Trailblazers 2017: The Bachelor Farmer Beverage Team

From left to right, Casey Underkofler, Erin Rolek and Peder Schweigert // Photos by Kevin Kramer and

From left to right, Casey Underkofler, Erin Rolek and Peder Schweigert // Photos by Kevin Kramer, and courtesy of Erin Rolek

There are several fine cocktail bars in town. There are several more excellent coffee shops. And there are lots of places to drink an interesting and thoughtfully selected glass of wine. But nowhere in the Twin Cities does excellence in all three beverages happen under one roof quite like at The Bachelor Farmer, and there are three talented drink-slingers to thank.

Erin Rolek was named one of Food & Wine Magazine’s 2017 Sommeliers of the Year for her focus on wines from cooler climate regions in the Northern Hemisphere. In a wine world where even dedicated vinophiles have a tough time keeping up, it’s a treat to stroll into TBF, check out what’s on Rolek’s chalkboard, and swipe a glass of something you’ve never heard of—it’ll be from a smaller producer in a climate much like ours, and will have the freshness and acidity to pair up and down the dinner menu.

Downstairs, Peder Schweigert has kept Marvel Bar on a continuous path of improvement—challenging his team to doubt their expertise and discover a better way. He’s all about process and rigorous examination to dial in the tiniest things—soda water that’s ultra-carbonated for bubbly drinks with less dilution; mint extracted in alcohol instead of muddled, for brighter color and cleaner presentation, for example. Schweigert is ensuring that Marvel doesn’t rest on its laurels (which keep rolling in, including a 2017 JBF Award semi nal nod for Outstanding Bar Program.)

And presiding over what has to be one of the most Instagrammed cafes in town is Casey Underkofler, a poetry-writing, damn tall barista who was instrumental in The Bachelor Farmer Cafe’s cocktail program and the seasonal drinks at the cafe. If you’ve felt hygge with your breve in the North Loop this year, he may be the reason.

Of course Rolek, Schweigert, and Underkofler are only three of a remarkably talented drinks staff spreading over the whole Bachelor Farmer enterprise. All together, they represent a clear vision for modern drinking in the bold North.

Trailblazers are the people, ideas, businesses, and organizations doing necessary, important, and groundbreaking work in the realms of food, drink, and culture. See the rest of The Growler’s 2017 Trailblazers here.

About John Garland

John Garland is the Deputy Editor at the Growler Magazine. Find him on twitter (@johnpgarland) or in every coffee shop on West 7th Street.