Out Picking: Harvesting with Urban Forage Winery and Cider House’s Jeff Zeitler

Jeff Zeitler is tireless. The co-owner of Urban Forage Winery & Cider House has a vision—to create high-quality small-batch hard ciders, meads, and wine from local, crowd-sourced fruit, flowers, and honey—and he uses his trailblazing attitude to carry it out.   “We make stuff that is real [free of artificial chemicals and preservatives] and it’s … [ Read more]

Barley, Water, and Heat: The careful craft behind estate barley malt at Vertical Malt

Most grains being farmed in the Midwest are destined, directly or not, for dinner plates across the world. Adam Wagner’s grains, however, fill pint glasses across Minnesota and North Dakota through his craft malting company, Vertical Malt. Located in Crookston, a small college/ag town on the eastern edge of the Red River Valley, Wagner works … [ Read more]

Bob Was There: From Town Hall to BlackStack, Bob DuVernois’ career spans Minnesota’s craft beer history

Ask any old-school brewer how their fire was lit and the answer will almost always be, “I started homebrewing…” This holds true for Bob DuVernois, head brewer at BlackStack Brewing. His spark came in 1979 when he tasted a dark beer made by a friend’s father. Not a fan of the macro lagers that monopolized the … [ Read more]

Bringing Berliner Back: Jace Marti gives the traditional German beer a second life at The Starkeller

A battering ram of carbon dioxide punches me in the face and leaves me coughing for air. It’s been trapped inside its wooden tank prison for a little over two years now, the byproduct of a long, slow Berliner weisse fermentation, and it’s not wasting any time getting the hell out. “Yeah, it’s no joke,” … [ Read more]

Stuart Long Brings Southern California to Northern Minnesota at Voyageur Brewing Company

It’s not Grand Marais’ cold snaps that trip up Stuart Long. Or the solitude. It’s the seagulls. “What the hell is a seagull doing in Minnesota?” the head brewer of Voyageur Brewing Company quips. “I don’t know; it’s weird, man.” Stuart moved to Grand Marais two years ago after spending the majority of his 31 … [ Read more]

Norwegian Nights: HammerHeart Brewing Company is an oasis of heavy beers and heavier metal in Lino Lakes

On a Saturday afternoon in the absolute nadir of the worst Minnesota winter in recent memory, HammerHeart Brewing Company’s taproom is full of warm bodies. Nestled among a small grove of pines just off Highway 23 in Lino Lakes, HammerHeart’s hand-built log cabin exterior would look like something out of a Thomas Kinkade painting, if … [ Read more]

Working Together: Will Hubbard’s egoless spirit defines Broken Clock Brewing Cooperative’s beers

From grocery stores and credit unions, to restaurants and apartments, all the way up a wall to bouldering gyms, Minnesotans are enamored with co-ops. Chalk it up to our state’s rich agricultural tradition, or perhaps the multitude of progressive-minded wallets in our metro areas. For Broken Clock Brewing Cooperative’s head brewer Will Hubbard, that co-op … [ Read more]

Dave Hoops: Master Brewer, Realist, and Risk-Taker

With his wavy, tousled hair, generous salt-and-pepper beard, and preferred outfit of jeans and a flannel shirt, Dave Hoops fits the archetypical portrait of a brewer better than that of a businessman. Yet his 25-plus years of experience in the industry have afforded him a wealth of expertise in the business of making beer. He’ll … [ Read more]

The Glamorous Life of an Engineer-Brewer: Jeff Moriarty of Tin Whiskers Brewing Company

Jeff Moriarty, founder and head brewer of Tin Whiskers Brewing Company in downtown St. Paul, has been fascinated with outer space since middle school. That’s when he discovered “Star Trek,” and quickly became enamored with the mechanical allure of deep space technology. “I’d imagine, if I were in the ‘Star Trek’ age, what would I … [ Read more]

Going all in with Nick Huisinga of Cuyuna Brewing Company

Nick Huisinga takes off on a trail barely wider than the tire of his fat bike, kicking up tufts of rust-colored dust into the air as he banks through root-ridden turns. The serpentine single-track trail winds through dense woods in the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area outside of Crosby, Minnesota. Exposed boulders and trees jutting … [ Read more]

Back to the Source with Chris Priebe of Millstream Brewing Company

Chris Priebe’s first word as a child: “Hi.” His second: “Beer.” At two years old, he was enjoying small sips of his grandfather’s beer. At 16, he traveled to Germany, thus beginning his love affair with German beer. As an adult, Priebe found himself as an unofficial “taster” for the Dubuque Star Brewery in Dubuque, … [ Read more]

Of Dogs and Brewers: Jeremy Hale and Blake Verdon of LTD Brewing

Watching as a customer with a dog sits down in the corner of the patio at LTD Brewing in Hopkins, Minnesota, Blake Verdon steps out of his conversation and brings a bowl of fresh water for the dog, then takes the man’s order. He isn’t just being nice, although he does ooze Midwestern friendliness (he’s … [ Read more]

Earth Rider Brewery’s Rule of Three: Allyson Rolph, Tim Wilson, and Frank Kaszuba

Earth Rider’s spacious brewery is filled with the typical elements: a mountain of grain bags stand atop pallets, next to a handful of beer-filled barrels stacked two-high. Looming over everything, the brewing system hums loudly, as one would expect out of an operation that can produce around 3,000 barrels annually. But the bustling brewery and … [ Read more]

Brewer Profile: Dane Breimhorst of Burning Brothers Brewing

From the corner of Thomas Avenue and Wheeler Street, St. Paul’s Burning Brothers Brewing doesn’t look like a mecca for gluten-free beer drinkers across the region, but the “Gluten-Free Facility” sign hanging from the door tells me I’ve come to the right place. Inside, I find co-owner and brewer Dane Breimhorst and his team casually … [ Read more]

Brewer Profile: Bobby Blasey of Able Seedhouse + Brewery

For Bobby Blasey, Able Seedhouse + Brewery’s head brewer, it all comes back to the bagpipes. Just a few moments into our conversation, he brings up the bagpipe band he plays in. It’s as though his relationship to the instrument is the lens through which he views the world. “There really wasn’t a definitive moment … [ Read more]