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]

2018 Grape Stomp

Come experience Carlos Creek’s Grape Stomp and Fall Festival held annually the second weekend after Labor Day. The three-day festival will feature 12 bands on four stages, juried art and marketplace vendors, lots of food, a “man cave” with beer from Schell’s and Fargo Brewery, wine tasting, and, of course, grape stomping. Each day has … [ 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]

Carlos Creek Winery’s owners are starting a Viking-themed brewery in Alexandria

Carlos Creek Winery in Alexandria, Minnesota, has been a destination for wine lovers in the state since 1999. The winery has grown a lot since opening, adding a new production building in 2015, cider in 2016, and, come summer 2019, craft beer under the brand 22 Northmen Brewing. “Many of us at the winery are as … [ Read more]

What We’re Drinking: September 2017

Welcome back to What We’re Drinking, wherein The Growler editorial staff look back on a recent remarkable beverage. What are you drinking, Growler Nation? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. HammerHeart Brewing Von Winterherz Verhasst – Brian Kaufenberg, Managing Editor Ever wonder what a smoked banana would taste like? While the Lino Lakes brewery is known for … [ Read more]

Cold Climate Wine Competition 2017: La Crescent, Marquette reign supreme

The Growler was on hand to help judge the 2017 International Cold Climate Wine Competition, which always gives us a good barometer on the state of local wine. The competition is open to any winery using non-Vinifera, cold-hardy grape varieties to make wine, and some of the region’s finest wineries were among the winners this … [ Read more]

Drink these Minnesota-made 2016 gold medal wines

The Growler was on hand to help judge the 2016 International Cold Climate Wine Competition. We’ve found that the quality of cold-hardy wines has grown exponentially in the last five or six years. Local wineries are accruing a much better grasp on growing and bottling these new wine grape varieties that are suited to the upper Midwest. Our … [ Read more]