In the Land of 10,000 Lakes when the ice recedes and the mercury reaches a balmy 50 degrees, you’ll surely see another flurry of white: the sun-deprived arms of and legs of Minnesotans coming out of hibernation. And though life on the lake is every Minnesotan’s summer motto, we seem to develop a distinctive tan that follows the contours of the short-sleeved shirts and shorts that we love. Some people call it a farmer’s tan, but Lift Bridge Beer Co. likes to call it Minnesota Tan.
This strong Belgian Tripel, like a Scandinavian after 10 minutes in the sun, sports a pink hue from an infusion of lingonberries. The Belgian yeast comes through to give this ale a bright and spicy aroma, while the lingonberries offer a slight tartness. While I love a good tripel as a winter warmer, Minnesota Tan is quintessentially vernal and, like the art on the label, it certainly pairs nicely with a day spent on the deck of the boat.
Spending time by bodies of water is something that stretches well beyond the boundaries of Minnesota; in fact, it seems to be something entirely Midwestern. Whether you’re in Michigan, Wisconsin or Illinois we have a lake or a river where we gather together with friends and family, so make these figurative water-holes a bit more literal by tracking down a pack of Minnesota Tan.
Best Enjoyed: Cold, by the water or in a beer garden in full summer bloom.
Best Paired With: A slice of fresh watermelon and anything straight off the grill.
Where to Find: All over Minnesota and in certain Western Wisconsin locations.