Minnesota Brewery Running Series announces 2017 schedule






Even for the most avid, health-conscious runners, a carrot on a stick is probably not the most enticing form of motivation. But a beer? That’s another story. The Minnesota Brewery Running Series is back for 2017 with 25 events across the state (see the full list below). Now in its sixth year, the events are […]

Anglers are tying flies (and tying one on) at Twin Cities taprooms






Minnesota fly anglers can always go to the liquor warehouse, buy a six-pack of domestic, and go to the big-box outdoor store and buy a blister pack of mass-produced flies. And sometimes we do. Sometimes that hits the spot. But on some rare special dark winter nights in the Twin Cities—cold, clear nights with blazing […]

When the NFL came to Duluth: The story of the Eskimos






Minnesota has a long and rich history of professional football. For most of the state’s fans, the mention of pro football immediately conjures images of the icy breaths of the Purple People Eaters suspended in the chilly Metropolitan Stadium air, of Randall Cunningham firing off 60-yard touchdown passes, of missed kicks and four Superbowls. But […]

Vote for the 2016 Kind-of-a-Big-Deal Awards






You, the readers, have casted your votes for the 2016 Kind-of-a-Big-Deal Awards. Winners will be announced in The Growler’s December 2016 issue and online in early December.

Minnesota’s fire towers: Steel sentinels standing guard over the state’s forests






Autumn travel in the Northland offers an abundance of adventures and breathtaking fall scenery, but few can top the thrill and view of climbing one of the remaining fire towers that once guarded Minnesota’s forests. Standing at an average of over 100 feet in height, these steel sentinels once numbered around 150 in Minnesota (by […]

A bike route for every personality






Minnesota: the land of ten thousand miles of bike trails (probably). Sounds like a biking aficionado’s dream come true, right? Right. But what about for us normal people? Us, we-love-biking-but-don’t-have-kids-named-Trek, people? We have some of the most beautiful bike routes around, but they can be pretty intimidating—not to mention, poorly mapped. Who has time to […]

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Golden Rivalries: Gopher football’s most storied trophy games






Autumn in Minnesota. Gold in the changing leaves, gold in the fields and prairies, and of course gold on the gridiron. It’s the time of the year that for autumnal traditions provided by college football at the University of Minnesota: reveling in the camaraderie of tailgating, raking leaves to the rhythm of radio play-by-play, the […]

Wood-fired feasting: Lessons from Chef Camp






In the opening of his book “The Magic of Fire,” William Rubel writes that “firelight infuses everything cooked on the hearth with a touch of magic.” This may be doubly true for the campfire, the outdoor hearth that has been bringing people together at dinnertime since before the dawn of history. It was a love […]

Slay to Gourmet: Alaska moose hunt






A year ago, my Uncle Mark called me with an invitation to go to Fairbanks, Alaska, for a week of moose hunting and a getaway from the city. Thankfully I agreed, despite not knowing much about moose, or moose hunting, or Fairbanks, or what the hell I was about to get myself into. I won’t […]

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Raising hackles: The prized chickens at the center of fly fishing






Nine hens and a rooster scuttle through the straw in a large pen in Steph and Eric West’s backyard in Grant, Minnesota. These are three-month-old Whiting True Blues—a breed that’s been selected to lay gorgeous blue eggs. The birds give a cockeyed warble to the Buttercup chickens rooting through the grass on the other side of […]

Field and revenue stream: How hunting contributes to wildlife conservation






In some parts of Minnesota, it’s no big deal to see trumpeter swans flying overhead, their black bills in stark contrast to their white bodies. It’s exciting to hear the trumpeting sound they make and exhilarating to feel as much as hear the thumping sound their wings make as they fly overhead. And while trumpeter swans […]

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Sepak attack: The sport of takraw is gaining a foothold in Minnesota






Thirty people are are dispersed between two nets on a near perfect August night outside Olson Middle School in North Minneapolis. Younger players, roughly between 20 and 40, play at one court, 50-and-60-somethings at the other. The courts are twined-off, the grass worn. Spectators cheer from the sidelines. From a distance, this might seem like […]

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The first cast: A fly fishing essay






7am • Friday The coffeemaker does its thing just like every other Friday morning, perking away automatically at seven. But this is not any other Friday. There’s work ahead of us, of course—unloading, paddling, at least one serious portage—but this work is eagerly anticipated. Work that brings sweat, physical progress, distance made from city and […]

Pain & Glory: The brutal, beer-soaked, free-for-all also known as Cyclocross






Holy hell this hurts. Holy Hell this hurts. Holy hell This Hurts. HOLY HELL THIS HURTS… What starts as a cursory observation turns into a sadistic mantra that ricochets around the brain during the 45–60 minute full-tilt boogie that is the average cyclocross race. Sure, other thoughts creep in from time to time, like “Why I am […]

Play ball: Returning to the roots of America’s pastime






Across the northlands each summer people flock to ballparks big and small to revel in the American tradition and pastime of the game we call baseball. They set up their folding chairs along grassy third-base lines, settle into cushioned seats under flashy jumbotrons, or relax on rickety bleachers behind home plate. This tradition dates as […]