Tracker Pixel for Entry

Friendly competition: Rye on the rocks at NDMOA

Beer Snob | March 4th, 2020

by Jill Finkelson
jsfinkelson99@gmail.com

Far North Spirits, located up in Hallock, MN, is the northernmost distillery in the lower 48. They may be young in the distillery world but the farm and the spirit reach far into the past. Cheri Reese and Michael Swanson left the city seven years ago and started making spirits on a 100+ year old farm. Since then, they have been making a splash locally and globally. You can find them at the local liquor store in Grand Forks or Fargo and also across the world in Finland. They are handcrafted, field to glass spirits made for sipping and serious cocktails. They open up the barroom and serve craft cocktails on Saturday nights in Hallock. If you’re in Grand Forks this weekend, you don’t have to go so far.

It’s the third year that Grand Forks’ best bartenders gather at the North Dakota Museum of Art to compete using their signature Rye Whiskey, Roknar. There have been several notable judges throughout the years. This year, I asked Cheri what she will be looking for on the panel. She says it’s all about balance and nuance. You want it to have something special and distinctive but not overpowering. And, of course, it must look great. A good cocktail should look stunning-- as well as taste great. There are five bartenders shooting for the prize (bragging rights). At least two-including last year's champion are returning and there are new bartenders coming into the fold. It promises to be a great competition with fantastic drinks and appetizers for all. This year features the limited release 100% rye Roknar whiskey.

Roknar is named for Rognar Lothbrook, of Nordic infamy. Nordic tradition and legends are a source of inspiration for Far North. It shows in the names and branding of the company. They produce whiskey, rum, gin, and vodka with names like Gustaf and Solveig. The distillery is one of a small handful of distilleries that make their spirits with their own grains. Cheri talks about the importance of the type of grains that go into the spirit. They tested many types of rye to eke out the difference in taste that comes in the finished product. There’s a lot of nuance that comes out in the glass. People talk a lot about it in day wine but there’s less talk about the grains going into a glass of whiskey. Small batches and fields of grain offer a lot of room to experiment. They now have a few different types of whiskey and more cooking. They are aging casks as we speak for seven and twelve year batches.

The event has sold out every year and they’re expecting to again, so scoop up some tickets fast. Proceeds benefit the museum and turn out and reception has been great. It’s a great opportunity to run out some great cocktails and support a cause. For $40 you get to sample and put in your bid for the best one. The event is Friday night at 5:15 and tickets are $40. Side note- if you’re in Fargo, you can try a Far North cocktail in your PJs at Twist Saturday and Sunday morning with a five course paired brunch.

IF YOU GO:
Rye on the rocks at NDMOA
Friday, March 6, 5:30- 8pm
North Dakota Museum of Art, 251 Centennial Dr, Grand Forks

Recently in:

By Laura Simmonslaurasimmons2025@u.northwestern.eduHowes Township is frustrated with a court decision and a 2019 bill that lessened local control, giving it back to the state. Howes Township has been fighting the addition of a…

By Michael M. Miller  michael.miller@ndsu.eduPhoto credit: Sabrina HornungIn May 2022, the Rauter family of Wisconsin visited the Germans from Russia Heritage…

Fargo City Hall, thru Sept. 30  Fargo City Hall, 225 4th St. N.  …

By Faith Dixon  Faithshieldsdixon@gmail.com Guest editorial: ‘I am here to create, make and sustain true change’Being an activist is my purpose,…

By Ed Raymondfargogadfly@gmail.com From Mansion or Hovel, We All End Up DeadWe are now living in the Divided States of America, which has been developing for more than 240 years. Economist Frederic Bastiat has come up with the main…

Well shiver me timbers. After weeks of sampling some of the finest drinks in F-M from more bars than we could shake a belaying pin at, the results of High Plains Reader’s 6th Annual Cocktail Showdown are in! For nine weeks,…

By Rick Gion  rickgion@gmail.comIn this land of hotdish and ham, it used to be a real pain to find something satisfyingly spicy in the…

By Chris Larson  cjlarson75@gmail.comDuring a short break in their Wheels of Soul Tour with Los Lobos and the Gabe Dixon Band, I had a chance to…

By Greg Carlsongregcarlson1@gmail.comMaking her English-language feature debut, Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Smoczyńska fails to replicate the quality and originality of either of her previous two movies. Both “The Lure,” which…

By HPR Staffsabrina@hpr1.comTour the studios of some of F-M’s most popular artistsThe Fargo-Moorhead area’s largest art event, the Studio Crawl, is just around the corner—October 1 and 2. The members of the Fargo Moorhead…

By Jessica M. Hawkesjmhawkes84@gmail.comIt wasn’t long after the founding of the railroad and river town of New Rockford that entertainment venues started to put down their own roots. Its population bolstered by booms of nearby…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comCharlie Berens is a man of many hats. The creator of the “Manitowoc Minute” is a newsman, comedian, writer and musician. We had the opportunity to speak with the Wisconsin native about his new…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comSpring is here (mostly), and our area is buzzing with people eager to get back out and about -- many newly vaccinated and feeling a bit safer. Partnering with Jade Events, Fargo Brewing is just…

By John Showalter  john.d.showalter@gmail.comThey sell fentanyl test strips and kits to harm-reduction organizations and…

By Donna O’Shea  submit@hpr1.comWith the back-to-school season in full swing, the start of this academic year may…

By Andrew Alexis Varvelmr.a.alexis.varvel@gmail.comWill our congressperson be Cara Mund or Kelly Armstrong?Back 75 years ago in 1947, American radio stations played the hit song “Feudin' and Fightin'.” Its refrain went,…