Minnesota Spoon: Back to base camp with J.D. Fratzke






J.D. Fratzke tucks a brown paper bag under a small teepee of sticks. It’s been raining here, last night and early this morning. He searches for drier kindling, finding only a little. The chef will make do. We’re perched at a campsite above the St. Croix River, surrounded by scraggly trees and a cool wind … [ Read more]




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Hidden Minnesota: 5 underappreciated state parks and recreation areas to visit this year






Minnesota has long been recognized as the land of 10,000 sky blue-tinted lakes. But did you know the North Star State also is home to 66 state parks, not to mention an additional nine recreational areas, 25 state trails, and 43 state forest campgrounds? Many Minnesotans and visitors are familiar with such celebrated parks as … [ Read more]




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Root beer maverick: How one little, old lady battled the harsh Minnesota wilderness & made root beer for thousands






Until 1986, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness was home to hundreds of wild species, including moose, beavers, bears, bobcats, bald eagles—and one little, old lady named Dorothy Molter. Molter was the last legal non-indigenous resident of the BWCAW. She operated a resort that became a legendary destination in one of the most remote parts … [ Read more]




Panfish to pike: An every-person’s guide to fishing






It’s tough for lifelong anglers to imagine what it’s like to be a beginner. Those introduced to the sport through family traditions often had elder mentors who instilled not just the how-to, but also the why-to, and the ethics and ecology lessons that naturally follow. But for folks without that foundation, the barriers to entry … [ Read more]




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The Mash-Up: Fruit beers, anniversary ales, & more






With well over 100 breweries now pouring their beer in Minnesota, there’s always something new to try. That’s why to help keep you up-to-date with what’s hitting shelves and tap lines, The Growler is introducing our weekly rundown of new beers, The Mash-Up. Visit growlermag.com every Friday or sign up for a weekly email to … [ Read more]




Hops and pot: The definitive guide to how they’re related






Hops are a resinous, green flower, and from what Snoop Dogg taught me, so too is that sticky icky icky. But the similarities between hops and weed go well beyond how they look and feel. Not only did scientists confirm in 2012 that the two plants are genetically related, belonging to Cannabinaceae family, now further research is helping us understand … [ Read more]




Explore the new Land of 10,000 Drinks map









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]




Spirits Close-Up: Infusions






This month’s Craft Cocktail, the Late Tea Time at Revival St. Paul, uses Earl Grey-infused gin to add flavor to the drink, so we decided to take a closer look at how and what to infuse with your favorite spirits. Infusing a spirit is an easy way to make show-stopping cocktails at home. It’s almost impossible … [ Read more]




The Retail Hustle: Craft food companies face challenges of scale in the fight for shelf space






It’s the quintessential American dream: a home cook creates a lovely jam in their kitchen, and doles them out as holiday tokens to friends and family. Next thing you know, a giant food corporation sweeps in, dropping buckets of cash in their laps for the rights to produce said item en masse.  That may be … [ Read more]




Brewer Profile: Andy Ruhland of Bad Weather Brewing






It’s 9:30am and I’m sipping my first cup of coffee of the morning as I pull up to Bad Weather Brewing on West 7th Street in St. Paul. Inside, standing behind the half wall separating the taproom from the brewery, Andy Ruhland is also sipping from a coffee mug, but it’s apparent that this is … [ Read more]




Minnesota Spoon: Anaerobic exercises with Matti Sprague






Matti Sprague and I appear to be talking about fermentation. We are standing in Jon Wipfli’s well-lighted kitchen, and we are using all the words that you use when you talk about fermentation. We are talking about salting down vegetables, creating anaerobic environments, and encouraging the right kinds of microbial life while discouraging the wrong … [ Read more]




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Do It Yourself, Together: How maker spaces & tool libraries are building community






A squat, unassuming building of beige-painted brick and exposed cinder block sits tucked behind some of the great restaurants of Northeast Minneapolis’ Central Avenue. A red, hexagonal sign reads “MPLS Make” in white letters. It’s 4pm on a Thursday. A sign on the back door reads: “KNOCK LOUD! We’re rocking music and power tools  in … [ Read more]




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The DIY Guide To Living The Growler Life






The Growler Life is about getting your hands dirty and making things from scratch, whether that means practicing the art of fermentation, rolling fresh pasta, or sawing up boards in a woodshop. You cannot replicate the gratification and “do-it-yourself” pride that comes with making something by hand. With that in mind, we want to empower … [ Read more]




How To Make Semolina Pasta






Ingredients 1 cup semolina flour 1 cup all-purpose flour ¾ cup warm water 1 tablespoon salt Instructions 1. Mix the flours together in a large bowl. Make a small well in the middle of the flour. 2. Dissolve the salt in the water and pour it into the flour mixture. 3. Stir the mixture with … [ Read more]