We’re getting thirsty – 2017 Rochester Craft Beer Expo is coming soon



Rochester Craft Beer Expo – 2017

We are just a couple weeks away from the 2017 Rochester Craft Beer Expo. As I’ve written before, this is always a fun event. Whether you really like beer or don’t think you like beer, it can be a great experience.

2016 Rochester Craft Beer Expo swag.

Event Details

Date and Time

  • Saturday, May 6, 2017
  • 3-6 pm (early admission 2-6 pm)


  • Mayo Civic Center
  • 30 Civic Center Drive SE
  • Rochester, MN


  • General admission ($35 / 3-6 pm) – you get to attend, receive a commemorative glass, can have beer samples from craft breweries, and can attend the educational sessions
  • Early admission ($45 / 2-6 pm) – you get everything that a general admission ticket gets you, plus you get in an hour early
  • Designated driver ($10) – you get to attend, receive a commemorative glass, can have water and soda samples, and can attend the educational sessions, but you can’t drink any beer


Last year, I shared a lot of tips for attending the event, so I won’t repeat myself, but will highlight the following:

  • Don’t drink and drive.
  • Bring your driver’s licence / photo ID.
  • Don’t drink before you arrive but do learn to dump out samples that you don’t really like. It is easy to drink too much too fast. So pace yourself.
  • Taste your beer and take notes so that you can remember what you liked (and didn’t).
  • Talk to the beer representatives. They are all beer evangelists and happy to answer your questions.
  • And here is a new tip — don’t bring your pretzel necklace. Last year we were disappointed to learn that we could not bring our homemade pretzel necklaces into the event anymore. We had to dispose of them before entering because no outside food or beverages are allowed. Food was for sale at the venue – including pretzel necklaces.


The program for the 2017 event isn’t available quite yet, but a list of breweries has been posted. This is subject to change, but the following are the current breweries who are expected at the event.

