St. Paul brewery Burning Brothers to celebrate 10th anniversary with — what else? — beer and a fire-breathing show

Burning Brothers Brewing, the state’s first gluten-free brewery — started by two former Renaissance Festival fire-eaters, no less — is celebrating its 10th anniversary this weekend.

Festivities run from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, April 6, an appropriate ten-hour time span, and will include a fire-eating show from co-owners Dane Breimhorst and Thom Foss near the end of the night.

Gluten-free State Fair food truck Auntie M’s will be at the brewery for the afternoon, and Smug Pug food truck will be there in the evening. Twin Cities ROCK, a local chapter of the national group Raising Our Celiac Kids, is holding a cookie-decorating event early in the afternoon, and a custom-made Trivia Mafia game starts at 7 p.m.

Plus beer, of course. They’ll have about 20 varieties on tap, Breimhorst said, including a special 10th-anniversary dark IPA. (As a numerical nod to the decade, it’s 10 percent ABV and 100 IBUs, a bitterness metric that refers to the hops content.) Breimhorst is also brewing batches of previous beers that are no longer offered regularly, including a tart cherry sour, a grapefruit IPA and a lime shandy, he said.

Breimhorst and Foss were drawing up plans for a beer business in the early 2010s when Breimhost was diagnosed with Celiac disease, a strong autoimmune reaction to gluten. So the duo, who have known each other since they were teens, changed their plans.

But almost nobody else was making gluten-free craft beer at the time, so Breimhorst and Foss didn’t have any reference points or experienced brewers to show them the ropes when they opened in 2014.

“You just had to learn how to do it yourself, and that’s what we did,” Foss said.

Since then, the gluten-free beer scene has grown. As a beer drinker just as much as a beer brewer, Breimhorst sees it as a welcome development rather than competition.

“As somebody who has Celiac, I absolutely love the fact that there’s a much bigger spectrum,” he said. “It’s great to be able to make your own beer however you want to and drink it, but when somebody else makes it, it’s fun. Something you don’t get to try everyday.”

And as for the fire-eating show…

“Oh god,” Breimhorst said, laughing.

It’s a central part of Breimhorst and Foss’ personal history and the history of the brewery, but neither of them have performed the trick since the brewery’s 5th anniversary party, they said. Breathing fire means you have to put fuel in your mouth, which doesn’t taste great, to put it mildly, and it’s hard on performers’ bodies.

“Nothing like burping up kerosene all night,” Breimhorst joked.

Plus, the experience of spitting fireballs as a 50-year-old father is different from doing so as an attention-seeking 20-something Renaissance Festival performer, both men said. It’ll be fun to show it off, though, especially to their young kids who might not remember the last time they did it.

“This sounds a little bit cliche, but it’s like riding a bicycle,” Foss said. “Once you learn to stick a flaming torch in your mouth, you don’t forget.”

If you go

What: Burning Brothers Brewing, the state’s first gluten-free brewery, is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Where: Their taproom at 1750 W. Thomas Ave; contact 651-444-8882; burnbrosbrew.com

When: Noon to 10 p.m., Saturday, April 6

Food, drink, activities: Two food trucks (Auntie M’s and Smug Pug), plenty of beer including special releases, and Trivia Mafia at 7 p.m.

Don’t miss: Co-owners Dane Breimhorst and Thom Foss, both former Renaissance Festival performers, are putting on a fire-eating show later in the evening.

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