Bug Hunters: Bootleg Biology is collecting and cataloging the world’s wild yeast






Mitch Ermatinger wanted a truly unique brewery. He wanted Speciation Artisan Ales to showcase what he knows best—spontaneous sour beers and wild farmhouse ales. So he turned to Bootleg Biology to make his mixed-culture fermentations stand out from the pack. “Funk Weapon #2 is in all of my beer, as well as some yeast that … [ Read more]

The Growler’s Homebrew Con visitors guide






Thousands of homebrewers are gathering in Minneapolis June 15–17 for the 39th Annual National Homebrewers Conference, better known as Homebrew Con. The three-day conference will include a massive show floor, speakers, educational seminars, parties, and more. It’s also the site of the final round of judging for the National Homebrew Competition, which saw 7,962 entries from around … [ Read more]

Minnesota Homebrewer Spotlight, Part 3: Lori Ertl






The annual Homebrew Con is coming to Minneapolis. It is the largest gathering of homebrewers in the world. As such, from June 15-17 thousands of homebrewers from around the country—and the world—will call the Twin Cities their home away from home. In celebration, we have been featuring local homebrewers that call Minnesota home year-round. For … [ Read more]

Minnesota Homebrewer Spotlight, Part 1: ‘Bad Ass’ Bryon Adams






As the Twin Cities gear up to host Homebrew Con 2017, the mother of all homebrew parties, at the Minneapolis Convention Center June 15–17, The Growler is spotlighting three local homebrewers that we think are pretty bad ass. And in the case of our first profile, we mean it literally. Meet “Bad Ass” Bryon Adams of Brooklyn Park. … [ Read more]

Minnesota: The State of Homebrewing






The eyes of the homebrewing universe will be on the Twin Cities in mid-June, and many of its citizens will pour into our hometown to celebrate their community and culture. Homebrew Con, the world’s largest annual gathering of homebrewers, will host its official conference events at Minneapolis Convention Center from June 15–17. Other beer-focused activities … [ Read more]

How to make a stir plate for homebrewing






Republished here with permission from the American Homebrewers Association While there are multiple ways to grow yeast in a starter, one of the most effective is to use a stir plate. Stir plates utilize magnetic attraction to create a vortex inside a container of wort, keeping the yeast in suspension and providing oxygen—which are both … [ Read more]

Homebrew Recipe: Solar Wave Golden IPA






In our DIY Issue, Michael Dawson breaks down the basic steps of reverse engineering your favorite beer. This recipe appeared alongside that article. In the spirit of scaling down production beers for the homebrew system, here’s a recipe from our friends at Chop & Brew. Solar Wave Golden IPA is a beer developed in collaboration … [ Read more]

We Can Rebuild It: How to reverse-engineer a beer






Bad Weather head brewer Andy Ruhland. A reverse-engineered version of Bad Weather’s Solar Wave Golden IPA is this month’s Homebrew Recipe // Photo by Lucy Hawthorne Pablo Picasso once said “To copy others is necessary,” and who are we to argue with a cubist? Since contemporary craft and world classic beers are a source of … [ Read more]

How To Make Wild Minnesota Pear Cider Vinegar






Fruit vinegar is easy to make, and almost any fruit can be used to make vinegar with varying levels of intensity. I have made pear, apple, and plum vinegars using wild fruit from the bluffs of southeast Minnesota. There are many resources to make great fermented products at home; “Wild Fermentation” by Sandor Katz is a … [ Read more]

Homebrew Recipe: Brockengespenst Alt






“They traveled in a motor-diligence out toward the Brocken. The brushland grew hilly and witchlike, clouds came from directions indeterminate and covered the sun. ‘An older sort of Germany,’ commented Günther, with a less-than-reassuring smile. ‘Deeper.’” —Thomas Pynchon, “Against the Day” Alt is a relic of a bygone era when Saxons hallucinated witches and devils … [ Read more]

Homebrew Recipe: International India Black Lager






Attempting to mansplain the stylistic DNA and categorical waypoints of this month’s homebrew project will look to some (many?) like an exercise in cerevisiphilic insufferability: it’s a black version of a pale hoppy ale that was based on a misunderstood concept of what 19th century export beers were like, but which today bear even less resemblance … [ Read more]

Homebrew Recipe: Backthrow Pre-Pro Triple Grain Amber Lager






This month, by making use of some regionally grown grains (barley, corn, and rye—save that wheat for bread flour, yo!) we’re going to brew a Minnesota-rooted beer that, when seen through the lens of a modern BJCP beer nerd, would be pigeonholed as an International Amber Lager: “A well-attenuated malty amber lager with an interesting … [ Read more]

Homebrew Recipe: New Englandish Bitter






I hate to call this a session IPA but if you had to you could. It’s a sub-five percent ABV glucan-rich, non-“C” hop juice bomb, but it’s really got the soul (or at any rate, the malt, yeast, and ABV percentage) of a lovely imperial pint–sloshing bitter. Here’s the plan: flavorful pale ale malt base … [ Read more]

Homebrew Recipe: Auld Alliance Peated Bière de Garde






True story: in France, more Scotch whisky is sold in one month than Cognac is sold in a year. And while Singaporeans drink more Scotch per capita, and the U.S. imports more in terms of monetary value, by sheer volume the French are the number one buyers of Scotch (almost 180 million bottles in 2014, … [ Read more]

Homebrew Recipe: 1997 IPA






<old man rant> Some of us here can remember a time when craft beer (back then we called it “microbrew”) wasn’t so complicated. It wasn’t so fraught with issues of identity, craft versus “crafty,” or the minefields of ownership and majority stakes. There were no paralyzing choices created by an entire wall of palate-erasing next-thing … [ Read more]