About Brian Kaufenberg

Brian Kaufenberg is the managing editor, writer, and photographer at The Growler Magazine.

So long Wild Onion, Red Rabbit is coming to Grand Avenue

After two decades on Grand Avenue, St. Paul’s Wild Onion Bar & Restaurant is closing its doors on March 31 and will be transformed into Red Rabbit, the second location of Luke Shimp’s Italian eatery concept. “It’s been a great run! In the restaurant business, to be successful for 20 years is quite an accomplishment,” … [ Read more]

Askov Finlayson giving 110% to fight climate change

As a teenager, Eric Dayton sat in awe as famed polar explorer Will Steger rolled out a map of Antarctica to show him the route of an epic transcontinental expedition. The moment fueled Dayton’s love of the outdoors and exploration, gained during summers paddling through the Boundary Waters as a camper at Camp Widjiwagan in … [ Read more]

Trailblazers 2017: Jack Riebel

Chef Jack Riebel grew up just four blocks from an iconic St. Paul dining establishment: The Lexington. “My mom came in here all the time,” Riebel said in an interview with the Pioneer Press in January of 2017. “I remember eating the pot pie at the bar.” So perhaps it was no surprise that after … [ Read more]

Trailblazers 2017: Lee Egbert

There are many ways in which people are contributing to the local craft spirits industry: at the production level in the distillery; at the retail level behind the bar; even as media covering the scene. Lee Egbert, though, is doing it all. As a founding partner of 11 Wells in St. Paul, Egbert worked alongside … [ Read more]

Trailblazers 2017: Nate Watters & Tracy Jonkman of Keepsake Cidery

In spring of 2014, Nate Watters and Tracy Jonkman planted 2,400 apple tree saplings on their property in Dundas, Minnesota, with a singular goal in mind: make top quality cider from Minnesota-grown apples. Spanning 30 varieties of dessert and cider apples, the founders of Keepsake Cidery knew they were taking a big chance on the … [ Read more]

Trailblazers 2017: University of Minnesota Grape Breeding and Enology

This January, when the mercury dips below zero and the snow is blowing across windswept fields in Minnesota, take a moment to consider—in spring, the grape vines at the state’s 60-plus wineries and even more vineyards will begin to bloom again. This fact is due in large part to the University of Minnesota’s grape breeding … [ Read more]

Trailblazers 2017: Local Malt

  Malt is the backbone of craft beer. In fact, it can take three to seven times more malt to brew a craft beer than a domestic lager. That’s good news for the state’s few barley growers and maltsters. Up until two years ago, Minnesota was home to just one malting company, Rahr Malting Corporation. … [ Read more]

Hear ye, hear ye: Bud Light gets Medieval on Modist with creative cease-and-desist

Dilly, dilly! You may have heard the silly phrase thrown around between at the bar or tailgates recently, thanks to a Bud Light commercial that went viral a few months back. Heck, you may have used “dilly dilly” yourself. But one craft brewer was just served up perhaps the most creative cease-and-desist of the year … [ Read more]

Fare Thee Well, Red House: A 10-song toast to the folk record label’s Minnesota legacy

St. Paul’s famed Red House Records—long known as a top label for folk and Americana artists—is Nashville-bound after being acquired by Compass Records Group. Officially established in 1983 by singer-songwriter Greg Brown and Bob Feldman, Red House Records has served as springboard for Midwest folk artists like Spider John Koerner and John Gorka, as well … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: Jackalope at The Velveteen

On a quiet side street in downtown Stillwater, leaves skitter across the pavement through the orange glow of the few street lamps shining onto the sidewalk. Around the corner, in the lobby of an event center, a Rorschachian pair of rabbits etched on the floor lead through a nondescript door and downstairs to The Velveteen’s … [ Read more]

Rummage 2017: Your guide to the two-day pop-up craft market

Minnesota is a land of makers. In the Twin Cities and all across the state, small, independent businesses are making handcrafted goods that serve as an alternative to mass-produced products. This weekend Minnesotans can have the chance to visit 70 of these craft shops all in one place: the West End Market at the Minnesota … [ Read more]

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Grrrowler of the Month: Oreo

Each month we feature one up-for-adoption pooch from a local animal rescue. This month’s Grrrowler of the Month is presented by Secondhand Hounds. Name: Oreo Age: DOB Approx. 4/27/12 Gender: Female Breed: Pointer mix Weight: 65 lbs Dog friendly: Selective, does best with smaller dogs! Cat friendly: No Kid friendly: 16+ House trained: Yes Crate trained: Yes … [ Read more]

Miraculum and more—Pryes releasing four new beers for opening weekend

Pryes Brewing has been synonymous with Miraculum IPA, the company’s sole beer brand in their first three years of operation. But this Saturday, they are opening the creative floodgates with four brand new beers that will be on draft at its brand new production brewery and taproom, located across the Mississippi River from Boom Island in Minneapolis. Starting at 11am on June 17, patrons will … [ Read more]

Finnegans and Badger Hill team up in new brewing partnership

Finnegans, the nonprofit beer company currently building its Finnegans House brewery and social entrepreneurship incubator in Minneapolis, Minnesota, announced it will be partnering with Badger Hill Brewing Company in a unique business arrangement known as an alternating proprietorship. While both companies remain separate entities, the partnership allows the breweries to share each other’s infrastructure and will help … [ Read more]

Apple blossoms mean Minnesota’s cider season is here

Apple orchards are beginning to bloom and that can only mean one thing: cider season is here. Starting Friday, May 5, Number 12 Cider House’s taproom, located at Deer Lake Orchard in Buffalo, will be open for business on the weekends. Started by four couples, one of which owns Deer Lake Orchard, Number 12 is the maker … [ Read more]