Glensheen: Minnesota’s infamous murder mystery comes to life at History Theatre

It sounds like fiction—like a murder mystery in a worn paperback novel. A wealthy woman is murdered in her bed, smothered with a pillow in the landmark lakeside mansion built by her parents. Her nurse is also killed, bludgeoned with a candlestick. Investigators quickly identify two suspects with a classic motive: struggling financially, the suspects … [ Read more]

‘Beer Chicago’ exhibit chronicles the history of beer in the Windy City

Chicago has a long and storied history with beer, from the city’s first brewery established by German-Americans in 1833 to the Town of Chicago becoming official at a tavern the same year. The Elmhurst Historical Museum has a free exhibit that traces the history of beer in the Windy City, complete with information about the science … [ Read more]

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 … [ Read more]

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Craft Culture: Faribault Woolen Mill

The Faribault Woolen Mill hugs the Cannon River in Faribault, Minnesota, 50 miles south of Minneapolis. A small dam foams alongside the building, whose walls boast a hodgepodge of vivid and faded red brick. Inside, the looms, pickers, and carting machines beat a persistent rhythm. Faribault Woolen Mill celebrated its 150th anniversary on August 15, … [ Read more]

First Avenue at 45

A look at the club’s path to greatness and dedication to history First Avenue is one of the most recognizable buildings in Minneapolis, if not the state. It frequently appears in tourism ads, citywide shots from Target Field, and press coverage of their 1,000-plus shows each year. Celebrating its 45th anniversary this year, it seems that … [ Read more]

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Rock ‘N’ Roll: Meeting Joan Jett, and the Harsh Reality of Life Backstage

Editor’s note: This article was produced as a part of a collaboration between The Growler Magazine and 89.3 The Current, Minnesota’s non-commercial, member-supported radio station playing the best authentic, new music alongside the music that inspired it. Find this article and more great music content at thecurrent.org. The snow was falling hard and fast in fat, sloppy flakes … [ Read more]

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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 … [ Read more]

The Caves of Mushroom Valley

According to the boast, it was the mushroom capital of the Midwest. “Mushroom Valley” was the informal name for several miles of the Mississippi River gorge in St. Paul, including what are now Plato, Water, and Joy Streets. The mushrooms were grown in the more than 50 caves dug out of the soft St. Peter … [ Read more]

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Red Wing Shoes: A Century of Craftsmanship

Craft Culture explores the storied history, and promising future, of Red Wing Shoes. Photos ©Barbara O’Brien Photography 2014 There are some brands that are practically inseparable from the place where they originated. If there’s one fact the public knows about these brands, it’s where they were born. This phenomenon is actually quite common in the … [ Read more]

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Canoe the Boundary Waters: Explore Minnesota’s Wilderness Wonderland

By Christopher Ferguson The Boundary Waters Canoe Area is the pride and joy of Minnesota. We brag about it. We tell stories of how many miles in the BWCA we’ve canoed or the trip we took up there with a youth group. In these few paragraphs, I’d like to help you with your first trip. … [ Read more]

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Who Are the Trappists, Anyway?

By Michael Agnew Photos by Nick Hiller “Trappist.” That one word evokes deep reverence in even the most secular beer nerd. In the minds of many, this mark of monastic provenance elevates these beers above the rest. It is synonymous with quality and complexity. It conjures images of robed monks chanting, heads bowed, over boiling … [ Read more]

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Fermentation as an Art and Science in Brewing History

A side of history to go with your beer. By Jeffrey M. Pilcher Louis Pasteur famously set brewing on a scientific path with his Études sur la Bière (Studies on Beer, 1876), explaining that fermentation was caused by the work of microorganisms. Though Pasteur did not actually identify the microorganisms that were responsible—Pasteur believed them … [ Read more]

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Nordeast: Then and Now

Northeast is the once and future home for brewing in Minneapolis. By Jeremy Zoss In the press release announcing that 612 Brewwould locate its new brewery in the heart of Northeast Minneapolis, the company referred to the area as the city’s new “Brew District.” That title was in reference to the high concentration of new … [ Read more]