Norseman Distillery Cocktail Room - The Heavy Table

Norseman Distillery and cocktail room is now open, making it the fourth artisan spirits room in the north Como area of Minneapolis. It joins the likes of Northgate Brewing, Insight Brewing, and Wander North Distillery, filling out a new craft alcohol district outside the familiar Northeast scene. Compared to Norseman’s old warehouse basement space, the new location feels lofty and fresh. And above all, Norseman is now serving its liquor to the public. The cocktail list is simple. According to b

Community Keg House in Northeast Minneapolis - The Heavy Table

Tucked away in the old Grain Belt Brewery in Northeast Minneapolis is a bar with a taproom feel and a small restaurant: The Community Keg House. The recently opened establishment includes a main room with a bar that looks into the tap area as well as two side rooms: one with a large flat screen TV, games, and a boardroom table, and the other, a soon-to-be patio. The latter currently houses an old-school Nintendo surrounded by a half dozen chairs. Although the Community Keg House does not brew i

The Twisted Shrub - The Heavy Table

A shrub, also known as a drinking vinegar, is a mixture of simple syrup, vinegar, and fruit. As the craft beer market in the Twin Cities has exploded, so has the market for locally made artisanal spirits — and now, to go with them, switchels and shrubs are on the scene. Frequently used as mixers in cocktails, switchels and shrubs can also be used as exciting flavor boosters in sparkling water to create a sweet — but not aggressively so — and fruity nonalcoholic beverage. Switchel and shrub beve

Homemade Limoncello for the Holidays - The Heavy Table

Despite its complicated flavor profile, limoncello, the Italian lemon liqueur, is simple to make. The majority of “prep” time is spent sitting and watching the bottles of liquor-soaked lemon peel. For the holidays this year, a bottle of DIY limoncello may be the answer for those hard-to-buy-for friends. For about $50, you can make eight 10-ounce jars of this crowd-pleasing digestivo. Your project begins at the liquor store, where you should purchase a liter of Everclear (151 proof, about $25-$3

The Alchemist in White Bear Lake - The Heavy Table

When we entered the address of The Alchemist into Google Maps, a place called Kellerman’s popped up. We assumed that Google hadn’t caught up with Johnny Michaels’ new establishment, and pressed “Start.” And so began our 30-some minute drive to White Bear Lake. Johnny Michaels, the famed Twin Cities bartender-mixologist, has hopped around town, building the cocktail lists at some of our favorite places — most notably, the now-defunct La Belle Vie, which he left in 2014. He also wrote a book, Nort

Allyson Rolph, Head Brewer at Superior, Wisconsin's Thirsty Pagan - The Heavy Table

Allyson Rolph, the head brewer at Superior, Wisconsin’s Thirsty Pagan brew pub and pizzeria, has been working there for a little more than three years. After starting as a festival volunteer, pouring beer for zealous tasters, and then transitioning to an intern role, she took over as head brewer eight months in. Now she’s experimenting with sour beers while expanding the brewery’s operations, keeping a strong focus on quality and a keen eye on the restaurant’s core consumers. These may or may no

Twin Cities Beer Ice Creams - The Heavy Table

Beer-flavored ice creams are on the rise, fueled by a booming craft beer movement and its also-thriving dairy parallel, locally made gourmet ice creams. We took to the freezer aisle and tried three different beer ice creams (all non-alcoholic, in contrast to some specifically 21+ ice creams made in other states). Our three flavors were made by two local brands working with three microbreweries. Each pint costs approximately $7 and can be found at various co-ops and Kowalski’s. The Summit Oatmea

Eastlake Brewery and Tavern in Minneapolis - The Heavy Table

In the southeastern-most part of the Midtown Global Market is the new and deceivingly large (75-seat) Eastlake Brewery & Tavern – a hit-you-over-the-head reference to the famous Minneapolis road on which it lies. Despite its unique location, it propagates many of the mainstays expected of new breweries: Reclaimed wood tabletops, Edison light bulbs, and local historical paraphernalia. In an effort to differentiate itself, the brewery touts its English Ales as “postmodern,” a blanket term occasio

The Rise of the Can in Twin Cities Craft Breweries - The Heavy Table

Cans aren’t just for the big brewers anymore. And they’re not just for start-up breweries trying to do something different. An increasing number of breweries in the Twin Cities are opting for cans as part of their repertoire — or adding larger-than-standard-sized cans to their lineup. Cans are better for camping and other outdoorsy events that go better with beer. They keep the cargo as fresh as, if not fresher than, the traditional brown bottles that typically denote a craft beer. Unlike glass

