Brendan Kennealy

About Brendan Kennealy

Brendan Kennealy is a writing and PR professional who lives and works in St. Paul. Find him on Twitter here: @extrapalemale.

How a Two-Cent Postcard Inspired Dr. Cora Johnstone Best to Climb the World’s Greatest Mountains

The world’s first postcard was issued nearly 150 years ago in October 1869, according to the internet. Nothing more than a card mailed without an envelope, they’re popular today among insurance agents who want to wish their clients a happy birthday. But the humble postcard once held so much more promise. Case in point: A … [ Read more]

Craft Culture: Hand-sewn garments at Mill City Fineries

Surrounded by fabrics from all over the world, Brad Wellman, 29 years old and cofounder of Mill City Fineries, stands in a quiet, freshly painted warehouse in St. Anthony East. Bundles of pastels and plaids crowd a wire rack packed with Brazilian silk, soft Scottish wool, and swatches of houndstooth and herringbone. Arms outstretched, he … [ Read more]

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Craft Culture: Custom messenger bags at Trash

When Modist Brewing Company painted its trademark teal floor and started pouring beers this spring, Andy Larson, the 34-year-old owner and CEO of Trash Messenger Bags, had a front-row seat. That’s because the North Loop brewery is also his landlord. Tucked into the narrow, low-ceilinged loft above Modist’s brewing tanks, the doorway and stairs leading … [ Read more]

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Craft Culture: Great Northern Boatworks turns unusable boats into show pieces

Along the eastern edge of a chewed-up dirt lot off Como Avenue in St. Paul, the pristine white bow of a Windsor Craft boat noses through a large garage door, reflecting the bright afternoon sun. It’s an odd place to spot a boat, considering there’s not a drop of water in sight. The buildings around … [ Read more]

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Conservation in action: Restoring North America’s bison population

Take a Sunday drive along the rolling county roads of outstate Minnesota, watching out your window as lakes and clustered cabins give way to sprawling farmland and the odd barn or cowshed, and you might spot among the dairy farms and cornfields the occasional ranch dedicated to raising bison. From the safe side of a … [ Read more]

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160 years of curling in Minnesota

Two-time U.S. Olympic curler and former junior high chemistry teacher Jeff Isaacson, 32, has a new gig: teaching curling. Last April, he became manager of the new Chaska Curling Center, which began its first season of league play just after the New Year. Interest in the new curling club is overwhelming, Isaacson says. When the … [ Read more]

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Sour Notes: The story and people behind New Belgium’s funky beer

With 336 total entries at the 2015 Great American Beer Festival, the American-Style India Pale Ale category remained the event’s most competitive. One of the fastest-growing trends, however, is sour beer. In fact, this year’s GABF competition featured four categories for sours, each with various sub-categories for fruited and barrel-aged varieties. While many American breweries … [ Read more]

LIVE BLOG: The Growler at the Great American Beer Fest

Updated: September 27, 9:30 a.m., from a Nameless Corporate Coffee Shop on a Sunny Street in Downtown Denver A total of 275 professional medals were awarded yesterday to 242 different breweries, and since seven of those medals went to Minnesota breweries, we tracked down Phil Platt, the Executive Director of the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild, to see what … [ Read more]

Book Dabbler: Violent Nature in The Dig

When I opened the bottle of Badger Hill’s High Road Everyday Ale and passed it to my dad, neither of us expected it to fizz up and foam over. The beer flowed over my outstretched hand and spilled onto the floor. Dad stayed dry in his recliner, fortunately, but the dog, Gus, ran for the … [ Read more]

Craft Culture: Tim Reede’s Custom Guitars and Basses

Photos by Kristine Erickson Tim Reede sits on the edge of a green loveseat with a handmade Sitka spruce acoustic guitar in his lap. He’s in the attic above his custom guitar workshop, which looks from the outside like any other garage next to any other home in the Corcoran neighborhood of Minneapolis. Rock gods Jimi, … [ Read more]

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Fissures in Friendship: ‘I Refuse’ by Per Petterson

New Glarus Brewing Company made news this spring when Spotted Cow, its flagship brew, was sold illegally at a tavern in Maple Grove, Minnesota. Because New Glarus distributes and sells its beer exclusively in Wisconsin, any non-Wisconsinites who want to legally purchase Spotted Cow—or any of the brewery’s offerings—must travel to the Badger State to … [ Read more]

Four Years on Seven Corners: A Profile of Matty O’Reilly

Matty O’Reilly, shaved clean from his chin to the top of his head, relaxes in a high-back chair at the bar at 318 Café. Behind him, on a narrow stage framed by wood beams and soaked in late-afternoon light, members of the Daisy Dillman Band test their mics and tune their acoustic guitars. A couple … [ Read more]

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Book Dabbler: The World is on Fire

Last June I drove to Osceola, Wisconsin, to paddle the St. Croix with a college buddy. I filled a cooler with beer and beef jerky—ready for a day of sunburn and sweat—but a thunderstorm forced me off the road before I left the Cities. I managed to avoid the flash floods and tree limbs in … [ Read more]

Chasing the Beer Scene in Austin

Jack White, the former White Stripes front man, recently played a stellar concert at the Austin Music Hall in Texas. As soon as the house lights went down and the speakers switched on, the crowd found itself surrounded by a non-medicinal smoke cloud threatening to burn up every lung in the house. When you find … [ Read more]

Book Dabbler: The Diabolical Chaos of The Infernal

The most exceptional breweries aren’t afraid to take risks. Whether it’s new barrel-aging techniques or infusing their flagship beers with interesting flavors, they keep finding novel ways to excite craft beer lovers. Take Surly, for example. I recently downed a half pint of their Fiery Hell at the new Surly Beer Hall. According to the … [ Read more]