What We’re Drinking: May 2019

Photos by Aaron Job

Welcome back to What We’re Drinking, wherein The Growler editorial staff look back on recent remarkable beverages. What are you drinking, Growler Nation? Let us know on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

Brian Kaufenberg, Editor-in-Chief

Ursa Minor El Jefe American Sour Ale

For such a young brewery, Duluth’s Ursa Minor is showing off some real maturity with its El Jefe American Sour Ale. It is full-bodied and complex, and it pours an attractively rich Baltic amber color that draws your eye to the glass. Behind the fusty aroma and bright acid typical of Brettanomyces lies a rich sweetness and a light almond flavor accentuated by a round tannic quality undoubtedly from the wild plums and the time the beer spent aging in Port barrels. Pair this with a warm goat cheese and beet salad.

■ Far North Roknar Rye Sauternes Cask Finish Whiskey
■ Loon Liquor Lac Coeur Coffee Liqueur
■ Bauhaus Short Pants Lemon Shandy
■ Schell’s Hefeweizen

John Garland, Deputy Editor

Cantina Raina 2014 Montefalco Rosso

The smell and taste of the sangiovese grape—cherries, clay, tobacco—is unmistakable to me. Some of my favorite sangioveses come from Umbria, the region smack dab in the heart of the Italian peninsula, whose red wines might not be as famous as their Tuscan neighbors but are still wonderful and a great value, too. Francesco Mariani is growing biodynamic grapes on his small estate outside of Montefalco, and this Rosso rewards you with those characteristic sangiovese flavors and some good fruit sweetness that dries out with black olive, herbs, and leathery tannin on the lengthy finish.

■ Teutonic Wine Co. 2017 Sprockets White
■ Beaver Island Maibock
■ Fullerton Wines Five FACES Chardonnay
■ Surly Sleek IPA

Ellen Burkhardt, Managing Editor

Crafters Union Rosé

I usually avoid falling for the “pretty label” trap. But when I saw the pastel pink, water lily / bird / canoe-strewn Crafters Union Rosé can at the check-out counter of my local liquor store, I couldn’t resist. Cracking into it on a warm, sunshiny April afternoon, the wine lived up to its label-induced hype. Acidic on the sip with notes of watermelon and strawberry on the nose, it’s got enough bite to make things interesting while its smooth finish induces daydreams of hammock naps alongside a lake. Pack it with you on your next adventure, chill it in nearby stream or lake, and savor summer for all it’s worth.  

■ Earth Rider Superior Pale Ale
■ Shania Monastrell Red Wine 
■ Bodegas Mustiguillo Mestizaje Bobal 2016
■ Jura 10 Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky 

Lauren Sauer, Associate Editor

Castle Danger White Pine Project IPA

There are few things I love more than a long-haul road trip; there’s something both thrilling and satisfying about getting to a destination by road alone—to see every inch of land between points A and B. Plus, once you’ve crushed 20 hours in one go, a three-hour drive to visit Castle Danger Brewing in Two Harbors is comparatively nothing. Their White Pine Project IPA has a bright, citrusy aroma; piney hop character; and slight bitterness. Added bonus: proceeds from the IPA go toward reinstating the white pine population around Two Harbors. Here’s to drinking for a cause!

■ Surly Pentagram
■ Able BLK WLF
■ Fair State Vienna Lager
■ Harpoon IPA