This week will go down in history as the week that Roseville’s first microbrewery launched. Let’s all give a hearty how-do-you-do to Pour Decisions, by co-owners Kristen England and BJ Haun, the first brewery in the great state of Minnesota poised to answer the question, ‘What the heck is the difference between beer today, and beer in 1909?’
The reason Pour Decisions is poised to answer that is because Kristen England literally co-wrote the book on the Beer Styles of 1909.
If you don’t have time to read the book yourself, let me sum it up for you: The beer of 100 and some years ago was more diverse, and in general lower alcohol, than the beer today. There were more styles, different recipes, and generally you could drink more of them. For instance, you could probably drink a whole six pack of their Scottish Light, a 2.9 percent alcohol dark beer with a deep, figgy, rum-raisin sort of profile to it. For reference, most beer today is in the 5 percent or 6 percent alcohol range, “non-alcoholic” beer is around a half a per-cent alcohol, and it’s not unusual for a craft-brewed ale to clock in at as much as 9 percent. But not at Pour Decisions, where their Patersbier, a “daily drinking ale” using fragrant Belgian yeast, clocks in at a mere 4.5 percent alcohol.
“I’m a huge believer in Session beers,” England told me, when I dropped by his Roseville brewery for a preview. “I’m actually writing a book on session beers, too. People in the Twin Cities have gotten used to beers that punch you in the face—and we want to offer something different. Something that people can’t get anywhere else. Something subtle, something original.”
The first of the two beers of England’s that I tried were very promising, the Scottish Light had a fascinating dark-fruit depth, and the Patersbier was so fragrant with the scent of tangerines that you’d swear a tangerine was smashed into the tank sometime or other—but it never was. “That’s the Slovenian hops,” England explained, which he uses in that beer in consort with Styrian Goldings hops to give dimensionality.
Intrigued? Then you’ll want to pop in on one of the local bars that will be introducing Pour Decisions beers to the public this week. As of this writing, the planned calendar is:
Monday night: Stout’s Pub, Roseville (stoutspub.com)
Tuesday night: Muddy Waters, Minneapolis (muddywatersmpls.com)
Wednesday night: Stanley’s, northeast Minneapolis (stanleysbarroom.com)
Thursday night: Lone Oak Grill (lone-oakgrill.com)
Friday night: Grumpy’s, Roseville (grumpys-bar.com/roseville)
And what about the taproom? Well, the good news is that Pour Decisions has its licensing all in hand. The other good news is that its facility is all built: As of this writing the rather unglamorous light industrial warehouse it occupies in Roseville has a cozy bar, built of repurposed deck boards, and a ping-pong table, and plenty of square footage and the legal ability to host your private Christmas party or Groom’s dinner. What they don’t have is beer. England told me that all of their beer is currently committed to their launch, so they have to get brewing. And when that next batch of beer is done, then they will open the taproom.
When it is, be sure to ask England what exactly is it about the popular legend behind the birth of the IPA that Americans have got wrong. It’s a few things. And you may soon find yourself thinking, as I did, that Pour Decisions is particularly notable as a local brewery that goes down well with history.
Pour Decisions Brewery, 1744 Terrace Dr., Roseville, pourdecisionsbrewery.com