The Mill: Brewers and chefs are pitching in with Hurricane Harvey relief efforts

Breweries like Colorado's Oskar Blues Brewery are helping with Hurricane Harvey relief efforts by canning drinking water for flood victims // Photo via Oskar Blues Brewery's Can'd Aid Facebook page

August 30–September 5

Across the nation, many companies, nonprofits, and individuals have shown support for those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Among these is the brewing industry—breweries both near and far from the path of the storm have rolled up their sleeves to help.

Some breweries have paused beer canning and used their facilities to can water for hurricane victims including Anheuser-Busch InBev (GA), MillerCoors (CO), Oskar Blues (CO), Braxton Brewing (KY), and Nivol Brewing Co. (FL). Others have made plans to donate taproom sale dollars, run donation drives, and collaborate on special beers with all proceeds going towards relief efforts. The stories are numerous.

The Texas Craft Brewers Guild is keeping watch over how the storm will affect the brewing industry at large. With production paused, distribution interrupted, and many Texas breweries without flood insurance, assessment is yet to come.

Minnesotans have contributed to Harvey disaster relief in a myriad of ways. Minnesota Guard soldiers and Red Cross volunteers have made their way south, and animal rescues across the state are taking in stranded animals. From the food industry, at least one restaurant in St. Paul will be closed for a time as chef Eddie Wu of Cook has left to help feed people in the wake of Harvey. He is one of many chefs nationwide providing hunger relief.

There are too many stories to share them all, but suffice to say that between sending water, money, talent, and offering up plain old manpower, the service industry really has the ability to step up in times of need.


Starry Eyed Brewing Company's taproom in Little Falls // Photo courtesy of Starry Eyed Brewing Company

Starry Eyed Brewing Company’s taproom in Little Falls // Photo courtesy of Starry Eyed Brewing Company

The soft opening for the taproom at Starry Eyed Brewing in Little Falls, Minnesota, takes place this Friday with a grand opening planned for October. They’ve already been distributing to areas around Little Falls, even having made it to Highland Park in St. Paul.

Ballast Point bottles and cans are getting a makeover both in appearance and pricing. After purchasing Ballast Point in 2015, Constellation Brands conducted marketing research ultimately leading up to a redesign of Ballast Point’s most “approachable” beers—those between 4-6 percent ABV—in hopes to reach the hands of new customers.

Mango-Raspberry Rekorderlig cider from Åbro of Sweden is available in 15 states for the first time including Minnesota. The mango-raspberry is Åbro’s most popular flavor worldwide and will be the sixth addition to Åbro ciders available in the U.S.

Greenbelt Resources Corporation is testing trub, the yeast-filled sediment left over from beer fermentation, to find out if it’s a viable substance to add to feed for livestock. They plan to use trub from Barrelhouse Brewing Company, and if it checks out, Greenbelt’s Paso Robles ECOsystem project (PRECO) will pick it up for wider use.


Northern Coffee Works is now open in the former Big Brain Comics space // Photo via NCW's Instagram

Northern Coffee Works is now open in the former Big Brain Comics space // Photo via NCW’s Instagram

Northern Coffeeworks (NCW) is now open in the building once occupied by Big Brain Comics on Washington Avenue. They offer specialty beverages including coffee, tea, craft beer, and wine, and a menu of breakfast and lunch foods by chef Cassandra Swanson. NCW was started by Joshua Klauck, owner of Angry Catfish.

Some delicious announcements about Market House Collaborative were made last week. In short, Salty Tart will be the new bakery, Tim McKee’s seafood restaurant will be called Octo Fishbar, and the butcher shop will be supplied by Peterson Craftsman Meats. Opening day is set for October 10.

Tickets are on sale for Oysterfest, Meritage‘s all-day celebration of the bivalve returning for its seventh year. The event will have over a dozen varieties of oysters to try, as well as a Summit collaboration Oyster Stout, exclusive for the festival. Non-shellfish dishes will also be on hand, as well as live music and a shucking competition.


Target Center in Minneapolis will host the 2018 WNBA All-Star Game // Rendering via

Target Center in Minneapolis will host the 2018 WNBA All-Star Game // Rendering via

The 2018 WNBA All-Star game will be at Target Center, just in time for a $140 million renovation to be completed. The Lynx have historically been well-represented in the All-Star lineup and there doesn’t seem a reason for 2018 to be much different.

The wood from the controversial sculpture, “Scaffold” by Sam Durant, will be buried rather than burned. The sculpture, which the artist meant to be a commentary on capital punishment, was taken down from the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden at the Walker Art Center ahead of its grand reopening after protests from members of the Dakota community.

The Minnesota Twins pummeled the Kansas City Royals last Saturday, setting a new record for the franchise by winning 17-0. The score gap is the largest in Twins’ history. The playoffs don’t seem too far fetched if they can keep the bats going.

The Mill is The Growler’s regular digest of all things new and notable in the world of food, drink, and culture. Stop back weekly for restaurant news, brewery rumors, and more. Have some news you want to share? Got some gossip to dish? Drop us a line at [email protected]