What tops a cold beer at the Minnesota State Fair? Even colder foam
FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. — Often, the biggest problem a beer drinker faces at the Minnesota State Fair is keeping that brew cold in the beating sun.
Charlie Burrows, owner of LuLu’s Public House in the new West End Market at the fairgrounds, has a solution: top it with frozen foam.
Burrows, owner of the chain of Lucky’s 13 pubs, is running the new State Fair restaurant and the official Schell’s Brewing counter, and will serve blueberry beer foam, frozen to minus 5 degrees Celsius, atop Schell’s Oktoberfest and new Grain Belt Blu beers.
“Oh, it’s cold,” Burrows said of the foam, but he promised it wouldn’t freeze fairgoers’ lips. “The beer breaks through the frozen foamy part and it kind of blends together as you’re drinking it.”
The blueberry Grain Belt Blu, a radler style, was created especially for the fair, said Mike Lewis, a distributor and sales manager with Schell’s.
“Radlers are to Germany as shandy is to England,” Lewis said. “It’s meant to be an after-sports, thirst-quenching beer.”
There’s a gallon of blueberry juice in every half-barrel of Grain Belt Blu, so the beer has a blueish-purple color, which might translate to the foam. But the beer wasn’t finished at the time of testing, so they used Schell Shocked, a grapefruit radler which doesn’t have a discernible color.
The concoctions have a name — Frozen Blu for the blueberry beer with blueberry foam, and Black and Blu for the Oktoberfest with blueberry foam.
Though there’s plenty of blueberry in the beer, the flavor is subtle, Burrows said.
“I catch it more on the aftertaste than on the front side,” he said. “It’s just the perfect thing for summertime.”
The frozen foam isn’t a new idea. The Japanese brewery Kirin serves its beer with a similar foam at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles. Though the Kirin folks swear the foam keeps a beer cold for 30 solid minutes, Burrows isn’t making any such claim.
“It could be 60 degrees one day and 100 degrees the next,” he said. “This is Minnesota.”
The Pioneer Press is a media partner with Forum News Service.