Kind-of-a-Big-Deal Readers’ Choice Awards Nominations 2018

It’s time for you, our dedicated readers of The Growler Magazine, to nominate the best of the best in Minnesota food, drink, and culture for The Growler’s annual Kind-of-a-Big-Deal Readers’ Choice Awards. Nominations are open through September 7 and are limited to one submission per valid email address. Loading…

Bite of the Week: Rock-n-Roll Bowl at Fish Bowl Poké

Bite of the Week is a weekly feature showcasing an exceptional meal or dish, curated by The Growler and supported by our underwriter, Bite Squad. There’s an argument to be made that we shouldn’t be eating poke here in Minnesota at all: we’re a long way from hanging out beachside on a Hawaiian island, eating … [ Read more]

Five State Parks across the Heartland for your road-tripping pleasure

Looking for some summer or fall road trip inspirations? The Growler has you covered with these Heartland destinations. ■ ■ ■ West on I-94: Lake Sakakawea State Park near Pick City, North Dakota Stretching 178 miles in length from Williston, North Dakota, to the Garrison Dam near Pick City, North Dakota, Lake Sakakawea is a … [ Read more]

“100 Years and Counting”: The next chapter of the Minnesota Museum of American Art

Racks stuffed with paintings, shelves holding all shapes and sizes of sculptures, and artist-designed furniture fill a fluorescent-lit warehouse. The sheer amount of art packed into this single room is nearly impossible to take in; to the untrained eye, it looks random and chaotic. But for the staff of the Minnesota Museum of American Art, … [ Read more]

Now Open (Or Damn Close): 608 Brewing Company in La Crosse, Wisconsin

Phil Humphrey doesn’t mince words when he talks about his favorite beer styles and what he wants to brew at 608 Brewing Co. “We’re focusing more on the newer, trendier beer styles—you could say the New England IPA for sure,” Phil says of the soon-to-open La Crosse, Wisconsin, brewery. About four years ago, Phil really … [ Read more]

Smaller Towns, Vibrant Sounds: Exploring the music scenes of Greater Minnesota

Some music venues advertise thousands of seats and state-of-the-art light shows. Others double as sports arenas. And then there are those that offer pottery classes or operate out of someone’s living room. While the Twin Cities house some of the state’s most iconic music venues, Minnesota’s small towns are the perfect places for discovering vibrant … [ Read more]

Beyond Everywhere: Jordan, Minnesota, is a townball destination

I had once visited the town of Jordan, Minnesota, but I didn’t really see it. On one of those December days when the sun goes down a couple of hours after it comes up, my high school basketball team stared out into the endless winter’s night for the ten steps between the bus to the … [ Read more]

Cider in the North: Two cideries add new flavor to Duluth’s Lincoln Park Craft District

Two more cideries will soon be added to Minnesota’s roster, and both will be located in a city that as of yet is without a cidery to call its own: Duluth. Not only will Duluth Cider and Wild State Cider both be in Duluth, but they’ll be located some 500 feet from each other on West Superior … [ Read more]

Best in Show: Four State Fair judges reveal what it takes to bring home a ribbon

Most people associate the Minnesota State Fair with seas of sweaty bodies, rickety Mighty Midway rides, and the inevitable fried food hangover induced by delicacies like Pronto Pups, cheese curds, and a beautiful union resulting in something called the “Pizzarito.” Yet its core purpose remains the same after more than 150 years: to celebrate the … [ Read more]

Taste of the Country, On an Urban Table: Lenny Russo and Daniel Cataldo of ninetwentyfive

If you’re going to tell the story of food in the Upper Midwest, it’s helpful to think of a circle. People here were once intimately interconnected with the land and seasons as farmers, hunters, and fishers, and every ingredient had a story about where it was from and when it was harvested that was intimately … [ Read more]

A Pocket Full of Rye: How a lowly, northern grain is mounting a comeback through whiskey

Stalks of rye bob in the summer breeze in a field near Cambridge, Minnesota. It is a cereal grass in the wheat family—seeded in the fall, it stays green and patient throughout the winter, then skyrockets in the early spring. It shoots up from the gray, powdery soil, gets a deep tan, and then grows … [ Read more]

Main Street, Minnesota: a three-day journey through windmills and water towers, into the heart of the state’s small towns

Milk at Carl’s Corner in Essig, Minnesota, is 80 cents a glass, $1.50 if you want a large—which, from a quick survey of the wood-paneled dining room, several patrons do. We’re on day two of our three-day road trip from Lake City to Luverne. Normally, this cross-Minnesota trek would take four, maybe four-and-a-half hours to … [ Read more]

The Growler’s Complete Guide to Beer at the 2018 Minnesota State Fair

You can almost sense its arrival—the faraway hoofbeat of livestock, the clank of carnival rides, the waft of frier grease in the air. Yes, the Minnesota State Fair is upon us once again. You’re going to need a beer. Since the launch of Lift Bridge Mini Donut in 2013, the Fair has engendered the zaniest output from … [ Read more]

Casting for Brook Trout Ghosts

Just keep your feet wet,” my grandpa told me. I was 12, and he’d just handed me my first fly rod. He was explaining how I could explore the trout streams of northern Minnesota, even when they passed through private land. Minnesota’s “wet feet” stream access law is a positive relic of our troubled timbering … [ Read more]

Arlean Rosemore and Mother Originals Quilt Shop

The rhythmic beat of a needle piercing fabric keeps perfect time with the mechanical hum of a commercial quilting machine. Knowing hands gently guide the fabric to make sure the backing, batting, and quilt top stay aligned. The process is mesmerizing and soothing—“hypnotic,” as Arlean Rosemore, the master quilter currently behind the needle at Mother … [ Read more]