Craft beers and breweries have exploded across not only Minnesota, but across the country. So, seeing as National Beer Day is this week (April 7th), here are six great Minnesota craft beers to try.

Seeing as I hail from Wisconsin, where beer and local breweries have ALWAYS been popular, I really enjoy all the incredible craft beers and breweries that have popped up here in Minnesota over the last six or seven years-- including our four here in Rochester. My wife and I love to head out and try a new craft beer, whether it's at the brewery itself or at a place that has a great variety of craft beers on tap.

And even though you can't sip some suds IN their taprooms right now thanks to the coronavirus outbreak, many of these beers are available for takeout or from area liquor stores. So, to help celebrate National Beer Day, here are my six of my favorite Minnesota Craft Beers. (Note: My favorites are always changing, but these are some of the beers I'm really liking right now.)

Surly Xtra Citra Pale Ale -- Surly's is the granddaddy of craft beers in Minnesota, and this light beer is "Bursting with Citra hop flavor and tropical, citrusy notes, this sessionable pale ale showcases Surly’s bright side," Surly's website says.

Fair State Brewing Cooperative's IPA --  "Dry, pale, and aroma-forward American IPA brewed with wheat malt and Horizon, Chinook, Crystal, Cascade, Simcoe, and Centennial hops," its site says and it's become a fast favorite of mine.

Fulton Brewery 300 -- "Originally brewed as a one-off in celebration of the 300th batch at our original downtown Minneapolis brewery, this West Coast IPA was so well received we had to make it available year-round," their site says.

Rochester's LTS Brewing Company's Inspiration -- "Our IPA is crafted from a combination of American and New Zealand hops, both in the kettle and in the fermenter, to provide an intense hop flavor and aroma to accompany a pleasant bitterness and strong malt backbone," the site says. I love to head to their tap room off 19th Street and have one of these!

Rochester's Grand Rounds Brewing Company -- The Beer J. It's a New England IPA with just  5.2% ABV and a fairly low bitterness rating (only 30 IBUs) so you can have a couple and not get too loopy!

Little Thistle Brewing Company -- The Wetlands Hazy IPA. I've liked this beer since my first trip to their taproom in Rochester two years ago. They describe it like this: "Citra, Mosaic, and Denali hops are the stars of this beer, and they shine to their brightest. Bursting with tangerine, pineapple, and melon aromas, this amazing beer is slightly hazy and beautifully balanced. Named after the small wet area that appears on the Google map that was tested and proved NOT to be a wetlands."

Listen to Curt St. John mornings from 6 to 10 a.m. on Quick Country 96.5
and afternoons from 2 to 6 p.m. on 103.9 The Doc

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