Letter from the editor
What a ride! This book marks 50 installments of The Growler Magazine! 5-0. Fifty! Kind of a big deal, if I do say so myself.
It is with heartfelt gratitude that I offer thanks to each and every one of you for your role in bringing us this far. Every reader, writer, photographer, artist, subject, and supporter should feel proud of their contribution to what has become an integral part of the current Minnesota media landscape.
We launched The Growler more than five years ago with a lot of optimism and not a whole lot else. Some tried to talk us out of starting a print publication in the face of drastic industry decline. But we felt we had an important mission, and that there were artisans and craftspeople out there creating food, beverage, and art that deserved to be revered and supported. We’ve had an absolute fucking blast serving as a lens into this local craft culture through the years.
We get inspired every day by the stories we get to tell about men and women who don’t just choose to take the easy path in life, but opt to do things the right way, even when that means hard work is ahead. This publication is produced by a small team of dreamers, but your support and enthusiasm as readers have made the community that surrounds this magazine feel like a big extended family. I don’t know how to put this, but you’re kind of a big deal!
Thanks for reading, and as always—please drop us line ([email protected]) if you love or hate what we’re up to. Or if you’re totally impartial and just want to say “hi.”
Cheers, and very happy holidays to you and yours.
2017 Kind-Of-A-Big-Deal Readers’ Choice Award Winners
These are the best of the best in beers, spirits, food, and culture around the great state of Minnesota.
By The Growler Magazine and Readers
50 Things We’ve Learned in 50 Issues
Take a walk back in time with The Growler’s editorial team as we recount 50 of the most important and interesting pieces of information we learned from publishing our first 50 issues.
By The Growler Magazine Staff
Artist Profile: Ross Bruggink
From “Calvin and Hobbes,” to the Vikings’ U.S. Bank Stadium, Ross Bruggink has always believed in the power of creativity and imagination.
By Kate Murphy
Craft Culture: Piecing it together with Mercury Mosaics
Mercedes Austin pushes the boundaries of art and design from her Minneapolis studio Mercury Mosaics, where she and her team have become nationally sought custom-made mosaic makers.
By Morgan Mercer
Where Have All The Award Shows Gone?
How we’re honoring Minnesota’s musicians today.
By Jay Gabler, 89.3 The Current
Clues and Solution
By Victor Barocas and Andrew Ries
Craft Cocktail: Rum and Julmust at Spoon and Stable
Julmust is a soda for beer lovers.
By John Garland
By John Garland
Brewer Profile: Jeff Vondenkamp of Portage Brewing Company
Over the last several years, Jeff helped build a Bay Area startup, cycled through remote areas of Southeast Asia, and launched a brewery in the midst of the Chippewa National Forest.
By Melissa Maki
What We’re Drinking
By Growler Staff
Minnesota Spoon: The culinary languages of Adam Eaton
World’s Fare: Moose Bolognese, Deep-Fried Beef Tendon, and Vietnamese Tartare.
By Steve Hoffman
Recipe: Adam Eaton’s Moose Bolognese
By Adam Eaton