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

In the time since March 16, when it was announced that Minnesota’s bars and restaurants would only be allowing takeout service, breweries across the state have been in a constant state of flux. Though some breweries saw the storm approaching and started ramping down production in the weeks leading up to the state’s lockdown, the … [ Read more]

Brewing Change Collaborative: Changing the faces in brewing one beer at a time

When Ramsey Louder pours a beer at ONE Fermentary and Taproom, he may also break the ice and ask you if you consider yourself a person of color. Louder, ONE’s head brewer and the first black man to co-own a brewery in Minneapolis, makes it a daily personal goal to seek out other people of … [ Read more]

Red Ale Rising: An upstart Irish brewer is betting Americans will soon tire of exotics and embrace classics

One afternoon last fall, Ian Hamilton hoisted a glass of red ale to his bearded lips as he recalled his days at the old Smithwick’s brewery. Hired at age 21, the tall Irishman had spent nearly two decades across two stints working at the manufacturing facility in Kilkenny, Ireland. In 2013, however, Smithwick’s longtime owner, … [ Read more]

Out Picking: Harvesting with Urban Forage Winery and Cider House’s Jeff Zeitler

Jeff Zeitler is tireless. The co-owner of Urban Forage Winery & Cider House has a vision—to create high-quality small-batch hard ciders, meads, and wine from local, crowd-sourced fruit, flowers, and honey—and he uses his trailblazing attitude to carry it out.   “We make stuff that is real [free of artificial chemicals and preservatives] and it’s … [ Read more]

Bob Was There: From Town Hall to BlackStack, Bob DuVernois’ career spans Minnesota’s craft beer history

Ask any old-school brewer how their fire was lit and the answer will almost always be, “I started homebrewing…” This holds true for Bob DuVernois, head brewer at BlackStack Brewing. His spark came in 1979 when he tasted a dark beer made by a friend’s father. Not a fan of the macro lagers that monopolized the … [ Read more]

Bringing Berliner Back: Jace Marti gives the traditional German beer a second life at The Starkeller

A battering ram of carbon dioxide punches me in the face and leaves me coughing for air. It’s been trapped inside its wooden tank prison for a little over two years now, the byproduct of a long, slow Berliner weisse fermentation, and it’s not wasting any time getting the hell out. “Yeah, it’s no joke,” … [ Read more]

Stuart Long Brings Southern California to Northern Minnesota at Voyageur Brewing Company

It’s not Grand Marais’ cold snaps that trip up Stuart Long. Or the solitude. It’s the seagulls. “What the hell is a seagull doing in Minnesota?” the head brewer of Voyageur Brewing Company quips. “I don’t know; it’s weird, man.” Stuart moved to Grand Marais two years ago after spending the majority of his 31 … [ Read more]

Norwegian Nights: HammerHeart Brewing Company is an oasis of heavy beers and heavier metal in Lino Lakes

On a Saturday afternoon in the absolute nadir of the worst Minnesota winter in recent memory, HammerHeart Brewing Company’s taproom is full of warm bodies. Nestled among a small grove of pines just off Highway 23 in Lino Lakes, HammerHeart’s hand-built log cabin exterior would look like something out of a Thomas Kinkade painting, if … [ Read more]

Working Together: Will Hubbard’s egoless spirit defines Broken Clock Brewing Cooperative’s beers

From grocery stores and credit unions, to restaurants and apartments, all the way up a wall to bouldering gyms, Minnesotans are enamored with co-ops. Chalk it up to our state’s rich agricultural tradition, or perhaps the multitude of progressive-minded wallets in our metro areas. For Broken Clock Brewing Cooperative’s head brewer Will Hubbard, that co-op … [ Read more]

Dave Hoops: Master Brewer, Realist, and Risk-Taker

With his wavy, tousled hair, generous salt-and-pepper beard, and preferred outfit of jeans and a flannel shirt, Dave Hoops fits the archetypical portrait of a brewer better than that of a businessman. Yet his 25-plus years of experience in the industry have afforded him a wealth of expertise in the business of making beer. He’ll … [ Read more]

Tina Spurr: Mother of Barrels at Indeed Brewing Company

Walking around Indeed Brewing Company’s barrel house, tucked just off Territorial Avenue between MN-280 and University Avenue, assistant brewer Cristina (Tina) Spurr points to chalk markings on a few of the hundreds of barrels racked four high and two deep along the walls. The numbers and letters are arranged in what look like unsolved algebra … [ Read more]

The Glamorous Life of an Engineer-Brewer: Jeff Moriarty of Tin Whiskers Brewing Company

Jeff Moriarty, founder and head brewer of Tin Whiskers Brewing Company in downtown St. Paul, has been fascinated with outer space since middle school. That’s when he discovered “Star Trek,” and quickly became enamored with the mechanical allure of deep space technology. “I’d imagine, if I were in the ‘Star Trek’ age, what would I … [ Read more]

Going all in with Nick Huisinga of Cuyuna Brewing Company

Nick Huisinga takes off on a trail barely wider than the tire of his fat bike, kicking up tufts of rust-colored dust into the air as he banks through root-ridden turns. The serpentine single-track trail winds through dense woods in the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area outside of Crosby, Minnesota. Exposed boulders and trees jutting … [ Read more]

Back to the Source with Chris Priebe of Millstream Brewing Company

Chris Priebe’s first word as a child: “Hi.” His second: “Beer.” At two years old, he was enjoying small sips of his grandfather’s beer. At 16, he traveled to Germany, thus beginning his love affair with German beer. As an adult, Priebe found himself as an unofficial “taster” for the Dubuque Star Brewery in Dubuque, … [ Read more]

Of Dogs and Brewers: Jeremy Hale and Blake Verdon of LTD Brewing

Watching as a customer with a dog sits down in the corner of the patio at LTD Brewing in Hopkins, Minnesota, Blake Verdon steps out of his conversation and brings a bowl of fresh water for the dog, then takes the man’s order. He isn’t just being nice, although he does ooze Midwestern friendliness (he’s … [ Read more]