BreweryNew in 2017Brewery LocationWeb Link
10 Barrel Brewing CompanyNewBend, ORhttps://10barrel.com Note: Sold to AB in 2014.
August Schell Brewing Company New Ulm, MNhttp://schellsbrewery.com/
Bad Weather Brewery Saint Paul, MNhttp://www.badweatherbrewery.com/
Badger Hill Brewing Company Shakopee, MNhttp://www.badgerhillbrewing.com/
Ballast Point Brewing Company San Diego, CAhttps://www.ballastpoint.com/
Bells Brewery Galesburg, MIhttps://www.bellsbeer.com/
Bent Paddle Brewing Company Duluth, MNhttp://www.bentpaddlebrewing.com/
Boston Beer Company Boston, MAhttp://www.bostonbeer.com/
Boulevard Brewing Company Kansas City, MOhttps://www.boulevard.com/
Deschutes Brewery Bend, ORhttps://www.deschutesbrewery.com/
Elysian Brewng CompanyNewSeattle, WAhttp://www.elysianbrewing.com/ Note: Sold to AB in 2015.
Excelsior Brewing CompanyNewExcelsior, MNhttp://excelsiorbrew.com/
F-Town Brewing Company Faribault, MNhttp://www.ftownbeer.com/ftown/
Fargo Brewing Company Fargo, NDhttp://fargobrewing.com/
Finnegans Beer Minneapolis, MNhttp://finnegans.org
Forager Brewery Rochester, MNhttps://foragerbrewery.com/
Founders Brewing CompanyNewGrand Rapids, MIhttps://foundersbrewing.com/
Fulton Brewery Minneapolis, MNhttp://www.fultonbeer.com/
Goose Island Beer Company Chicago, ILhttp://www.gooseisland.com/ Note: Sold to AB in 2011.
Grand Rounds Brewing Company Rochester, MNhttp://grandroundsbrewpub.com/
Great Lakes Brewing Company Cleveland, OHhttps://www.greatlakesbrewing.com/
Indeed Brewing Company Minneapolis, MNhttp://www.indeedbrewing.com/
Insight Brewing Company Minneapolis, MNhttp://www.insightbrewing.com/
Kinney Creek Brewing Company Rochester, MNhttp://www.kinneycreekbrewery.com/Kinney_Creek/Kinney_Creek_Brewery.html
Lagunitas Brewing Company Petaluma, CAhttps://lagunitas.com/ Note: Sold to Heineken International in 2015.
Left Hand Brewing Company Longmont, COhttp://lefthandbrewing.com/
Lift Bridge Brewing Company Stillwater, MNhttp://liftbridgebrewery.com/
Loon Juice Spring Valley, MNhttp://www.fourdaughtersvineyard.com/
LTS Brewing Company Rochester, MNhttp://www.ltsbrewing.com/
Mankato Brewery Mankato, MNhttp://mankatobrewery.com/
MKE Brewing CompanyNewMilwaukee, WIhttp://mkebrewing.com/
New Belgium Brewing Company Fort Collins, COhttp://www.newbelgium.com
Odell Brewing Company Fort Collins, COhttps://www.odellbrewing.com/
Olvalde Farm and Brewing Company Rollingstone, MNhttp://olvalde.com/
Oskar Blues Brewing Company Longmont, COhttps://www.oskarblues.com/ Note: Owned by Fireman Capital Partners. See: http://www.westword.com/restaurants/does-oskar-blues-still-own-oskar-blues-brewery-would-rather-focus-on-the-beer-6746380
Rush River Brewing Company River Falls, WIhttp://rushriverbeer.com/
Sierra Nevada Brewing CompanyNewSt. Chico, CAhttp://www.sierranevada.com/
Squatters Brewing Company Salt Lake City, UThttp://www.squatters.com/ Note: Owned by Fireman Capital Partners. See http://archive.sltrib.com/story.php?ref=/sltrib/money/54972911-79/wasatch-squatters-beers-founder.html.csp
Stagecoach Brewing Company Mantorville, MNhttp://stagecoachbeer.com/
Summit Brewing Company Saint Paul, MNhttp://www.summitbrewing.com/
Surly Brewing Company Minneapolis, MNhttp://surlybrewing.com/
Take 16 Brewing CompanyNewLuverne, MNhttp://www.take16beer.com/
Toppling Goliath Brewing Company Decorah, IAhttp://www.tgbrews.com/
Wasatch Brewing Company Park City, UThttps://www.wasatchbeers.com/ Note: Owned by Fireman Capital Partners. See http://archive.sltrib.com/story.php?ref=/sltrib/money/54972911-79/wasatch-squatters-beers-founder.html.csp
Wenonah Brewing Company Goodview, MNhttp://www.wenonahbrewingcompany.com/

But, I don’t like beer

If your only exposure to beer is what you commonly see advertised on TV… you know, those big name beers that have been around for decades? … I don’t blame you for not liking beer. And, I know that a lot of us not so young anymore ladies were brought up to think that only men drank beer, so we never even attempted to acquire a taste for the stuff. But, I would argue that with the explosion of craft beer in recent years, there are beers which appeal to a much wider audience than in years past. Unlike the beer of my youth, I have learned that beer actually has tastes. So many tastes! There are even some fruit infused beers and brews with hints of caramel and chocolate. The craft beer expo gives you a chance to sample a wide variety of beverages. You may find that you do, indeed, actually like beer. Learning what type of beer that you really like (or really dislike) can make you much more adventurous and confident the next time you are at a bar or restaurant and faced with ordering a beverage. And don’t worry, you can always pour samples that you find distasteful into the waste pails. Plus, Four Daughters is going to be there with their Loon Juice, so even if you don’t find a beer you love, you may find their hard cider quite tasty.

Education, music, and voting

Along with beer sampling, there will be a couple educational seminars held during the event.

  • Pairing cheese and beer
  • Brewer’s panel – discussion with three SE Minnesota head brewers

There will also be live music and a chance to vote for your favorite beer.

See  you there!

I hope to see you there!

2016 Rochester Craft Beer Expo.

Update: The beer list was published, so see, Now we’re getting really thirsty – 2017 Rochester Craft Beer Expo is coming very soon, for more information.

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