Exploring Chinese Beer Culture

–with Qiuxia & Heather

What’s the craft beer scene like in China? Qiuxia, Boom Island’s Co-owner, and Social Media Manager Heather are about to find out…


Qiuxia and Heather are headed to Chengdu, China; Qiuxia’s home town, for a whirlwind week of exploring beer culture in China. We are wondering (and you might be too): How is the beer culture different from the U.S.?
Where do you find beer and what’s available? Can you find Belgian Beer in China? Can you find breweries in China? And above all, what is beer like in China?
We hope to answer all of these questions and more over the next week and report back! Stay tuned for updates from these two adventurers and get to know the Boom Island Brewing team as they explore overseas.

2015 Yule Release Party

Stellar in the Cellar: Belgian Strong Ale Fermented with Tart Cherries


For the fourth year running, Boom Island Brewing Company is pleased announce the release of its Yule, the dark Belgian strong holiday ale fermented with tart cherries, with subtle nuances of holiday spices.

There seems to be two major camps when it comes to celebrating the holidays. The first follow the department store model and decorate and start counting down the days weeks before Halloween has arrived. The other group is less sentimental and can’t be bothered to get into the spirit until a few days before the holiday.

Boom Island Brewing Company falls somewhere in between the two camps: the taproom Yule Release Party is scheduled for Friday, November 6th and will be sold in stores throughout the region starting the week of November 9. Yule 2015, fermented with tart cherries will be available on tap and in 750 ml bottles for the holiday season while supplies last. Pours from an oak cask, as well as bottles of the 2014 Yule, which was fermented with black currant, will also be available for purchase during this event.

As an added bonus, the Bill Patten Trio will be playing a set at 7pm and the New Bohemia food truck will be on site as well.

Cellaring craft beer has become more in vogue, and Yule is a perfect candidate for aging. As it ages and ferments the beer becomes more complex and special, worthy of any special occasion.

YULE 2015: 11.5% ABV Dark Belgian Strong Holiday Ale
COLOR: Deep Mahogany with a Sandy Brown Colored Head
FLAVOR: Tart Cherry with Subtle Holiday Spice, Fruity and Sour

YULE 2014: 13% ABV Dark Belgian Holiday Ale, Aged One Full Year
COLOR: Deep Mahogany with an Espresso Colored Head
FLAVOR: Black Currant with Holiday Spice, Rich and Tart

© Heather Hanson Photography LLC
© Heather Hanson Photography LLC

So grab bottles to share, gift, and enjoy for yourself!

Harvest Ale at Grumpy’s Oct 17!

From Brewer Christian:

Grumpy’s Downtown is hosting a beer festival called “Limited Action.” Their idea is an interesting one. Host a beer festival unlike other festivals. Instead of breweries pouring their normal lineup Grumpy’s is only allowing beers that meet a series of requirements. Those requirements are as follows.

1. The beer must use hops that are grown at Grumpy’s NE location.

2. The beer should include other aromatic herbs or spices.

3. The beer should include a distinctly Minnesotan ingredient.

The distinctly Minnesotan ingredient stumped me for awhile. All I could think of was wild rice or “Hot Dish” ( that thing southerners call a casserole.)

I started to think of my overall Minnesotan experience and what I truly enjoy most. I finally realized that going to an apple orchard was a wonderfully Northern experience. Speaking of apples, the University of Minnesota has created several apple varieties that grow exceptionally well in the climate here. One of those apples is Honeycrisp.

The beer I brewed for this event is a different take on a popular fall seasonal, the pumpkin beer. Instead of pumpkin I used Honeycrisp Apple cider for 20% of the overall volume. I relied on the yeast to provide the spice ingredient for this beer.

Kevin and I went to Grumpy’s in NE a few weeks ago to pick hops for this beer, I then dried those hops over a couple of days and brewed shortly thereafter. No other hops went into this beer than the hops that we picked.

The beer is called “Harvest Ale” and you can find it at Grumpy’s Bar & Grill Downtown Minneapolis from 2-7PM or at the taproom starting October 23!

Happy fall!

What’s in a Name – The Belgian Dubbel

A frequent question asked in the taproom is “what’s a Dubbel?” and how does it differ from a Tripel or even a Quad? Though the name is shrouded in mystery, sources say its origin stems from the Trappist Abbey of Westmalle in 1856.  Dubbel literally translated means Double, but double of what? Some attribute the name to alcohol content. Others attribute the spread of the style name to the popularity of the beer in the monestaries. The monks originally brewed a lower ABV bruin before creating the higher ABV Dubbels. This seductive, mild-hop bitterness beverage is usually marked by dark color and fruit flavors. The Belgian yeast generates fruity esters including banana notes, but can also contain hints of chocolate, caramel, and malty sweetness.
Dubbels, like most Belgian-style beers, are traditionally bottle conditioned, though they can be force carbonated for draft.
The Belgian Tripel and Quad are considered to be sisters of the Dubbel.  Traditionally a Belgian Dubbel is darker in color and lighter in alcohol, than the Tripel, which is lighter in color but higher in alcohol.  Both are noted for their full-bodied and distinctive bold flavors., and higher alcohol by volume.