Each year, the Craft Brewer’s Conference attracts thousands of craft brewers to descend upon a city to geek out about beer. This year, and for the first time in craft beer history, Minneapolis was chosen to host the hipster event which is an honor by itself. But as an added distinction, Duluth-based brewery Bent Paddle Brewing Co. was chosen by its Minnesota brewery peers to brew the commemorative beer for the conference. The Land of 10,000 Lagers is a Czech-Style Dark Lager that showcases the abundance of fresh water found within the North Star State. 10% of the world’s fresh water is in Lake Superior, and 100% of the commemorative beer is made with that water via Bent Paddle’s brewing facility in Duluth, MN. Lake Superior water almost perfectly resembles that of Pilsen, Czech Republic birthplace of traditional Pilsners and Lagers.
Bryon Tonnis, Co-Founder of Bent Paddle explained, “We brew all our beer with pristine Lake Superior water. It’s a part of Duluth culture, but also our story. We’re so happy to be sharing a taste of Superior with brewers from across the nation.”
Bent Paddle didn’t take on this monumental task alone. Lead by the efforts of the Minnesota Craft Brewer’s Guild, on behalf of the Brewer’s Association, fellow brewers at Angry Inch Brewing and Lupulin Brewing made the trek to the Twin Ports to lend a hand during the brew process.
Snezana Erickson, General Manager of Angry Inch Brewing, lead the CBC Commemorative Beer committee. She said of the project, “In honor of Minnesota-based Rahr Malting’s 175th anniversary and CBC being hosted in Minneapolis, we (Angry Inch Brewing, Bent Paddle Brewing Co., Lupulin Brewing, andRahr Malting) felt it was fitting to showcase Minnesota’s history and traditions in this special brew. This Czech style Dark Lager recipe was written to showcase our special ingredient, fresh water sourced from Lake Superior, and pay homage to the long history Minnesota has with craft beer.”
The beautiful 16 oz. can label was designed by Marcus Paulsen, Marketing & Artistic Director at Lupulin Brewing. “Seeing as the water the beer was brewed with was one of the reasons we chose a lager in the first place, I thought really focusing on water with the label art was the right move. It makes sense for the liquid in the can, which is something I really try to do with all of my labels, and it highlights something unique about MN,” explained Marcus.
Tim Wilson, Head Brewer for Bent Paddle, said about the Land of 10,000 Lagers beer collaboration, “Collaborations are one of my favorite aspects about the brewing industry. It’s all about melding minds, swapping industry knowledge, and learning from fellow craft brewers.”
All of the malt and hops were donated from Minnesota-based Rahr Malt while White Labs graciously donated the Pilsener Lager yeast strain. The heirloom malts and artisanal yeast paired with Superior’s waters combined perfectly to create a traditional dark lager. One can expect a fragrant roast malt character with notes of caramel and toffee with a deep ruby brown appearance.
“On behalf of Rahr Malting Co., BSG, and CanCraft, it was an honor and absolute pleasure to work alongside members of the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild on the official 2022 Craft Brewers Conference commemorative beer: “Land of 10,000 Lagers”. The amount of thought, dedication, and planning by the group was truly amazing to witness. The result is a beer that exemplifies the spirit of collaboration and representation of Minnesota.” noted Juno Choi, Strategist at BSG.
10,000 cans of the Dark Lager will be handed out to attendees of the Craft Brewer’s Conference at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The public can try the specialty beer at Bent Paddle’s Duluth Taproom or in the cities at Smack Shack during the Smack Shack Tap Attack on May 4, 2022 from 5 – 8pm. The bar will be overrun with specialty beers from Bent Paddle, including the Land of 10,000 Lagers beer.
The beer was brewed and packaged by Bent Paddle Brewing Co., Duluth, MN with generous contributions by Angry Inch Brewing, BMP, BSG, Cancraft, Lupulin Brewing, Rahr Malting Co., White Labs, WT Nickell Co., and KegCollar.com