OMNI’s 2nd Birthday Party

To celebrate their second birthday, OMNI Is hosting a three-day birthday bash extravaganza, filled with exciting events, activities, beers, and much more.

Friday, September 22nd, is Hoppy Hour all day, aka IPA day. OMNI is releasing two new IPAs (Raspberry Milk Shake and F.A.D. Hazy Double IPA), hosting comedians Tiffany Norton and Miss Shannon Paul in a free event at 7pm, and having a number of different food trucks, including Craft Mobile Kitchen and Taste of Target Field. Also, OMNI’s Raspberry Milk Shake will be exclusively paired with Nadia Cake.

On Saturday, September 23, OMNI is the big birthday day. There will be a craft market from 12-4pm where you can purchase products from a number of local distributors, merchants, and more.  From 1-10pm, enjoy live music from Good Morning Bedlam, No Tent featuring Reina Del Sid, H. Rose & the Nomads, and Almighty American. Hot Indian Foods and Butcher Salt food trucks will be on site. OMNI will also be releasing The Sour One, their first sour beer.

Finally, Sunday, September 24, race with us in a 5K with the Minnesota Brewery Running Series. Find out more about the fun run here, or click here to register. But Sunday is a day of rest, so enjoy free massages from MN Wellness, cribbage league and open play, and mini golf. Blue Fire Pizza and Original Hockey Mom Brownies food trucks will be serving food during the day.

For updates on the weekend’s events, stay connected with the Facebook event page.

OMNI’s 2nd Birthday Party

To celebrate their second birthday, OMNI Is hosting a three-day birthday bash extravaganza, filled with exciting events, activities, beers, and much more.

Friday, September 22nd, is Hoppy Hour all day, aka IPA day. OMNI is releasing two new IPAs (Raspberry Milk Shake and F.A.D. Hazy Double IPA), hosting comedians Tiffany Norton and Miss Shannon Paul in a free event at 7pm, and having a number of different food trucks, including Craft Mobile Kitchen and Taste of Target Field. Also, OMNI’s Raspberry Milk Shake will be exclusively paired with Nadia Cake.

On Saturday, September 23, OMNI is the big birthday day. There will be a craft market from 12-4pm where you can purchase products from a number of local distributors, merchants, and more.  From 1-10pm, enjoy live music from Good Morning Bedlam, No Tent featuring Reina Del Sid, H. Rose & the Nomads, and Almighty American. Hot Indian Foods and Butcher Salt food trucks will be on site. OMNI will also be releasing The Sour One, their first sour beer.

Finally, Sunday, September 24, race with us in a 5K with the Minnesota Brewery Running Series. Find out more about the fun run here, or click here to register. But Sunday is a day of rest, so enjoy free massages from MN Wellness, cribbage league and open play, and mini golf. Blue Fire Pizza and Original Hockey Mom Brownies food trucks will be serving food during the day.

For updates on the weekend’s events, stay connected with the Facebook event page.

OMNI’s 2nd Birthday Party

To celebrate their second birthday, OMNI Is hosting a three-day birthday bash extravaganza, filled with exciting events, activities, beers, and much more.

Friday, September 22nd, is Hoppy Hour all day, aka IPA day. OMNI is releasing two new IPAs (Raspberry Milk Shake and F.A.D. Hazy Double IPA), hosting comedians Tiffany Norton and Miss Shannon Paul in a free event at 7pm, and having a number of different food trucks, including Craft Mobile Kitchen and Taste of Target Field. Also, OMNI’s Raspberry Milk Shake will be exclusively paired with Nadia Cake.

On Saturday, September 23, OMNI is the big birthday day. There will be a craft market from 12-4pm where you can purchase products from a number of local distributors, merchants, and more.  From 1-10pm, enjoy live music from Good Morning Bedlam, No Tent featuring Reina Del Sid, H. Rose & the Nomads, and Almighty American. Hot Indian Foods and Butcher Salt food trucks will be on site. OMNI will also be releasing The Sour One, their first sour beer.

Finally, Sunday, September 24, race with us in a 5K with the Minnesota Brewery Running Series. Find out more about the fun run here, or click here to register. But Sunday is a day of rest, so enjoy free massages from MN Wellness, cribbage league and open play, and mini golf. Blue Fire Pizza and Original Hockey Mom Brownies food trucks will be serving food during the day.

For updates on the weekend’s events, stay connected with the Facebook event page.

Local architects add one-of-a-kind patio to one of Minnesota’s most unique taprooms

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A culvert cut in half forms a shelter and feeds a rain garden on Bang Brewing’s patio // Photo courtesy of Alchemy Architects

Bang Brewing in St. Paul, Minnesota, is built on environmental stewardship—both in a physical and philosophical sense. These ethos are evident in their energy-efficient brewhouse and their commitment to using only organic ingredients in their beer. Their new patio is a visual and experiential extension of that sustainable spirit.

