Ellen Burkhardt

About Ellen Burkhardt

Ellen Burkhardt is a freelance writer. When she’s not writing, editing, or interviewing, chances are she’s on the road, seeking out good food, drink, conversation, and fodder for her next story.

Review: ‘West Side Story’ is all of our stories

It’s a story that could be told about any city, anywhere, at any time: Two ethnically divided groups fighting over pride, property, bragging rights, and power; their actions motivated by fear, insecurity, and hatred. “West Side Story” opened at the Ordway Center for Performing Arts on Thursday, April 7, with more energy and relevance than … [ Read more]

The Plan to Have No Plan

Finding the spontaneous, yet scheduled, happy medium that (almost) guarantees getting the most out of travel Accidentally walked 14.5 miles today. Not saying that in a humble brag way, rather an “I have no sense of direction and got lost multiple times and confused Google maps with my poor decisions and ended up in neighborhoods … [ Read more]

Cidermaker Profile: Rob Fisk of Wyndfall Cyder

For most people, the word “spitter” evokes the thought of something unpleasant—angry llamas, perhaps, or individuals who require a little extra talking space if you want to stay dry. Not Rob Fisk. For him, the word means something beautiful, something high quality, something on which he’s built his life. Spitters are the colloquial term for … [ Read more]

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Brewer Profile: Brian Schanzenbach of Blacklist Artisan Ales

The summer after freshman year of college, Brian Schanzenbach and Jon Loss built a raft and floated down the Mississippi River for five days. Their parents begged them not to do it, actually offering the two boys money in an attempt to talk them out of it. But the lifelong friends wouldn’t be swayed. They … [ Read more]

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Return of the rapids: Could the Upper Mississippi River run wild again?

Boulders and whitecaps surround me. My kayak feels unsteady at best, a mere toy in the hands of Mother Nature. I secure my helmet a notch tighter and grip my paddle with adrenaline-fueled super-human strength. I’ve never whitewater kayaked before, but I’m determined to learn. And what better place to do so than my hometown of … [ Read more]

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Brewer Profile: JT Dalton of Barley John’s Brewing Company

Artist. Teacher. Cook. Car detailer. Brewer. Not many people have a resume quite as colorful or diverse as JT Dalton. The 31-year-old grew up in Lakeville, Minnesota, and never had a clear direction of what he wanted to do beyond make art, skateboard, and snowboard. After high school, he moved to Minneapolis and started racing … [ Read more]

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Brewer Profile: Bang Brewing’s Jay and Sandy Boss Febbo

The first thing to know about Jay and Sandy Boss Febbo is that their stories are best told when both of them are there to tell them. Where Jay remembers things in sweeping panoramas, Sandy recalls details like specific dates and measurements, pivotal moments in a conversation, and how the light looked as it reflected … [ Read more]

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Now Open (Or Damn Close): Modist Brewing Company

There are lots of things in a taproom designed to draw a drinker’s attention. Things like clever tap handles, splashy artwork, unique beers, and an inviting atmosphere. The floor of the brewhouse? Not so much. But that’s the first thing that catches the eye at Modist Brewing Company, the soon-to-open, highly anticipated North Loop brewery … [ Read more]

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Brewer Profile: Simon Nielsen of Central Waters Brewing

There’s a certain art to perseverance. Pursue too eagerly and you’re a nuisance. Tiptoe too timidly and you’ll be forgotten. It’s all about timing and persistence, observation and steadfastness. And patience. Lots of patience. Simon Nielsen knows well what it means to persevere. The 29-year-old has already navigated more detours and hurdles than some people … [ Read more]

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Symphony and Suds Takes Classical Music Off the Stage and Into the Taproom

In a time when all things old are suddenly cool again, you’d think orchestral music would be a hot ticket item. But for some reason, while record players and retro furniture and typewriters have all made their way back into everyday life, classical music is still being snubbed by younger generations, and labeled as stuffy, … [ Read more]

For the love of theater: 11 shows opening this week

There are 11—yes, 11—shows opening this week in and around the Twin Cities, just in time for Valentine’s Day. (Read: Date ideas!) With such a wide variety of productions being staged, we thought we would take a minute to help you navigate your options. Here’s what’s coming up, in order of opening date. Feb. 9 – … [ Read more]

All by myself: One traveler’s take on the beauty and challenges of solo travel

It didn’t occur to me to keep track of how many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches I’d eaten until the loaf of bread was nearing its last slices. That had been the plan, after all: to survive on PB&J, tortilla chips, apples, and carrots, as well as the occasional gas station treat and breakfast or dinner … [ Read more]

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Brewer Profile: Insight Brewing’s Ilan Klages-Mundt

Most recent college graduates wouldn’t have turned down a job in 2010, on the heels of the Great Recession. Especially not when that job was in the graduate’s field of study. And definitely not when that field of study was music performance and teaching. But that’s precisely what Ilan Klages-Mundt did after graduating from Lawrence … [ Read more]

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Lullaby: A new kind of musical

Artistic inspiration doesn’t always strike in the way we think it will. It can come from anywhere at anytime—even from your insomniac two-year-old who refuses to adhere to any sort of sleep schedule. Such was the situation playwright Michael Elyanow found himself in 10 years ago. Elyanow and his husband were living in North Hampton, … [ Read more]

Better Beer Society wants to help your favorite watering hole serve beer better

The Better Beer Society’s name pretty much sums up its mission: to help make craft beer better. The main way they accomplish this task is through education, working directly with retailers to ensure everyone on staff is well-versed in beer styles, history, service, and food pairings (for retailers), and branding, marketing, operational and sales strategies, … [ Read more]