Brewing Relics: Archaeologist Patrick McGovern uncovers the secrets of ancient ales and wines

The mouth of a perfectly contented man is filled with beer.” While this sounds like an adage uttered by an 18th century figure like Ben Franklin, it is in fact an inscription found in Dendera, Egypt, dating back to 2200 B.C. Egyptians drank beer on a daily basis. Furthermore, getting drunk was the norm during … [ Read more]

The Inimitable Robert ‘Fish’ Jones: The dandy zookeeper of Minneapolis

You’re walking down a busy street in Minneapolis in the late 1800s. You have a list of items that you need to purchase, are juggling the parcels you have already picked up, and you are scanning your list to figure out the next place you need to stop. With your head down, ready to fall … [ Read more]

Step back in time with stories from Prohibition for National Beer Day

We have a very important announcement. Today, April 7, is National Beer Day in America. But this is no run-of-the-mill “National _____ Day” (although it also happens to be National No Housework Day, feel free to observe that as you wish), for this day stands in history as a crucial precursor to the full repeal … [ Read more]

8 Under-the-Radar Minnesota Music Landmarks by Bike

Any tourist can find First Ave, and a quick Google search will take you straight to the house where The Replacements shot their “Let It Be” cover. If you’re a Minnesota music fan ready to take a deeper dive, though, hop on your ride and follow this trail through Minneapolis to just a few of … [ Read more]

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Parks—and Water—For the People: The history of Minneapolis’ hand-pump drinking wells

When Minneapolis resident Jessica Rosenberg was a little girl, she and her brother had a special ritual they shared with their grandparents. They would load up the trunk of the car with empty plastic milk jugs and drive from their St. Louis Park home to Lake Harriet. Once there, they’d unload the jugs and walk … [ Read more]

The (not so) complete history of Pierre “Pig’s Eye” Parrant

Given St. Paul’s colorful past, it shouldn’t be surprising that the city’s first resident of European descent was a bar owner with legal troubles, and the first building was his eponymous bar. [pro_ad_display_adzone id=”35969″ align=”right” info_text=”Advertisement” info_text_position=”above” font_color=”#6d6d6d” font_size=”13″ padding=”10″ background_color=”#ffffff” border=”2″ border_color=”#878787″] Pierre “Pig’s Eye” Parrant’s early years are shrouded in mystery. Here are … [ Read more]

A Minnesota foods timeline

Curious about the roots of Minnesota’s diverse food traditions, The Growler embarked on a trip back through time, starting with the state’s earliest inhabitants, to understand the moments in history that shaped how and what Minnesotans eat today. 9000–5000 BC: Paleoindians in this part of the world hunted large game animals, such as mammoth, mastodon, and … [ Read more]

The Stone Saloon: One man’s quest to resurrect a Civil War-era lager house in St. Paul

When Tom Schroeder bought the small, vacant limestone house at 445 Smith Avenue, a block from his family’s home in St. Paul, he really didn’t know what he was going to do with it, except save it from demolition. As he began taking apart the interior with architect John Yust, he uncovered a piece of … [ Read more]

When the NFL came to Duluth: The story of the Eskimos

Minnesota has a long and rich history of professional football. For most of the state’s fans, the mention of pro football immediately conjures images of the icy breaths of the Purple People Eaters suspended in the chilly Metropolitan Stadium air, of Randall Cunningham firing off 60-yard touchdown passes, of missed kicks and four Superbowls. But … [ Read more]

A Hamm’s ransom: How the kidnapping of one of St. Paul’s most prosperous brewers reshaped a corrupt system

As president of the Theodore Hamm’s Brewery, William Hamm Jr. had an important schedule to keep. Every day at 12:45 in the afternoon, Hamm began the short walk from his brewery to the front steps of his twenty-room, red brick mansion for lunch. However, on one sweltering summer day in June 1933, Hamm’s lunch plans … [ Read more]

Old school brewing at Old World Wisconsin

Milwaukee may be steeped in brewing history, but travel about an hour west of the Brew City and you’ll find a farmstead where old brewing traditions are truly alive. Old World Wisconsin, a historic site and museum administered by the Wisconsin Historical Society, has teamed up with the Museum of Beer & Brewing in Milwaukee … [ Read more]

30 years of beer: A Summit Brewing timeline

Summit Brewing Company owner Mark Stutrud refers to himself as a non-conformist. Proof of that is on display in Summit’s Beer Hall, where a framed letter from the Brewers Association from 1983 strongly suggests he not open his St. Paul brewery. Fortunately for Minnesota beer fans, Stutrud ignored the letter, and his Extra Pale Ale … [ Read more]

Play ball: Returning to the roots of America’s pastime

[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”35969″ align=”right” info_text=”Advertisement” info_text_position=”above” font_color=”#6d6d6d” font_size=”13″ padding=”10″ background_color=”#ffffff” border=”2″ border_color=”#878787″] Across the northlands each summer people flock to ballparks big and small to revel in the American tradition and pastime of the game we call baseball. They set up their folding chairs along grassy third-base lines, settle into cushioned seats under flashy jumbotrons, or … [ Read more]

Glass from the Past: Champagne Velvet

[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”35969″ align=”right” info_text=”Advertisement” info_text_position=”above” font_color=”#6d6d6d” font_size=”13″ padding=”10″ background_color=”#ffffff” border=”2″ border_color=”#878787″] The Terre Haute Brewing Co. was founded in 1855 and grew to be one of the largest breweries in Indiana. In 1902, Terre Haute brewmaster Walter Braun created a lager called Champagne Velvet (CV) that quickly became the flagship beer of the company. While … [ Read more]

Ancient tablets reveal life in first-century Roman London

Wooden tablets found under a 1950s office block in the heart of London are the oldest handwritten documents to ever be unearthed in the UK, reports The Guardian. The site was being cleared for a huge new European headquarters for Bloomberg when the tablets were found. The tablets bear the faint marks of words written on bees wax … [ Read more]