John Garland

About John Garland

John Garland is the Senior Editor at the Growler Magazine. Find him on twitter (@johnpgarland) or in real life at various bar patios in South Minneapolis.

Fridays on Isabel: Black Market StP brings its barbecue to the people

A large silver barbecue smoker is parked on the 200 block of Isabel Street on St. Paul’s West Side. It’s a neighborhood fixture. Pull up Google Maps and you’ll see it in the satellite photos. Every week, Robert Lorch-Benysek and his wife, Jill Moeller, load it with black cherry wood and stuff the racks full … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: Fall Cide-Car at Lyn 65

October means apples in the Upper Midwest. On your obligatory orchard trip in the next few weeks, consider snagging a jug of cider to mix into a seasonal cocktail. We’ll let our friend Jami Olson, who you’ll find behind the bar at Lyn 65, explain: “The change of seasons always inspires what’s on our menu, … [ Read more]

Spirits Close-Up: The Ultimate Hot Toddy Matrix

We can’t fight it any longer. Winter is coming, so let’s get our hot toddy game in order. It’s pretty hard to screw it up—all you need is a slug of booze and a spot of sugar. Pick one of each, juice a lemon, and consult this matrix for how to finish it off.

Craft Cocktail: Garden Sling at Lawless Distilling

The impending chills of October may have you craving hot drinks (See: Spirits Close-Up). But not so fast—there’s still time to eek out a few drams of summer. I mean, just look at your herb garden. It’s about to bite the dust. And what can you do with a full bush of thyme and all … [ Read more]

Dashfire Bitters gain national distribution and distiller’s permit, spirits coming in 2018

Lee Egbert has a row of gorgeous copper stills arrayed against one wall of a Minnetonka warehouse. His bitters company, Dashfire LLC, has received its Distilled Spirits Permit (DSP) and, while many would start making spirits the moment the paperwork came through, Egbert’s stills aren’t even hooked up. “The distillation is exciting, but I’ve done … [ Read more]

Spirits Close-Up: Minnesota Rye Whiskey

There is no shortage of fine whiskey on the planet. What can small distillers offer that the big guys haven’t already perfected? If craft whiskey is a viable enterprise, it has to focus on its one competitive advantage—a luxury brought about by hard work and a local mindset. They need to be choosy with their … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn at Dakota Jazz Club

The circumstances always dictate the right drink, and the quirks are what make them memorable. Last week, I ordered a Brooklyn cocktail at the Dakota Jazz Club, turned around to clap for a bass solo, turned back around and there it was in front of me. I was surprised. I hadn’t heard the rattle of … [ Read more]

The Food Hub Dilemma (or what we mean when we say we support local farmers)

What’s the best way to support a local farmer? Buying their product, obviously, that much is clear. But how? And where? I’ve been providing mostly scattershot support for my farmer-neighbors. I eat at restaurants known to feature their products. I browse farmers’ markets and have a CSA share. I try to eat with the seasons, … [ Read more]

Cold Climate Wine Competition 2017: La Crescent, Marquette reign supreme

The Growler was on hand to help judge the 2017 International Cold Climate Wine Competition, which always gives us a good barometer on the state of local wine. The competition is open to any winery using non-Vinifera, cold-hardy grape varieties to make wine, and some of the region’s finest wineries were among the winners this … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: Wilde at Bar Brigade

Drinking at Bar Brigade is all about rosé on tap and riffs on cocktails that were popular in fin de siècle Paris. We settle in a cozy nook, brimming with greenery, and pass on a pretty French wine list in favor of a cloudy cocktail to beat back the sweltering afternoon. Haden Riles is behind the … [ Read more]

Spirits Close-Up: Pastis

In the waning days of summer, you don’t want to be stuck inside muddling, shaking, and fussing over drinks for your guests. Not while the sun is shining and three friends on the bocce court are calling for a fourth. This month calls for a jug of ice cold water and a bottle of pastis. … [ Read more]

The Iowa pork loin at The Original on 42nd is Hawkeye-approved

Welcome to Plate Of The Week, a journal about memorable dining experiences in the Twin Cities. Which plate can’t you stop thinking about? Let us know @growlermag. One of the easiest things to love about the Hawkeye State is the regional sandwich quirks. Iowa is the home of Maid-Rites, also called loose-meat sandwiches, which are just crumbled … [ Read more]

Saint Dinette’s quail is St. Paul’s underrated fried bird

Welcome to Plate Of The Week, a journal about memorable dining experiences in the Twin Cities. Which plate can’t you stop thinking about? Let us know @growlermag. You’ve no doubt already gorged on a certain fried bird up on Cathedral Hill, and as well you should have. But next time the urge strikes you, there’s one … [ Read more]

StormKing Barbecue has the right mindset for brisket

Welcome to Plate Of The Week, a journal about memorable dining experiences in the Twin Cities. Which plate can’t you stop thinking about? Let us know @growlermag.  It’s a common refrain from Twin Cities diners, a problematic mindset, born of nostalgia for better plates in better cities. “The X in Minneapolis is nothing compared to the same in Y.” … [ Read more]

Plate of the Week: Artisan Sandwich at Rise Bagel Co.

A dreary Wednesday morning. Downtown Minneapolis clogged with diverted highway traffic fighting through lane closures on every street. And then the rain enters the mix—grinding the sluggish, honking mess of cars to a halt. The antidote: bagels. Real bagels. Not those puffy, bagel-shaped dough cakes that pass for bagels around here. I’m talking burnished on the top, close-textured, but … [ Read more]