Documenting Duluth’s craft beer history

It’s no secret that Duluth and the Northland have a long and rich history regarding craft beer. And come this March, you can travel back in beer-making time, as a documentary on the topic will debut. The Duluth News Tribune reports that Karen Sunderman, producer of The PlayList at Duluth’s PBS station, is behind the […]

A Hamm’s ransom: How the kidnapping of one of St. Paul’s most prosperous brewers reshaped a corrupt system

As president of the Theodore Hamm’s Brewery, William Hamm Jr. had an important schedule to keep. Every day at 12:45 in the afternoon, Hamm began the short walk from his brewery to the front steps of his twenty-room, red brick mansion for lunch. However, on one sweltering summer day in June 1933, Hamm’s lunch plans […]

Old school brewing at Old World Wisconsin

Milwaukee may be steeped in brewing history, but travel about an hour west of the Brew City and you’ll find a farmstead where old brewing traditions are truly alive. Old World Wisconsin, a historic site and museum administered by the Wisconsin Historical Society, has teamed up with the Museum of Beer & Brewing in Milwaukee […]

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 […]

Resurrecting Yoerg—Minnesota’s first beer is back

A basement find at age 10 is still inspiring Tom Keim almost 50 years later. “I found a crusty case of returnables and it was the most beautiful thing,” he recalls. At 10 years old, the Yoerg beer that once filled the bottles didn’t interest him—it was the packaging and the colors. “I was fascinated […]

Beer before hops: The bittering herbs of yore are making a comeback

Hops have been the dominant flavoring agent in beer ever since the Reinheitsgebot, the Bavarian beer purity law of 1516, stipulated that hops were one of three allowable ingredients in brewing. Not only do hops counter the sweetness of malted grains with bitterness, but they also help prevent spoilage in the beer. But prior to […]

Smithsonian announces new initiative to document brewing history

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History announced today at the Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America in Philadelphia that it will launch a three-year initiative to collect, document, and preserve the history of brewing, craft brewers, and the beer industry to explore how the beverage and brewing connect to larger themes in American history. […]

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 comic book history of beer

The history of beer has been told many times before, but never quite like this. Illustrator Aaron McConnell, writer Jonathan Hennessey and professional brewer Mike Smith have collaborated to create “The Comic Book Story of Beer: The World’s Favorite Beverage from 7000 BC to Today’s Craft Brewing Revolution.” The book, which covers the early days of […]

A bus ride into Minneapolis’ brewing history

Minnesota Historical Society tours offer an in-depth look at the stories behind Minnesota’s beer industry Minneapolis and St. Paul aren’t the oldest cities on the Mississippi River—in fact, they aren’t even the oldest in the Metro. St. Anthony pre-dated Minneapolis before it was absorbed into the larger Mill City. Regardless, at 166 years young there […]

Then and now: Uncovering Duluth’s storied Peoples Brewing Co.

Peoples Brewing Company of Duluth was ahead of its time. Founded on socialist principles in 1907 by Martin Smith, F.G. Sandstedt, and Michael J. Gleeson, the brewery stood up to big beer long before it was hip to do so. At that time, Duluth had two other breweries, Fitger’s Brewery (unaffiliated with Fitger’s Brewhouse) and […]

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Style Profile: Kölsch

Germany is mostly thought of as a land of lagers. The brewing of cold-conditioned, bottom-fermented beers is thought to have originated in Bavaria some four to five hundred years ago. Fermentation in cool caves hindered the growth of beer-spoiling bacteria and stimulated cellular mutations in yeast that yielded strains well suited to colder climes. Through […]

Schell’s Purchasing Historic Grain Belt Sign, Hopes to Relight the Minneapolis Icon

August Schell Brewing Company, the New Ulm, MN-based makers of Grain Belt beer, have announced an agreement to purchase the iconic Grain Belt Beer sign on Nicollet Island. The brewery will donate the sign to the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota and with their help — and the support of a few other entities — plans to restore the sign to turn the […]