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]

A Pocket Full of Rye: How a lowly, northern grain is mounting a comeback through whiskey

Stalks of rye bob in the summer breeze in a field near Cambridge, Minnesota. It is a cereal grass in the wheat family—seeded in the fall, it stays green and patient throughout the winter, then skyrockets in the early spring. It shoots up from the gray, powdery soil, gets a deep tan, and then grows … [ Read more]

Now Open (Or Damn Close): Studio Distilling

Rye whiskey can be a lovely thing, but it can also be a challenge. “Peppery” is the common adjective lobbed at the grain, which suffered a century of neglect before American distillers once again started to treat it with respect. Studio Distilling is one such producer, and they open today in Midway St. Paul for … [ Read more]

RockFilter Distillery opens in June poised to make Minnesota’s best whiskey

The floodgates open and water rushes in. The entire building starts to tremble—cobwebs shake, beams shudder, a haze of flour shoots into the air. Turbines and belts from the 1870s are whirring just like they have for over a century. This is Schech’s Mill, the oldest water-powered mill with its original equipment in the state. … [ Read more]

Baker’s Field debuts single-origin whole grain flours, baked goods

Steve Horton’s production space in the Food Building in Northeast Minneapolis is stocked with literal tons of Minnesota-grown spring wheat. It’s from Cokato, Cottonwood, and Moorhead. It’s loaded into a mill, crushed between Vermont granite stones, and sifted to separate the bran and middlings from the fine flour. It’s a brand new mill for the Mill … [ Read more]

J. Carver Distillery to release Rye Whiskey and Apple Brandy

The second wave of Minnesota craft spirits is taking shape, as distilleries are beginning to  release aged spirits to complement their gins and vodkas. Vikre Distillery just announced the release of their first aged whiskey, and now, a Waconia whiskey is ready for the spotlight. J. Carver Distillery has announced via press release the debut of … [ Read more]

New Brew: Indeed Let It Roll IPA

Indeed Brewing is set to release their new autumnal IPA this week. Let It Roll has a hefty dose of rye in the mash and will inhabit the colder months while Let It Ride is hibernating. Let it Roll pours a dark copper hue with intense, lemony citrus on the nose. It’s a medium-to-full-bodied sip … [ Read more]

Rye whiskey is having a moment

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) has released data that shows rye whiskey production has grown more than 500% in the last five years. According to David Ozgo, chief economist at DISCUS, that growth represents approximately $300m in retail sales. “The growth of rye whiskey has been phenomenal, given that, as late as 2000, rye volumes … [ Read more]