New research finds homebrewers may be able to predict the future






According to a recent study, homebrewers can predict the future. OK, maybe your homebrewing buddy isn’t a mystic seer, but a high number of homebrewers in a state might foretell a surge in new breweries, says Brewers Association chief economist Dr. Bart Watson. After looking at the 6,906 entries from the 2011 National Homebrew Competition […]

Classical renegades: The genre-bending experimentation of Liquid Music






When you imagine a concert presented by the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, you probably picture the classical pros playing Beethoven in their new concert hall at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. Think again. Picture indie siren Zola Jesus and pianist Stephen Prutsman at the Amsterdam Bar & Hall. Picture rapper Serengeti collaborating with […]

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Schell’s completes purchase of Grain Belt sign; will release Lock & Dam Lager in April






August Schell Brewing Company announced this morning they’ve completed the purchase of the historic Grain Belt sign on Nicollet Island. Plans call to add the sign to the National Register of Historic Places and have it fully restored and relit by the summer of 2017 (the sign was last lit in 1975.) Schell’s is partnering […]

Craft Cocktail: Sangria at Cafe Ena






“I bought El Meson 12 years ago, and that’s where it all started,” says Hector Ruiz, smiling at the bar of Cafe Ena in South Minneapolis. When he took over, El Meson had been serving boxed sangria. Ruiz figured he could do better. He began tweaking a recipe that would become a staple at all […]

New board members, renewed focus: The latest at the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild






When Indeed Brewing Company opened their doors and joined the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild (MCBG) in 2012, the Guild’s membership consisted of about 20 breweries. Today, as Indeed co-founder Tom Whisenand gets ready to assume the role of president of the Guild’s board of directors, that number is pushing 100. As the industry has rapidly grown and […]

160 years of curling in Minnesota






Two-time U.S. Olympic curler and former junior high chemistry teacher Jeff Isaacson, 32, has a new gig: teaching curling. Last April, he became manager of the new Chaska Curling Center, which began its first season of league play just after the New Year. Interest in the new curling club is overwhelming, Isaacson says. When the […]

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5 Minnesota comedians to watch in 2016






Every year, it seems like the number of talented stand-up comedians in the Twin Cities grows exponentially. From new, raw talent gaining buzz on the open mic scene, to regulars making the leap to headliner status, to locals exploding into the national spotlight, the Twin Cities comedy scene continues to up the ante in terms […]

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Lullaby: A new kind of musical






Artistic inspiration doesn’t always strike in the way we think it will. It can come from anywhere at anytime—even from your insomniac two-year-old who refuses to adhere to any sort of sleep schedule. Such was the situation playwright Michael Elyanow found himself in 10 years ago. Elyanow and his husband were living in North Hampton, […]

Better Beer Society wants to help your favorite watering hole serve beer better






The Better Beer Society’s name pretty much sums up its mission: to help make craft beer better. The main way they accomplish this task is through education, working directly with retailers to ensure everyone on staff is well-versed in beer styles, history, service, and food pairings (for retailers), and branding, marketing, operational and sales strategies, […]

How to cross ‘Dogsled the Boundary Waters’ off your winter bucket list






Minnesota’s million-plus-acre Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), obviously, is best known for wilderness canoeing—many would say the best in the world. But winter transforms this magnificent landscape into a forested cathedral of ice, snow and silence, offering a wilderness experience like no other. Bring a beautiful, hard-working team of Canadian Inuit dogs into the […]

89.3 The Current’s Andrea Swensson on being a gatekeeper






It’s taken me a long time to get here, so I’ll do my best to keep my voice from shaking as I say this: My name is Andrea, and I’m a gatekeeper. That’s right. I keep the gates. I make the tastes. Sometimes I lord over people, shoving my opinions down their unsuspecting gullets. Sometimes […]

Wet-Hopped American Winter: Round Table Hops’ plan for a year-round hydroponic harvest






Seasonal beers are one of the great joys of the craft beer industry. All is right in the world when you can drink a winter warmer on New Year’s Eve and a summer session ale on the Fourth of July. Among hopheads, late August to early September marks the best beer season of all: fresh-hop […]

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January 2016 Arts and Culture Events






January brings a new year and a fresh crop of arts & culture events across the Twin Cities and the state—check them out before you decide to go into hibernation for the rest of the winter. Visit Saint Paul Featured Event: Saint Paul Winter Carnival | January 28–February 7, times vary | Various locations in St. Paul | […]

Winter warriors: how food trucks brave Minnesota’s harshest season






There’s a local industry growing at a phenomenal rate. A decade ago, it was virtually non-existent; now there are over 100 entities. No, not breweries: We’re talking about food trucks. As the temperatures drop and the snow accumulates (hypothetically, at least), some of those 100-plus trucks will go into hibernation. Others, though, will layer up […]

Taking center stage: The beer revival in middle Minnesota






Breweries in the heart of Minnesota are popping up faster than holiday décor in big-box stores, but do they have what it takes to make it long-term? You probably have a mental image of what an outstate Minnesota beer drinker looks like. It’s a guy. He’s middle-aged, a little paunchy, wearing a jacket with his […]