Ribfest beer honors area music legend Steve Murphy

A partnership between Mankato Brewery and Vetter Stone Amphitheater pays tribute to the legacy of an area legend who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer last year.
Published: Jun. 9, 2021 at 2:17 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 7:30 PM CDT
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NORTH MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Among Mankato Brewery’s collection of heroes and caricatures, a new tribute is brewing for a southern Minnesota music legend.

Steve Murphy, founder of The Murphy Brothers Band and a key player in the creation of Mankato Ribfest, passed away in 2020. Today, his likeness adorns Ribfest Beer -- Mankato Brewery’s newest light-style lager, which was made in partnership with Vetter Stone Amphitheater.

“We look at the brewery as something that’s involved in the community,” Tim Tupy, founder of Mankato Brewery, said. “Everyone in our community is part of the brewery. If we can do a little bit to help build that awareness and bring excitement, then we’ve done our job.”

The 16-ounce can is available in local liquor stores beginning this week. You’ll also be able to spot Steve at local events throughout the summer, leading up to Ribfest 2021.

For Steve’s bandmates, the can is a perfect honor.

“With COVID-19 he was not able to get the proper sendoff,” Jason Anderson, bassist for The Murphy Brothers Band, said. “It’s like, as the dust settles, we’re seeing his face and we’re seeing his name out there and it’s just fantastic.”

The band says they will never replace Steve Murphy, but they will continue to honor his legacy as a group -- what they call a family.

“He was such a force of nature around here, both in the community as a friend of the community, but also as a musician,” Jay Flugum, drummer for The Murphy Brothers Band, said. “And he liked his beer, too, so he’s smiling down on this.”

The 23rd annual Mankato Ribfest returns to Vetter Stone Amphitheater August 5-8. You can find more information on the weekend’s events here.

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