1876 labaelThe Northfield Historical Society will help kick off this year’s Defeat of Jesse James Days when it hosts a beer and wine tasting Thursday, Sept. 6., 5:30–8 p.m. at the historical society in downtown Northfield. The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature two craft beers brewed in Minnesota by Bank Brewing Company as a tribute to Northfield history: 1876, created for last year’s DJJD, and this year’s new Devil’s Gulch ale.

“Devil’s Gulch” refers to a small canyon in Garretson, S.D., that the outlaw Jesse James allegedly jumped on horseback while fleeing the posse that pursued him after the James-Younger Gang failed to rob Northfield’s First National Bank in 1876. Devil’s Gulch, available only in Northfield, will be a limited production run of only 200 750ml bottles.

“I am excited to try the new brew,” says Hayes Scriven, NHS executive director. “Bank Brewing did a great job with 1876 last year, so this new and more powerful beer should be that much better.”

“We wanted to take 1876 up a notch,” says Jason Markkula of Bank Brewing about Devil’s Gulch — a strong American rye ale that is aged five months in whisky barrels for 9 percent alcohol by volume. In addition, the 1876 bottles (introduced last year as James-Younger 1876 Rye Ale) have been refreshed with a new logo. “We wanted the brew to appeal to a wider audience and we wanted it to play off the outlaw theme a bit more” explains Markkula.

In addition to the tasting, 1876 and Devil’s Gulch will be available for purchase starting Sept. 6 at the Northfield Municipal Liquor Store, Firehouse Liquor in nearby Dundas, and in local drinking establishments. Three other Bank Beer products will be available at the NHS tasting: Rooster Lager, Walleye Chop and Longbeard.

After the Defeat of Jesse James Days, 1876 will be available through all of Bank Beer’s normal distribution channels. Funds generated by the sale of 1876 and Devil’s Gulch go to support the mission of the Northfield Historical Society.

Devil gulch