The Growler: Issue 59 – September 2018 – Harvest

The Growler Issue 59 cover art // Art by Michael Slagle

The Growler Issue 59 cover art // Art by Michael Slagle

Three years ago my wife and I stayed overnight at an organic orchard and cidery in the small village of Saint-Laurent-du-Mont in Normandy, France. The proprietors of La Ferme du Bout de Chemin (the Farm at the End-of-the-Road), a charming middle-aged couple named Luc and Nicole Bignon, lived in a large half-timber cottage where they made cider, pommeau, and calvados from the apples grown on their 30-acre orchard.

Luc, with his glasses, blue knit sweater, collared shirt, and knee-high rubber boots, gave us a tour of the orchard, comprised of rows of mature, full-sized apple trees, and explained his aim to create “living” ciders that were rich, off-dry, effervescent, and wild.

The idyllic setting and Luc’s process bespoke a cidermaking tradition that had remained unaltered for generations. Yet, at the same time, his organic approach to natural cider felt every bit as fresh and avant garde as the American craft beer movement.

Cider is inherently rooted in the past, both through its cultural history and its physical nature; each apple hanging from a branch is the result of several years of patient pruning before the tree can bear fruit. But cider is just as planted in the present and future as it is the past. Cidermakers like Nate Watters of Keepsake Cidery in Dundas, Minnesota, attempt to capture the here and now in their ciders by letting the seasonal variance of the apples shine through. Orchardists, at the end of the harvest season, turn their attention forward to the next growing season, tending to the trees and soil in order to get the best out of each and every branch.

This month, we explore this convergence of time by digging into cider’s past, surveying its present, and envisioning its future. My hope is that in reading about the wide variety of cider and the men and women making it in Minnesota and around the world, cider will cease to be thought of as a flat, one-note drink but rather the rich complex beverage that it has always been.

Cheers,

Brian Kaufenberg
Editor-in-Chief

 

Culture

Ken Mahler in his shop, Mahler Music // Photo by Tj Turner

Ken Mahler in his shop, Mahler Music // Photo by Tj Turner

Artist Profile
Michael Slagle brings his bold aesthetic to ordinary life
By Lauren Sauer

Craft Culture
Beyond Polka: Championing the accordion to Mahler Music
By Sarah Ratermann Beahan 

Not Just a Happy Apple
Mike Lewis on John Prine, Bon Iver, and his very own music
By Cecilia Johnson, The Current

Crossword
Clues and Solution
By Victor Barocas and Andrew Ries

 

Drink

A variety of cider apples // Photo by Tj Turner

A variety of cider apples // Photo by Tj Turner

The Growler’s Field Guide to Cider
An extensive guide to everything cider
By Growler Staff

Cidermaker Profile
Keepsakes of a Season: The homegrown ciders of Nate Watters and Tracy Jonkman
By Cinnamon Janzer

Craft Cocktail
Wicker Chair Window’s Kiss at Al’s Place
By John Garland

Spirits Close-Up
The Fruit Brandy
By John Garland

What We’re Drinking
September 2018
By Growler Staff

 

Food

Bharat spiced chicken and Grilled Oyster Mushroom Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes and Purslane // Photo by Becca Dilley

Bharat spiced chicken and Grilled Oyster Mushroom Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes and Purslane // Photo by Becca Dilley

 

Food For Thought
The partnership between the U of M’s Campus Club and Cornercopia Farm Yields some exotic fruits
By James Norton

Raw Talent
The new St. Paul chef collective just/us creates wild coursed meals
By James Norton

Looking for past issues? Browse The Growler Archive.