About Joseph Alton

The ‘weediest’ beer of them all

When I walked into Shamrocks Irish Nook for a team happy hour on the Friday before St. Patrick’s Day I got a blast of green I didn’t expect. From the moment I set foot in the place, and all the way back to our table in the back-back room, all I could smell was reefer. … [ Read more]

Trailblazers 2017: Sandy and Jay Boss Febbo of Bang Brewing

How do Sandy and Jay Boss Febbo split up the responsibilities of owning and operating a brewery and taproom? It’s simple: they don’t. “Our chosen scale has allowed us to operate as a true partnership,” says Sandy Boss Febbo, co-owner of Bang Brewing and wife of Jay. “We both like seeing things through start to … [ Read more]

Trailblazers 2017: Quality Beer

If there’s one trend in local beer that I’d like to see stick around, it’s a newfound dedication to consistency and quality. For far too long in this community, inexperienced breweries have been bringing bad—often fundamentally flawed—beers to market. Now, as consumers become educated about quality craft beer and more breweries are investing in quality … [ Read more]

Now Open: Venn Brewing Company in South Minneapolis

When I walk in the door at Venn Brewing Company, I’m greeted by smiling faces at the end of an extensive wood bar. It’s a sunny December day and the beautiful black walnut bar is shimmering in a wash of the natural light reflecting in from the snow outside, giving the whole space a certain … [ Read more]

The 10 Best Minnesota Camping Beers

Editor’s note: A version of this story originally appeared in the Star Tribune’s “THE BIG LIST: CAMPING” on March 31, 2017. The key to any successful camping trip is preparation. You should understand what you’re in for and equip yourself accordingly. Tent? Obviously. Sleeping bag? Check. Knife? Sharp AF. Pack only the essentials. More room for … [ Read more]

Star Keller Brewing Company will open to the public in March

Almost four years ago I made the trek down to August Schell Brewing Company in New Ulm, Minnesota, for the launch of their Goosetown Gose. We sampled the new beer, then enjoyed a few more samples in the tasting room before Jace Marti, the sixth generation brewmaster at Schell’s, offered a special tour of the state’s … [ Read more]

Ahead of their time: Town Hall was barrel-aging beer before it was cool

Before the late 1990s, the lives of barrels mostly started and ended with their relationship to wine or spirits. The notion of aging a beer in used barrels was still a relatively novel concept. What you may not know is that one of your favorite Minneapolis brewpubs was one of the earliest pioneers in barrel-aging beer. “It wasn’t a … [ Read more]

Can Can Wonderland is weird and that’s why you’ll love it

The seating area next to the main bar at Can Can Wonderland // Photos by Kevin Kramer The expression on my face must have conveyed awe to the bubbly host that greeted me at the door. “It’s weird right?!” she asked with boastful pride and earnest excitement. Having successfully navigated a catacomb-like warehouse in St. Paul’s Midway neighborhood, I … [ Read more]

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Trailblazers 2016: Sour Beer

I will never forget my first sip of Duchesse De Bourgogne. That fateful moment opened my eyes to a whole new world of what beer could be. More than a decade and countless sour sips later, I’m excited to watch as the wild/sour/mixed-fermentation category becomes one of the fastest growing segments of American craft beer. … [ Read more]

Trailblazers 2016: 89.3 The Current

Minnesota Public Radio will celebrate 50 years on the airwaves in 2017. A lot has changed since the organization humbly began broadcasting a single classical music frequency out of Collegeville, Minnesota, in 1967. But one thing has remained constant: MPR’s forward-thinking focus on remaining an indispensable resource for Minnesotans of generations present and future. The … [ Read more]

Hoops Brewing to open in Duluth in 2017

Master Brewer Dave Hoops, formerly of Fitger’s Brewhouse, is opening a brewery and beer hall in Duluth’s Canal Park in spring of 2017. The project, a culmination of years of experience and planning, will be called Hoops Brewing, and will occupy the former Timber Lodge Steakhouse space in The Suites Hotel building at 325 Lake … [ Read more]

Last night in Lima: How my pursuit of craft beer in Peru made the world a smaller place

Everything that happened that night after the “Barbarian Challenge” was a bit of a blur. I remember exchanging hugs and contact information with our new friends, the walk-run back to the hostel, semi-frantically stuffing clothes into my backpack, and a prolonged, Art of The Deal-esque negotiation with the cab driver over how many soles a … [ Read more]

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Dangerous Man Launching Barrel Aging Program, Releasing 4 New Beers

Photos by Aaron Davidson “There’s something about barrels that is just so romantic,” doted Dangerous Man’s ‘creative director and list maker’ Sarah Bonvallet as she reminisced about the excitement her partner Rob Miller and the rest of the Dangerous Man brewers exuded about the next chapter for one of NE Minneapolis’ favorite breweries. “I feel like [a barrel … [ Read more]

The Year in Beer 2014

Minnesota has seen significant growth in craft beer over the past 12 months, and all signs point to an equally impressive 2015. By our count Minnesota currently has more than 75 breweries and brewpubs in operation. We now have more breweries in the state than we have had at any point since Prohibition. In addition … [ Read more]

Toast the Repeal of Prohibition with Craft Cocktails from Easy & Oskey

At 5:32 p.m. December 5, 1933, Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st amendment, giving prohibition opponents the three-fourths majority needed to repeal the 18th Amendment, ending the national prohibition of alcohol in the United States of America. The Volstead Act–passed in Congress on October 28, 1919 and co-authored by Minnesota native Andrew … [ Read more]