Alcohol giant Constellation Brands, the $42 billion company that owns Corona, Modelo, and Svedka has bought a 9.9 percent minority stake in the $2 billion Canadian medical cannabis company Canopy Growth. The stake is worth $191 million, with the option to increase in the future.
Constellation’s CEO confirmed that this investment is part of a move to develop marijuana-infused beverages using their own prowess in the beverage industry and Canopy’s cannabis expertise. This would be the first product of its kind, opening up a major market for marijuana as alcohol sales continually decline.
In buying this stake, Constellation is predicting that marijuana will be legal across the U.S. sooner than we may think, but the company has no intention of selling marijuana until it’s legal at “all government levels.” They may be selling products in Canada as soon as 2019, when legalization of edible and drinkable cannabis products is expected to pass.
“This looks a lot like the new normal,” Canopy CEO Bruce Linton told the Chicago Tribune. “There’s no need to include alcohol [with these products], nor is there an intent to include alcohol in how we follow through with things.” While marijuana still remains illegal in the majority of U.S. states, polls have shown that 64 percent of Americans want the cannabis ban lifted.
Until then, Constellation will have to tread very carefully in the U.S., strictly selling in states where recreational marijuana has been legalized until federal legislation is passed.
Castle Danger is expanding next month with a 8,400-square-foot packaging hall. Since opening in 2011, the brewery has grown from producing 1500 barrels in 2014 to an estimated 15,000 this year. The new space will house additional fermenters and brite tanks, one of which will specifically be dedicated to nitro beers.
The spot formerly known as Nye’s Polonaise Room will be reopening to the public this winter as Sonder Shaker, a cocktail bar and lounge. Nye’s was a local polka hot spot for 66 years before it shuttered its doors last spring.
Can Can Wonderland and Bittercube are hosting a one-night Cocktail Variety Show on November 18. The vaudeville spectacle will feature five cocktails involving puppets, flames, and liquid nitrogen, among other things.
In the spirit of Halloween, the Duluth News Tribune asked local bartenders to draw a piece of candy from a jack-o-lantern, and to whip up a drink they’d pair it with. The interpretations were spread across the sweet spectrum, from chocolate-based drinks to fruitier concoctions. Turns out that Halloween candy makes for a surprisingly versatile food pairing, which is good news for those who will be dealing with leftover candy for weeks to come.
Small brewer tax reform reached a major milestone, as two more senators co-signed the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act to put total Congressional support over 50 percent. The bill would reduce tax burdens for small independent craft brewers across the country.
The Hasty Tasty will be claiming the spot vacated three years ago by long-time resident Falafel King on the corner of Lyndale Avenue and Lake Street in Minneapolis. The menu is a collaboration involving chef Chris Gerster, arriving from The Commodore in St. Paul, and the cocktail menu will be crafted by Better Beer Society and Bittercube, the brains behind the drink menus at Can Can Wonderland and Lawless. The new American restaurant with “a passion for wood-fired cooking” is set to open next month.
The Dayton’s name is returning to its previous home in downtown Minneapolis, and with it a choice of restaurants as well as a high-end food hall. The space is being renovated to return to its original glory, with a few modern twists, partly in an effort to attract potential restaurateurs. The food hall will contain a rotation of 20 vendors.
Hamburguesas el Gordo is bringing its gargantuan burgers to a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Minneapolis. The Gutierrez family behind the famous Mexican street food-style burgers was previously selling them out of their home, where they were often selling out in less than two hours. The new location will be at 42nd Street and Cedar Avenue.
On November 2 Constantine is hosting a viewing party of the Beat Bobby Flay episode taped last May in New York City featuring local chef Mike DeCamp. The party starts at 9 p.m. sharp and DeCamp will be “cheftending” behind the bar.
Chicago’s DMK Burger Bar is setting its sights on Minnesota as it plans to expand into five states. The burger joint started by James Beard-nominated chef Michael Kornick flaunts custom-made potato flour buns, hand-cut fries, and house-made sodas and shakes with an option to add booze.
David Letterman and Al Franken visited Afro Deli in downtown St. Paul on Friday, along with Rep. Ilhan Omar and Muna Abdullahi, the first Somali American senate page. Letterman was in town to film a segment in which he interviews extraordinary people for his yet-untitled Netflix series to be released in 2018. His St. Paul stop was focused on the local Somali population, including an interview with Afro Deli’s owner Abdirahman Kahin.
Andrea Swensson, music journalist and host of 89.3 The Current’s Local Show, has published her very own book titled “Got to be Something Here: The Rise of the Minneapolis Sound.” She dives into the history of Minneapolis music, beginning with the birth of Prince and ending in her final meeting with him at Paisley Park before his death.
Revered blues and rock legend Fats Domino passed away at the age of 89. Domino was known for hits like “Blueberry Hill” and “Ain’t That a Shame.” He was deemed “the godfather of rock and roll” by CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, where he was one of the first 10 artists to be inducted.
Intermedia Arts has to sell its property in the Lyn-Lake neighborhood of South Minneapolis, where it’s been since 1994. Citing unmanageable debts, the organization had no choice but to shut down operations. The multi-genre platform has been known for its support of emerging artists, especially immigrants, people of color, and those within the LGBTQ community.
Hall’s Island in Northeast Minneapolis is to undergo a massive reconstruction. The restoration project will reintroduce natural habitat and open up a waterway between the island and the riverbank, opening up access to the river.
The Wall Street Journal included Minneapolis in their list of top 10 cities to visit around the world. Nestled at number four between towns in Scotland and Peru, the article cited restaurants Spoon and Stable and Red Rabbit among reasons to visit the city, as well as all 13 of our James Beard Award finalists. In a refreshing change of pace, there was not a single mention of cold winters or our customary “grape salad.”
The Science Museum of Minnesota is getting some unexpected attention this week after a brontosaurus sweatshirt sold from the gift shop in the 1980s showed up in Netflix’s “Stranger Things 2.” The museum is working on remaking the sweatshirt, which should be available for purchase next week.
Toki Wright will be joining 89.3 The Current as an on-air host of a new hip-hop show to start in early 2018. The artist, educator, and producer has written and toured globally with a myriad of artists and musicians, and currently serves as the head of the nation’s first accredited hip-hop studies program at McNally Smith College of Music.
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]