Beer Snob

​Twist: A new concept for downtown

by Chris Larson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | January 25th, 2017

When Dan Hurder and his staff were coming up with the food and drink menus for a rebranding and relaunch, a singular word seemed to dominate their discussions and descriptions of what they wanted to offer, and so that simple word became the name and concept of their latest downtown offering: Twist. It is a different take on typical bar food, and a focus on traditional cocktails “with a twist”. It is a concept focused on creativity and flexibility, which should allow them to easily…

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​Junkyard doubles its brewing capacity

by Chris Larson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | January 18th, 2017

Nicholas Friesen Photography

When Aaron Juhnke first began his hobby of homebrewing with canning jars, he had no way of predicting he would be in the position he finds himself in today. What started as a way to experiment, as well as ensure a regular personal supply of flavorful beer, has now turned into a major juggling act as he works diligently, expanding the brewing capacity of one of the area’s most popular and most talked-about breweries.

Shortly after relocating in the summer of 2014, Junkyard increased…

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​The soothing spices of winter

by Chris Larson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | January 16th, 2017

As the deep cold settles in and we retreat indoors to the warmth of a fireplace or pull out the heavy socks and blankets, it is common for many of us to turn towards darker, higher alcohol beers like stouts and porters.

Not to be neglected is the seasonal winter favorite, the winter warmer. Though the traditional English version would share the same malty, sweet characteristics, I chose instead to focus this week on what we mostly see in our market: the spiced winter warmer ale.…

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​Kilstone offers a Brew Experience

by Chris Larson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | December 21st, 2016

One of the main goals of professionals in the beverage industry is to provide our customers with not only products but ultimately, an experience. The Wigen brothers, Brock and Grant, have been offering up Kilstone Brew Experiences to companies, clubs and office groups in the local area since opening their North Fargo brewery in early 2015.

When, as manager at the Bottle Barn in West Fargo, I found myself with a freshly dumped whiskey barrel, I knew just who to offer the challenge to.…

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​Whiskey around the world : Japan

by Chris Larson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | December 14th, 2016

Since 1924, Japanese spirit, wine, and beer giant Suntory has been making whiskey but it wasn’t until 2015 that the category of Japanese whiskey began to gain serious traction in the United States.

This was the year that Jim Murray named one of Suntory’s products, Yamazaki Sherry Cask as the #1 Whiskey of the World in a list that for the shocking first time did not feature a single whiskey from Scotland in its top five. Unfortunately, that particular whiskey was such extremely…

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​Whiskey around the world: Canada

by Chris Larson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | December 7th, 2016

Canadians were first introduced to whisky by Scottish immigrants. It is often referred to as “rye whisky” by Canadians, although unlike American “rye whiskey,” there is no requirement of a proportion of rye in the mash bill. The only requirements of Canadian whisky are that it be aged for at least three years in wooden barrels and bottled at 40% abv or more.

In the early years of Canadian whisky all of their whiskeys were high rye mash bills but in modern times a wide variety of…

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​Whiskey around the world: Ireland

by HPR Contributor | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | November 30th, 2016

By Chris Larson

cjlarson75@gmail.com

Irish whiskey is one of the oldest distilled spirits in Europe, dating back to the 12th century, when Irish monks brought back the art of distilling perfumes which was then modified to produce spirits for consumption.

The rules governing production of Irish whiskey are quite simple and to the point. In addition to the requirement that origin of distillation must be Ireland, the spirits must also be distilled to less than 94.8% and aged three years in…

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​Whiskey around the world : Scotch

by HPR Contributor | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | November 22nd, 2016

By Chris Larson

cjlarson75@gmail.com

With a rich history of distillation dating back to the late 15th century, Scotch whisky has made its way around the world to the point that it is nearly impossible to find a single establishment that doesn’t have at least one single malt or one blended Scotch whisky on hand.

Other than a minimum of three years aging in a barrel, there are few rules that govern its production; but the variety of grains, where those grains were grown, and types of…

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​Whiskey to warm your winter

by HPR Contributor | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | November 16th, 2016

By Chris Larson cjlarson@gmail.com

In the weeks to come, I invite you to take a journey around the world of whiskies with me. Along this journey I’ll introduce you to some great whisk(e)y from all corners of the Earth, including Ireland, Scotland, Japan, and beginning right here in the States with one of our prized American heritage spirits: bourbon.

This week, and in the weeks to follow, I will choose one whiskey I am familiar with and one I have little to no experience with and…

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​Some targets for seasonal beer hunters

by HPR Contributor | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | November 9th, 2016

By Chris Larson

Cjlarson75@gmail.com

It’s BEER hunting time! This week I will be highlighting seasonal porters and stouts that are either new to the market or come around once a year. A few are quite readily available to experience over and over again, while others may be less than easy to find but worth the hunt, for those looking for unique brews that are so special they are coveted as trophy beers by the most serious hunters.

Surly Darkness is the annual Russian Imperial Stout…

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