Meet the man who helped make Sunday Sales the law of the land

Despite not working in the beverage industry, Andrew Schmitt has had a hand in changing it for every citizen in the state. As a result of his efforts, Minnesotans will experience a brand new phenomenon this weekend—buying alcohol on a Sunday. Schmitt (or “Schmitty” as he’s often affectionately referred to in the industry) was there, sitting in … [ Read more]

Now Open: Karst Brewing Co.

When Eric Luoma and his wife Sandra Seha-Luoma heard about a building for sale in Fountain, Minnesota, halfway between Rochester and Decorah, Iowa, the couple thought the sleepy town would be a good place to finally retire. However, with Eric’s love of science and people and Sandra’s knack for hosting, the Luomas couldn’t resist the … [ Read more]

Bug Hunters: Bootleg Biology is collecting and cataloging the world’s wild yeast

Mitch Ermatinger wanted a truly unique brewery. He wanted Speciation Artisan Ales to showcase what he knows best—spontaneous sour beers and wild farmhouse ales. So he turned to Bootleg Biology to make his mixed-culture fermentations stand out from the pack. “Funk Weapon #2 is in all of my beer, as well as some yeast that … [ Read more]

Now Open (Or Damn Close): Imminent Brewing Co.

As Imminent Brewing Co. works on constructing tables from reclaimed wood, hanging decorations, and tidying up, Northfield locals show up every half-hour or so to help out, or hand something over like the World War I lithographs they thought would go well in the old National Guard armory building. This is what Randy Clay, head … [ Read more]

Hops and pot: The definitive guide to how they’re related

Hops are a resinous, green flower, and from what Snoop Dogg taught me, so too is that sticky icky icky. But the similarities between hops and weed go well beyond how they look and feel. Not only did scientists confirm in 2012 that the two plants are genetically related, belonging to Cannabinaceae family, now further research is helping us understand … [ Read more]

Schell’s is on a mission to use more local barley

August Schell Brewing Company will release a new helles in early April made entirely from locally grown barley. It’s the result of an encounter between brewmaster Jace Marti and two University of Minnesota researchers about three years ago. “By chance, one of the lead researchers of the University of Minnesota [Dr. Jochum J. Wiersma, a … [ Read more]

Oliphant breaks down legal barrier with launch into Minnesota market

Oliphant’s dynamic duo, co-owners and co-brewers Matt Wallace and Trevor Wirtanen, have wanted to expand their distribution footprint into Minnesota since they began their brewery over two years ago. “If we were where New Glarus is, we’d consider being a Wisconsin-only brewery, but it’s right there, looking at us in the eyes,” Wirtanen says. It’s … [ Read more]

Minnesota’s guilded age of cider

Jim Morrison of Sapsucker Farms could barely keep up with the nearly 1,000 people who attended the Minnesota Cider Guild’s first-ever Cider Fair on Sunday in Jordan. He was surprised by the sheer number of people looking for a sip of his Yellow Belly Hard Cider, but also at how many times he heard someone … [ Read more]

Forward, forward, jab! Inside the world of competitive gaming

A fighter fastens his long red bandana, tightens his leather gloves, and stares down his opponent. As though a Roman sculpture, the man before him is a mountain of muscle, a feral look in his eyes. The fighter wipes sweat from his brow; he has been in this position before. Nerves and sweat conspiring against … [ Read more]

Foraging with Forager

While Austin Jevne picks black cap raspberries, he reminisces about his childhood days spent at his family’s cabin in Minocqua, Wisconsin, and how he learned to apply just the right amount of pressure to pluck the berries from the shrubs. Back then—and even today—the Forager Brewing Co. head brewer and co-owner ate plenty of what … [ Read more]

Local nonprofit helps people with disabilities tap into their inner artists

“Art makes me.” This is what art means to Victor Van, a Minneapolis artist with autism. His art depicts things he loves: cars, wine bottles, even beer labels. “He would grab bottles and has always been fascinated by them,” Van’s mother, Yawa Vanthanouvong, explains about her son’s artistic inspiration. “Even as a little kid, he … [ Read more]

The story behind the annual Town Hall Blessing of the Maibock

Adorning an outside wall of Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery is a mural of a holy man, a flock of people raising pint glasses of maibock beer, and one rebel impatiently quaffing his malty Bavarian lager early. This mural depicts the annual Blessing of the Maibock, a tradition that’s now in its 18th year at Town … [ Read more]

An American brewer abroad: Germany’s brewing scene through the eyes of Minnesota native Erik Mell

Rochester native and brewmaster Erik Mell brewed a collaboration Berliner weisse (Twisted Zweig) with Forager Brewing Company in December while home for his sister’s wedding. Mell has lived in Berlin, Germany, since 2009, learning the brewing trade at Technical University of Berlin, the traditional route of climbing the German brewing ranks. He also learned brewing … [ Read more]

Bent Brewstillery and Isabel Street Heat team up for beer barrel-fermented sriracha

Barrel-aged beers are all the rage lately, and barrel-fermented hot sauce has been around for longer than you may realize. Now, a local hot sauce company is combining the two for a new kind of sriracha. Isabel Street Heat’s Tony Stoy (pictured below) had already barrel-fermented his lineup of seven hot sauces, but wanted to … [ Read more]

New research finds homebrewers may be able to predict the future

According to a recent study, homebrewers can predict the future. OK, maybe your homebrewing buddy isn’t a mystic seer, but a high number of homebrewers in a state might foretell a surge in new breweries, says Brewers Association chief economist Dr. Bart Watson. After looking at the 6,906 entries from the 2011 National Homebrew Competition … [ Read more]