Denver: The Only City In The West






Colorado helped pave the way for craft beer nationwide. How is Denver beer getting on now that it’s mainstream? Take a window seat on the train ride from Denver International Airport to Union Station. On the half-hour trip from the middle of nowhere, watch the city come into focus through the dust and sun. Watch … [ Read more]

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Minnesota’s fire towers: Steel sentinels standing guard over the state’s forests






Autumn travel in the Northland offers an abundance of adventures and breathtaking fall scenery, but few can top the thrill and view of climbing one of the remaining fire towers that once guarded Minnesota’s forests. Standing at an average of over 100 feet in height, these steel sentinels once numbered around 150 in Minnesota (by … [ Read more]

Come on inn: The Oxbow Hotel and The Lakely open Thursday






Indie folk band, Bon Iver, has won Grammy Awards, collaborated with Kanye West, thrown multi-day music festivals, and just released their third studio album, “22, A Million,” on September 30. And in just a few short days, the founder and frontman behind the group, Justin Vernon, will be able to say that he helped open a … [ Read more]

Wood-fired feasting: Lessons from Chef Camp






In the opening of his book “The Magic of Fire,” William Rubel writes that “firelight infuses everything cooked on the hearth with a touch of magic.” This may be doubly true for the campfire, the outdoor hearth that has been bringing people together at dinnertime since before the dawn of history. It was a love … [ Read more]

Slay to Gourmet: Alaska moose hunt






A year ago, my Uncle Mark called me with an invitation to go to Fairbanks, Alaska, for a week of moose hunting and a getaway from the city. Thankfully I agreed, despite not knowing much about moose, or moose hunting, or Fairbanks, or what the hell I was about to get myself into. I won’t … [ Read more]

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The Neighborhood Walkabout: Armatage






The juices from the succulent pulled pork seep through the golden crusted ciabatta bun through my fingers and all over my hands. This sandwich, known as the Calabrian from Porchetteria At Terzo Vino Bar, is messy beyond normal comfort but I don’t care. It’s too delicious to care, and on this beautiful afternoon, blocks away … [ Read more]

Culture in a glass: Lessons learned drinking through South Asia






Picture this: It’s 7,000 B.C. in the Henan province of northern China, and someone has just mixed up a concoction of hawthorn berries, honey, and rice into a bowl. After leaving it out for a few weeks, whether on purpose or by accident, the liquid spontaneously ferments into something sweet, pungent, and that, when imbibed, … [ Read more]

My cousin Ulli: A quest for non-traditional beer in Germany and Belgium






Like many natives of the Midwest, I am part Rheinländer German. My mother’s family is from Trier, a city near the border of Luxembourg; they were captains of riverboats on the Moselle and the Rhine. I graduated as a German major at the University of Iowa and studied for a semester in Göttingen, then in … [ Read more]

Southern Florida’s craft beer scene heats up






The state of Florida has only recently adopted craft beer into its drinking culture. That’s largely due to Prohibition-era blue laws that make it difficult to open a craft brewery. As a result, the majority of craft breweries here are less than three years old. But what the state lacks in longevity, it makes up … [ Read more]

Vogue has discovered Minneapolis—and is really pumped about it






Vogue posted today a love-letter of sorts to about Minneapolis, singing the praises of the City of Lakes, from its lakes (duh) to its arts, food, shopping, and more. …The city itself is brimming with travel opportunities—especially during the warmer months. Maybe lake culture and the Midwest friendliness are infectious characteristics. Maybe winter-weary Minnesotans know … [ Read more]

Sun Country awarded non-stop flights to Cuba






Sun Country Airlines has been approved to fly nonstop from the Twin Cities to two cities in Cuba, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced today, reports The Star Tribune. The agency said Sun Country will be able to fly from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to Santa Clara, the capital of Villa Clara province in central … [ Read more]

The Wide World of Beer: 15 of the world’s greatest food & beer destinations






One of the first dedicated temples of beer and food I ever visited, perhaps the first, didn’t even make the cut when I was compiling a list of 100 Great Beer & Food Destinations for my latest book, “The Beer & Food Companion.” It was In ‘t Spinnekopke, which I and a generation of early … [ Read more]

To Utah, With Love: My first date in the land of 3.2% beer






It’s a Thursday in mid-February and I’m on the second day of a four-day first date. It’s going well, so far. My date is a kind man, with eyes that are somehow both the deepest green and the most striking blue. Turquoise, maybe. He’s driving me around in a new car and wearing an attractive … [ Read more]

Chasing the Beer Scene in the Canadian Rockies






The Kootenay region of British Columbia, Canada, was not the first place I thought to visit when I weighed my options for a weeklong road trip to check out some craft breweries. This stretch of the Rockies in southeastern British Columbia is known for incredible powder in the winter and a wealth of activities in … [ Read more]

The Wide World of Beer: Southern California Dreaming






Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, I hosted a series of beer tastings at the bar in the Four Points LAX, then known as the “Beer Hotel.” Those were the days when Southern California was a pretty sad place for beer, so our events featured mostly beers from the state’s northern half, mixed … [ Read more]