Bent Paddle Imperial Kvass on Tap This Weekend

New Valve Jockey Series Brew by Bjorn Erickson

Bent Paddle’s Valve Jockey series plays on the creativity of its brewers and gives them the ability to design, create, and brew fun and delicious new recipes. With a strong community focus, sales from the Valve Jockey series will help generate funding for a charity of the brewers’ choice – in this case Bjorn chose The Chester Bowl Improvement Fund.

Chester Bowl Logo
Each Valve Jockey brew will be released in 750mL screen printed bottles featuring a likeness of the brewer and the style of beer they created with limited local draft options available. The Imperial Kvass is the second of three Valve Jockey beers that will be released in 2017 and the beers will be available in all Bent Paddle’s distribution territories.

Related: Take a Private Tour & Sample Bjorn’s Brew This Friday & Saturday Night!

What’s a Valve Jockey?

Over the last couple of years, Bent Paddle’s brewers started referring to themselves as “valve jockeys” – always running about the brewery opening and closing valves.



March 1, 2017


The second of the Valve Jockey Series comes from our hike and ski loving Bent Paddle brewer, Bjorn Erickson. Bjorn created a beer recipe around a beer style known as “Kvass”, which is not often found on the shelves in our region but would be more at home on a farmhouse table in Eastern Europe. Kvass is a fermented beverage made in Slavic areas from rye bread and other sugars and spices and is usually lower in alcohol content. This ale is an interpretation of that format, designed to be a warming, hearty drink full of bright zest and bready malt flavor. Bjorn brewed this Imperial Kvass (“Imperial” denoting a higher alcohol strength that is normal for this style) with raisin juice, lemon peel & spearmint.

Tasting notes from Bjorn:

Pours a nice dark blond/ light brown color with a creamy off white foam. Intentionally hazy, to replicate a naturally fermented and not so processed beverage. Aroma is light honey malt, with a bit of rye spice, slight estery/phenolic tang, mostly due to raisin juice. There is a slight hint of Saaz hops along with lemon peel and mint that really only presents itself very subtly at the end. It does taste very bready and fresh, reminiscent of both a wheat beer and rye pale ale. The imperial nature of this beer is strong, all of the levels of a Kvass have been turned up to 11. It finishes slightly sweet, with a lingering, complex fruity flavor that just smooths out the maltiness.

As a long time Duluthian, Bjorn’s interest in skiing and hiking has inspired him to choose The Chester Bowl Improvement Fund to receive 5% of total sales of his beer. Bent Paddle will be hosting a series of events in Duluth to celebrate the release of Valve Jockey #2. First tastes will be available in the Bent Paddle Taproom starting Friday, March 3. Saturday, March 4th the festivities begin with a family friendly ski at Chester Bowl followed by a winter patio Happy Hour at Sara’s Table and closing with a late night Happy Hour at the Rathskeller at The Blind Pig. Full brand release will begin the week of March 6th.

Bjorn Erickson Valve Jockey Imperial Kvass

Laura S.F. Mullen
Vice President Of Outreach + Events
(218) 279-2722 ext. 303

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