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 […]

The Legend of Joe Rolette: The Most Interesting Man in Minnesota History






There’s a thing called ghosting, in which a person breaks off all communication with the world, ignoring all texts, calls, e-mails, semaphore flags, ASL, telegrams, etc. (Parents: Ask your kids if this is still unclear.) The New York Times discovered it when Charlize Theron went AWOL on Sean Penn. You may remember that Wisconsin legislators also […]

The Last Great Race: A Minnesotan’s Incredible Rise in Sled Dog Racing & Why He Left it All Behind






The Greyhound bus pulled away, leaving Jake Berkowitz stranded on a dirt road in the middle of northern Michigan. A few days earlier, the 18-year-old was celebrating Thanksgiving with his family in St. Paul, Minnesota. Now he was alone, waiting for a stranger to pick him up and introduce him to a way of life […]

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2015 Kind-of-a-Big-Deal Winners






What do we mean by Kind-Of-A-Big-Deal? We mean the innovators. The tastemakers. The chefs and restaurants driving a food revolution in Minnesota. The beers we’ll camp out overnight to get our hands on. The paths we wake up early to bike and the parks we take off work to explore. The albums that make us […]

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For the Birds: Battling declines in Minnesota’s pheasant population






This Saturday across central and southern Minnesota, hunters will step out into the early autumnal dawn in search of Minnesota’s premier upland game bird: the ring-necked pheasant. The pheasant season, which begins October 10 and runs until January 3, 2016, has historically been one of the more important hunting seasons for many Minnesotans. In recent […]

The Saintly Season: St. Paul Saints manager George Tsamis reflects on a record-setting year at CHS Field






George Tsamis spent part of one glorious season in the major leagues, pitching for the 1993 Minnesota Twins. That was nearly a generation before Target Field opened, with the Twins still toiling in the dingy but uniquely lovable Metrodome. Tsamis bounced around the minor leagues for a few years after that stint with the Twins […]

Craft Culture: MaxBat






Wooden baseball bats for the major leagues & amateurs alike Brooten, Minnesota—population 742—sits 120 miles northwest of the Twin Cities. Pass the Brooten city sign and there’s a gas station, some galvanized sheds with a few windows, a couple brick garages, a tiny lumberyard, and then an endless stretch of flat, green fields. As they […]

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On Point: Willow Creek Kennels trains German Shorthair Pointers to be Master Hunters






Fall is a busy time in the North. There are Oktoberfests to be enjoyed, autumn hikes to traverse, changing leaves to be admired, and—as hunting seasons open—blaze orange to be donned. Many of us are not alone when we answer the call of the great outdoors, stepping out into the woods and prairies. There by […]

America’s ice box: How the frozen lakes and rivers of the North transformed the nation’s brewing industry






Today, “ice harvest” means grabbing a few cubes from the tray in the freezer. But in the 19th century, before modern refrigeration, ice harvesting from frozen lakes and rivers was a major Midwestern industry that required hard labor and careful planning—all to preserve food and lager beer across the country. When immigrants reached the Upper […]

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The land of misfit bikers






Team Koochella looks to grow women’s bicycle racing while keeping Minnesota’s sole racing venue alive Photos by Aaron Davidson Anna Schwinn—yes, her namesake comes from the company founded by her great-great-grandfather—is addicted to bicycle racing, specifically on the wooden velodrome track in Blaine, Minnesota. Schwinn’s parents worked in the bicycle industry. She has a mechanical engineering […]

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Building better bikers: Quality Bicycle Products’ grand plan to bike-ify America






Photos by Aaron Davidson Many local bike businesses are as friendly to beer as breweries are to bikes. That’s certainly the case at Quality Bicycle Products, or QBP as it is more commonly known. Their headquarters in Bloomington, Minnesota, boasts multiple beer fridges scattered around the office and kegs are frequently purchased for company events. […]

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A tale of two cities: biking in MPLS/STP






It is the best of times or the worst of times for bicyclists in the Twin Cities. It all depends on whether you live in Minneapolis or St. Paul. The Twin Cities have often been cited as among the most bike-friendly places in the U.S. But for the last 15 years Minneapolis has carried most of […]

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Climate Change: The Good, The Bad, and The Barley






The Minnesota of the future will look very different from today. So, too, will the future of Minnesota beer. Photos by David Hansen, University of Minnesota In January 2015, the United Kingdom’s Hadley Center for Climate, NASA, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) held press conferences—all in the same week—to declare 2014 the […]

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The North… Or Not?






What began as a quiet conversation about Minnesota’s regional identity has, of late, morphed into a full-blown wedge issue with dedicated and vocal followings on both sides. Does “The Midwest” fully encapsulate who we are or is it time to cut ties and strike out on our own as “The North?” Former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak […]

The North is Rising: Minnesota United FC’s Quest for a Home of Their Own






On some summer Saturdays, in the windswept city of Blaine, you’ll find hundreds of Minnesota’s most patriotic citizens gathered. Together, they stand and sing hymns to their state: From the land of sky blue waters, From the land of pines, lofty balsams… The old Hamm’s advertising song, with slight edits, is among the repertoire of […]