The Growler: Issue 79 – July 2020 – Special Issue

When The Growler staff officially returned to work on May 4 after being furloughed, the COVID-19 pandemic was still threatening every aspect of life across the U.S. and here in Minnesota. The U.S. death total from the virus hit 67,000, before going on to eclipse 100,000 by the end of the month. The economic strife expressed by small businesses was reaching crisis levels. 

We ourselves—still facing financial uncertainty alongside the state’s restaurants, bars, breweries, cideries, wineries, and distilleries—spent our first two weeks back developing and rolling out new initiatives to help bridge the shortfalls in advertising and events revenue that are the lifeblood of the company. 

This special issue was originally conceived of as a way to document this ongoing crisis and to offer up ways to lead richer lives at home while we social distance. In it, you’ll find stories of restaurateurs struggling to make it through the shutdown caused by COVID-19, brewers converting to carry-out growler and Crowler sales to keep the doors open, and distillers who pivoted to producing hand sanitizer for those most in need. 

But on May 25, we were confronted—again—with a different crisis threatening our communities that we have too long ignored. In the 8 minutes and 46 seconds that George Floyd’s life was egregiously stolen from him, America—particularly white America—was jolted out of our complacency to another ongoing crisis that is disproportionately threatening the lives of Black Americans: police brutality and the systemic racism that allows it to persist. 

We open this issue with the powerful photo essay by Sahra Qaxiye, which documents the dramatic and traumatic events that took place in Minneapolis following the murder of George Floyd. The images of grieving, protesting, buildings burning, and the mobilization efforts to alleviate the fallout of the destruction not only capture the pain and anger that reverberated through the community, but also remind us that sustained action is the only way to create lasting change. 

That message is echoed by several Black members of the restaurant and craft beer industries, who share their personal reflections and commentary in a special community voices section following the photo essay. I hope that their poignant words will invite introspection, foster empathy, and inspire action. The time is now to stand up for meaningful change in order to bring about a more just future for BIPOC Americans. 


Brian Kaufenberg



A Photo Essay
By Sahra Qaxiye

Community Voices
Reflections and Commentary After George Floyd

Illustrating a moment in history with Andres Guzman
Artist Profile: Andres Guzman
By Lauren Sauer

Culture Club
A Month of Introspection and Self-Education on Racial Justice
By The Growler

The Growler’s 2020 Outdoor Guide: Biking Edition
By The Growler



The Growler’s Cocktail Hall of Fame
Our drinks editor selects the best drink recipes we’ve ever published
By John Garland

Brewing in the Time of COVID
To ensure their survival, Minnesota breweries have had to get creative
By John Garland

The State of Spirits
Minnesota’s distillers reflect on a challenging year and uncertain future
By John Garland

Homebrew Recipe: Artimus “Pils”
Brewing TV 10th Anniversary Recipe
By Chip Walton, Jake Keeler, & Michael Dawson

What We’re Drinking
July 2020
By The Growler Staff


Lean Times
Pandemic stories from Minnesota restaurants that survived the crisis—or didn’t
By James Norton & Lauren Sauer

Cater the Perfect Picnic
Dining outdoors is (necessarily) bigger than ever—Recipes for 3 workhorse classics reimagined
By James Norton

Fridge Pickles Are the Taste of Summer
By John Garland


Looking for past issues? Browse The Growler Archive.