Browsing Tag


Loon Liquor

December 1, 2022
Loon Liquor Barrels

“How far is the next place?” my father-in-law asked. We were at local brewery in downtown Northfield, Minnesota. My brother-in-law and his fiancée were visiting from Utah. It was our once a year chance at catching up—face to face. They wanted to go out for drinks after dinner, Charles preference was beer and Maddie’s spirits. “It’s only a couple of minutes down the road,” I responded. Loon Liquor was next up.

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Spiral Brewery

June 16, 2022

I have a particular affinity for river towns. I’m not talking Paris, although I love that city for many reasons and the Seine is one of them, I’m referring to small American towns. Most of these places followed a similar trajectory. They were born from the marriage of commerce and convenience. In the modern era of unparalleled freight options most have lost their identity and forced to strike a new course. What’s left is a stock of historic brick buildings and a whisper of the past. It’s a place for us to visit to be nostalgic for a time we never lived. Hastings, Minnesota is one such town, home to Spiral Brewery.

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1910 Sip House

June 7, 2022

“This might be a good day to go somewhere,” my wife said. It was early morning on our annual family trip to Lake Clitherall. The sun was risen, yet hidden by clouds. A fine drizzle threatened to sequester us inside the resort. “I was looking on the map and it looks like there is a new cidery north of Battle Lake,” I responded. She gave me a cocked her head and gave a thoughtful grin as if to say “that’s interesting.” It was time for 1910 Sip House.

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Ineffable Brewing Company

April 15, 2022

“Do you want to grab something before we pick up the kids?” my wife asked. Habits are hard to break. The pandemic forced us to establish new routines. We used to do mini-dates before we’d pick up the kids from my in-laws. The lockdowns adjusted that practice enough to make excluding that automatic. Now it was June, the first week of summer. Now things were open and we were discovering old habits lost to time. “Of course, how about Ineffable? It’s that new brewpub in Burnsville.”

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Little Thistle Brewing

April 8, 2022

“We’re going to a brewery Arlo,” Ellen said. In her short life, our daughter had learned quick about breweries. Now she was educating her toddler brother, eager to share. Our day was ambitious, we decided to take a day off from our farmhouse renovation to spend with the kids. We were packing up our sidewalk gear, our morning spent at a blistering Independence Day parade. “It’s almost nap time,” my wife noted. “Let’s head to Rochester, it’ll give them time to sleep,” I said. Little Thistle Brewing awaited.

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Modist Brewing

April 6, 2022

“Should we grab a drink before the game?” I asked. Our realtor had invited my wife and I to the Budweiser Roof Deck at Target Field. It’s hard to turn away a free ballgame, especially if it means a kidless evening. “What’s near there?” she responded. A walkable craft brewery would fit the bill. “How about Modist? We haven’t been there in awhile.”

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Drastic Measures Brewing

March 28, 2022

“I don’t think I’m going to bring my camera in,” Jason said. I looked at him in shock. I’ve been to a lot of breweries with Jason and if there’s one constant it’s him roving the room taking photos. “I knew something was up, but I didn’t know it was that bad,” I said. The night before was a late one; the day was longer. We capped off a marathon afternoon with a late night campfire bottle share. It was taking its toll. Once he secured the camera gear in the car we headed across the street into Drastic Measures Brewing.

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Rendezvous Brewing

March 25, 2022

“I’m not ready to take that hike again, should we stop somewhere else?” my friend asked. We were at the tail end of a craft beer marathon session in north central Minnesota. The threat of a hike back to camp loomed heavy in our minds. “We should stick close, it’ll be night soon and I’d prefer not to walk back in the dark” I replied. “Has anyone been to Rendezvous Brewing?”

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Jack Pine Brewery

March 21, 2022

“Should we stop somewhere on the way up?” my friend Sean asked. Everyone knew the answer before he finished. It’s one of those quirks of conversation that seems required regardless of the circumstance. We had finished loading our gear into the car and were about to settle in for a long drive. Our destination was north central Minnesota, near the source of the Mississippi river. And when you’re traveling with a handful of craft beer lovers, you make pit stops at every brewery you can find. “How about Jack Pine? I haven’t been to their new taproom yet” I responded. There was no protest.

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Waldmann Brewery & Wurstery

February 7, 2022

“Should we go do lunch somewhere with the kids?” I asked my wife. “Where were you thinking?” she replied. It was tracking to be the hottest day of the summer. We made the decision to forego working on our farmhouse renovation (no air conditioning), and instead spend a weekend afternoon with the kids. Despite the thermometer fixing to top out, I was still itching for a patio. It’s the Minnesotan in me. “How about Waldmann? They have a ton of shade.”

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