2015 Kind-of-a-Big-Deal Readers’ Choice Award Winners


Best Liquor Store (MSP) – Surdyk’s

Gerhard's Brats cart at Surdyks

Surdyk’s // Photo by John Garland

It isn’t just the huge selection of wine, liquor, beer, and sake that sets Surdyk’s above and beyond. It’s the mouth-watering aromas wafting from the deli, the knowledgeable staff, and the impossible-to-beat sales and specials. Surdyk’s has been part of Northeast Minneapolis’ DNA since 1934 and like so many of its cheeses and wines, it just keeps getting better with age.

Best Liquor Store (Greater MN) – Blue Max Liquors, Burnsville

scotch_wall blue maxcrop

A portion of Blue Max’s scotch wall // Photo via bluemaxliquors.com

The Pilney family opened Blue Max Liquors in 1978, and have since built it into a South Metro destination for beer, wine, and liquor. The store boasts over 450 varieties of single malt Scotch whisky—quite possibly the largest in the state. Just ask the knowledgeable and friendly staff, and they’ll help you find whatever it is you are looking for.

Best Cocktail – Old Fashioned, Marvel Bar

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Your favorite cocktail is not on the menu of a bar that has no signage. But everyone knows about the bar, and everyone knows about the cocktail. Marvel Bar serves up the finest Old Fashioned in town. Choose from an impressive, albeit overwhelming, variety of whiskeys and let Matthew Voss and crew mix this classic right.

Best Whiskey List – Butcher & The Boar

Butcher Boar Whiskey List

Butcher & the Boar whiskey list and bottles // Photos by Aaron Davidson

When the best whiskey list at a bar or restaurant consists of just one type of whiskey, you know it’s something special. Butcher & The Boar gives patrons a taste of Southern hospitality with a menu filled with all varieties of low rye, high rye, single barrel, and wheated bourbons. A few bourbon flights with a plate of spare ribs will have you speaking in your finest Southern drawl by dessert.

Best Bartender – Tim Leary, Tattersall Distilling

Tattersall Tim LOW

Tim Leary // Photo courtesy of Tattersall

You first got to know Tim Leary when he was mixing up Cobra Kais at The Strip Club. Now he’s running the bar at the hottest distillery in the state. His drinks are exceptional and he happens to be one of the nicest guys you’ll find behind any bar. Go to Tattersall and give Tim the green light to mix you something special. You won’t regret it.

Best Craft Distillery Branding – Tattersall Distilling

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Best Craft Distillery – Tattersall Distilling


Tattersall’s cocktail room // Photo by Aaron Davidson

In just six short months, Dan Oskey and Jon Kreidler have grown Tattersall Distilling into one of Minneapolis’ premiere drinking destinations. How? By crafting the spirits that bartenders all over town are clamoring for. By retrofitting an industrial warehouse into a chic lounge. And by serving some of the finest cocktails you’ll taste anywhere.

Best Craft Spirit – Norseman Strawberry Rhubarb Gin


Norseman Strawberry Rhubarb Gin // Photo via norsemandistillery.com

Of all the exciting small batch spirits in town, Norseman’s limited-release gin was one of the smallest and, based on your votes, the most exciting. This summer gin had a subtle sweetness with an equally delicate vegetal flavor. We’re squirreling our bottles away until we can toast the return of warm weather with this incredible spirit.

2015 Kind-of-a-Big-Deal Award Winners: Beer, Spirits, Food, Culture

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