When you think of true Buffalo beers, those that belong on the Mount Rushmore of local beers, brews synonymous with the Queen City and all points in-between, what comes to mind? Big Ditch’s Hayburner and Flying Bison Rusty Chain for sure, but what about Thin Man’s flagship raspberry sour, Minkey Boodle? Stay with me here – it has tenure and notoriety in the beer scene and is readily available and consistently delicious.
While it’s ascent to the Mt. Rushmore of Buffalo Beer is arguable, what’s not is that it’s our scenes most recognizable fruited sour, a beer certainly befitting of its own day. That day is finally here as all of Buffalo is invited to join Thin Man Brewery in celebrating Minkey Boodle on July 30 for Minkey Day at Thin Man Elmwood (12pm).
“At its core, Minkey is an Imperial Berliner Weisse,” Thin Man head brewer Rudy Watkins explains, “so the grist is 60% pilsner and 40% wheat. We brew that to a relatively high starting gravity since we’ll be diluting it with raspberry. We sour the wort with lactobacillus to drop the pH & then pitch a neutral American ale yeast. The raspberry is added during fermentation to ensure a relatively dry finish. Tasting notes? Raspberries on raspberries. Tart raspberries with a dry finish. Drinkable and easy.”
For Minkey Day, expect lots of OG Minkey Boodle, 3 special collaborations with Bellwoods Brewery (Boodle Berry Pie – Raspberry, blueberry sour with vanilla and pie crust), Other Half (Oodles of Boodles – Raspberry sour with ice cream and toasted granola) and Prairie Artisan Ales (Minkey Stardust – Raspberry sour with pink Starbursts), Minkey-inspired atmosphere, glassware, merch and food.
Created by Watkins, as he puts it, ‘back when fruited sours were (relatively) hard to find and he wanted to drink more of them,’ Minkey Boodle was originally just another version of a line of Thin Man fruited sours. But it was clear early on that the beer was far more special than that.
“Minkey was originally just one beer in a series of fruited sours we were making,” Watkins says. “Other beers in that series included Myrna (Apricot) & Juicemaster (mango & passionfruit). The plan had been to use the same grain/yeast/water profile and change up the fruit but people ended up loving the raspberry version so much that we ended up keeping it around full time.”
At it’s core, craft beer is meant to be fun and Minkey is certainly evidence of that. You don’t have to look much further than the beer name itself – taken from an old Space Ghost skit you’ve probably seen before. And if you don’t remember it – ‘I’ve got a doodle in my noodle, and it’s name is Minkey Boodle, Minkey Boodle! Minkey Boodle! I got my mojo risin,’ there’s a poodle in my strudel. Minkey Boodle! Minkey Boodle!’
“Minkey Boodle is a fun, nonsensical thing to shout that has its roots in an old Space Ghost skit…I’ve shouted it for years and it brings me so much joy when someone shouts it at me during a beer festival,” Watkins explains.
And if you’ve read this far and have never enjoyed a Minkey Boodle, then, first off, thank you for listening to me drone on about a beer you’ve never had, and I thank you for that, but second, why not let the man who created Minkey himself explain what you’re in for.
“Leave your perception of “beer” at the door,” Watkins says. “Minkey is all about tartness and raspberry. It isn’t like a raspberry wheat beer you might have had in the past; its smooth & fruity with no bitterness or bite.”
Tickets for Minkey Day 2022 include commemorative glassware, pours of each variant and OG Minkey, entry, live music from Crespo Beats and more.
Brian Campbell is co-founder and Brand Manager of the Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column. If you have beer news that should be included in the Beer Buzz, Brian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), and Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague).