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About Brian Kaufenberg

Brian Kaufenberg is the editor-in-chief of The Growler Magazine.

Falling Knife has no handle, but it does have a brewhouse

There’s a new brewery taking over the former NorthGate Brewing space off of Highway 280 and Broadway in Minneapolis—Falling Knife Brewing Company. After a potential sale of NorthGate to Tod Fyten fell through, Falling Knife founders Andy Rutledge, Dan Herman, and Tom Berg toured the 7,400-square-foot brewery, which still has NorthGate’s 20-barrel brewing system installed, … [ Read more]

‘We made mistakes’: 612Brew opens up about their past and how they’re reinventing themselves in 2019

W hen 612Brew opened its taproom in February 2013, the excitement was palpable. The mayor and city council members celebrated the opening by hopping behind the bar and pouring beer; a sea of people filled every inch of the taproom and a line stretched out the door. The moment was a long time in the … [ Read more]

Year in Review: Minnesota Beer & Cider in 2018

By the end of 2018, the United States will have more than 7,000 breweries and brewpubs in operation. To help that sink in, consider that a decade ago that number was 1,574. And 40 years ago, in 1978, there were just 89.  This astounding growth in the number of breweries—the vast majority of them independent … [ Read more]

Gull Dam Brewing closing at end of 2018, retiring owners to sell the business

Although 2018 is winding down, the end of the year has come with a flurry of Minnesota brewery news, including a number of openings, a closing in November, and a slate of planned December openings. But it appears we’ll see at least one more Minnesota brewery closing its doors before the calendar turns over to 2019, … [ Read more]

St. Paul’s oldest brewpub, Great Waters Brewing Company, to close November 18

St. Paul’s oldest brewpub, Great Waters Brewing Company, will pour its last pint on November 18. The brewpub, which opened in 1997, issued a public announcement on its Facebook page on Saturday afternoon that it would be closing its doors for good. Great Waters’ location in downtown St. Paul at the corner of St. Peter … [ Read more]

First Look: Number 12 Cider’s North Loop taproom is open for business

Cider is flowing in the North Loop as Number 12 Cider’s new cidery and taproom opened last week. The taproom, located at 614 5th St. N. in Minneapolis, adds to the craft credentials of the neighborhood, which already boasts Inbound BrewCo, Modist Brewing, and Fulton Brewing’s taprooms within walking distance of each other. Number 12 … [ Read more]

25 Years in Beer: A Q&A with New Glarus Brewing Company President Deb Carey

W hen Deb Carey told her husband Dan that she wanted to start a brewery and wanted to hire him as the brewer, he brushed off the idea as little more than a pipe dream. While Dan, a Diploma Master Brewer who was working as a brewing supervisor for Anheuser-Busch in Colorado, liked the idea … [ Read more]

Birch’s Lowertown brings its small-batch, artisan ethos to Market House Collaborative

Birch’s Lowertown opened for business in the Market House Collaborative building in St. Paul on Tuesday, September 11, bringing its small-batch, handcrafted brewing ethos to a thriving brewery neighborhood. This is the second Birch’s brewpub for co-owners Burt Joseph and Brennan Greene, and they join Market House tenants Octo Fishbar, Peterson Craftsman Meats, Almanac Fish, … [ Read more]

Going all in with Nick Huisinga of Cuyuna Brewing Company

Nick Huisinga takes off on a trail barely wider than the tire of his fat bike, kicking up tufts of rust-colored dust into the air as he banks through root-ridden turns. The serpentine single-track trail winds through dense woods in the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area outside of Crosby, Minnesota. Exposed boulders and trees jutting … [ Read more]

Minnesota breweries haul in 12 medals at 2018 Great American Beer Festival

Great American Beer Festival, the nation’s largest beer festival with 800 breweries pouring 4,000 beers, came to a close Saturday, but not before 11 Minnesota breweries were awarded with 12 medals in the 2018 GABF competition, four of which were gold. Duluth’s Bent Paddle Brewing Company won gold in the classic Saison category for its … [ Read more]

The Growler’s Field Guide to Cider, Chapter 6: Cider in The North

You’re reading Chapter 6 of 7. For the complete contents of The Growler’s Field Guide to Cider, click here. Minnesota’s cider scene is young and, like a knobby-kneed teenager, still trying to find its legs. The cidermaking industry in Minnesota is just over six years old and has yielded ciders running the gamut from Old … [ Read more]

10 Years in Beer: Lift Bridge’s Dan Schwarz on lessons learned, the future of the brand, and Minnesota’s beer industry

Ten years ago, a group of homebrewers launched Lift Bridge Brewing Company in the historic river town of Stillwater, Minnesota, selling their first keg in September 2008. Since then, the company led by Dan Schwarz, Brad Glynn, Trevor Cronk, and Jim Pierson has planted itself firmly in the top 10 largest craft breweries in the … [ Read more]

Two Twin Ports brewery staples are getting a refresh

Two of the Twin Ports’ oldest breweries and brewpubs are getting a refresh with new faces in the brewhouse, new packaging, and a rebrand. After months of being without a brewer, Thirsty Pagan Brewing’s owner Steve Knauss tapped Kathleen Culhane, the founder and brewer at the now-defunct Sídhe Brewing in St. Paul, to fill the … [ Read more]

Soil Farmers: How A Renewed Focus On The Land Is Building More Resilient Farms

Peter Allen wants to bury a fence. Tucked within the rolling landscape of the driftless region, on a farm outside of Viola, Wisconsin, a barbed wire fence runs along the spine of a ridge separating a strip of pasture from the valley below. The noticeable three-foot drop between the fence and the field is the … [ Read more]

First Look: Pearl & the Thief brings Southern comfort to Stillwater

Executive chef Justin Sutherland and general manager Joseph Pirri of St. Paul’s Handsome Hog are opening their new Southern-inspired restaurant, Pearl & the Thief, in downtown Stillwater on Tuesday, May 29. Between the comfort food dishes and its striking design, Pearl & the Thief progresses the food and drink scene in the historic river town. … [ Read more]