Updated: January 13, 2021 08:28 PM
Created: January 13, 2021 04:35 PM
Nothing says "Northland" like craft beer and hockey.
The two forces come together in Hoops Brewing's new No. 37 Rink Rat Ale.
Dave Hoops said when the Duluth Amateur Hockey Association approached him about a collaboration, he jumped at the chance.
"My kid started when he was 3 years old on those rinks. So cool," Hoops said.
A glance around the Hoops taproom will prove his connection to hockey. There are signed professional sticks behind the bar, art made out of hockey sticks on the walls and even a photo of his kids playing on a local rink.
DAHA asked for a light beer that was easy to drink.
"Oftentimes, people assume that microbreweries, craft breweries, won't make a lighter beer. Well, I'm happy to," Hoops said.
And he's gotten good feedback so far.
"(DAHA) came up with the name, No. 37, which is in homage to the 37 rinks that have existed, outdoor rinks in Duluth over the years," Hoops said.
He liked the "Rink Rat" name because it reminded him of T-shirts he'd seen at the State Tourney over the years. A portion of the sales will go back to DAHA.
And he's excited that as of Wednesday, he can serve the beer in a pint glass. Hoops taproom just reopened, waiting a few days after restrictions relaxed on Monday. Dave Hoops is proud of the patience.
"We were the very first brewery to close, and we're the last one to open," he said.
They're sticking with 30% capacity for now and only doing curbside pickup on Mondays and Tuesdays.
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