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Seth Brantner and Summit Head Brewer Damian McConn in the Summit Ratskeller. Contributed photo.

Summit Brewing Co.’s 2019 Minnesota State Fair beer name has been chosen, thanks to Rochester resident Seth Brantner. The IPA known as Mini-Sotan is a 4 percent ABV beer packing aromas of pineapple, grapefruit, and apricot, along with biscuits, bread crust, and sweet citrus flavors, according to a Summit blog post.

One of the perks of the state fair is the litany of popular beer re-releases, like Lift Bridge’s Mini Donut beer. Another is tasting all of the new beers only made for the fair (even the gimmicky ones with bacon or toasted marshmallows resting on top of the cup).

Summit isn’t going crazy with their release, but instead crafted a beer that is new and unique to the fair. But it won’t fill people up – they know you want to save that space for fair food.

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Summit Mini-Sotan IPA. Contributed photo.

“It’s a beer people can enjoy while out at the fair with friends and family, eating obscene amounts of delicious fried foods,” Summit head brewer Damian McConn said in a blog post.

Since the brew is a lower ABV, and relatively waistline-friendly, Brantner wanted a name that would fit that profile.

“I wanted to try to keep it simple but catchy,” he said. “I wanted to have it be something that distinctly tied in Minnesota while also clearly describing the beer. Skinny-Sotan just didn’t sound right, so I decided on Mini-Sotan to embody the bold north and boldness of an IPA, while also describing its low-calorie, low-carb recipe.”

Brantner had previously entered Summit’s 2018 naming contest.

“I actually found out about it on Summit’s Facebook page last year when they had the same contest,” Brantner said. “This year … they emailed me to announce that the name I came up with was selected out of over 200 (according to Summit’s head of marketing), and that the Summit Mini-Sotan IPA will be this year’s signature beer!”

The brew will only be available at the Summit on a Stick booth or at Shanghaied Henri's in the International Bazaar.

Winning has come with some fun perks for Brantner, including being able to help during the beer’s brew day and getting the first chance to taste the beer before fair-goers.

“It has been awesome and unexpected,” Brantner said. “I had a taped interview for a local news station, have had the story shared on Facebook, and have had a lot of love from family, friends, coworkers, and others regarding it. It feels like more like bragging rights. What would be amazing would be if people would enjoy the beer and contact Summit, and it could become a normal run beer where it would be in stores during the year. How cool would it be to pick up a six-pack of beer you named?”

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Mini-Sotan storage at Summit Brewing Co. Contributed photo.

Brantner hasn’t actually been to the State Fair for a few years, but he hopes people who do go will enjoy the beer he named.

Besides, there isn’t much better than pairing a Summit beer and some deep-fried food.

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