Now Open (Or Damn Close): Sleepy Eye Brewing Company in Sleepy Eye

Now Open (Or Damn Close) is supported by underwriting partner Maltwerks, a Midwest malt house focused on genuine relationships in offering quality, locally produced, traceable malt.  Some may know the town of Sleepy Eye, Minnesota from the tales of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Others take the scenic drive through the forest of trees decorated for the … [ Read more]

Face Time: LGBTQ pro wrestlers are shaking off old stigmas and changing the game

On a Saturday night at a F1RST Wrestling show at the Uptown VFW, 20-year-old Devon Monroe is going toe-to-toe with arguably the biggest name in independent professional wrestling: Joey Ryan. Monroe, who is openly, proudly gay, is sporting flashy rainbow hologram tights, and flying around the ring like a seasoned veteran, while the crowd is … [ Read more]

The Mash-Up: Releases for the New Year (and the parties to come with it)

With over 185 breweries now pouring their beer in Minnesota, there’s always something new to try. To keep you up to date, we present The Mash-Up—our weekly rundown of new beers and seasonal releases in Minnesota from your favorite local and national breweries. Visit growlermag.com every Friday for the latest or sign up for a … [ Read more]

Fueling Progress: On a crowded highway of convenience stores, 36Lyn is an oasis of quality

Inside a shop at 36th and Lyndale, there’s a full-sized rack of CBD products by the register. To your right, three airpots of Peace Coffee changed out every hour-and-a-half for maximum freshness. A fridge case offers grab-and-go wraps from Afro Deli, cage-free eggs, and more than one variety of fancy pink coconut water. By the … [ Read more]

Change Agents: A series of fermentation projects at Colita is making old cocktails taste fresh and new

We squeeze past the crush of people in the entryway and snag two seats at the end of the bar at Colita. This is how we usually eat there—take a drive on Penn Avenue, slow down at 54th Street, assess the regular chaos (is that a new crowd or the six o’clock crowd finishing up?) … [ Read more]

Artist Profile: To see into the future, Patricio DeLara looks to the past

Patricio DeLara has no interest in committing to any one medium. He much prefers to focus on the idea he’s trying to portray and then find the style best suited to represent it. This fluid creative process has opened doors to a wide array of media, from painting to graphic design and illustration—and looking ahead, … [ Read more]

Next Gen: These young people are staking a claim in the future of their fields

  It’s always entertaining to guess about the future. What are the trends and movements that will define food, drink, and culture in the next generation? But instead of always asking “what’s next?” perhaps we should be asking “who’s next?” These Minnesotans got in on the ground floor of their industries and movements at a … [ Read more]

Pink Drink Pandemonium: The rise of rose-colored gin, plus cocktail recipe

A pink wave is washing over the Western world and there’s no shortage of strong opinions on the matter. The European and Australian continents are currently glowing with the rosy hue of an explosive drinking trend which might soon light up the U.S.: pink gin.  The current definition of pink gin is a far cry from … [ Read more]

Brava! A new North Loop bar is removing the mystique of natural wine

Wine is hard, but natural wine is even harder. What exactly is it? How can we identify it without any help from labels? Why is it sometimes cloudy? Why is there more bottle variation than with other wines? Enter Jill Mott and Dan Rice, two of the forces behind a new natural-wine bar in a … [ Read more]

Sounds Like Teen Spirit: Young musicians overcoming doubters and expanding the all-ages music scene

Late on a December school night, Maude Lorr, a sophomore at Central High School, found herself onstage at a restaurant in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood on St. Paul’s East Side. Lorr wasn’t there to perform with her band, RiGBY, a punk quartet that got their start through School of Rock. Along with the rest of Twin … [ Read more]

A Star is Born: Estelle dazzles with Iberian- and Italian-inspired fare

Whatever else you eat at Estelle, you’ll come back for the pastéis de nata. When these humble-looking, eggy little custard tarts hit the table at the new Spanish-Portuguese-Italian spot in the former Bottle Rocket space in St. Paul, they might not look like much, but they will put a hook in you. These perfectly flaky … [ Read more]

Minnesota’s Ron Swanson: Former Minnesota Twin Glen Perkins talks life after baseball at his woodshop and brewery

We pull into a driveway of former Minnesota Twins pitcher Glen Perkins’ 100-acre Lakeville farmstead, Gala Farms, on a crisp December day. He jumps out of his blue Ford Raptor to greet us, sporting a gray, half-zip hunting sweatshirt, khaki-colored winter hat, and a scruffy beard. He looks less like a millionaire former pro athlete … [ Read more]

The Taste Test: What we learned from blind tasting 70 hard seltzers in search of the best

Hard seltzer came upon us suddenly. It materialized out of nowhere at a Fourth of July barbecue. In a cooler on a fishing trip. At the concession stand of a townball park. We don’t recall asking for it, and yet there it appeared in some faint shade of berry or lime, conjured into our hand … [ Read more]

New Wave, Old School: With Due Focacceria, Eric Carrara leverages tradition to define the future

The crunch of a cannoli at St. Paul’s Due Focacceria really resonates. It’s not just a question of the shell, which is wrapped around a form, fried to a crispy, bubbled tube, and then filled to order. And it’s not just a question of the perfectly textured miniature chocolate chips that stud the lemon-zested cannoli … [ Read more]

Red Ale Rising: An upstart Irish brewer is betting Americans will soon tire of exotics and embrace classics

One afternoon last fall, Ian Hamilton hoisted a glass of red ale to his bearded lips as he recalled his days at the old Smithwick’s brewery. Hired at age 21, the tall Irishman had spent nearly two decades across two stints working at the manufacturing facility in Kilkenny, Ireland. In 2013, however, Smithwick’s longtime owner, … [ Read more]