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.

Year in Review: Minnesota Wine & Spirits in 2018

A martini at Nye’s Bar is a fine drink to reflect on the year 2018 in local spirits. In January, this bar, Nye’s in name only, opened in the dust of the demolished Polonaise Room, a place whose divey charm earned it the Best Bar in America designation from Esquire in 2006—a lifetime ago, from the … [ Read more]

The Perfect Holiday Party Nightcap Recipe: The Hearthsider

The fire is dying, the kids are asleep. Time to reward yourself for a party well-thrown. Let’s stop in to Bardo where our cocktail columnist, Zachary Sapato, stirs up the perfect nightcap. “Hechicera Rum has a ton of banana-coconut-tropical notes to it, but also the vanilla and caramel flavors you want from a barrel,” he … [ Read more]

Dashfire debuts a bottled old fashioned you can’t make at home

Dashfire Bitters have become mainstays at cocktail bars all over the Twin Cities. Bartenders know them like second nature, but consumers can be a little more hesitant. “People love my bitters but might have no idea what to do with them,” says Lee Egbert, owner of Dashfire Bitters. “We’re really good at balancing flavors, so … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: Orange & Plum at Hyacinth

I’ve always thought St. Paul looks good in the rain. This old railroad town can proudly wear a coat of misty grey. And walking down Grand Avenue with the autumn chill in my bones, how pleasant it is to step into the new Hyacinth restaurant for a mighty glass of bourbon.  It’s not exactly citrus … [ Read more]

Heirloom Liqueurs: Oddball flavors, excellent mixers

No one has ever accused the Bittercube group of being too straight-laced, and their newest project is appropriately off-the-wall—a collection of intense liqueurs in surprising flavors, but ones that are easy to mix and a delight to drink. Heirloom, from Bittercube founders Nick Kosevich and Ira Koplowitz, partnering with their research and development coordinator Brandon Reyes, is … [ Read more]

Bite of the Week: Tacos at Animales Barbecue

Bite of the Week is a weekly feature showcasing an exceptional meal or dish, curated by The Growler and supported by our underwriter, Bite Squad.  One of the hallmark joys in the major culinary capitals of the South is one’s ability to find excellent meats in unlikely places. A random outing in Tucson, Austin, New Orleans, … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: God Save The Queen at Nightingale

When you’ve met as many bartenders as I have (on purely journalistic endeavors, mind you, or at least that’s the story I’m going with), you start to notice where they hang out after their shifts. One prime locale for the late-night industry crowd is Nightingale, the sleek and cozy Lyndale Avenue hangout where you might … [ Read more]

Spirits Close-Up: Barrel Gin

The walls are crumbling. The boundless creativity of the craft movement has ensured that spirits are becoming less and less boxed into the stylistic traditions that once defined them. On our shelves now, we’re treated to products like “aged vodka,” and beer-barrel-aged whiskey, and gins with every botanical under the sun. Spirits are being blended … [ Read more]

The Growler’s Field Guide to Cider, Chapter 5: Cider In America

You’re reading Chapter 5 of 7. For the complete contents of The Growler’s Field Guide to Cider, click here. Sales of hard cider in the U.S. only equal about one percent of the overall beer market, but that tiny share is expanding quickly. The number of cidermakers in America has doubled in the last four … [ Read more]

Spirits Close-Up: Fruit Brandy

I can’t claim this as objective fact, but my prejudice is this: a great deal of the unaged brandy in the world is disgusting. From Italian grappa, to French marc, and eau de vie of all stripes—so many are little more than a nerve-shattering mouthful of fiery ethanol. That’s why I’ve become fixated on four fruit … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: Wicker Chair Widow’s Kiss at Al’s Place

All month long, we’ve been traipsing through orchards in search of the botanical complexity that marks a well-crafted cider. For our cocktail, we wanted something just as floral and herbaceous made with an apple spirit.  We found it at Al’s Place, the Prohibition-era inspired top floor of Stanley’s Northeast Bar Room, where drinks are named … [ Read more]

Six local standouts from the 2018 International Cold Climate Wine Competition

The International Cold Climate Wine Competition yesterday celebrated its 10th year of honoring the finest examples of cold-climate wine in North America. The judging was held at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, and The Growler was among 24 judges charging through hundreds of wines made with grapes that can withstand our extreme climate, several varieties of which … [ Read more]

A Pocket Full of Rye: How a lowly, northern grain is mounting a comeback through whiskey

Stalks of rye bob in the summer breeze in a field near Cambridge, Minnesota. It is a cereal grass in the wheat family—seeded in the fall, it stays green and patient throughout the winter, then skyrockets in the early spring. It shoots up from the gray, powdery soil, gets a deep tan, and then grows … [ Read more]

Spirits Close-Up: The Summer Spritz

The wine spritzer went through some dark years during the time coolers and alcopops had their heyday and Bartles & Jaymes was a picnic staple. But now, with the wealth of liqueurs the craft cocktail movement has brought to our shelves, making delicious and unique wine spritzers has never been easier. Here’s the general idea: … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: Rosolio Spritz at Icehouse

A good cocktail doesn’t need to be complicated. Context is king, and this is the season for splashing liqueur into a glass full of ice, topping it with sparkling wine, and calling it an afternoon. On a recent lazy day in the sunshine of Eat Street, we ducked into Icehouse where bar manager Whitney Evans … [ Read more]