John Garland

About John Garland

John Garland is the Deputy Editor at the Growler Magazine. Find him on twitter (@johnpgarland) or in every coffee shop on West 7th Street.

The Belgian Waffle: From hallowed import to sidelined style to mega-brewery powerhouse—It’s been a wild ride for Belgian beer in the American 21st century

In the barrel room at Brasserie Cantillon in Brussels, Belgium, these words are painted on a barrel head that’s been tacked to a column: “Le temps ne respecte pas ce qui se fait sans lui.” Time does not respect that which is done without it. The beer at Cantillon, the world-class lambic brewery, is aged … [ Read more]

The Growler’s Tourism Guide 2020: A Townball Tour in Southern Minnesota

Find more great travel ideas in The Growler’s Tourism Guide 2020 My wife is, let’s say, baseball-tolerant. She’d never watch a game on TV but is more than happy to head out to the park to soak in one of the 60-or-so days when it’s actually enjoyable to be outside in this state. And we’ve … [ Read more]

The Good, The Bad, and the Smooth: Blind tasting 21 local vodkas in search of the finest

While we often dote on the nuances of fine bourbon, great vodka can be awfully pleasant: rich and creamy, smooth and balanced, crisp and clean.

State senate bill introduced to expand bottle sales and production limits for Minnesota microdistilleries

Minnesota’s small distilleries are lobbying to remove the need for those tiny bottles in their cocktail rooms. A bill numbered S.F. 3870 was introduced to the Minnesota State Senate on March 2, 2020, that would increase the limits on how much off-sale product a distillery can sell to visitors. The bill would amend section 340A … [ Read more]

The Taste Test: 23 Raised-Glazed Doughnuts from around the Twin Cities

In the wee baker’s hours of a chilly Thursday morning, the intrepid Growler editorial team fanned out across the metro—from Hans’ Bakery in Anoka to Puffy Cream in Eagan, from YoYo in Minnetonka to the Donut Hut in Little Canada—in search of the perfect raised-glazed doughnut. A classic raised-glazed, you see, is a thing of … [ Read more]

We blind tasted 31 NA beers and found 7 we actually enjoyed

Dry January has begun its devolution into Wet February. It’s the month bookended by the imbibing holidays of Super Bowl and Mardi Gras, featuring the drinking-one-way-or-the-other Valentine’s Day smack in the middle. But as a quick postscript on January, we wonder, where did your Sober Curiosity take you? For us, it was the warming embrace … [ Read more]

Change Agents: A series of fermentation projects at Colita is making old cocktails taste fresh and new

We squeeze past the crush of people in the entryway and snag two seats at the end of the bar at Colita. This is how we usually eat there—take a drive on Penn Avenue, slow down at 54th Street, assess the regular chaos (is that a new crowd or the six o’clock crowd finishing up?) … [ Read more]

The Taste Test: What we learned from blind tasting 70 hard seltzers in search of the best

Hard seltzer came upon us suddenly. It materialized out of nowhere at a Fourth of July barbecue. In a cooler on a fishing trip. At the concession stand of a townball park. We don’t recall asking for it, and yet there it appeared in some faint shade of berry or lime, conjured into our hand … [ Read more]

Supatra’s Thai Cuisine to Close December 28

We’re all Crying Tigers at Growler HQ today: Supatra’s Thai Cuisine will be ending its 15-year run on West 7th Street on Saturday, December 28. A sign posted at Supatra this morning reads: “We have accepted an offer to sell our business and we want to express our gratitude for the support we have received … [ Read more]

Strong tea and sweet honey are the recipe for the perfect non-alcoholic cocktail

It’s all about layers,” Erik Eastman tells me. “It should taste complex without being complicated.” Director of sales for Minnesota Ice and proprietor of Easy & Company, Eastman knows a thing or two about mixing a cocktail. But he’s received tons of great feedback lately—through social media and at a meeting of the Sunday Sober Supper … [ Read more]

Loon Liquor’s Experimental Series puts Frankincense and Myrrh in the Christmas Spirit

Loon Liquor Co. of Northfield has spent considerable effort over the last few years perfecting a lineup of liqueurs. Their coffee liqueur is well known to The Growler staff as what re-endeared us to White Russians. Their blueberry liqueur has the purest, most clarion fruit flavor of any berry spirit we’ve tasted. And their elderflower liqueur … [ Read more]

2019 Year in Review: Wine & Spirits

Ready, Set, Drink! Local distilleries mounted a full-scale invasion of the ready-to-drink (RTD) category in 2019. Canned and bottled cocktails are up 40% nationwide over 2018, riding the same wave as hard seltzers and canned wine in which drinkers are gravitating towards new flavors in convenient packaging. Vikre Distillery of Duluth launched Frenchie, a pink … [ Read more]

Time after Time: We drink The Lynhall’s new temporal cocktail menu

We didn’t know what to make of The Lynhall when it opened in 2017. At the time it seemed torn between minimalist coffee shop and shiplapped Insta-brunch hang (with a TV studio somehow in the mix?) The food was rote, but at least there was espresso and lots of room to spread out your laptop … [ Read more]

Variety is the Spice of Whiskey

Whiskey aficionados know which grains they like in their spirit. They can distinguish between the sweet softness of corn, the mellow creaminess of wheat, and the sharp grassiness of rye. But do they know which kind of corn or rye they like best? Probably not. But this might be the direction that craft whiskey is … [ Read more]

New lounge cocktails at P.S. Steak: serious, fun, seriously fun

In the past decade, the lounge of the 510 Groveland building has been the site of some legendary drink-making. So how does P.S. Steak’s new bar manager Keith Mrotek step into this space? With confidence, but also reverence. “This space has been synonymous with Johnny Michaels,” he says, noting the former La Belle Vie barman … [ Read more]

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