Caution, the following post contains hyperbole and sarcasm. Deal with it.
Once upon a time in Minnesota, thirsty beer fanatics in search of the over-the-top elixirs created by San Diego’s Stone Brewing Co. had to make a long and arduous trek across the St. Croix to Hudson, Wisconsin. Wisconsin of all places! The horror! The infamy! But we swallowed our pride and trek we did.
Then one sad and dreary day Stone Brewing Co. pulled out of Wisconsin. Rumors flew. Was it distributor issues? Inability to meet demand? It could have been anything. The only thing certain was NO MORE STONE!
But then other more encouraging rumors began to bubble up from the trub at the bottom of our collective fermenter. Greg Koch, CEO and co-founder of Stone Brewing Co. was making frequent trips to the Twin Cities. What did this mean? Did it mean anything? The questions were swirling. Had the land-o-lakes been deemed worthy to receive the Arrogant Bastard (the beer, not Greg Koch)? Would the Vikings ever get their stadium?
Then, while no one was looking, a Facebook page was started; Stone Brewing in Minnesota. A regional sales rep was hired; Nate Sellegren. Finally, a distributor was announced; Original Gravity. It was real. Our dark night of the soul was over. We were worthy. No longer would we be without our Ruination Ale or Vertical Epic. This was epic!
Now the day is neigh when Stone Brewing Co. beers will be unleashed upon the state. Today the brewery announced STONE WEEK MINNESOTA. Beginning March 29th, the Twin Cities will experience five days of beer madness, the likes of which the state has never seen. CEO and co-founder Greg Koch, described in the brewery press release as “Grand Marshal to the never-ending parade playing out in his own head”, will return to the Mini Apple and the Pig’s Eye (sorry St. Paul, that was your city’s original name) to oversee a week-long lineup of earth-shaking events. And of course there will be beer. Again from the press release, “In addition to providing a prodigious portfolio of nine highly praised year-round releases, Greg dug back in the archives to break out some vintage rarities, barrel-aged niceties, and other treasured oddities.” Translation: there will be some really interesting beer.
There are too many events for me to even attempt to list them all. However, the March 29th kick-off event at Stub & Herbs is off the hook with 32 Stone beers on tap, including a vertical flight of Old Guardian Barleywine going back to 2007. The whole grand itinerary of Stone Week Minnesota can be found here. Be sure to click and show the beer lists. There’s some pretty amazing stuff.