Hi-Lo Diner goes full dad-bar tonight

In the past three years, the theme-night cocktail pop-ups at Hi-Lo Diner have grown increasingly elaborate, wacky, and just downright fun. The bar that recently gave us the Booze Brothers and Hi-LoWeen tonight will transform into the bar of every dad’s dream. Dad Bar: A Hop On Pop-Up will feature a dad joke contest, a … [ Read more]

Remote Minnesota: Five out-of-the-way trails and state parks to escape to this summer

Minnesota is blessed with an abundance of scenic attractions and wonders that are renowned across and beyond the Land of Sky Blue Waters. But for those amongst us seeking less-trodden trails, a host of options can be found across the North Star State. Some are hidden deep within Minnesota’s wilderness while others can be found … [ Read more]

Too Close to the Fire: A chef’s story of restaurant burnout and rekindling his love of cooking

This is the third installment of Off the Map, a column by chef J.D. Fratzke. It appears monthly on growlermag.com and occasionally in print. For literally decades, one of the most zen-like and enjoyable tasks of my 14-hour work day was the 45 minutes before dinner service wherein all the chopping, dicing, braising, searing, emulsifying, and reducing … [ Read more]

9 Things I Learned on a Yearlong, 120-Brewery Odyssey Across Minnesota

Liz Foster is a craft beer enthusiast and the events and communications manager at Urban Growler Brewing Company. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. What are you doing this weekend? Do you want to road trip to a brewery with me?” This is the exact phrase I said 80+ times … [ Read more]

4 Midwestern brewing companies outgrow their spaces, expand to new facilities

Four brewing companies in Minnesota, western Wisconsin, and eastern North Dakota have outgrown their original spaces and are expanding to new locations—some just in time for the busy summer season, others with plans for completion later this year. In 2018, just one year after opening, Drumconrath Brewing Company in eastern North Dakota upgraded their three-barrel … [ Read more]

Tickets now on sale for Unlabeled No. 1: Hazy IPA

The Growler Magazine is proud to announce the launch of a brand new kind of beer festival series, never before seen in Minnesota or the U.S.—Unlabeled: A Blind Tasting Showdown. Similar to other beer festivals, Unlabeled will allow attendees the chance to sample dozens of beers from different breweries. The twist? The tasting is 100 … [ Read more]

Univ. of Minn. awarded $100k grant to research apples for state’s cidermakers

This May, University of Minnesota researchers, in collaboration with a collection of local cider producers and apple growers, were awarded a $100,000 grant to explore the production of cider and cider apples in Minnesota. The Speciality Crop Block Grant, which enables state agricultural agencies to administer federal funds for specialty crop research, will provide funding … [ Read more]

Lupulin Brewing Company Acquiring Hydra Beer Company, Opening Second Lupulin Taproom in Sioux Falls, SD

South Dakotans living on the South Dakota/Minnesota border have been able to get Lupulin Brewing Company’s beers at liquor stores and on tap throughout their state since April 2019, when the Big Lake, Minnesota, brewery expanded its brewhouse and partnered with Global Distributing, Inc. Soon, they’ll also be able to post up at Lupulin’s second brewery … [ Read more]

Essay: Old World Lessons on Spontaneous Fermentation and ‘Wild’ Cider

Nate Watters is the co-founder and cidermaker at Keepsake Cidery, Minnesota’s only 100 percent spontaneously fermented cidery. All opinions expressed are his own.  Life is full of moments that change us. Sometimes they are little nudges, gently changing our course—maybe a lyric in a song heard at First Avenue. Sometimes they are hard shoves, changing … [ Read more]

Bite of the Week: Chicken Biryani at Persis Biryani Indian Grill

Bite of the Week is a weekly feature showcasing an exceptional meal or dish, curated by The Growler. When we walked into Persis Biryani Indian Grill, a small-chain strip mall Indian restaurant in Eagan, we weren’t sure if they were still a going concern. The AC was cranked to provide a walk-in fridge-like atmosphere (on a … [ Read more]

Now Open (Or Damn Close): Block North Brew Pub in Aitkin

Since opening in March, Block North Brew Pub in Aitkin, Minnesota, has quickly become a popular spot for locals to gather and enjoy local beers and unique, homemade food, bringing back a much-appreciated slice of nightlife to the town. Now, after a busy grand-opening event over Memorial Day weekend, their own beer has finally joined … [ Read more]

Voices in the Wilderness: Bands (other than Bon Iver) that chased the muse into the woods

I n 2008, when Justin Vernon debuted his Bon Iver alias with the release of “For Emma, Forever Ago,” the music world was forced to grapple with a project so far-flung from indie music at the time that it was soon shrouded in myth. Soft, sparse, and smoldering with emotional intensity, “For Emma” led curious … [ Read more]

BYO Bartender: What’s the allure behind self-pour taprooms?

Consider the self-pour taproom an antidote to “Give me the usual.” The concept—inviting customers to belly right up to the taps and serve themselves ounce by ounce—is driven by endless exploration and beer rotation. It’s the Snapchat of drinking experiences. And while Minnesota’s earliest iteration of the self-pour taproom, Community Keg House, fell flat in … [ Read more]

Lowertown St. Paul brewery announces closure, effective June 1

Nearly two years after opening, Lowertown St. Paul’s 12welve Eyes Brewing has called it quits, shutting its doors for good as of June 1, 2019. 12welve Eyes Brewing’s brewery and taproom was located in the basement of the Historic Pioneer Endicott building off of 4th Street East in downtown St. Paul. Like many of the … [ Read more]

Bite of the Week: Pork Tacos at Casa Lupita in White Bear Lake

Bite of the Week is a weekly feature showcasing an exceptional meal or dish, curated by The Growler. White Bear Lake’s Casa Lupita is a taco joint that straddles two worlds. It offers some familiar Mexican styles of taco, but also tacos described simply as “chicken” or “pork.” And it offers classic toppings (onions, cilantro) … [ Read more]