The Stone Saloon: One man’s quest to resurrect a Civil War-era lager house in St. Paul

When Tom Schroeder bought the small, vacant limestone house at 445 Smith Avenue, a block from his family’s home in St. Paul, he really didn’t know what he was going to do with it, except save it from demolition. As he began taking apart the interior with architect John Yust, he uncovered a piece of […]

Glass from the Past: Champagne Velvet

The Terre Haute Brewing Co. was founded in 1855 and grew to be one of the largest breweries in Indiana. In 1902, Terre Haute brewmaster Walter Braun created a lager called Champagne Velvet (CV) that quickly became the flagship beer of the company. While the beer helped the brewery spread its market and fame during […]

Straight from the Source: Montgomery Brewing Company

Czechs moved into the Upper Midwest in force in the late 19th century. In Minnesota, these European émigrés created settlements in places like New Prague, Veseli, and Montgomery, bringing with them the secrets of baking kolacky and brewing lager beer. Matthias Chalupsky started the first brewery in Montgomery in 1882, though it was the Handschuh […]

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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Straight from the Source: Schram Vineyards Winery & Brewery

Behind the shopping center and suburban sub-development in Waconia, Minnesota, Airport Road changes from asphalt to gravel and offers a reminder of how steeped in agriculture Carver County was even a generation ago. Amidst the farmland is a patch of land on the north shore of Reitz Lake. The southern-facing slope is ideal for growing […]

Straight from the Source: Great Waters Brewing

Photos by Aaron Davidson With all the well-deserved excitement about Minnesota’s new breweries, it is easy to get caught up in the latest opening or the newest exotic style. However, it’s always worth revisiting the veterans of the local scene. It seems any brewery that has been around for more than three years is a […]

Straight from the Source: Sisyphus Brewing

Photos by Doug Hoverson The architecturally-minded drinker might think there was something a bit unusual about both the taproom and the brewhouse at Sisyphus Brewing in the Loring Park neighborhood. It’s not the exposed brick, or the large windows—these are common enough in taprooms located in historic structures. The exposed rafters look normal, but wait! […]

Destination Potosi

A drive through southwestern Wisconsin takes travelers over bluffs, past farms, and into villages that have maintained much of their character from the pre-bypass era. Even Highway 61 goes right through Lancaster, Boscobel, and Fennimore. The region was at the center of the lead rush of the 1820s and 1830s. But as the ore played […]

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Straight from the Source: On the Road in Delaware

Even a column intended to celebrate beers of the Midwest region only available at the brewery has to go on vacation occasionally. So when looking for a seminar to advance my scholarship for the day job, I found one in Lewes, Delaware. The name sounded familiar and, sure enough, it was right down the road […]

Straight from the Source: Day Block Brewing

A closer look at Day Block Brewing. Photos by Brian Kaufenberg Minneapolis tore down so many its historic buildings that it’s a refreshing change when one of those still remaining gets a makeover, and even better when it includes a brewpub. Jeff Hahn, owner of the Day Block building on Washington Avenue in downtown Minneapolis, […]

Straight From the Source: Hayes Public House

A comprehensive look at Hayes Public House, a new brewery in Buffalo, Minnesota. By Doug Hoverson Hayes Public House 112 First St. South, Buffalo, MN 55313 Residents of Buffalo, Minnesota are proud of their historic downtown on the shores of Buffalo Lake. In November 2013, they gained another attraction for the lakefront—Hayes Public House. Andy […]

Straight from the Source: Northbound Smokehouse Brewpub

By Doug Hoverson When taprooms began to spring up all over the state, some wondered if the brewpub model was obsolete. Why bother with all the expense of setting up a kitchen and running a restaurant when you can just serve beer? With Northbound Smokehouse Brewpub, the reason is as clear as the glass expanse […]

Straight From The Source: Bang Brewing

Straight From the Source samples some four-letter beers at Bang’s St. Paul location. by Doug Hoverson Bang Brewing Company’s cylindrical metal brewhouse stands out from the rectangular warehouses that dominate its neighborhood. While the facility of Bang Brewing Co. has been referred to as “grain-bin style,” it actually is a 30,000-bushel grain bin, purchased in […]

Minnesota’s Brewpubs: Where Fresh Craft Beer Meets its Culinary Match

Where fresh craft beer meets its culinary match By Doug Hoverson  As the United States emerged from Prohibition, lawmakers sought to make sure that the close economic links between brewers and saloons, and the political and moral corruption that sometimes resulted, would not be reproduced in the new era. The three-tier system separated the manufacturer […]

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Straight from the Source: LTD Brewing Co.

By Doug Hoverson Blake Verdon and Jeremy “Jem” Hale met in their science classes at the University of Minnesota and quickly became obsessed with brewing. Like many other homebrewers, they dreamed of going pro, but their science training kept them on a systematic path. They found the brewing system they wanted more than two years […]