DIY black walnut Nocino: A northwoods twist on an Italian classic






Italian walnut liqueur, or nocino, is a centuries-old treat made from unripe green walnuts infused in strong alcohol. It is available commercially, but families used to make their own concoctions, sweetened and spiced to their taste with flavors like cinnamon, cloves, and star anise, ready to be shared during the winter holidays. In Italy, green … [ Read more]

‘María de Buenos Aires’ offers passionate opera and sultry Argentine tango






From its sultry setting in a Buenos Aires barrio to its score brimming with expressive tango, “María de Buenos Aires” is not your typical opera, and the Mill City Summer Opera is not your typical opera company. Rather than staging its sixth annual opera production on a classic proscenium stage positioning the audience directly in … [ Read more]

The Cactus Blossoms take an eerie trip into the world of ‘Twin Peaks’






It’s fitting that the song, “Mississippi,” from local folk duo The Cactus Blossoms’ 2016 album, “You’re Dreaming,” recently received a second life thanks to a television show that thrives on horror, murder, and mystery. The duo and their song were recently featured on third episode of the newly revived “Twin Peaks.” “It happened because of luck,” … [ Read more]

The Mash-Up: Birthday beers, Brett ales, and more






With well over 100 breweries now pouring their beer in Minnesota, there’s always something new to try. To keep you up-to-date, we present The Mash-Up—our weekly rundown of new beers and seasonal releases in Minnesota from your favorite local and national breweries. Visit growlermag.com every Friday for the latest or sign up for a weekly email. … [ Read more]

Parks—and Water—For the People: The history of Minneapolis’ hand-pump drinking wells






When Minneapolis resident Jessica Rosenberg was a little girl, she and her brother had a special ritual they shared with their grandparents. They would load up the trunk of the car with empty plastic milk jugs and drive from their St. Louis Park home to Lake Harriet. Once there, they’d unload the jugs and walk … [ Read more]

Now Open (Or Damn Close): The Dampfwerk Distillery Company






Dampf-werk. Say it. It’s fun. And if you’re curious, that’s “steam works” in German. It’s also the name of a new distillery nestled behind a garage door in St. Louis Park. The Dampfwerk Distillery Company is owned and operated by the Loeffelholz family and—just like its owners—has a bit of dual citizenship. On the one … [ Read more]

How to explore the world of wine without going broke






  For a long while, being educated about wine made you fancy or, so it seemed, automatically a snob. Knowing about liquor meant you were a drunk. Knowing about sake made you exotic but somehow not in a good way. Knowing about beer, though, went from being blue-collar to kinda cool to being practically mandatory … [ Read more]

The Mash-Up: Craft lagers, fruity kettle sours, and wheat beers of all stripes






With well over 100 breweries now pouring their beer in Minnesota, there’s always something new to try. To keep you up-to-date, we present The Mash-Up—our weekly rundown of new beers and seasonal releases in Minnesota from your favorite local and national breweries. Visit growlermag.com every Friday for the latest or sign up for a weekly … [ Read more]

The ‘ramshackle,’ DIY soccer club bringing a new sense of fun to the pitch






It’s summertime in Minnesota. The sun’s out, the coolers are full, and do-it-yourself season is officially here. The coolest DIY project in the Twin Cities isn’t a deck, or a fire pit, or a brand new man cave. It’s a soccer team called Minneapolis City SC—a self-proclaimed “ramshackle bunch” on a mission to build a … [ Read more]

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]

Birds and The B-Sides: After 25 years of Music in the Zoo, Sue McLean’s legacy lives on






With relentless rain, the BoDeans figured all hope was gone the night of their sold-out, outdoor show at the Minnesota Zoo. But when clouds subsided with time left for just a few songs, the Wisconsin-based rock-and-rollers were pleasantly surprised. “It turned out, everyone stuck around,” lead singer Kurt Neumann says. “Everybody had brought garbage bags … [ Read more]

What We’re Drinking: July 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. Steel Toe Brewing Sommer Vice Hefe-Weizen Ale – Brian Kaufenberg, Managing Editor A tall glass of hazy hefeweizen on a shady terrace overlooking the water is the perfect … [ Read more]

Spirits Close-Up: Smoke






From midday brats to late-night s’mores, the flavors of summer are full of smoke. I say you should add a little to your cocktails as well. There are several ways to get a smoky flavor into drinks, but which ones are worth your time and effort? Don’t Bother With Liquid Smoke: Do you want your … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: Campfire Rob Roy at Ngon Bistro






Most restaurants on University Avenue in St. Paul deliver excellent food at the expense of their ambiance. I’ll happily eat a banh mi from a grocery store or a bowl of pho in an unadorned plastic booth. But when it’s happy hour, I want to escape. I want to drink in summer as I drink … [ Read more]

Craft Culture: The art of fire, glass, and noble gas at Skyline Neon






There’s a good chance Matt Thompson has worn out the nerve endings on his fingertips. Despite handling molten hot glass nearly every day, he refuses to wear gloves. After decades, his hands are battle worn from blisters, cuts, and third degree burns. Still, that doesn’t stop the neon sign maker from grabbing a glass tube … [ Read more]