By Joseph Mahowald – [email protected]

and Kyle Olson – [email protected]

This week we are turning our attention to a Johnnie brewery that has become a major player in the Twin Cities brewery scene.

Fulton Brewing Company is located in Minneapolis and has grown significantly over the last few years. We are sampling one of the first beers ever produced by Fulton, the Lonely Blonde. Fulton is a brewery success
story and their concoctions are now shared by many in Minnesota and beyond.

Fulton’s trajectory started where many brewing dreams do, in the garage. Three ‘05 St. John’s graduates (Jim Diley, Ryan Petz and Brian Hoffman) started their dream by doing some home-brewing for fun. However, in 2009 they soon realized that their friends really enjoyed their beer and through their support, the three Johnnies decided to commercially brew their beer.

Due to financial constraints, they could not start their own brewery so they reached out to existing brewery facilities and began a partnership with Sand Creek Brewing Company in Wisconsin. Under the agreement, Fulton could use the brewing facilities and learn the brewing process while they grew their distribution network and accumulated capital.

In the next few years their beer was in over 100 bars in the Twin Cities area. In 2011, they moved to operate their own brewery in Minneapolis. In that same year legislation passed in Minnesota allowing breweries to operate taprooms and Fulton opened the first taproom in Minneapolis.

Fulton boomed, and in 2013 had to move to a larger brewery location with room for company operations and distribution capabilities. The original brewery is still used for small batch activities and the taproom there is crowded with Fulton fanatics.

From brewing in a garage to opening Minneapolis’ first taproom and becoming a major brewery presence, these three Johnnies are a true success story for all homebrewers.

The Lonely Blonde pours a clear gold color and leaves a nice quarter of an inch of head atop the beer. The beer has a strong malty scent with a few slight notes of citrus hops. The first taste is smooth and malty, something that we would expect from a classic American Lager. There is a crisp sensation left on the tongue.

Overall, it is a very drinkable beer with more flavor than you would get from a traditional lager. Its taste doesn’t stray far from a lager, but the mild notes of hops and fruity zest mixed with the malt make this an
appealing beer.

The American Blonde Ale is a younger style of beer that has roots in the German Kölsch beer. The Kölsch is a twist on the popular German Lager, famed for its pale color and malty taste. The lager and Kölsch made their way to America and rapidly grew in popularity, overtaking the more common English Ales.

America was, and still is, in the process of a craft beer and brewing revolution. To appeal to the consumers of popular American Pilsners, breweries created an adaption of the Kölsch style to introduce the mass market to craft beer. After helping transition the market, the style has only continued to grow in appreciation. The American Pilsner Lager is now a staple brew found at many large breweries across the country such as Kona, New Belgium and Deschutes Brewery.

As a couple of Johnnies who appreciate beer, the story of Fulton is inspiring. In today’s craft brewery revolution, beer is more than just beer, it is the story of the brewery and the people they interact with. Fulton encapsulates this with their story and rich history.

Try a Fulton Lonely Blonde and taste a beer that began in a garage and is now a favorite by many in the Twin Cities. Drink responsibly CSB/SJU.

THE BEER FACTS

Fulton Brewing Company – Lonely Blonde

IBUs: 98

ABV: 4.8%

Style: American Blonde Ale

Cost: 6 Pack = $11

Kyle’s rating: 3.5/5

Joe’s rating: 3.25/5

Untapped avg. rating: 3.517/5