Craft Cocktail: I’m Trying to Break Your Heart at Hewing Hotel

The lobby of the Hewing Hotel looks so charming in winter. A glowing fireplace, surrounded by warm accents and cozy chairs. If we were in the mountains, it would be the kind of place you’d wind down with a bourbon après-ski. But Trish Gavin, who leads the cocktail program here, steers us toward something lighter. … [ Read more]

What We’re Drinking: January 2018

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. Brian Kaufenberg, Managing Editor ★ New Glarus Cherry Stout This beer is less stout than it is cherry grand cru, but whatever you call it, it’s damn good. Sweet … [ Read more]

Spirits Close-Up: Sloe Gin

Sloe gin is one of those liqueurs, like crème de menthe and peach schnapps, that strongly recall the dark days of American cocktails. You’d no sooner order a sloe gin fizz than you would a banana daiquiri or a brandy Alexander. But if you get Trish Gavin at the Hewing (see Craft Cocktails, I’m Trying … [ Read more]

2017 Kind-of-a-Big-Deal Readers’ Choice Award Winners

Readers, hold on to your hats, for it is time to announce the winners of the 2017 Kind-of-a-Big-Deal Readers’ Choice Awards. These are the best of the best in beers, spirits, food, and culture around the great state of Minnesota. Our readers have cast their votes and now it’s time to see where Growler nation … [ Read more]

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Spirits Close-Up: Holiday Rum

A season of gingerbread, Swiss rolls, and sugar plums demands a good rum. There’s just something about the molasses-tinged sweetness of a complex rum on a snowy night that feels so right this time of year. And when it comes party time, rum is the most fun to drink with a crowd—a spirit predestined for … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: Rum and Julmust at Spoon and Stable

Nathaniel Smith has been in Europe lately, researching spirits and mixing in bartending competitions. We meet one afternoon at Spoon and Stable, where he and Robb Jones, and the rest of the talented stable hands are working on a winter cocktail menu. With the wind blustering and the snowflakes gathering, we chat about a more … [ Read more]

What We’re Drinking: December 2017

Welcome back to What We’re Drinking, wherein The Growler editorial staff look back on a recent remarkable beverage. What are you drinking, Growler Nation? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.   Joseph Alton, Editor-in-Chief ★ Modist Deviation 010 The most unique thing about Modist Brewing—and there are a lot of unique things about Modist—is the way they filter … [ Read more]

Bottled-in-Bond: How a 120-year-old liquor act is helping craft whiskey make a statement

From its earliest days, craft whiskey made by small distillers has shown a lot of promise. But critics often scoff that craft whiskies are under-aged spirits that haven’t been given enough time to gain nuance and complexity. The naysayers still like to say that, but over the last couple of years the charge has become … [ Read more]

Vote for the 2017 Kind-of-a-Big-Deal Awards

Each year we ask you, The Growler readers, to tell us who you think is the best of the best in the realms of food, drink, and culture in Minnesota. You have once again answered the call, submitting your nominations and then casting your final ballots for this year’s Kind-of-a-Big-Deal Readers’ Choice Awards. The voting … [ Read more]

What We’re Drinking: November 2017

Welcome back to What We’re Drinking, wherein The Growler editorial staff look back on a recent remarkable beverage. What are you drinking, Growler Nation? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.   Brouwerij Rodenbach Rodenbach Alexander – Brian Kaufenberg, Managing Editor Each Thanksgiving, I search for a bottle of something special to share with my family members who aren’t beer drinkers. … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: Jackalope at The Velveteen

On a quiet side street in downtown Stillwater, leaves skitter across the pavement through the orange glow of the few street lamps shining onto the sidewalk. Around the corner, in the lobby of an event center, a Rorschachian pair of rabbits etched on the floor lead through a nondescript door and downstairs to The Velveteen’s … [ Read more]

Spirits Close-Up: Herbal Liqueurs

A bottle of herbal liqueur will make your home bar more versatile and seasonally appropriate. These liqueurs are made with a wide assortment of ingredients—barks and roots, herbs and spices—that add up to something woodsy, warming, and bittersweet. Here are three made locally, their constituent flavors, and some ideas on how to use them. • … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: Fall Cide-Car at Lyn 65

October means apples in the Upper Midwest. On your obligatory orchard trip in the next few weeks, consider snagging a jug of cider to mix into a seasonal cocktail. We’ll let our friend Jami Olson, who you’ll find behind the bar at Lyn 65, explain: “The change of seasons always inspires what’s on our menu, … [ Read more]

Spirits Close-Up: The Ultimate Hot Toddy Matrix

We can’t fight it any longer. Winter is coming, so let’s get our hot toddy game in order. It’s pretty hard to screw it up—all you need is a slug of booze and a spot of sugar. Pick one of each, juice a lemon, and consult this matrix for how to finish it off.

Craft Cocktail: Garden Sling at Lawless Distilling

The impending chills of October may have you craving hot drinks (See: Spirits Close-Up). But not so fast—there’s still time to eek out a few drams of summer. I mean, just look at your herb garden. It’s about to bite the dust. And what can you do with a full bush of thyme and all … [ Read more]