Location & Taproom Hours
2215 North Garden Street, New Ulm, MN
Open Saturdays 2:00-9:00 p.m.
With the launch of the Noble Star Collection, there was a need for a separate space away from the brewery due to limitations with aging sour beers. Enter the Starkeller. This facility has not only provided a space to ferment these mixed-culture Berliner Weisse beers, but provides an additional taproom space to the town of New Ulm.
The Starkeller is overflowing with rich history from Schell’s with the focal point being the 1936 Cypress wood lagering tanks that were restored for the purpose of aging sour beer. After prohibition, the brewery purchased wood tanks because they were cheaper than steel tanks and they were in use until 1991 when the brewery made some updates. Since, they were stored away and the introduction of this line of beers presented the opportunity to bring them back to life. The vessels that once aged our Schell’s beers were the perfect solution to age sours because the wood tanks breathe a bit of oxygen whereas steel does not.
When you come to the Starkeller for a beer, you might sit at the bar made of an old copper kettle from the brewery, or might glance at the tin on the back wall that came from the farm that once stood in its place. The ten tanks that line the taproom are the next beers that might be in your glass in a year or so. It’s a unique experience that you won’t find anywhere else.
Starkeller’s Signature Sours
The Noble Star Collection is our ongoing exploration of the Berliner Weisse style of sour beer. Our beers are brewed at our main brewery, using a traditional decoction mash and no boil method, the wort is transferred to the Starkeller, where we pitch a mixed culture of yeast, bacteria, and brettanomyces. The beers are then transferred into one of our 10, original 1936 cypress wood lagering tanks for aging. Over the course of one to two years, these beers will slowly transform over time, developing a refreshing lactic acidity and a fruity, estery bouquet. Once the beers have reached maturation, they are then either packaged or transferred onto fruit for several more months of aging. When the beer is ready, it is then hand-bottled with fresh yeast and priming sugar to bottle condition. Over the course of the next two months, the beer develops a champagne like carbonation in the bottle before it is finally ready to be released. No two sours ever take the same path and they progress at their own pace, which makes this collection of beers so unique.
“If there is a Champagne of beers, it is definitely Berliner Weisse, with its unusually pale color, sustained small head, intense sparkle and, especially, its fruity acidity… It is the most quenching and refreshing of all beers, and one of the lightest. It is feminine, teasing and complex, with no pretensions to great gravity.”
-Michael Jackson. “The New World Guide to Beer” 1988.