hoverson, author of "Amber Waters: The History

of Brewing in Minnesota" discusses suds

When: 4:30 p.m. Thursday

Where: Comstock Memorial Union 101, MSUM

Info: Free and open to the public