Botanical Bonanza: The aromatic additions that define our local gins

Gin is by definition is a juniper-flavored spirit—but it’s also flavored with everything else. It was born in Holland, where the Dutch East India Company once conglomerated all the world’s spices. Juniper had been soaked into medicinal spirits and tonics since the Middle Ages, and later, so was every exotic spice that was scurried back … [ Read more]

‘Every Tractor Has a Story’: Al Deiss is on a mission to restore heirloom tractors to their former glory

Every tractor has a story.” Al Deiss smiles a bit under his salt-and-pepper mustache and puts his hands in his pockets as he tries to find the words to describe the tractor culture he’s spent decades preserving.  “Ask about someone’s tractor, and you’re going to learn more than you ever expected to,” he says. He … [ Read more]

5 Exceptional Minnesota Wines for the Harvest Season

September is harvest time for our local grape-growers and it’s an excellent month to head out to the vineyard. You might catch a glimpse of the harvest in progress, and some wineries even organize days for the public to help out. It’s hard work but a satisfying experience—being out amongst the vines on a breezy … [ Read more]

Country Flavor: New London’s Model Citizen is poised to shape the future of Minnesota food

Minnesota cooks are going wild. Established chefs laden with talent are packing up their knives and fleeing Minneapolis–St. Paul. From Moose Bear Wolf in Ely to Poplar Haus on the Gunflint Trail, and from the Falls Landing supper club in Cannon Falls to Willard’s in Cambridge, chefs with the chops and drive to make it … [ Read more]

What We’re Drinking: September 2019

Welcome back to What We’re Drinking, wherein The Growler editorial staff look back on recent remarkable beverages. What are you drinking, Growler Nation? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Artist Profile: The Natural and Vivid Watercolors of Xee Reiter

Xee Reiter’s backyard is bursting with life, with three gardens, a hen house, an in-progress worm farm, and a beehive. Some may think it looks chaotic, but to Reiter, who grew up with fresh produce from a garden and helped butcher the chickens her family raised, it looks like an organic canvas.  “I grew up … [ Read more]

The Great American Chestnut Revival: How science is bringing chestnuts back to American soil

Anyone who has ever come across a raw, wild chestnut—burr intact—will likely remember the experience. My first encounter came while hiking the Camino de Santiago, an ancient pilgrimage route in northern Spain. I entered a stretch of the path where elder chestnut trees—some nearing a thousand years of age—act as anchors for the rigorous journey. … [ Read more]

Your Friendly Neighborhood Mushroom Dealer: One year in, Forest to Fork plans new growth

Mike Kempenich and I are on the patio of a North Loop bar trading notes about foraging and camper vans. His is parked around the corner, all geared up for his next-day departure for Canada to hunt for fruiting fungi. I’m lucky to have even connected with him considering how much time he spends in … [ Read more]

The Funkiest Man In The Room: Topos Ferments’ Jim Bovino on how to stay ahead of the mountain of produce overwhelming your kitchen

You didn’t mean for this to happen. Like that time you got sunburned during a long beach read, this incident snuck up on you—in this case, a couple of pounds of beautiful green bunches at a time. Now your kitchen counter is covered with more produce than you’ll ever be able to eat in the … [ Read more]

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Chris Qualley

Chris Qualley is mostly your normal type of guy. Grew up in Lakeville, now lives in Otsego. A wife, four kids, and a puggle named Dolly. A solutions manager at St. Cloud Financial Credit Union, which isn’t the sort of job title that begs explanation from the people he meets. Recently organized a funeral for … [ Read more]

Bold New Farmer: A renewed Bachelor Farmer is positively vibrant

Since its 2011 debut, The Bachelor Farmer has been among Minnesota’s most ambitious restaurants, combining a loose Scandinavian aesthetic with a farm-to-table mandate. In the years since opening, the restaurant has settled into a comfortable niche: a polished, reliable, Scandi-cute fixture of the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis. Even with the presence of the co-located … [ Read more]

Growing Hope: The HAFA Farm gives Hmong Minnesotans a long-term stake in agriculture

In Laos, as soon as the first rain falls in April, farmers rush to sow their seeds in the ground. The terrain is sometimes rocky and very hilly for these farmers who have worked the land for hundreds of years, growing crops to feed their families. On a 155-acre plot of land in Hastings, Minnesota, … [ Read more]

Feelin’ Nur-D: The Minneapolis rapper blending geek culture, activism, and pro wrestling to keep MN hip-hop weird

If you ask Matt Allen, known on stage as hip-hop artist Nur-D, how he’d describe himself, he would tell you that he is weird, your seventh favorite hip-hop person, and then declare himself a nerd. Vocal about his love for comics, professional wrestling, video games, ’80s hair metal bands, and superheroes, Nur-D creates his music … [ Read more]

Spirits Close-Up: Farmers Market Cocktails

Whether it’s foraging, tending to a garden or farm, bringing home a CSA box, or visiting a farmers market, local produce is making more appearances in city homes. Here’s how to turn your late-summer farm finds into delicious drinks. Muddling The fastest way to incorporate fresh flavor is smashing it into the bottom of a … [ Read more]

Pour It On: The porron offers a splashy, exuberant way to share wine and cocktails with friends

The narrow-spouted glass wine pitcher known as the porron has its origins in Catalonian food traditions, where it cuts a fine figure at spring onion festivals. Increasingly visible worldwide and affordably available online (a classic model costs less than $30), the porron is poised to change the way we drink for the better. If you’ve … [ Read more]

A Blind Tasting beer festival

Taste & Rate 48 Minnesota Oktoberfests

Sept. 20, 2019 | 5:30–9pm
Upper Landing Park
Tickets: GA $40 | DD $20