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This is cool… a Minnesota beer was selected as the official welcome beer for this year’s Great American Beer Festival Media luncheon. The festival is in its 32nd year and hosts the largest collection of US beer ever served. The luncheon is attended by 200 beer journalists from around the nation and this year Fitger’s Brewhouse’s Gooseberry Gose was the official welcome beer.

“If we get more Minnesota brewers on the national stage, I think Minnesota will get a little more respect for making decent beer,” Fitger’s master brewer Dave Hoops says.

Hoops was been asked to give a ten-minute speech to the assembled journalists and talked about the rise of Minnesota brewing. Our state was 10th for overall craft barrel production in 2012. Last year there were 5,100 beers and only 3% of breweries that entered won, so winning a medal is a big accomplishment. Town Hall has won 13 medals in previous years, Fitger’s Brewhouse has won 2, Summit has won 7, and Surly has won 1.