‘We made mistakes’: 612Brew opens up about their past and how they’re reinventing themselves in 2019

W hen 612Brew opened its taproom in February 2013, the excitement was palpable. The mayor and city council members celebrated the opening by hopping behind the bar and pouring beer; a sea of people filled every inch of the taproom and a line stretched out the door. The moment was a long time in the … [ Read more]

Order Up! Gavin Kaysen’s much-heralded Demi opens Friday night

Updated February 14, 2019 Order Up! is the Growler’s ongoing biweekly account of noteworthy Minnesota restaurant openings, closings, and future openings. Please send any tips to food@growlermag.com. All dates are approximate based on best information available; opening dates, in particular, tend to shift around a lot. THIS WEEK’S GIST: The much-heralded Demi, the third restaurant … [ Read more]

Bite of the Week: Chef’s Special Dry Chili Chicken at Lao Sze Chuan

Bite of the Week is a weekly feature showcasing an exceptional meal or dish, curated by The Growler. Chinese food fans who frequent University of Minnesota’s East Bank campus have a lot to keep track of—the lively scene includes mainstays like Hong Kong Noodles and Tea House as well as numerous newcomers. The latest development is … [ Read more]

Two Minnesota Distilleries Awarded Best of Class at 2019 American Craft Spirits Awards

Medalists for the 2019 American Craft Spirits Awards were announced Monday, February 11, at the annual ACSA Distillers’ Convention & Vendor Trade Show, hosted this year at the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis. The awards are divided into seven categories—Brandy, Gin, Rum, Specialty Spirits, Vodka & Grain, Whiskey, and Innovation (a new category in 2019, recognizing … [ Read more]

Essay: How I Wound Up with Three Unforgivably Lame Tattoos

“Tattoos are like stories. They’re symbolic of the important moments in your life. Sitting down, talking about where you got each tattoo and what it symbolizes, is really beautiful.” – Pamela Anderson, actress and animal rights activist who contracted hepatitis C in 2002 after sharing tattoo needles with the drummer from Mötley Crüe. Pam is … [ Read more]

Behold: Land of 10,000 Tacos!

It can be easy to lose sight of the fact that we live in a taco paradise. Legitimate taquerias—shops that make soulful, beautiful, ravishingly delicious food—are scattered all over the metro area and beyond, but they have a tendency to blend into the background. Their marketing and decor aren’t always as polished as the food, which … [ Read more]

There’s no tomato juice in our new favorite bloody mary mix

Special alert for those of you starting Big Game Sunday with a morning cocktail: we have a new favorite bloody mix. Most bloody marys, you’re no doubt aware, are thick mouthfuls of unseasoned tomato sludge that you tolerate just long enough to eat the garnish. That’s why we’re digging Miss Mary’s: it’s a much lighter … [ Read more]

Order Up! The latest restaurant openings, closing, and future openings

Updated January 31, 2019 Order Up! is the Growler’s ongoing biweekly account of noteworthy Minnesota restaurant openings, closings, and future openings. Please send any tips to food@growlermag.com. All dates are approximate based on best information available; opening dates, in particular, tend to shift around a lot. THIS WEEK’S GIST: The depth of a Minnesota winter … [ Read more]

The Replacements vs. Hüsker Dü: Four decades on, which local band looms larger?

Two of the most influential rock bands in Minnesota history just happened to hit the scene at the same time. Hüsker Dü exploded out of the Macalester College campus, while the Replacements crawled up from South Minneapolis. Formed in 1979, both groups became legends with international cult followings. Lots of people were fans of both, … [ Read more]

Now Open: Under Pressure Brewing Company in Golden Valley

One of Minnesota’s most lauded and detail-driven homebrewers is finally seeing her brewery dreams come to fruition with the opening of Under Pressure Brewing Company in Golden Valley. Lori Ertl, alongside her co-owners and co-brewers John Keenan and Tyler Marchiniak, decided to pursue large-scale brewing because of the way it blends passion, production, and people. “There … [ Read more]

Artist Profile: Michael Byzewski of Aesthetic Apparatus

Michael Byzewski isn’t quite sure how he landed on his aesthetic. “Bad luck? Love of cats? Anxiety issues? Probably a combination of all those, along with being attracted to mid-century, simple print ad design,” he says. The Minneapolis-based designer and illustrator works from his studio, Aesthetic Apparatus, where he’s produced pieces in both commercial and … [ Read more]

The Great Debate: Should A Craft Distillery Purchase Already-Made Spirits?

The term “craft” is ambiguous at best. This is especially true when it comes to the world of spirits. With the surge of smaller-scale distilleries taking root in Minnesota and beyond, more attention is being paid to not just the final bottled product but the ingredients used to make it. Several spirits companies purchase neutral … [ Read more]

The Great Debate: Is The 51 Percent Rule Good For Minnesota Wineries And Cideries?

In Minnesota, cideries and wineries with a farm winery license are required by state law to use enough Minnesota-grown fruit to constitute at least 51 percent of their product. The same goes for cideries and wineries with a wine manufacturer license if they want to sell their product on-site, say, at a taproom. Our question: … [ Read more]

The Great Debate: Are Taprooms Killing Drinking Culture?

Can taprooms and bars coexist and both thrive? Do taprooms provide more options for drinkers or encourage more homogeneity? Is there a correlation between the growth of taprooms and the death of craft beer bars like The Muddy Pig and Ward 6? In order to get some answers, we went out drinking with two of … [ Read more]

Dave Hoops: Master Brewer, Realist, and Risk-Taker

With his wavy, tousled hair, generous salt-and-pepper beard, and preferred outfit of jeans and a flannel shirt, Dave Hoops fits the archetypical portrait of a brewer better than that of a businessman. Yet his 25-plus years of experience in the industry have afforded him a wealth of expertise in the business of making beer. He’ll … [ Read more]