Brewer Profile: Dicky Lopez of NorthGate Brewing

It’s a sleepy Tuesday afternoon at NorthGate Brewing. The taproom is closed and chairs are stacked upside down on the tables. NorthGate’s head brewer Dicky Lopez strolls in from the brewhouse floor and shakes hands with a strong grip. He’s sporting a heavy buffalo red flannel over his burly frame, a wild black beard, and […]

Brewer Profile: Steve Finnie, formerly of Grand Rounds Brewpub

To Steve Finnie brewing beer is a privilege, and not one to be taken for granted. The basis for his belief becomes obvious as we sit at his favorite table, a round booth in the corner of Grand Rounds Brewpub, and he explains how a Scottish physical therapist ended up in Rochester, Minnesota, brewing beer. […]

Pages: 1 2

Distiller Profile: Chris Montana of Du Nord Craft Spirits

Many of us are content in finding a steady job and settling into a comfortable routine. Chris Montana, on the other hand, has a voracious appetite for new disciplines. “My general philosophy on life is that you should do everything. Try to do different stuff because so many people live other people’s lives without really […]

Pages: 1 2

Brewer Profile: Tom Hill of Bemidji Brewing

Four years ago this October, Tom Hill was brewing beer in a kitchen in Bemidji, Minnesota, on a 25-gallon brewing system. This wasn’t a homebrew session though. It was the modest beginning of the town’s sole brewery—Bemidji Brewing Company. Tom and his business partners Justin “Bud” Kaney, Tina Hanke (now Kaney), and Megan Betters (now […]

Pages: 1 2

Winemaker Profile: Mike Drash and Josie Boyle of Chankaska Creek Ranch and Winery

In the cellar room at Chankaska Creek Ranch and Winery, just outside Kasota, Minnesota, there are three A-frame racks full of wine bottles. This is where sparkling wine gets riddled—and no, that doesn’t mean it gets asked trivia questions. Riddling is how the bottle-fermented wine gently loses the dead yeasts that have created its bubbles. […]

Pages: 1 2

Cidermaker Profile: Rob Fisk of Wyndfall Cyder

For most people, the word “spitter” evokes the thought of something unpleasant—angry llamas, perhaps, or individuals who require a little extra talking space if you want to stay dry. Not Rob Fisk. For him, the word means something beautiful, something high quality, something on which he’s built his life. Spitters are the colloquial term for […]

Pages: 1 2

Brewer Profile: Brian Schanzenbach of Blacklist Artisan Ales

The summer after freshman year of college, Brian Schanzenbach and Jon Loss built a raft and floated down the Mississippi River for five days. Their parents begged them not to do it, actually offering the two boys money in an attempt to talk them out of it. But the lifelong friends wouldn’t be swayed. They […]

Pages: 1 2

Brewer Profile: Brennan Greene of Birch’s on the Lake

It’s the first beautiful day of spring in Minnesota—a cloudless, 70-degree afternoon in early May on Long Lake. The only thing separating today from those perfect summer days that pass by too quickly in July is the slight chill of the breeze. The patio tables at Birch’s on the Lake Brewhouse & Supperclub are dotted […]

Pages: 1 2

Brewer Profile: JT Dalton of Barley John’s Brewing Company

Artist. Teacher. Cook. Car detailer. Brewer. Not many people have a resume quite as colorful or diverse as JT Dalton. The 31-year-old grew up in Lakeville, Minnesota, and never had a clear direction of what he wanted to do beyond make art, skateboard, and snowboard. After high school, he moved to Minneapolis and started racing […]

Pages: 1 2 3

Brewer Profile: Bang Brewing’s Jay and Sandy Boss Febbo

The first thing to know about Jay and Sandy Boss Febbo is that their stories are best told when both of them are there to tell them. Where Jay remembers things in sweeping panoramas, Sandy recalls details like specific dates and measurements, pivotal moments in a conversation, and how the light looked as it reflected […]

Pages: 1 2

Brewer Profile: Simon Nielsen of Central Waters Brewing

There’s a certain art to perseverance. Pursue too eagerly and you’re a nuisance. Tiptoe too timidly and you’ll be forgotten. It’s all about timing and persistence, observation and steadfastness. And patience. Lots of patience. Simon Nielsen knows well what it means to persevere. The 29-year-old has already navigated more detours and hurdles than some people […]

Pages: 1 2 3

Brewer Profile: Insight Brewing’s Ilan Klages-Mundt

Most recent college graduates wouldn’t have turned down a job in 2010, on the heels of the Great Recession. Especially not when that job was in the graduate’s field of study. And definitely not when that field of study was music performance and teaching. But that’s precisely what Ilan Klages-Mundt did after graduating from Lawrence […]

Pages: 1 2

Brewer Profile: Castle Danger Brewing’s Clint MacFarlane

It’s a warm Tuesday in December and the drive on Highway 61 from Duluth to Two Harbors is a quick one. In the half-hour it takes to arrive, the weather changes dramatically—the kind of rapid shift for which Lake Superior is notorious. Today, however, instead of going from beautiful to blustery, the long gray blanket […]

Brewer Profile: Matt Schwandt of Bauhaus Brew Labs

Technically, it’s a quiet week at Bauhaus Brew Labs. New equipment is being installed, which means no beer is being brewed. But there are still new food trucks to vet, floors to scrub, and promo videos to film. A forklift beeps loudly as it inches forward, then back, then forward again. Bright yellow pallets of […]

Pages: 1 2

Distiller Profile: Mike Swanson at Far North Spirits

Mike Swanson removes the bung from a cask, sticks his nose over the hole, and sniffs deeply. It’s no use. “I can’t smell anything right now,” he says. “I’m just getting over a cold I came down with on my way back from New York last week. But you should smell this—it’s incredible.” The 92-gallon […]

Pages: 1 2