Distiller Profile: Chris Montana of Du Nord Craft Spirits






Many of us are content in finding a steady job and settling into a comfortable routine. Chris Montana, on the other hand, has a voracious appetite for new disciplines. “My general philosophy on life is that you should do everything. Try to do different stuff because so many people live other people’s lives without really […]

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Brewer Profile: Tom Hill of Bemidji Brewing






Four years ago this October, Tom Hill was brewing beer in a kitchen in Bemidji, Minnesota, on a 25-gallon brewing system. This wasn’t a homebrew session though. It was the modest beginning of the town’s sole brewery—Bemidji Brewing Company. Tom and his business partners Justin “Bud” Kaney, Tina Hanke (now Kaney), and Megan Betters (now […]

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Brewer Profile: Brian Schanzenbach of Blacklist Artisan Ales






The summer after freshman year of college, Brian Schanzenbach and Jon Loss built a raft and floated down the Mississippi River for five days. Their parents begged them not to do it, actually offering the two boys money in an attempt to talk them out of it. But the lifelong friends wouldn’t be swayed. They […]

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Brewer Profile: Brennan Greene of Birch’s on the Lake






It’s the first beautiful day of spring in Minnesota—a cloudless, 70-degree afternoon in early May on Long Lake. The only thing separating today from those perfect summer days that pass by too quickly in July is the slight chill of the breeze. The patio tables at Birch’s on the Lake Brewhouse & Supperclub are dotted […]

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Brewer Profile: JT Dalton of Barley John’s Brewing Company






Artist. Teacher. Cook. Car detailer. Brewer. Not many people have a resume quite as colorful or diverse as JT Dalton. The 31-year-old grew up in Lakeville, Minnesota, and never had a clear direction of what he wanted to do beyond make art, skateboard, and snowboard. After high school, he moved to Minneapolis and started racing […]

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Brewer Profile: Bang Brewing’s Jay and Sandy Boss Febbo






The first thing to know about Jay and Sandy Boss Febbo is that their stories are best told when both of them are there to tell them. Where Jay remembers things in sweeping panoramas, Sandy recalls details like specific dates and measurements, pivotal moments in a conversation, and how the light looked as it reflected […]

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Brewer Profile: Simon Nielsen of Central Waters Brewing






There’s a certain art to perseverance. Pursue too eagerly and you’re a nuisance. Tiptoe too timidly and you’ll be forgotten. It’s all about timing and persistence, observation and steadfastness. And patience. Lots of patience. Simon Nielsen knows well what it means to persevere. The 29-year-old has already navigated more detours and hurdles than some people […]

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Brewer Profile: Insight Brewing’s Ilan Klages-Mundt






Most recent college graduates wouldn’t have turned down a job in 2010, on the heels of the Great Recession. Especially not when that job was in the graduate’s field of study. And definitely not when that field of study was music performance and teaching. But that’s precisely what Ilan Klages-Mundt did after graduating from Lawrence […]

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Brewer Profile: Castle Danger Brewing’s Clint MacFarlane






It’s a warm Tuesday in December and the drive on Highway 61 from Duluth to Two Harbors is a quick one. In the half-hour it takes to arrive, the weather changes dramatically—the kind of rapid shift for which Lake Superior is notorious. Today, however, instead of going from beautiful to blustery, the long gray blanket […]

Brewer Profile: Matt Schwandt of Bauhaus Brew Labs






Technically, it’s a quiet week at Bauhaus Brew Labs. New equipment is being installed, which means no beer is being brewed. But there are still new food trucks to vet, floors to scrub, and promo videos to film. A forklift beeps loudly as it inches forward, then back, then forward again. Bright yellow pallets of […]

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Brewer Profile: Deb Loch of Urban Growler Brewing






It’s 9am on a drizzly late August day. At Urban Growler Brewing Company in St. Paul, Deb Loch, head brewer and co-owner, sits at the founder’s table—a round mosaic of woodwork designed to look like the brewery’s logo. Just as she’s getting settled, she suddenly stands up to go check on the coffee situation. None […]

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Brewer Profile: Keigan Knee of Modist Brewing






Photos by Aaron Davidson The pounding of hammers on sheet metal echoes throughout a cavernous warehouse in Minneapolis’ North Loop neighborhood. The place is more or less deserted. A couple guys skateboard across the concrete floor, swiftly crisscrossing the 18,000-square-foot space. A pile of tools fills the corner next to a makeshift kitchen—a microwave balancing […]

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Brewer profile: Kristen England of Bent Brewstillery






Located in a nondescript Roseville warehouse that’s more cinder-block drab than exposed-brick chic, Bent Brewstillery plays by its own rules. The brewery–distillery blends bare-bones warehouse vibes with shiny chrome and dark wood details, calling to mind California taprooms that care more about their product than they do ambiance. The place’s vibe is unassuming yet meticulous, […]

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Brewer Profile: Summit’s Damian McConn






Lass, lad, bugger, bloody. The words pepper Damian McConn’s sentences as frequently as “for sure” and “ya know” flow from the mouths of native Midwesterners. It’s not surprising: Damian grew up in Ireland and lived there until moving to Edinburgh, Scotland, when he was 17. After Scotland came London, and, a few years later, Minnesota. […]

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Brewer Profile: Bent Paddle’s Colin Mullen and Bryon Tonnis






It’s 10am on a Friday and the aroma of brewing coffee is mingling with the sweet, hay-like smell of spent grain. Bryon Tonnis and Colin Mullen, co-founders and co-owners of Bent Paddle Brewing Company, in Duluth, Minnesota, stand by the coffee maker, mugs in hand, ready for a jolt of caffeine to shake off the […]

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