Loon Liquor’s Experimental Series puts Frankincense and Myrrh in the Christmas Spirit

Loon Liquor Co. of Northfield has spent considerable effort over the last few years perfecting a lineup of liqueurs. Their coffee liqueur is well known to The Growler staff as what re-endeared us to White Russians. Their blueberry liqueur has the purest, most clarion fruit flavor of any berry spirit we’ve tasted. And their elderflower liqueur … [ Read more]

2019 Kind-of-a-Big-Deal Readers’ Choice Award Winners

Who better than the readers of The Growler to nominate and vote for the finest of the finest in Minnesota beer, spirits, food, arts, and culture? We had a tidal wave of votes to determine the winners of the 2019 Kind-of-a-Big-Deal Readers’ Choice Awards, and we’re proud to share the results with you. These are … [ Read more]

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2019 Year in Review: Wine & Spirits

Ready, Set, Drink! Local distilleries mounted a full-scale invasion of the ready-to-drink (RTD) category in 2019. Canned and bottled cocktails are up 40% nationwide over 2018, riding the same wave as hard seltzers and canned wine in which drinkers are gravitating towards new flavors in convenient packaging. Vikre Distillery of Duluth launched Frenchie, a pink … [ Read more]

Time after Time: We drink The Lynhall’s new temporal cocktail menu

We didn’t know what to make of The Lynhall when it opened in 2017. At the time it seemed torn between minimalist coffee shop and shiplapped Insta-brunch hang (with a TV studio somehow in the mix?) The food was rote, but at least there was espresso and lots of room to spread out your laptop … [ Read more]

In the Land of Peat & Whiskey

Minnesota is rich in peat and distilleries. So when will a Minnesota peated whiskey become a reality? The ground beneath me gives way slightly as I place my full weight on my foot. I wholly expect to be staging a rescue mission of my shoe at any moment and wait for it to be swallowed by … [ Read more]

Drinking in the Suburbs: The Growler’s Guide to Drinking (Well!) in the Greater Metro

W hen it comes to assessing the drinks scene in Minnesota, Minneapolis and St. Paul often suck the oxygen out of the room. And not without good reason, considering the wealth of mixological talent and the seemingly limitless number of beer taps behind Twin Cities bars. But, like a magician’s sleight of hand, while we’re … [ Read more]

Variety is the Spice of Whiskey

Whiskey aficionados know which grains they like in their spirit. They can distinguish between the sweet softness of corn, the mellow creaminess of wheat, and the sharp grassiness of rye. But do they know which kind of corn or rye they like best? Probably not. But this might be the direction that craft whiskey is … [ Read more]

Minnesota’s Industry Icons: Badass bartenders leading innovation in the North

  The Minnesota cocktail landscape is seeing a shift change. This year, the local chapter of the U.S. Bartenders Guild appointed Kate Hoffman Mikkelson as their first female president. Christina Jenkins leads Hai Hai’s highly-awarded cocktail program. Family-run Dampfwerk Distillery Co. has put marketing powerhouse Bridgit Loeffelholz at the helm of their brand new cocktail … [ Read more]

Wine Time: Grapes of Cognac & Armagnac (Or, the virtues of neutrality)

Stay neutral.” Two words designated to Switzerland, minimalist millennials decorating their apartments, and grapes used for distillation—specifically for Cognac and Armagnac. When we think of beverages made from grapes, we immediately rush to wine (especially when reading a wine column.) But, let us take a moment to examine the grapes of the much-loved Cognacs and … [ Read more]

Opinion: Minnesota’s distilling laws are creating a high bar for spirit makers to clear

Shelly Dailey is busy. As one of the managing partners of the St. Paul small-batch whiskey maker, Studio Distilling, she’s planning for a new cocktail room, and keeping up with her new distributor, among her many daily tasks. It made it all the more frustrating when she had to spend several hours on the phone … [ Read more]

The Ultimate Home Bar in 20 Bottles

Whether you’re an aspiring bartender or just a novice looking to get their home collection up to snuff, we’ve got your guide to the must-have building blocks for any bar worth its salt. We asked members of the Minneapolis–St. Paul chapter of the U.S. Bartenders’ Guild to curate a list encompassing the three tiers of … [ Read more]

Distiller Profile: Ralf Loeffelholz and the opening of Dampfwerk Distillery’s cocktail room

There’s a simple reason that Dampfwerk Distillery didn’t open a cocktail room when it started production in August 2016.  “I am not a mixologist,” head distiller Ralf Loeffelholz says. He is cheerfully unapologetic about this, and for good reason. His craft and calling is distilling, and his singular focus on creating true-to-tradition products has helped … [ Read more]

Craft Whiskey: It Changes

Whiskey seems like a constant. You imagine that the bottle of Four Roses in your hands tastes the same as the one you bought last year, and will taste the same as the one you’ll buy next year. And for bourbons produced by the gigantic whiskey houses like Beam Suntory and Brown-Forman, that’s mostly the … [ Read more]

Spirits of the Party: Aperitif, Digestif, and Nightcap recipes for the holidays

Aperitif Cocktail: Snowbird Spritz The botanical elements in the amaro and absinthe will stimulate the palate—jump-starting the body’s digestive process—and making it the perfect aperitif. The bubbly, slightly dry profile make a moreish combination with a bouquet of aromas crafted to delicately begin any meal among community. Ingredients 2 ounces Heirloom Pineapple Amaro 1 teaspoon … [ Read more]

The Suburban Martini Spectrum

The Martini List, which would always be capitalized and contain a Cosmo and an appletini, is a relic of the early-2000s and dates with Carrie Bradshaw. However, you may be surprised to learn that there are still places that feature a Martini List, especially out in the suburbs. The Sunshine Factory is consistently named one … [ Read more]