The Growler: Issue 54 – April 2018 – The Green Issue

The Growler Issue 54 cover art // Art by Regan Golden

Letter from the editor

Dear Readers,

The season of renewal is upon us. But our Green Issue isn’t just a celebration of the green, growing things springing forth from their fertile resting places like little middle fingers to the snow and cold.

As we enter this most optimistic time of year, let us stop to consider how fortunate we are to live in a time and place that provides us such abundant access to the natural world. Even if you live smack dab in the middle of the Twin Cities, you’re still less than a few miles from more than one national or state park or recreation area.

I’m afraid we’re losing touch, Growler Nation. Although a strong majority of Minnesotans are concerned about the roll-back of laws that protect our land, air, and water, we’re still not doing enough to protect the 40 percent of Minnesota lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands deemed “impaired” by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. We need to bridge the gap between our wishes for environmental protections and action on these issues that affect not only you and I, but generations of Northerners to come. (See page 10.)

Clean water, abundant wildlife, healthy forests (see page 26) shouldn’t be up for debate. They are all imperative to a robust economy in Minnesota, and the health and well-being of her people.

Together we can make a difference. It’s not too late. But the time for action is now.

Share your thoughts with me on Twitter (@JoeAlton) or Instagram (@jay_dee_eh).


Joseph Alton


An algae bloom on Little Rock Lake // Photo courtesy Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

An algae bloom on Little Rock Lake // Photo courtesy Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Troubled Waters
Bridging our concern over Minnesota’s Lakes and Rivers to necessary action
By Ron Way

Seeing the Forest for the Trees
The sustainability of Minnesota’s Logging Industry
By David Sandager

Escape From The Underground
Lessons to the Cannabis Industry from Craft Beer
By Tyler Newman

Shoes With Soul
Stylish shoe repair at Greenwich Vitange
By Josh Coook

Green Parties
Minnesota musicians and entrepreneurs reducing their impact one tour at a time
By Youa Vang, The Current

Artist Profile
Regan Golden turns plants into art
By Kate Murphy

Clues and Solution
By Victor Barocas and Andrew Ries


Bobby Blasey, head brewer at Able Seedhouse + Brewery // Photo by Tj Turner

Bobby Blasey, head brewer at Able Seedhouse + Brewery // Photo by Tj Turner

Brewer Profile: Bobby Blasey of Able Seedhouse + Brewery
It all comes back to the bagpipes. It’s clear that Bobby trusts his instincts – many of his stories start like this: “One day I woke up and decided…” 
By Sarah Ratermann Beahan

Craft Beer’s Plastic Problem
Why six-pack holders are ending up in the trash even if you recycle them
By Matt Privratsky

Spirits Close-Up
By John Garland

Craft Cocktails
Lychee Keen at Hai Hai
By John Garland

What We’re Drinking
April 2018
By Growler Staff


Yia Vang // Photo by Wing Ta

Yia Vang // Photo by Wing Ta

The Very Visible Yia Vang
But what he goes on to admit: he’s still getting used to being so visible.
By John Garland

Plants: It’s what’s for Dinner
A new crop of vegans and vegetarian food purveyors are progressing a scene started by pioneering restaurants.
By Charlie Gillmer

Looking for past issues? Browse The Growler Archive.