one year of insight – celebrate this Saturday!
The party celebrates Insight’s big trip around the sun and honors the brewery theme: traveling the world to bring great beer to Minnesota.
Head brewer Ilan Klages-Mundt gained his brewing experience in England, Japan, and Denmark. The majority of his barreling experience took place in Denmark at two breweries, one of which contract brews for Mikkeler. You’ve tasted many of his creations, from Sunken City saison to Doe Eyes, famous for it’s strong cherry presence. But in the anniversary beer, called Gravity Well, his skill intersects with the complexity that barrel aging can bring to an Imperial Stout.
Gravity Well is a deep, intense imperial stout. That being said, it avoids the oil slick that often results in a beer of such high ABV. It’s remarkably smooth, a property that is enhanced by gentle aging in rye and bourbon barrels. The beer sat around for a year-long maturation process, but Ilan wisely reserved the barrels for only a portion of this aging, in order to avoid to much woodiness.
Barrels were blended to create an optimal beer for Saturday, but also for years of aging in bottles. Gravity Well would hold up to maturation in a home beer cellar and will likely display more complexity over time.
What did the first year bring for Insight? First and foremost, a major re-brand. The brewery classed itself up big time, which is normally an expensive endeavor. Fortunately, a grant from a local design firm made curb appeal more attainable for Insight. Re-branding began just after opening and was publicly launched in June. The new imagery is more than marketing (although it’s working) – it helps tell a story. A literal trip around the world, plus the worldly perspective in the glass.
Ilan is also quick to mention a flaw in his order of operations.
credit: Charles Awad
The biggest surprise was the popularity of specific beers. Ilan has a unique style, likely due to his diverse brewing background. His passion, in my opinion, seems to lie in the British realm, with a fondness for unique ingredients ad techniques. Doe Eyes, a saison made with Door County Cherries, has been a sleeper hit at bars and restaurants. “We sent three casks to restaurants,” he explains. Each sold out faster than the next, the final one going in about 4o minutes.
So don’t miss out this time. Grab a bottle or two, enjoy Gastrotruck and UP coffee roasters, try your hand – er, feet – at Big Wheel Races and enjoy an array of Minnesota music.
In addition to the variations on Gravity Well, the remainder of the stellar Insight line-up will be poured, including the very first run of cans! Sunken City, Hell Chicken, and Troll Way will be on hand in tall boys. Other special taps are sure to make an appearance.
The party goes from noon to 10pm on Saturday 11/21.
For those of you who want to get down to the nitty gritty, here is the SPECIAL RELEASES schedule:
-12:00 – Gravity Well -2:00 – UP Coffee Porter (Cask) -4:00 – UP Coffee Gravity Well (Cask) -6:00 – Double Barrel Aged Gravity Well