The Mill: HopCat opens, craft brewers join forces, and HOTTEA yarn bombs MOA

HopCat Minneapolis is now open // Photo by Kevin Kramer, The Growler

HopCat Minneapolis is now open // Photo by Kevin Kramer, The Growler

July 26–August 1

HopCat, the lauded chain of craft beer bars, opened the doors of its new downtown Minneapolis location with 80 beers on tap, and many more in bottles and cans.

This past week also saw craft brewers digging in for the long haul. Bent Paddle made a permanent home for itself in Duluth by purchasing their building; Brooklyn Brewery, 21st Amendment, and Funkwerks announced an aggressive national, collaborative sales plan; and Short’s Brewing in Michigan secured a partnership with Lagunitas.

Plus, the American Homebrewers Association released a list of 50 commercial beer recipes that have been scaled for the homebrewing community.

The wind is at our backs, friends.


21st Amendment, Brooklyn Brewery, and Funkwerks are teaming up by forming a national sales team // Photo via Brooklyn Brewery's website

21st Amendment, Brooklyn Brewery, and Funkwerks are teaming up by forming a national sales team // Photo via Brooklyn Brewery’s website

Brooklyn Brewery, 21st Amendment Brewery (21A), and Funkwerks have united to form a national sales and distribution team to combat operational and financial challenges posed by larger beer companies. Brooklyn, as the larger of the three, has invested in each of the two smaller breweries providing some much-needed breathing room. Brooklyn’s VP Dave Duffy will lead the cooperative sales efforts.

Short’s Brewing Company of Michigan announced it has sold a 19.99% equity stake to The Lagunitas Brewing Company of California. The union will allow Short’s, who will maintain its brand identity, to continue to push creative boundaries and invest in their staff.

Constellation Brands announced that it will be opening a Ballast Point brewpub in Chicago’s Fulton Market District in 2018.

Bent Paddle Brewing Co. is settling in Duluth after having just bought its brewery and taproom at 1912 W. Michigan Street. They have been operating at that location for the last four years. The decision to stay is a welcomed investment in the Lincoln Park neighborhood.

The Slip bar opened for business last week in Duluth. Located in the Suites Hotel building in Canal Park, The Slip serves wine, spirits, and beer including five brews by its neighbor, Hoops Brewing, and spirits by Vikre Distillery housed just down the street.

Fair State Brewing Cooperative took home top honors at this year’s All Pints North put on by the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild. The Northeast Minneapolis brewery was named the Best of Fest after winning Best Beer and Best Brewery.

The American Homebrewers Association released a collection of 50 clone recipes from commercial brewers, one for every state. The commercial recipes have been scaled down for 5-10 gallon batches, just the right size for homebrewers. Midwest breweries represented are Indeed, New Glarus, Lion Bridge Brewing, Maplewood Brewery & Distillery, Firehouse Brewing Co., and Prairie Rose Meadery.

Boasting 80 local beers on tap and offering “crack fries,” HopCat opened in downtown Minneapolis last weekend on Nicollet and Fifth Street. The Michigan-based chain focuses on offering craft beers and beer-friendly food. Take your pick on crack fries: classic, loaded (and add chili), poutine, sloppy, vegetarian.

Craft beer is coming to the Mall of America via City Works Eatery and Pour House later this year. The restaurant and bar will have 40+ taps of craft beer served alongside burgers and salads.

The Veil Brewing of Richmond, Virginia, and Evil Twin Brewing’s Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø brewed beer with fried chicken. The double dry-hopped IPA is called Fried Fried Chicken Chicken.

Surly Brewing’s flagship Furious is now available in 12-packs of 12-ounce cans. The beer was previously available in four-packs of 16-ounce tallboys.

According to Alcine Chan and a team of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS), probiotics can survive the onslaught of hops during the brewing process. Chan and team created a 3.5% ABV sour beer with approximately 1 billion probiotic organisms per mouthful, patent pending.

12welve Eyes Brewing opened its taproom and brewery in the basement of the historic Pioneer Endicott building in Lowertown St. Paul on Friday, July 29.

Brewing returns to Pine City off of Interstate 35 with the opening of Three Twenty Brewing Company on Friday, July 29.


Delicata Pizza & Gelato is now open in St. Paul // Photo via Delicata's Facebook

Delicata Pizza & Gelato is now open in St. Paul // Photo via Delicata’s Facebook

Pizza and gelato are ready for consumption in the Como neighborhood at Delicata, opened just last week by chefs Matty O’Reilly and JD Fratzke. Beer, wine, pizza, small plates, and gelato can be ordered at the counter, open 4:00–10:00pm daily.

Big news from chef and restaurateur Erick Harcey: Upton 43 is moving to Minneapolis’ North Loop and Victory 44, known for its “perfect burger,” has closed its doors after nearly 10 years of service.

Minneapolis’ Young Joni was called to grandeur on Eater’s 12 Best New Restaurants in America, courtesy of the renowned food critic Bill Addison. Chef Ann Kim’s restaurant rubs shoulders with restaurants from cities like LA, New York, Chicago, Seattle, and New Orleans.

Kim Bartmann, owner of Bryant Lake Bowl, Pat’s Tap, and four other local establishments, announced last week that in order to continue to provide health insurance to her employees, customers will see a three percent service charge added to their bill. The decision comes as Bartmann’s overall vision for sustainability includes taking care of her staff.

A new restaurant, Emperor of India, has opened in the former home of Gray House and Prairie Dogs, and is offering Indian staples during their a lunch buffet and dinner service hours.


Steel Toe and Surly are one of the teams that created a collaboration beer for In Cahoots! 2017 // Photo by Kevin Kramer, The Growler

Steel Toe and Surly are one of the teams that created a collaboration beer for In Cahoots! 2017 // Photo by Kevin Kramer, The Growler

Charity, collaboration, and beer go hand in hand at In Cahoots! A Collaboration of Craft Brewing, a fundraising event planned for August 6 in Minneapolis. Fourteen participating breweries have paired up to make collaboration beers and will compete to donate event proceeds to the nonprofit of their choice.

Guitarist known as 3rdEyeGirl (who recorded the 2014 Plectrumelectrum album with Prince) debuts her new band, Donna Grantis, this Friday at the Dakota Jazz Club. After Prince’s death, Grantis decided to settle in Minneapolis and worked on putting together a band that spans various music genres. The group plans to release a studio album in the near future.

Eric Rieger, or more widely recognized as the artist HOTTEA, is in the process of stringing a massive yarn bomb Mall of America atrium. The installation “Hot Lunch” will be finished sometime this week. Check out these pictures of Rieger working atop a cherry picker in the atrium.

Hmong brothers Abel and Burlee Vang came to the Twin Cities from California in search of investors for a horror film, hoping that the tightly-knit Hmong community would rally around their dream to bring Hmong representation to pop culture. Investors showed up and filming took place through 2015. Their film, Bedeviled, will premiere at New Vision Oakdale 20 in August.

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]