Read all about the ins and outs of brewing beer. From hops to hydrometers, our brewmasters have written hundreds of blog posts to help you brew your best.


Put Your Spin On Spring

Cabin fever is in full swing here in the land of 10,000 lakes. The frenzy of the holidays is nothing more than a distant memory and our days are filled with a silent (OK, maybe not so silent) yearning for warmer days to come. Chocolate milk stout and winter ale may still be appropriate for the snow-covered wasteland we currently inhabit, but deep in our souls we know better. It’s time to brew for spring.

Being a homebrewer has always meant looking ahead. Anyone can grab a random seasonal beer on the way to the first BBQ of the season, but it takes a true, far-sighted homebrewer to anticipate this joyous moment and arrive with something brewed specifically for the occasion.

These are the kind of deep thoughts that have been concerning me of late, when I should have been plugging away at my latest Excel monstrosity. (Sorry, boss.) What will pair perfectly with that first, true BBQ-worthy weekend of spring? Wheat beers are always a hit. A blonde ale, perhaps? Something a little more challenging…A maibock? So many options, and any one of them would be a great first spring beer. But only one of them will be My Spring Beer.

After a consulting my Personal Beverage Oracle, Laura (a.k.a. my infinitely understanding wife), the verdict was in. I would invoke the true spirit of spring with a brew that celebrates life and can be enjoyed by all. An old college favorite inspired by my days in Duluth and many well-spent hours at Fitger’s Brewhouse. An apricot wheat was to be born.

I know what many of you are thinking. “That’s not HOPPY!” You’re right; It’s not.

“Hello, my name is Nick, and I am not a hop head.” Whew…Glad I was able to get that off my chest.

Over the years, I have often heard the question: What’s the best way to add fruit to a beer? My answer is, generally, it depends. Fruit can be added any number of ways, some ways contributing more fruit flavor than others. The most important thing to remember is that this is YOUR BEER, and that is a thing of beauty. You can do anything you like, because it’s yours.

There are two methods I recommend. The first requires the use of a keg system. I of course recommend the Draft Brewer Keg Systems. The second can be done using conventional bottling, but will result in a less sweet or “fruity” finished product.

Method 1: Using a Keg System (Recommended)

1.) Brew the Northern Brewer American Wheat with no modifications to the instructions.
2.) Allow fermentation to complete. Take a hydrometer reading to confirm.
3.) Add one 3 lb can of Vintner’s Harvest Apricot Puree (You can sub a different type of puree here if you like. Remember, it’s your beer.)
4.) Add ¼ tsp of potassium metabisulphite for 5 gallons of beer. This will stop active fermentation & keep the yeast from eating the sugar in your fruit puree.
5.) Add ½ tsp of potassium sorbate per gallon of beer. This will stop fermentation from beginning again.
6.) Allow to stand for 24 hours to ensure fermentation does not begin again.
7.) Transfer into your keg system and carbonate.
8.) Enjoy!

Method 2 Bottling

1.) Brew the Northern Brewer American Wheat with no modifications to the instructions.
2.) Allow fermentation to complete. Take a hydrometer reading to confirm.
3.) Add one 3 lb can of Vintner’s Harvest Apricot Puree (You can sub a different type of puree here if you like.)
4.) Fermentation will begin again. Allow this to complete fully.
5.) Once secondary fermentation has completed and the beer has cleared, follow standard bottling procedure.
6.) Allow bottles to carbonate about 2-3 weeks
7.) Enjoy!

(Note: Using this method will result in a “dryer” finished product as much of the sugar from the puree will be consumed during fermentation. This is why I really recommend using a keg system for fruit additions.)

So what are you waiting for? Spring is right around the corner, and the BBQs will be heating up all across the northland in a matter of weeks. If apricot wheat beer in not your thing, there are plenty of spring seasonals to choose from. My advice is simply this: Take a beer you love, and make it your own.

Remember: Our brewmasters are here to help. And we’ve got plenty of experience putting our own personal spin on right-out-of-the-box recipe kits. When in doubt, just text us at 651-273-9869 for expert tips on how to make your next brew uniquely your own.


34th Latitude South African Hops

South African Limited Release hops! We have leveraged our way into securing an extremely limited quantity of rare South African hops JUST for homebrewers. Expand your brewing horizons with these special hops that you cannot find in the US. They are currently sold only to craft breweries in very small quantities. Be the first brewer in your club to try them out!

Short Pour: HopShot for your Beer, Not your Eyes

“There’s no such thing as too many hops!” We all know some hop-head who lives by these words. But, truth be told, as much as we love those super-hoppy, over-the-top delicious double IPAs, there’s always the risk of going too far. If you’ve ever crossed that line, you know what I’m talking about.


Brew. Share. Enjoy Brewery Series Kits

The Brew. Share. Enjoy.® Brewery Edition is unlike anything we have ever created before. For the first time ever, homebrewers like you will have exclusive access to the most sought-after, limited-release beers in the world, complete with first-hand insight from the world-class pro brewmasters who created them.

Take it to the next level Own a brewery

For your viewing pleasure: Brew Rebellion’s road to going pro!

If you’ve ever dreamed about opening a brewery, here’s your front-row seat. Next month, Amazon Prime will be airing “Barely Beer Barons,” a series offering a no-holds-barred look at what it takes to go pro, from the ground up. Spoilers: It’s a lot of hard work and even more heart. We’re pulling for the guys at Brew Rebellion because we know a lot of talented

003_17950699746_70590ba4c9_o_CREDIT_Photo via Flickr user Didriks

Yeah, we’re going to go ahead and bother brewing our own beer.

Puhleeze. If everybody thought like this, we’d soon be reduced to a race of people eating entirely out of vending machines. Sure, the convenience and availability of great craft beer is wonderful. But for most of us at Northern Brewer, drinking great beer doesn’t replace the experience of making great beer.


A brewery on every corner? Sounds amazing.

This article predicts the beer version of “a taco truck on every corner” and we at Northern Brewer couldn’t be happier. Our own HQ is based smack dab in the heart of one of the greatest beer cities in America, according to Thrillist. And knowing you’re never too far away from amazing, local beer is, we can attest, really good for the soul. Not to mention, strike up a conversation with just about anybody, and you’ll find out they’re somehow linked to either beer and brewing, or simply a die-hard, knowledgeable fan.


Happy to see MN leading the way when it comes to women brewers!

We’re proud to count many of these brewers among our friends and brew heroes…including Urban Growler’s Deb Loch, who was our very own Product Development guru way back when!


Short Pour: Q & A with Omega Yeast Labs

Like many of you, part of why I brew beer is to experiment and create new recipes. Sure, we all have our favorites, but even then, changing up a few of the ingredients can yield surprising results.