The Zizani: A New Cocktail from the Old Country

I’m a Greek-Mexican-United Statesian bartender and I call Minnesota home. An endeavor to discover more of my cultural history has inspired deep-dives into ancestry websites and multiple travels to “Old Country” locations. As history can inform the present, a deeper understanding of my cultures give me new creative spaces in drink-making. Putting our authentic selves … [ Read more]

The Good, The Bad, and the Smooth: Blind tasting 21 local vodkas in search of the finest

While we often dote on the nuances of fine bourbon, great vodka can be awfully pleasant: rich and creamy, smooth and balanced, crisp and clean.

State senate bill introduced to expand bottle sales and production limits for Minnesota microdistilleries

Minnesota’s small distilleries are lobbying to remove the need for those tiny bottles in their cocktail rooms. A bill numbered S.F. 3870 was introduced to the Minnesota State Senate on March 2, 2020, that would increase the limits on how much off-sale product a distillery can sell to visitors. The bill would amend section 340A … [ Read more]

For Harmony Spirits’ owners, distilling is second nature

Now Open (Or Damn Close) is supported by underwriting partner Maltwerks, a Midwest malt house focused on genuine relationships in offering quality, locally produced, traceable malt. The Growler maintained full editorial control over the content. Opening a distillery seemed like a logical next step for Harmony Spirits co-owner Jim Simpson and his other two co-owners, … [ Read more]

The (Un)true Story of the Bloody Mary

TThe following is a narrative interpretation of the real-life claims to the rise (or) the invention (or) the discovery of the Bloody Mary. As is often the case with the history of cocktails, evidence suggests these claims are probably wrong. Drinking tomato juice was all the rage in early 20th-century America, and a Vaudeville comedian … [ Read more]

What We’re Drinking: March 2020

  Welcome back to What We’re Drinking, wherein The Growler editorial staff look back on recent remarkable beverages. What are you drinking, Growler Nation? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Txopinondo Sagarnoa  Brian Kaufenberg, Editor-in-Chief The Basque region is one of the most legendary when it comes to cider and though the naturally fermented style is most … [ Read more]

The Great Debate: The Three-Tier System Is Fundamentally Broken

Illustration by Will Dinski After Prohibition ended in 1933, states were in need of a better system to regulate the manufacture and distribution of alcohol. They needed a way to discourage large breweries from monopolizing the industry, and to ensure that products were being made and transported safely. In Minnesota, like many others, the result … [ Read more]

The Old Fashioned Is The New Cosmopolitan

I’ll have a [drink],” says the bar guest confidently, and without a menu, like a reflex. “I saw it on [show] and I really like how [character] looked drinking out of its signature glass.” Maybe they don’t say the last part out loud, but it goes without saying. That drink used to be the Cosmopolitan. … [ Read more]

Change Agents: A series of fermentation projects at Colita is making old cocktails taste fresh and new

We squeeze past the crush of people in the entryway and snag two seats at the end of the bar at Colita. This is how we usually eat there—take a drive on Penn Avenue, slow down at 54th Street, assess the regular chaos (is that a new crowd or the six o’clock crowd finishing up?) … [ Read more]

Pink Drink Pandemonium: The rise of rose-colored gin, plus cocktail recipe

A pink wave is washing over the Western world and there’s no shortage of strong opinions on the matter. The European and Australian continents are currently glowing with the rosy hue of an explosive drinking trend which might soon light up the U.S.: pink gin.  The current definition of pink gin is a far cry from … [ Read more]

Congress passes bill averting end-of-year tax hikes for U.S. distillers, brewers, and winemakers

An end-of-year tax crisis for America’s brewers, distillers, and winemakers has been averted after Congress passed a bill on December 19 that included a one-year extension of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA). The bill, which is now on its way to the president’s desk and is expected to be signed on … [ Read more]

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]

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