Minnesota Spoon: Back to the Stone Age with Twin Cities bakers embracing Old World traditions

If you’ve ever gotten used to the taste of Folgers coffee—as I have, intermittently, during life’s dark stretches—and then opened a bag of just-ground, freshly roasted coffee beans, you will understand my state of mind last Friday, as I walked into the production room of Baker’s Field Flour & Bread, in Northeast Minneapolis’s Food Building. … [ Read more]

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Pedals and Pull-Tabs: The dive bars of U.S. Bike Route 41

The North Star Bicycle Route (a.k.a., U.S. Bicycle Route 41) connects St. Paul, Minnesota, to the Canadian border, winding through Duluth, Grand Marais, two national parks, past nine state parks, and along the shores of Lake Superior. The route offers 315 miles of safe and sound pedaling, either on mixed-used paths or highways with bike-friendly … [ Read more]

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New species of cold-tolerant yeast could yield better lager

Yeast—it ferments our beer, leavens our bread, and is found virtually everywhere on earth. But despite the many thousands of yeast strains catalogued in collections around the world, it’s estimated that we’ve only identified perhaps as little as 10 percent of what exists in nature. Thanks to a group of researchers at the University of Manchester, … [ Read more]

Meet the man who helped make Sunday Sales the law of the land

Despite not working in the beverage industry, Andrew Schmitt has had a hand in changing it for every citizen in the state. As a result of his efforts, Minnesotans will experience a brand new phenomenon this weekend—buying alcohol on a Sunday. Schmitt (or “Schmitty” as he’s often affectionately referred to in the industry) was there, sitting in … [ Read more]

Brewers Association releases Top 50 Craft Breweries of 2016 list

The Brewers Association released their annual Top 50 Craft Breweries list for 2016, which ranks America’s breweries by annual production. Three Minnesota craft breweries made the list in 2016. New Ulm’s August Schell Brewing, which opened its new Starkeller in early March, jumped three spots from 27 to 24. Summit Brewing, which celebrated its 30th anniversary … [ Read more]

First Look: Schell’s new Star Keller Brewing Company

For the past few years, August Schell Brewing Company’s Noble Star series has helped put mixed-culture beers on the map in Minnesota and beyond. The Berliner weiss-style beers are aged in restored cypress fermentation tanks Schell’s purchased in 1936 and many are aged with fruit, including the newest beer in the series, Harmony of Spheres, which was aged on … [ Read more]

8 things every brewery should do to be more conservation-minded

The idea of being more sustainable can be daunting for any brewer when you consider all the heat, water, and ingredients in play, not to mention the potential for waste. But when you get to the core of sustainability, it comes down to maximizing usage, buying smart, and giving back. Here are eight ways any … [ Read more]

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5 local comedians to watch in 2017

There’s no doubt that 2016 was a weird year. But if there was one redeeming quality to our last revolution around the sun, it was the continued explosion of our local comedy scene. Many of the Twin Cities’ most popular and reliable comedians made the move towards national stardom, moving to Los Angeles and New … [ Read more]

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Beers for non-beer people

When you love beer, you want to share it. One challenge, though, is that for many people there’s a notion that “beer” is just “fizzy corn water with a touch of alcohol.” The dominance of macro light lager in the marketplace for so long has convinced many people that beer only means one thing, and … [ Read more]

The Taste Test: Blind-tasting 26 Minnesota Oktoberfests

Much was learned at The Growler and Northern Brewer’s first blind tasting of a formidable field of 53 Minnesota-made American IPAs. Our first blind tasting earlier this year gave us a snapshot of the state of brewing in Minnesota through the lens of a ubiquitous style. We sampled IPAs that fell short of expectations and … [ Read more]

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Big Beer buys Northern Brewer

Roseville-based Northern Brewer Homebrew Supply, the largest homebrewing supplier in the country, and its sister company Midwest Supplies have been acquired by a venture capital arm of Anheuser-Busch InBev. The Growler first caught wind of a potential acquisition from a tip pointing us a homebrew forum last week. Since then, Beer Marketer’s Insights has reported that Northern has “partnered” with ZX Ventures, a … [ Read more]

How to choose the record player that’s right for you

Everyone used to know a stereo expert, someone with the full console setup and a 7.1 sound system that made the bass purr, rumble, or pound depending on the song. That was back in the pre-digital era when CDs still reigned supreme and cassettes and turntables played second fiddle. While iPods and Bluetooth define the … [ Read more]

The State of Sours: An update on Minnesota’s funkiest beers

Minnesota brewers are becoming fixated on mixed-fermentation [Editor’s Note: This post will continue to be updated with more news on sours made by Minnesota’s breweries] A whole new segment of Minnesota beer has turned sour. Or maybe not sour—that makes it sound like a mistake. These beers are intentionally tart and astringent, funky and wild. “Sour beer” is … [ Read more]

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And your craft beer options at U.S. Bank Stadium are…

When U.S. Bank Stadium opens later this summer, visitors will be able to enjoy craft beer from some of Minnesota’s smallest and largest craft breweries. An agreement between Aramark, the stadium’s food and beverage manager, and the Northeast Brewers and Distillers Association (NEBDA) will bring a rotating selection of beer and cider from Insight Brewing, 56 Brewing, Sociable Cider … [ Read more]

Dance outside: 2016 summer music festival preview

Today, June 20, is the official start of summer, which means the calendar in the coming months is chock full of outdoor music festivals. See the list below for some of our favorites, and we’ll see you on the dance floor (or mud pit, depending on the fest and the weather). Basilica Block Party | … [ Read more]