Craft Culture: Handmade toboggans at Northern Toboggan & Sled

Snow crunches under my tires as I pull up to the modest building. The air has that undeniable crispness winter brings with her as she settles in for the season. On a parcel of farmland six miles east of Warroad, Minnesota, mere miles from the Canadian border, John Harren’s Northern Toboggan & Sled shop is … [ Read more]

The Legend of Joe Rolette: The Most Interesting Man in Minnesota History

There’s a thing called ghosting, in which a person breaks off all communication with the world, ignoring all texts, calls, e-mails, semaphore flags, ASL, telegrams, etc. (Parents: Ask your kids if this is still unclear.) The New York Times discovered it when Charlize Theron went AWOL on Sean Penn. You may remember that Wisconsin legislators also … [ Read more]

The Last Great Race: A Minnesotan’s Incredible Rise in Sled Dog Racing & Why He Left it All Behind

The Greyhound bus pulled away, leaving Jake Berkowitz stranded on a dirt road in the middle of northern Michigan. A few days earlier, the 18-year-old was celebrating Thanksgiving with his family in St. Paul, Minnesota. Now he was alone, waiting for a stranger to pick him up and introduce him to a way of life … [ Read more]

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Craft Cocktail: Falcon Gravy is the holiday ‘egg nog’ of your dreams

This is the nog of your dreams. It’s rich and foamy and looks as impressive as it tastes. A note on the beer: You want to get the carbonation out of the milk stout before mixing it. Either get Left Hand’s nitro bottled version, or roll a regular stout back and forth between two glasses … [ Read more]

Holiday Goose Recipe

Confit Goose Legs and Goose Breast Sous Vide with Goose Jus By Jon Wipfli, The Minnesota Spoon Goose might not be your go-to holiday bird, but this recipe will make you a believer. Don’t let fancy French words like confit and sous vide scare you off, these techniques are within your reach. If you can … [ Read more]

Now Open (Or Damn Close): Lake Monster Brewing

“A taproom gives us a home base, it gives us an identity, it gives us the local connection—a lot more than we’ve had to this point,” says Matt Lange, head brewer and co-owner of Lake Monster Brewing. “It’s going to be huge.” Lake Monster started in 2013 by contract brewing their Calhoun Claw Pilsner and … [ Read more]

The State of Minnesota Whiskey

The Minnesota craft-distilling scene is looking to find its place in the geography of whiskey. With a handful of distilleries now past that two-year mark, it’s nearing the time for many to make the jump from barrel to bottle and start bringing aged spirits to market. Adrian Panther of Panther Distillery in Osakis believes Minnesota’s … [ Read more]

Wisconsin’s Northern Discovery and the importance of wild hops

When La Crosse, Wisconsin’s, Pearl Street Brewery released Linalool IPA on October 16, they made history as the first brewery to use the Wisconsin wild hop, Northern Discovery, in a bottled beer. Pearl Street’s brewmaster and founder Joe Katchever likes the idea of his brewery utilizing what is essentially a local hop. “The beer is basically … [ Read more]

How Travail’s model is creating chefs that meet diners’ expectations face-to-face

Ferran Adria, the father of international modernist cuisine, visited Minneapolis for the first time in October, less than 24 hours after news broke that the father of the modern Minneapolis restaurant scene, La Belle Vie, would close its doors later that month. It was an auspicious coincidence that left us wondering about the expectation we … [ Read more]

Major ownership, brewer changes at Fitger’s Brewhouse

A lot has changed in the beer world since Tim Nelson and Rod Raymond opened Fitger’s Brewhouse in 1995 as one of only four breweries operating in the state of Minnesota. Today some big changes for the Duluth brewpub were announced. Nelson is selling his interests in the business to Raymond and head brewer Dave Hoops is … [ Read more]

Green acres: investment, innovation, and the future of local hops

Early September brings with it the start of school, the last vacation to the cabin, or even a blue ribbon at the Minnesota State Fair. For hop growers, this time of year means a hectic, labor-intensive, but potentially glorious payoff: harvest. From mid-August through mid-September, hop growers from across Minnesota’s burgeoning hop industry are gathering … [ Read more]

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Downtown Minneapolis “brewtel” concept to include Finnegans brewery

Big news in the Minnesota beer world: Finnegans is planning to open its own three-story microbrewery in a new downtown Minneapolis development. Kraus-Anderson unveiled its master plan to remake a block in Elliot Park, between Portland and 5th avenues between 8th and 9th streets near downtown Minneapolis, into the home of its new headquarters, a 17-story apartment tower, … [ Read more]

Lessons from Year One

We asked six Minnesota breweries to reflect on the ups and downs of their first year in the brewing business Minnesota will have more than 100 craft breweries in business by the end of 2015. It’s remarkable, considering the state had only five licensed breweries in 2005. While all the new developments are interesting, what’s … [ Read more]

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Keeping up with Jon Oulman

The man behind the eponymous salon, 331 Club, Amsterdam Bar and Hall, Como Dockside, and soon-to-be Sheridan Room opens up about his journey from meat cutter to restaurateur Photos by Aaron Davidson It’s 10am on a sunny Tuesday in early June and Como Dockside Lakeside Pavilion is already buzzing. Even though Dockside’s full menu doesn’t … [ Read more]

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The North… Or Not?

What began as a quiet conversation about Minnesota’s regional identity has, of late, morphed into a full-blown wedge issue with dedicated and vocal followings on both sides. Does “The Midwest” fully encapsulate who we are or is it time to cut ties and strike out on our own as “The North?” Former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak … [ Read more]