Hopped Up Beer Festival is already the furthest north beer festival in Minnesota, but this year, it may also be one of the funkiest. Held July 14th through 16th at Caribou Highlands Lodge, this year’s festival will feature concerts on Friday and Saturday nights and all day Saturday.

“We’re looking at reggae and funk,” food and beverage director Emily Haussner says. “We’re not going to go in a bluegrass direction.”

Now in its 7th year, the Hopped Up Beer Festival has always been known for food and beer pairings in a luxury environment. This year they’re opening up the event on an a la carte basis. Weekend ticket holders will get full access to everything along with comfortable lodging, but both Friday and Saturday dinners along with the various concerts will be open on a per-event basis.

“We’re trying to make it more of a weekend destination,” Haussner says. “We’re trying to put more music into the event to make it not only a beer event, but a concert event.”

The festivities start on Friday, with a five-course Northwoods beer pairing dinner featuring brews from St. Cloud’s Beaver Island Brewing Company.

“The menu is going to be developed by both our chefs and the owner of Beaver Island,” Haussner says. “We’re keeping it local. “

During the day Saturday there will be plenty of opportunity to sample beers, meet brewers, and mingle. On Saturday night, the focus turns towards the outdoors. Caribou Highlands is planning either a fish boil, a pig roast, or both, because what goes better with beer than campfire food? Grand Marais’ Voyageur Brewing Company is picking the Saturday night beers, and even going one step beyond.

“We’ll be debuting an Odyssey beer that’s brewed for us,” Haussner says.

This new beer will be served at resort restaurant Moguls, along with sister restaurants Ledge Rock Grille and Splashing Rock Restaurant, making it a truly unique brew.

With funk music, a renovated courtyard, and breweries that didn’t even exist during its first year, the 7th Hopped Up festival may be the best yet. And between old standbys like the chocolate dipped bacon and the beautiful scenery, there’s plenty of tradition too. But will the legendary caribou antler hats make a reappearance? You’ll just have to come and find out for yourself.

The Brewers

As of March 7, 2017.
See an up-to-date list here.

  • Beaver Island Brewing Company (St. Cloud)
  • Fargo Brewing Company (Fargo)
  • Sociable Cider Werks (Minneapolis)
  • Insight Brewing (Minneapolis)
  • Indeed Brewing Company (Minneapolis)
  • Third Street Brewhouse (Cold Spring)
  • Castle Danger Brewery (Two Harbors)
  • Voyageur Brewing Company (Grand Marais)

All Weekend Packages Include

  • 2 nights lodging
  • Friday evening 4-course Beer Paired Dinner
  • Friday night concert
  • Saturday afternoon beer garden admission
  • Saturday evening dinner buffet
  • Saturday night concert
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