Updated: Dec 23, 2021
Local 756 IPA from BlackStack Brewing: When you are hanging out at the brand-spanking-new BlackStack Brewing in St. Paul, it’s quite likely that a member of the Johnson family will serve you a beer. Patriarch Scott Johnson’s sons, his wife, even a niece are all working for the brewery.
They hired seasoned brewer Bob DuVernois, whose resume includes Great Waters and most recently Excelsior, to be in charge of making the beer, but Johnson’s son, Murphy Johnson, showed an interest and trained to be an assistant brewer.
This New England-style IPA was all Murphy Johnson’s idea, and due to the hazy nature of the style, Murphy had some convincing to do. Luckily, he succeeded, because this smooth, creamy, juicy beer is a really great example of why IPAs don’t need to be crazy bitter to be great. The team will continue to release different versions of the beer to showcase different kinds of hops; the current version uses citrusy, passion-fruity Galaxy hops, which happen to be some of my favorites.
The hazy nature of the New England style comes from adding a massive amount of hops after the boil, which means they impart a ton of aroma and flavor, but not a lot of bitterness.
If you haven’t had a New England IPA, go get one, and say “hi” to the Johnsons for me. They’re a friendly lot.
BlackStack shares a building with Can Can Wonderland, and the symbiotic relationship between the two businesses has meant a lot of busy nights for the fledgling brewery, but they’re open every day, so if you’re crowd-averse, try Monday-Wednesday, when the artist-designed mini golf course and entertainment venue isn’t open.
International Bittering Units (IBU): 70; Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 6.0 percent
Read the Twin Cities Pioneer Press article here.