Beers for non-beer people






When you love beer, you want to share it. One challenge, though, is that for many people there’s a notion that “beer” is just “fizzy corn water with a touch of alcohol.” The dominance of macro light lager in the marketplace for so long has convinced many people that beer only means one thing, and […]




The Taste Test: Blind-tasting 26 Minnesota Oktoberfests






Much was learned at The Growler and Northern Brewer’s first blind tasting of a formidable field of 53 Minnesota-made American IPAs. Our first blind tasting earlier this year gave us a snapshot of the state of brewing in Minnesota through the lens of a ubiquitous style. We sampled IPAs that fell short of expectations and […]




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Big Beer buys Northern Brewer






Roseville-based Northern Brewer Homebrew Supply, the largest homebrewing supplier in the country, and its sister company Midwest Supplies have been acquired by a venture capital arm of Anheuser-Busch InBev. The Growler first caught wind of a potential acquisition from a tip pointing us a homebrew forum last week. Since then, Beer Marketer’s Insights has reported that Northern has “partnered” with ZX Ventures, a […]




How to choose the record player that’s right for you






Everyone used to know a stereo expert, someone with the full console setup and a 7.1 sound system that made the bass purr, rumble, or pound depending on the song. That was back in the pre-digital era when CDs still reigned supreme and cassettes and turntables played second fiddle. While iPods and Bluetooth define the […]




The State of Sours: An update on Minnesota’s funkiest beers






Minnesota brewers are becoming fixated on mixed-fermentation [Editor’s Note: This post will continue to be updated with more news on sours made by Minnesota’s breweries] A whole new segment of Minnesota beer has turned sour. Or maybe not sour—that makes it sound like a mistake. These beers are intentionally tart and astringent, funky and wild. “Sour beer” is […]




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And your craft beer options at U.S. Bank Stadium are…






When U.S. Bank Stadium opens later this summer, visitors will be able to enjoy craft beer from some of Minnesota’s smallest and largest craft breweries. An agreement between Aramark, the stadium’s food and beverage manager, and the Northeast Brewers and Distillers Association (NEBDA) will bring a rotating selection of beer and cider from Insight Brewing, 56 Brewing, Sociable Cider […]




Dance outside: 2016 summer music festival preview






Today, June 20, is the official start of summer, which means the calendar in the coming months is chock full of outdoor music festivals. See the list below for some of our favorites, and we’ll see you on the dance floor (or mud pit, depending on the fest and the weather). Basilica Block Party | […]




Opinion: “Lady-beers” an insult to the women of craft beer






Yesterday we asked: Is there really a need for women-targeted beer? Today, Kaleigh Dunn responded. Kristi McGuire, I have only one question for you. If you’re a master brewer and 20-year veteran in the business, tell me this: What qualifies as “women-friendly beer?” I’ll be waiting. You can answer me at kaleigh@northgatebrew.com. And while we […]




Florida brewery creates edible six-pack rings to protect marine wildlife






Florida has a special connection to the ocean. The state is home to the Florida Reef, the third largest living coral reef in the world and the only one found in the continental United States. Many of its professional sports teams are aquatic themed (Miami Marlins, Tampa Bay Rays, Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, for example). So it’s no wonder […]




10 takeaways from the 2016 Craft Brewers Conference






On July 4, 1776, a group of disenfranchised colonists gathered in Philadelphia to sign their names on a document asserting their independence. Nearly two and a half centuries later, a host of independent craft brewers from around the U.S. and the rest of the world came to Philadelphia to continue the fight for America’s craft beer […]




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Minnesota breweries awarded at World Beer Cup 2016






The 2016 Craft Brewers Conference came to a close in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with the World Beer Cup Awards, the biannual international beer competition organized by the Brewers Association. Over the course of 96 beer style categories, Minnesota breweries won four medals. Insight Brewing of Minneapolis won bronze in the Belgian-Style Fruit Beer category for its […]




The Taste Test: Blind-tasting 53 Minnesota IPAs






Blind tastings. If you’ve never done one, you should. Comparing beers of similar style without the biases and preconceptions that come with brand identification is humbling at the very least. It’s mind-blowing at best. Beloved beers fall short of expectations. That much-derided brew suddenly gains new luster. You’re left with the realization that you don’t […]




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The increasingly blurry line between brewpubs and breweries






Brewpubs and breweries both have “brew” in their titles and both places serve beer; and that’s largely where the similarities between the two business models end—or at least where they used to. Brewpubs and breweries are separate entities, each with its own definition and set of possibilities and limitations, and each offering owners very different business opportunities. However, the legislation passed in […]




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Tasting a 125-year-old IPA found at the bottom of the sea, because: science






When a 125-year-old bottle of Alexander Keith’s IPA was found at the bottom of Halifax Harbor in Nova Scotia, there was only one thing to do: try it. The beer was discovered in late November 2015 by amateur treasure hunter and scuba diver Jon Crouse. He told CTV Atlantic that he’d found it in three-meter-deep water; the bottle’s cork […]




Crap Beer: Slipping standards & lack of quality control threaten the industry






Let’s just put it out there: There’s a lot of bad beer being made these days. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of good beer as well—even some great beer. The rapid expansion of small breweries has brought with it a new breed of innovative brewers cranking out finely tuned beers of all shapes […]