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A fire pit will soon be installed in the middle of the stone circle on Bang Brewing’s patio // Photo courtesy of Alchemy Architects

Located in St. Paul just down the road from Bang (856 Raymond Avenue), Alchemy Architects prides itself on unique designs that emphasize sustainability and draw on a diverse range of influences such as art, literature, and history. In 2003, Alchemy Architects founder Geoffrey Warner captured the design world’s attention with the weeHouse, a modular prefabricated housing system that was originally built as an inexpensive cabin. The unit can now be developed for use across a variety of applications, including houses, offices, and multi-unit developments.

“Much of what we do pulls directly from our midwestern vernacular and the practical, can-do agrarian mentality we grew up with,” says Alchemy designer Andrew Blaisdell. “We want to create spaces that are customized for each user, while tapping into a shared consensus on what makes a healthy, happy, and fun place to live.

These design principles led Bang owners Sandy and Jay Boss Febbo to approach Alchemy in late 2012 to design their brewhouse. The first 100% organic brewery in the Midwest was fittingly built inside of a prefabricated grain bin, and the intimate taproom can only hold around 50 people. To provide more space and complete the company’s original vision for the space, Bang went back to Alchemy in spring 2016 to design a stand-out patio space.

“We sat down with them and talked about their idea for a ‘beer hall’ space outside,” Blaisdell says. “They liked the idea of a sort of pavilion with a long hall in the middle and rooms off to the side.”

Related post Brewer Profile: Bang Brewing’s Jay and Sandy Boss Febbo

Alchemy came up with an idea that hints at a traditional Gothic church layout, with one long nave (or hall) and three picnic-table sized sections shooting out from under the pavilion on each side. On one end of hall sits a circle of repurposed granite cobble stones that were originally used in Minneapolis streets, with a firepit to soon be installed in the middle of the circle. On the other end sits a rain garden, fed by two long channels that empty into the garden of marsh plant life.

“The granite is a nod to the neighborhood,” Blaisdell says. “Also, the walkway is crushed granite and the rain garden is another local stone. It’s all about what’s under the space and how do we bring it to the surface. The stones were more a nod to the industrialization of the area 100 years ago whereas everything else is all about bring it back 500 years ago.”

Prairie grass shoots were planted between each section of the hall with the idea that in one to two years the grass would grow to nearly four feet tall and create privacy walls between each space. More than that, the deep growing roots of the prairie grass will help break apart the ground outside the brewery.

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Bang Brewing owners and brewers Sandy and Jay Boss Febbo // Photo by Aaron Davidson, The Growler

Located in a historically industrial section of St. Paul (2320 Capp Road), the space outside of the brewery was heavily packed down dirt and broken concrete from decades of trucks rolling through the space. The space needed to be entirely re-graded to direct all water into the rain garden. To construct the pavilion covering, the architect had a Wisconsin-based culvert company cut a culvert (typically used under a county road to divert rain water) in half and mount it on supports to create the bulk of the structure.

“The entire structure was made of aluminum,” Blaisdell says, “which should allow it to hold up to the elements and age really nicely.”

Alchemy has designed many other residential and commercial projects. One particularly exciting project, lightHouse, is a 20-foot shipping container that was converted into a mobile hotel room. The container has its own water supply and is designed to be energy efficient. Described as a “beacon for ecotourism,” lightHouse can be installed for events. It has already spent time at the Minneapolis Institute of Art and Northern Spark and will soon visit the Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival and the Minnesota State Fair Eco Experience.

“We want to offer people the benefits of design without pretense or being cost-prohibitive,” Blaisdell says. “We’re people-focused and Earth-focused, which means we walk a line between how a person might want to live and how to reside most sensitively on a site, which don’t have to be at odds.”

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The Bang Brewing patio while it was under construction // Photo courtesy of Alchemy Architects

Now, with the patio newly opened, Bang is considering expanding seasonal hours. Not only that, but couples are choosing the space as the location for their wedding ceremonies. In fact, the church-inspired design of the space was no coincidence.

“They had couples that wanted to get married on the site, but it wasn’t conducive to the idea,” Blaisdell says. “The space isn’t only a beer garden. It can become a sacred place for those who get married in this space.”

With one wedding already hosted — and several more planned — the new patio will certainly be a place for plenty of cherished moments for years to come, whether a ceremony or an al fresco pint of one of Bang’s organic beers.

16 Signs of Spring in the Twin Cities

By Joseph Alton and Grace Sell

Naked_in_Snow

Who in their right mind isn’t losing it as we find ourselves still held fast in winter’s seemingly unending grip? As impossible as it may seem to imagine at the present moment, time will march on, and daffodils will soon supplant the snow drifts.  And if there is anything Minnesota can boast, it’s the hardy nature of its citizens who make the best of the state’s annual big chill, and their subsequent and unbridled enthusiasm for warm weather once it finally, thankfully, arrives.

Whether you honor the same springtime traditions each year or are newly discovering the diversity the metro area has to offer, there are adventures and exploits of all sorts to pursue.  It’s time to pack away our woolen underthings and overcoats, to uncover old pleasures and new as we delight in springtime and come back to life.  Our list should help get you started.