Bent Brewstillery's Roseville Taproom - The Heavy Table

It has been almost a year since Roseville’s Pour Decisions and Bent Brewstillery (Minnesota’s first combined brewery and distillery) merged, and while the taproom has been open since August 2014, it has yet to hit its stride. The facility is in a warehouse located behind rows of strip malls. Beside its stark patio is an ominously blank door with the words “The Foreign Service” above it. The taproom makes a hodgepodge first impression: One sees a vintage piano topped with family-friendly games,

Sneak Peek at Indeed Brewing's New Cellaring Program - The Heavy Table

While we’ve all been sipping our Midnight Ryders and dreaming of the Rum King release, Indeed Brewing has been working hard on a new cellaring program focusing on the souring of beers. About a year in the works, the first saison is almost ready for release — and we’re excited about it. With the un-trademarked, yet-to-be-confirmed name Wooden Soul, the fledgling program is an exercise in living beer, managed by the most diligent of brewers. A large cement chamber hidden in a business park about

Top 5 Beer Murals in Minneapolis

As befits a city known for its arts scene, Minneapolis is home to a plethora of murals. We took a closer look at five of the most engaging beer murals in town that not only allude to the city’s rich beer history but also look to a rich craft beer future. Located on the west- and south-facing walls of the old Grain Belt Brewery, 1220 Marshall St NE, the enormous decaying murals once acted as giant advertisements for the castle-like brewery’s mainstay. Depicted behind the classic red diamonds are

All Pints North Summer Brew Fest in Duluth

This is the second in a series of six stories underwritten by the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild. Their financial support allows us to dig deeper into the craft, culture, and personality of Minnesota’s brewers. In its third year, Duluth’s All Pints North Summer Brew Fest has nearly tripled in its attendance. But even with almost 3,500 attendees, the annual beer festival still feels small, fresh, and friendly, mirroring the city that hosts it. Like most beer festivals, APN has a difficult balance

The CC Club's French Meadow-ized Menu - The Heavy Table

When we heard the CC Club was bought by French Meadow — for the parking lot, it’s rumored — we were all a little shocked, saddened, appalled. You name it, we felt it. One of the last remains of Lyndale’s historic rockin’ past, the CC Club is a favorite spot of nightly neighborhood regulars, weekend adventure-seeking suburbanites, and just regular people looking to smoke cigarettes and drink beer. So we decided to check it out, snoop around, and see what’s changed. And we are happy to report: no

Fermentation Fest: A Live Culture Convergence

Profiling a funky festival that’s not just about beer. This October in Reedsburg, Wisconsin, from the 4th to the 13th, there’s some fun fermenting. The Wormfarm Institute, a non-profit focusing on the intersection of sustainable farming and the arts, is putting on the third annual Fermentation Festival. “A Live Culture Convergence,” the event spotlights agriculture and fermentation in all its forms. From beer to kimchi to kombucha, the festival offers a variety of activities for fall visitors w

Fair State Brewing Cooperative

Changing the Face of Breweries, One Member at a Time You might feel you’re falling behind on breweries in the Twin Cities—with giant concrete warehouses being converted into new, artisanal IPA dispensaries seemingly every week. You wouldn’t be wrong. But among the sea of delicious flagship beers is a brewery that is changing the face of microbreweries not only in Minnesota, but across the entire United States. If you’re a craft beer lover, and I know you are, you want to see Minnesota grow in c

MN venues have beer lists to love

As craft beer continues to grow in the Twin Cities, so does its presence at our favorite bars, but what about at our favorite music venues? For the musically discerning craft beer aficionado, many Twin Cities evening excursions entail a compromise between jams and suds: Do you pick a destination based on the band and settle for the beer, or follow the lure of the lengthiest tap list and hope the music doesn’t blunt your buzz? But, with a large number of metro area venues supplementing live music

Which Bike Matches Your Beer? Minneapolis/St Paul

We love our bikes and we love local beer, but what’s the correlation between the two? Beers and bikes pair like peanut butter and jelly, the two parts coming together to create a higher form. We bike to bars, our bikes are covered in brewery stickers, and there’s nothing better than biking with a bag full of cold ones to the beach on a hot day. So what is it? With this in mind and our bikes in gear, we set out to discover what exactly draws Minnesota bikers to Minnesota beer and vice versa: what