In this Issue

Issue 41 | March 2017 | Conservation

Michael Iver Jacobsen’s cover to The Growler #41

Letter from the editor

Dear Readers,

I’m sitting on a patio right now, waiting for a beer meeting with a colleague.

I’ve already bumped into a few people from the neighborhood that I haven’t seen since the great northern hibernation began several months back. There are runners and walkers and bicycles on the avenue—all the sure signs that spring has sprung. Thing is, it’s mid-February. Today is just the fifth February day to break 60 degrees in the Twin Cities in the past 144 years, and the next three days are promising equally bizarre un-wintry weather.

The forecast alone would have been enough to make me order a second pint, but I poured out the third and fourth for the Environmental Protection Agency. See, earlier this same day a climate change denier, and a man who has starkly criticized federal rules protecting clean air and water, was confirmed by the Senate to run the EPA. Conservationists, along with breweries and other environmentally-minded businesses and individuals, and even current employees of the EPA, are horrified at the prospect of Scott Pruitt following through on his vision of sweeping rollbacks to environmental protection regulations.

It is a tragedy that somehow in America we’ve let the environment become a political issue. It is not. The environment is a concern for every single American citizen. Democrats can’t survive any longer without water than republicans. Conservatives are no less susceptible to asthma than any given liberal.

The debate about the environment has devolved from a discussion on the subtleties of preservation versus conservation. We used to discuss how wildlife populations and federal lands should be managed by our government, not whether or not they should be managed at all. Our Conservation Issue points to some positives in the world of environmentally responsible food, asks breweries to consider their sustainable practices, pays homage to the culture of repair and reuse, and much more.

A vast majority of scientists believe our climate is changing rapidly and that humans are at least mostly to blame. It’s time to stop pointing fingers and start looking inward for sustainable solutions to our planet in peril.

Tree hugs, not drugs,

Joseph Alton


Artist Profile
Michael Iver Jacobsen
By Kate Murphy

This land is our land
The bitter debate over America’s public spaces
By Michael Smith, Ph.D.

8 things every brewery should do to be more conservation-minded
By Megan Suckut

Rooting for ramps
Turning family tradition into modern day practice at George’s Shoe Repair
By Andrew Butterbrodt

Can we use ruminants to stop invasive plants and restore the natural landscape?
By John Garland

Could the perennial promise of Kernza benefit food, beer, and the world?
By Monique Kleinhuizen

Craft Culture
Creative reuse and customer empowerment at Junket Tossed & Found
By Morgan Mercer


Brewer Profile
Dicky Lopez of NorthGate Brewing
By Brian Kaufenberg

Craft Cocktail
Paloma at Pajarito
By John Garland

Spirits Close-Up
By John Garland

Homebrew Recipe
Brockengespenst Alt
By Michael Dawson

What We’re Drinking
March 2017
By The Growler


Minnesota Spoon: Making peace with beef
The case for a more sustainable steak with Jon Wipfli and Erik Sather
By Steve Hoffman