The Mill: Lambic in the U.S., Kaiseki Furukawa opens, and pre-fame Prince

Magnolia Brewing was acquired by New Belgium, Oud Beersel, and Dick Cantwell // Photo via Magnolia Brewing's Instagram

Magnolia Brewing was acquired by New Belgium, Oud Beersel, and Dick Cantwell // Photo via Magnolia Brewing’s Instagram

August 9—August 15

One great thing about the drink industry is that it’s ripe for experimentation and new ventures. While in past weeks we’ve seen Big Beer and investment firms buy up craft brands, this past week we saw craft brewers band together to purchase Magnolia Brewing out of bankruptcy. The group has plans to make the San Francisco brewery the first lambic blendery in the U.S. Experimentation can lead to the rise of craft cocktails made from non-alcoholic spirits (yep, you read that right), or even using the old tradition of blending whiskeys to form something new.


Photo via Spacecrafting

Photo via Spacecrafting

An old mansion with a Hogwarts feel may soon be home to Brass Foundry Brewing Company, a new venture by Work Zone Breweries Inc. The Brass Foundry has applied for licensing for a brewery and taproom at 247 10th Avenue, Minneapolis. Just shy of moving staircases, the house has elaborate wood and metal decor, Gothic arches, vault ceilings, and plenty of nooks and crannies in which to enjoy a good ale.

Decorated Funky Buddha Brewery has been sold to Constellation Brands Inc., a beverage alcohol company based in New York. The acquisition adds Funky Buddha to Constellation’s beer brands which also include Ballast Point, Corona, Modelo, and Pacifico.

Drained by financial woes in San Francisco, Magnolia Brewing Company’s assets have been purchased by New Belgium Brewing, along with minority owners Dick Cantwell (founder of Elysian Brewing) and Oud Beersel (Belgian lambic producer). These three intend to fuel Magnolia’s creative brewing pursuits, but have additional ambitions to start the first stateside lambic blendery.

Stillwater’s Lift Bridge Brewing Co. now distributes across the great state of Wisconsin. Previously, their flagship beers could be found in Minnesota, eastern North Dakota, and western parts of Wisconsin. Areas like Madison and Milwaukee will now see Lift Bridge in stores.

Vikre Distillery has a new product called Honor Brand Hay & Sunshine. It is a blended whiskey (bourbon, scotch, and rye) out of the mind of Emily Vikre, who believes blending is somewhat of an underdog craft. The name “Honor Brand” pays homage to the house brand of the grocer that occupied Vikre’s building space in the early 1900s.

Bent Brewstillery is releasing its first whiskey on August 19 for the brewery-distillery taproom’s third anniversary party. The whiskey is called Double IPA-Skey and is a distilled double IPA, bottled with a hop cone at the bottom. Only 200 bottles will be available.

A new kind of beverage is on the up-and-up that doesn’t involve alcohol, juice, soda, or coffee. Distill Ventures is making non-alcoholic, distilled spirits to fill a gap in the “non-alc space.” The company’s spirits are still used to make cocktails, but not in the traditional sense. Their base product Seedlip allows drinkers to geek out on the complexity of craft beverages without the buzz.

Speaking of non-alcoholic beverages, Insight Brewing is currently serving Nitro Arnie Palmer, a collaboration drink with UP Coffee. The drink is cascara tea with whole leaf cascade hops on nitro. Just, yes.


Kaiseki Furukawa // Photo via Kaiseki Furukawa's Instagram

Kaiseki Furukawa // Photo via Kaiseki Furukawa’s Instagram

A new restaurant in the Japanese tradition of kaiseki opened last weekend in Minneapolis called Kaiseki Furukawa. It is the first of its kind in the area. Owner and chef Shigeyuki Furukawa embraces the kaiseki style of dining that is equally focused on decorative seasonal plates and gracious hospitality.

Shake Shack is plotting its second Minnesota location in the Southdale Center in Edina. The popular chain is known for its burgers (made from locally-sourced beef), crinkle fries, and homemade concretes. Opening day is TBD, as so far just a proposal for the Southdale space has been submitted.

You can get a casserole of (basically) 32 Izzy scoops at Izzy’s Ice Cream. They call it the “Hot Dish,” and it comes in a bright red dish you get to keep.

More information came to light about the transition between Loring Pasta Bar and Loring & Pharmacy Bar (LRx). LRx opened last weekend and is now staff-owned and operated. The plan is to pursue some of Loring’s traditions with new vigor.


Prince Pre-Fame // Photo via MPLS Photo Center's website

Prince Pre-Fame // Photo via MPLS Photo Center’s website

Photographs of “Prince Pre Fame” will be on display at the MPLS Photo Center from August 17–September 16. The exhibit is comprised of images—some never before seen—by Robert Whitman, who in 1977 photographed the unknown musician by request of Prince’s agents. Tickets for opening night are available through the Center.

ICYMI: The Current released videos and audio recordings from the 2017 Rock the Garden. You can watch Bon Iver, listen to The Revolution song by song, and more.

MPR will launch a new national radio show in September called “Flyover,” hosted by Kerri Miller. Content will focus on social, political, and cultural issues that make up the “modern American identity.” The show will air Sundays, 3pm CST.

Timberwolves released images of two of their new uniforms, outfitted with Nike and FitBit logos. They’re ditching the pointy font that has been a staple of the team for years, maybe just in time to see some wins on the horizon.

Construction will begin this month for the new Water Works park in Minneapolis, along the west side the Mississippi River, between Portland Avenue and the 3rd Avenue bridge. The goal is to make the area a destination, with plans for picnic areas, trails, and a performance space.

The Mill is The Growler’s regular digest of all things new and notable in the world of food, drink, and culture. Stop back weekly for restaurant news, brewery rumors, and more. Have some news you want to share? Got some gossip to dish? Drop us a line at [email protected]