Beer Snob

The ‘Sideways’ effect, part II: merlot

by Megan Bartholomay | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | August 23rd, 2017

In my last column, I talked about what wine industry experts call “The Sideways effect,” which was the period of time after the release of the film “Sideways” in 2004 when the sales of pinot noir rose, and continue to rise, and merlot kind of, well, tanked.

I think merlot conceptually tanked more than anything, because the overall sales of merlot only declined about 2%. And 2% isn’t all that big a number, but it’s probably a long fall for the most popular varietal in the…

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Mankato Brewery grabs attention with comic book cans

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

If you’ve never had Mankato’s Organ Grinder Amber Ale, you should probably put it near the top of your “must try” lists.

If you are a fan of Mankato Brewery you may have been a bit confused the last time you went looking for your favorite six packs of Mankato bottles. That’s because beginning last month, they have transitioned over from twelve ounce bottles to twelve ounce cans with new artwork that is sure to “POP” right out of the cooler doors. Along with a complete…

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Beer book delves deep into state’s history

by Chris Larson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | August 9th, 2017

North Dakota is most certainly part of the latest craft beer revolution, with around a dozen different breweries currently operating from Minot to Fargo and several points in between. While it wasn’t always that way, we have had some very important and interesting connections to beer since before we even became a state. Freelance writer and photographer, Alicia Underlee Nelson goes in depth to explore our history with beer in her new book “North Dakota Beer: A Heady History”,…

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Bottle talk: the ‘Sideways’ effect

by Megan Bartholomay | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | August 9th, 2017

Raise your hand if you saw the movie “Sideways.” You know, the 2004 critically acclaimed and Oscar-winning film about wine? Well, it wasn’t only about wine. It was about relationships and a skosh about struggles with alcoholism, but mostly it was a glorious film about the beautiful subtleties of wine.

If you haven’t seen the film and you love wine, stop reading this column and immediately proceed to iTunes or Netflix. It’s a must-see. Then, read on.

If you have seen it, you…

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AleSmith: Award-winning, hand-forged brews

by Chris Larson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | August 2nd, 2017

Appearing somewhat quietly on offsale shelves and on draft at select bars, AleSmith Brewing out of San Diego has been available in the local market for a couple of weeks now.

As an operator of one of the largest selections of craft beers in town, I completely understand how some beer shoppers can be almost overwhelmed by the steady influx of new-to-the-market beer brands. A big part of my job is helping customers wade through the flow of beer and make choices they are hopefully…

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​Dangerously good ales from Two Harbors, Minnesota

by Chris Larson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | July 26th, 2017

Minnesota is certainly well known for being a hotspot for craft brewing. While most of the action has been centered around the Minneapolis metro area, yet another brewer from the Northern part of the state has decided to bring its beer across the border and into the North Dakota market.

Originally brewed at the Castle Haven Cabins, a small resort in Castle Danger on the North Shore of Lake Superior in 2011, the brewery operations for Castle Danger Brewery were moved to a brand new…

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​More local breweries means a bigger Zoo Brew 2

by Chris Larson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | July 19th, 2017

The Red River Zoo is inviting adults to gather their friends and tap into your wild side for one special night of fundraising. Zoo Brew is back again at 7pm on Thursday evening, July 27th, and with even more beer to sample than last year and beautiful summer weather on the forecast, it is shaping up to be twice the party it was last year.

Three new local breweries have popped up since the last Zoo Brew and that means even more great local beer to sample with your price of admission,…

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​Rosey’s surprise opening: Whiskey and Wine Bar

by Chris Larson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | July 12th, 2017

On the Wednesday before the 4th of July, in the slightly secluded “back room” of Rosey’s Bistro and Bar, a Whiskey and Wine Bar popped up almost without notification.

The small but comfortable 20 seat space features exposed brick, both painted and unpainted, and is augmented with filled in doorways and adorned with prohibition-era photographs. The bar shelving is simply made from repurposed wood and the bar top itself appears to be of the same style and appropriate for the tone of…

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​Boundary Waters Box: Summit brings one back, adds a new beer

by Chris Larson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | June 28th, 2017

If you plan on celebrating the Fourth of July with friends and family in Minnesota lakes country, the new Boundary Waters Box twelve-pack sampler by Summit Brewing is a worthy companion for any of your summer adventures.

Newly released this spring, it brings two special beers alongside Summit’s most iconic summer beers, and is boxed up in a package of cans that features new summer-themed art in an easy-open box.

Both the cans themselves and the Boundary Waters Box are loaded with…

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​Take a break from bitter with fruit beers

by Chris Larson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | June 21st, 2017

Here in the upper midwest we love the summer season for so many different reasons but two of the big reasons I love summer are fresh produce and being outside with a beer in my hand. Sometimes, when I’m spending the day in the hot sun, bringing both together with a refreshing beer brewed with fresh fruit can not only quench my thirst quite well but often serves as a way to give my palate a break from all the bright and bitter hops that are usually part of my summer sippers. Not all…

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