There aren't many events where you get an opportunity to sample beer, and see some pretty cool aquatic life inside a mall. That's what Fins and Flights brings to the table. This event is held in the Sea Life Aquarium in the Mall of America.
In addition to sampling beer and seeing sea life, portions of the admission benefited Friends of the Mississippi River, a St. Paul based charity dedicated to "protecting, restoring, and enhancing it's watershed in the Twin Cities region."
This was our second year of attending this event. This year, nine local breweries poured samples for the patrons. Here are the nine breweries, and what they poured:
Insight Brewing-Devil's Companion Porter, Splendid Moose Pale Ale
612 Brew-Session Dark, RV4 (A collaboration with Dual Citizen Brewing), Unrated Rye, Pub Ale
Bent Paddle-Cold Press Black, Harness IPA
Bald Man Brewing-Honey Hush Kolsch, Dark Side of the Moon porter, Tupelo Honey Brown Ale
Burning Brothers Brewing-Most Coast IPA, Midway American Lager, Coffee Stout
Pryes Brewing-Royal Raspberry Sour, Mass Hazesteria
Sociable Cider werks- Freewheeler Dry, Rusty Chain
Fulton Brewing- 300 West Coast IPA, Standard Lager, Lonely Blonde
56 Brewing- Ssippi Squeeze, Dark Territory
Since there were so many beers to sample, we decided that instead of reviewing all of them, we will each rank our top three beers from the event.
1. 56 Brewing Ssippi Squeeze
2. Pryes Brewing Royal Raspberry Sour
3. 612 Brew Session Dark
The reason I was a big fan of the Ssisppi Squeeze was it was juicy, and hoppy. The aromatic nature of this beer made it very easy to drink.
The Royal Raspberry Sour was tart, and the back notes of the fruit made me wish I could have had more than just a taster. I will definitely be on the lookout for these when they are available in a can.
I really liked the 612 Brew Session Dark because it has a low ABV, and didn't make me feel full, like some dark beers can do to you. I also enjoyed the smoothness, and the roasted flavors.
1. Fulton 300
2. Bald Man Brewing Honey Hush Kolsch
3. 56 Brewing Ssippi Squeeze
I loved the 300. West Coast is one of my favorite types of IPAs, and Fulton really crushed it with this one. It was very tasty and flavorful.
The Honey Hush Kolsch is one of my go to beers at Bald Man. It's definitely a good beer for a warm day. The honey notes aren't overpowering, and, to be honest, is a beer you can crush multiples of in one sitting.
I agree with Sami on the Ssippi Squeeze. It was very juicy, aromatic, and drinkable. You can definitely smell the citrus and mango notes in it, and taste is really good.
If you want a chance to drink beer in a really cool environment, check out Fins and Flights. It's a great opportunity to drink locally, and help out a charity.