1) Tournament time

Whether its for the Minnesota State High School tournaments, the Frozen Four, or the Big Ten tourney, Saint Paul’s West 7th Street comes alive this time of year with hockey fans of all shapes and sizes. This year the ‘Saintly City’ plays host to the Big Ten Hockey Tournament. Check out the event page from our friends at Visit Saint Paul for more information.

 

2) Sea Salt

We can’t imagine summer in the cities without a few visits this Minneapolis institution. Easily one of the best places in Minnesota for casual seafood eats — Sea Salt opens its doors for seasonal business on April 11th. Dust of your bike and cruise over for opening day. Word to the wise: Get a beer before your get in line. You might get thirsty waiting to place your order.

 

3) Baseball and beer

Spring training is well underway and that means that outdoor ‘beer and baseball’ must be right around the corner. The Twins’ will welcome the Oakland A’s for the home opener on Monday, April 7th.

And don’t forget the other professional baseball team in the Twin Cites. The Saint Paul Saints open their season May 4th on the road at Fargo-Moorhead. The Saints will also welcome back the Beer Dabbler Bullpen at Midway Stadium — a craft beer bar area serving 21 craft beers at 2014 home games.

 

4) (Almost) patio season!

‘nough said

 

5) Potholes

We at The Growler don’t remember a pothole season quite like this one. I can’t imagine how many tires, rims, mufflers, oil pans, or otherwise have fallen victim to the innumerable amount of crater-like potholes dotting Twin Cities’ roadways. Stay safe out there — especially if you are on two wheels. For more info, or to report a pothole, visit MNDot’s website.

 

6) Charcoal in the air

Undeniably one of the most visceral signals of the season change is the olfactory stimulation brought on by the smell of charcoal wafting through the spring air. So, stop by your favorite butcher or meat market and get to grillin’.

 

7) Fishing opener

One definite sign you’re from the Land of 10,000 Lakes: “Ice out” is a thing. The fishing opener is such a big deal in Minnesota that even our Governor gets down on an annual trip. Whether you’re a weekend warrior or an everyday angler, the fishing opener signals the coming of warmer weather and cabin trips.

 

8) Beer fest season kicks off

An annual rite of spring for Minnesota’s ferverous beer fans — The Happy Gnome hosts their annual Firkin Fest on March 22nd. The St. Paul bar — considered by many to be a craft beer destination — will offer “over 90 casks from nearly 50 breweries across the country.” This celebration of ‘real ale’ should be added to your ‘Minnesota beer bucket list’ if it hasn’t already.

 

9) Green things growing

Each year the 8th Floor Auditorium of the Downtown Minneapolis Macy’s is transformed by their annual flower show. This year’s theme is ‘The Secret Garden’ and will run Sunday, March 23 – Sunday, April 6. Stop by for a dose of green while we wait for this year’s pesky winter weather to let us get at our own gardens.

 

10) Bikes on Bikes on Bikes

April must be close. Our Twitter feeds have already starting to fill up with #30daysofbiking chatter. So what is 30 Days of Biking? “Very simply, it’s a pledge to ride your bike every day in April, however far you want, no matter the weather!” There are all sorts of different group rides planned out. More more info visit The Growler Events Calendar.

 

11) Seasonal spots

The only Blizzard we could tolerate right about now. Dairy Queen’s are opening for the season all across the metro.

 

12) Street festival season begins

Saint Paul’s West Side celebration of Mexican heritage and pride is one of the best in the nation, according to USA Today. Cinco de Mayo in Saint Paul’s ‘District Del Sol’ is Saturday, May 3 — 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

 

13) May Day Parade and Celebration in Powderhorn

No one is too old–or too young–for parades. Especially the May Day Parade in Powderhorn where The Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater provide endless entertainment from street dancing to 10-foot-tall puppet performances. This year’s festival celebrates 40 years of the May Day Celebration on Sunday, May 4, 2014. Grab your picnic blanket and claim a spot! Join HOTB at Powderhorn Park after the parade for food, performances, and other good fun.

 

14) . . . more green things growing

Whoever thought of having the Friends School Plant Sale on Mothers Day Weekend was a genius. Bring Mom out to a nice brunch and then to the annual Friends School Plant Sale at the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand. This year’s sale runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 9, 10, and 11. Go early for great selection, late for better prices.

 

15) Team “sports”

Time to get your balls out! Gather your friends and start thinking of the perfect league name, sign-ups are just around the corner (Monday, March 24) and leagues start April 7.

 

16) Summer in a glass

We know. Its not a “local” beer, but c’mon. . .  Bell’s Oberon has been signaling signs of spring for Minnesota beer drinkers longer than most of our local breweries have been making beer. Bell’s eagerly awaited summer seasonal is a wheat ale that comes in 6-packs, 12-packs, on draft, and for those special occasions — a 5 liter (1.32 gal.) mini-keg.

A Blind Tasting beer festival

Taste & Rate 48 Minnesota Oktoberfests

Sept. 20, 2019 | 5:30–9pm
Upper Landing Park
Tickets: GA $40 | DD $20