The Growler: Issue 64 – February 2019 – The Great Debates

The Growler Magazine’s Issue 64 cover art // Artwork by Michael Byzewski / Aesthetic Apparatus

I have been known to enjoy a good debate—usually at the bar after a pint (or two) of something strong.

Those who know me might describe my style as deriving from the school of Larry David: brash, contrarian, with just a tinge of Seinfeldian absurdity. (One of my most recent ramblings earned a grade-A wife eye roll: “Why does Crest still make toothpaste that protects just against cavities or just whitens when they make a complete toothpaste that does everything?”)

Most of the time, I jump into debates to test the logical ends of a premise and have a laugh in the process. Rarely is the aim to undercover some fundamental truth about the world or to change someone’s mind on a deeply held conviction. Such a feat feels impossible these days.

But in 2017, I stumbled across “Intelligence Squared Debates,” a podcast hosted by a smart, judicious moderator, John Donvan. After a few episodes delving into paying college athletes, if hunters conserve wildlife, and if gerrymandering has destroyed the political center, I was hooked. The push and pull of expertly argued points and counterpoints was compelling and I ended up shifting my initial position by the end of nearly every episode to a more nuanced stance.

Few issues in life are truly black and white. Almost always they are gray and tangled and demanding of deeper contemplation than we’re wont to give. The question is, how do we get ourselves out from behind the debate podium and actually get down to work on plotting the best course of action? We needn’t water down the debate itself to create some faux atmosphere of agreeance. In fact, quite the opposite. We ought to hear the best, most passionate arguments from experts in their fields, and come to a conclusion ourselves.

This month, our “Great Debates” issue poses several questions—some complex and thorny, others lighthearted. Should a distillery consider themselves craft if they purchase premade spirits? Are taprooms killing drinking culture? Why is “clear ice” a worthy addition to our cocktail glasses? To answer these questions and more, we’re giving the floor to people who know more than us to argue their sides. We hope this issue gets you thinking in new ways and proves that it’s not impossible to change a person’s mind, including your own.


Brian Kaufenberg

Are Taprooms Killing Drinking Culture?
Former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and local man-about-town Taylor Carik debate the issue.
Moderated and edited by Lauren Sauer

Is The 51 Percent Rule Good For Minnesota Wineries And Cideries?
Defending the law is Steve Zeller, head winemaker at Parley Lake Winery. Opposing the law is Nan Bailly, co-owner and winemaker at Alexis Bailly Vineyard.
By The Growler Staff

Should A Craft Distillery Purchase Already-Made Spirits?
Heather Manly, Crooked Water Spirits founder and CEO, defends the practice, while Rockfilter Distillery’s founder and head distiller Christian Myrah of Rockfilter takes the con. 
By The Growler Staff


Matthew Krofta, left, does his best to get comfortable while Jack Gribble, right, starts in on his full back tattoo // Photo by Tj Turner

Matthew Krofta, left, does his best to get comfortable while Jack Gribble, right, starts in on his full back tattoo // Photo by Tj Turner

Craft Culture
Northeast Tattoo & Fadeaway Laser Removal
By Ellen Burkhardt

Artist Profile
Michael Byzewski
By Lauren Sauer

The Replacements vs. Hüsker Dü
Four decades on, which local band looms larger?
By Jay Gabler, The Current

Growler Crossword
This month: “That’s Debatable”
By Andrew J. Ries and Victor Barocas



Photo by Aaron Job

Photo by Aaron Job

Spirits Close-Up
Clear Ice: The American Way
By Zachary Sapato

Craft Cocktails
Morelos Sour at Popol Vuh
By John Garland

Will You Brew My Beer?
The once maligned practice of contract brewing is on the riseand no one seems to care.
By Chip Walton

Brewer Profile
Dave Hoops: Master brewer, realist, and risk-taker
By Lissa Maki



Various tacos from Taqueria La Hacienda // Photo by Aaron Job

Behold: Land of 10,000 Tacos!
The Growler’s online taco database features 50+ worthy taquerias of all shapes and sizes
By The Growler Staff

Wild-Fired Kitchen
For Ryan Stechschulte and KZ ProVisioning, feeding the Minnesota Wild is a job and a passion
By James Norton

Looking for past issues? Browse The Growler Archive.