Dashfire unveils six(!) single-serve canned cocktails

There’s been lots of recent activity in the local ready-to-drink beverage scene. Vikre Distillery is canning a pink and bubbly French 75, Crooked Water Spirits has announced a bottled Negroni, and Plain Spoke Cocktail Co. from Madison, Wisconsin, has just introduced a canned mojito to complement their Bourbon Smash and Moscow Mule. Now perhaps the … [ Read more]

Spirits Close-Up: The Next, Next Cool Spirit

People are always trying to find what’s “next” in spirits. Whiskey is locked into its heyday. Tequila has overcome the fake amber stuff we shot in college. Minnesotans have decided to be “nice” about the smoke of mezcal. Sherry may never fully bloom here. My money says the next big spirits boom will come when … [ Read more]

Jace Marti and Nate Gieseke opening Black Frost Distilling Company in New Ulm

Few people know more about fermentation than Jace Marti. The 35-year-old assistant brewmaster and sixth-generation brewer officially started working at his family’s brewery, August Schell Brewing Company in New Ulm, Minnesota, when he was 18 years old, but had been doing odd jobs around the brewery long before that. In 2017, he opened Starkeller Brewing Company, the Schell’s … [ Read more]

The Great Debate: Should A Craft Distillery Purchase Already-Made Spirits?

The term “craft” is ambiguous at best. This is especially true when it comes to the world of spirits. With the surge of smaller-scale distilleries taking root in Minnesota and beyond, more attention is being paid to not just the final bottled product but the ingredients used to make it. Several spirits companies purchase neutral … [ Read more]

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]

Heirloom Liqueurs: Oddball flavors, excellent mixers

No one has ever accused the Bittercube group of being too straight-laced, and their newest project is appropriately off-the-wall—a collection of intense liqueurs in surprising flavors, but ones that are easy to mix and a delight to drink. Heirloom, from Bittercube founders Nick Kosevich and Ira Koplowitz, partnering with their research and development coordinator Brandon Reyes, is … [ Read more]

What We’re Drinking: September 2018

Welcome back to What We’re Drinking, wherein The Growler editorial staff look back on recent remarkable beverages. What are you drinking, Growler Nation? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Brian Kaufenberg, Editor-in-Chief ■ Summit Oktoberfest It’s my favorite season of the year: Oktoberfest. As I search for a beer to fill (and refill) my stein with during the … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: Wicker Chair Widow’s Kiss at Al’s Place

All month long, we’ve been traipsing through orchards in search of the botanical complexity that marks a well-crafted cider. For our cocktail, we wanted something just as floral and herbaceous made with an apple spirit.  We found it at Al’s Place, the Prohibition-era inspired top floor of Stanley’s Northeast Bar Room, where drinks are named … [ Read more]

2017 Kind-of-a-Big-Deal Readers’ Choice Award Winners

Readers, hold on to your hats, for it is time to announce the winners of the 2017 Kind-of-a-Big-Deal Readers’ Choice Awards. These are the best of the best in beers, spirits, food, and culture around the great state of Minnesota. Our readers have cast their votes and now it’s time to see where Growler nation … [ Read more]

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Spirits Close-Up: Holiday Rum

A season of gingerbread, Swiss rolls, and sugar plums demands a good rum. There’s just something about the molasses-tinged sweetness of a complex rum on a snowy night that feels so right this time of year. And when it comes party time, rum is the most fun to drink with a crowd—a spirit predestined for … [ Read more]

Spirits Close-Up: Herbal Liqueurs

A bottle of herbal liqueur will make your home bar more versatile and seasonally appropriate. These liqueurs are made with a wide assortment of ingredients—barks and roots, herbs and spices—that add up to something woodsy, warming, and bittersweet. Here are three made locally, their constituent flavors, and some ideas on how to use them. • … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: Wilde at Bar Brigade

Drinking at Bar Brigade is all about rosé on tap and riffs on cocktails that were popular in fin de siècle Paris. We settle in a cozy nook, brimming with greenery, and pass on a pretty French wine list in favor of a cloudy cocktail to beat back the sweltering afternoon. Haden Riles is behind the … [ Read more]

Spirits Close-Up: Infusions

This month’s Craft Cocktail, the Late Tea Time at Revival St. Paul, uses Earl Grey-infused gin to add flavor to the drink, so we decided to take a closer look at how and what to infuse with your favorite spirits. Infusing a spirit is an easy way to make show-stopping cocktails at home. It’s almost impossible … [ Read more]

Proof Artisan Distillers releases Glen Fargo single malt whiskey

Craft spirits are a new frontier—the distilleries among us new pioneers cutting a new swath in familiar grains. For Proof Artisan Distillers, highlighting North Dakota’s bountiful barley harvests in an American single malt whiskey is the perfect way to swing their scythe. Glen Fargo, called “The Single Malt of North Dakota” by Proof Artisan Distillers, … [ Read more]

Artist Profile: Erica Williams

As a 14-year-old girl, Erica Williams was obsessed with the magical action-adventure series, “Sailor Moon.” And one of her high school companions had a knack for drawing the characters from the Japanese television show, which instilled immense motivation for the Colorado Springs native to be just as good as her friend.  It was the spark … [ Read more]