From Zero to 629.4: Tackling the North Star Bicycle Race — Installation 1

When I announced to my family in February that I intended to participate in an unsupported, 629.4-mile bike race this September, they started planning my funeral. When I get up in the morning and look in the mirror, I see an oft-unemployed 25-year-old man, roughly 40 pounds overweight, balding and out of breath from climbing up … [ Read more]

Ice Ride: From mobile ice fishing to saving lives, the Wilcraft navigates niche markets and tough terrain

The first iteration of Tom Roering’s amphibious all-terrain vehicle, the Wilcraft, was far from amphibious: it took on so much water that it wouldn’t float. The year was 1998, and Roering was determined to build a mobile ice-fishing house. He and his family had been building permanent ice-fishing houses for years but had experienced setbacks: … [ Read more]

Frontside 180: JXTA Arts turning vacant lot into a youth-designed art plaza and skatepark

At the corner of Emerson and Broadway in North Minneapolis lies a small vacant lot in an otherwise bustling neighborhood. Though it may look empty and idle, the site is actually in the midst of a radical metamorphosis from a gravel lot into a youth-designed art plaza and skatepark. Previously the home of youth arts organization Juxtaposition … [ Read more]

WWE legend Jake ‘The Snake’ returns…with stories

When people think about the glory days of professional wrestling, they think about guys like Hulk Hogan, the Ultimate Warrior, and Andre the Giant. While those three (and others like them) may have had larger-than-life personas, there was one superstar who was better than anyone when it came to telling a story with his words … [ Read more]

Let’s Play (Bubble) Hockey: The iconic bar game inspired by the Miracle on Ice

When your favorite Gen X relative finally shuts up about how underrated Mudhoney is, ask them about the Cold War. They’ll get a faraway stare, pop a Lipitor, and start relaying savage tales of Red Dawn, The Day After, and the constant, nagging concern that a U.S./Soviet Union showdown would burn the world to a … [ Read more]

How a Two-Cent Postcard Inspired Dr. Cora Johnstone Best to Climb the World’s Greatest Mountains

The world’s first postcard was issued nearly 150 years ago in October 1869, according to the internet. Nothing more than a card mailed without an envelope, they’re popular today among insurance agents who want to wish their clients a happy birthday. But the humble postcard once held so much more promise. Case in point: A … [ Read more]

The Unbreakable Jessie Diggins

The superhuman training that forged a pint-sized underdog into a world beater On a ripe June morning at the base of Stratton Mountain in Vermont, Jessie Diggins is squatting down in the dirt and lifting a volleyball-sized boulder to her chest. Then the power-packed 5-foot-4-inch Olympic cross country skier suddenly springs up and heaves the … [ Read more]

Pitches of Dreams: A look at the cricket and Irish hurling communities of the Twin Cities

Tulsie Sookdeo was just a kid when he moved from Guyana to the Twin Cities in 1980. The ice and snow of his new home was the complete opposite of the tropical climate he’d left behind, but that didn’t mean a connection to his old home couldn’t be found. Guyana is one of several cricket-crazed … [ Read more]

Leaving Lead Behind: One hunter’s decision to rethink his choice in ammunition

I saw my first pine marten on a gut pile. In the snowy aspens, the fresh kill site was a bright bloom of reds, pinks, and purples. The marten bounded from stump to deadfall, disappeared into the snow, and then popped straight up next to the gut pile, his black face and whiskers glittering. He looked … [ Read more]

Cheap beer and humility: Lessons from a 22-day Grand Canyon whitewater rafting trip

The Grand Canyon is an amazing geologic feature. Cutting through the Colorado Plateau on its way to the Gulf of California, the Colorado River drains the western slope of the Southern Rockies and, over millions of years, has carved a 277-mile long, 6,000-foot deep chasm, at the bottom of which is one of the most … [ Read more]

Five State Parks across the Heartland for your road-tripping pleasure

Looking for some summer or fall road trip inspirations? The Growler has you covered with these Heartland destinations. ■ ■ ■ West on I-94: Lake Sakakawea State Park near Pick City, North Dakota Stretching 178 miles in length from Williston, North Dakota, to the Garrison Dam near Pick City, North Dakota, Lake Sakakawea is a … [ Read more]

Beyond Everywhere: Jordan, Minnesota, is a townball destination

I had once visited the town of Jordan, Minnesota, but I didn’t really see it. On one of those December days when the sun goes down a couple of hours after it comes up, my high school basketball team stared out into the endless winter’s night for the ten steps between the bus to the … [ Read more]

Casting for Brook Trout Ghosts

Just keep your feet wet,” my grandpa told me. I was 12, and he’d just handed me my first fly rod. He was explaining how I could explore the trout streams of northern Minnesota, even when they passed through private land. Minnesota’s “wet feet” stream access law is a positive relic of our troubled timbering … [ Read more]

Dan Patch: The rags-to-riches story of the fastest horse you never knew

Weaving through the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, past Sweet Martha’s Cookie Jar, the Grandstand, and the Corn Roast, is an avenue named after one of the biggest sports legends of the early 20th century: Dan Patch, the harness racehorse whose world record for fastest paced mile stood for 50 years. When Dan Patch was born on … [ Read more]

Forever Homes For Farm Animals: Sanctuary farms give animals destined for unhappy endings a new lease on life

A 300-pound pig named Wally was traveling 70 miles per hour on a highway outside of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He was a mere three miles from his destination, a slaughterhouse, when a woman driving behind the truck he was in reportedly saw the pig lift up the door with his snout. Wally stepped out onto … [ Read more]

A Blind Tasting beer festival

Taste & Rate 48 Minnesota Oktoberfests

Sept. 20, 2019 | 5:30–9pm
Upper Landing Park
Tickets: GA $40 | DD $20