Urban Growler’s Plum Grissette is a tart, refreshing history lesson

By JESS FLEMING | jfleming@pioneerpress.com | Pioneer Press

September 11, 2018 at 5:00 am

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Plum Grissette from Urban Growler: Have you tried a grissette? It’s sort of like a saison, but less sweet and more refreshing. The beers were originally brewed for miners in Belgium, to help them quench their thirst and cut through the grit of working a long day underground.

This version uses plums from Swenson Orchards in Montevideo, Minn., to add some tartness and local flavor to the brew. A little tangy, a little spicy and a lot drinkable, this beer-history lesson is worth seeking out.

International Bittering Units (IBU): 18; Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 5.2 percent

Urban Growler Brewing Company: 2325 Endicott St., St. Paul; 651-340-5793; urbangrowlerbrewing.com

UMN partnership looks to beer and nuts to preserve the rainforest

4/19/2018, 2:31AM
The beer that resulted from the partnership is still available on tap.
By KATRINA PROSS

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After nearly 20 years of researching the Ramón nut, Dave Wilsey and Dean Current had an idea: use the protein-rich Central American seed to brew beer.

He contacted Urban Growler Brewing Co. in St. Paul to set up a partnership last year. Now with a grant from the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment’s mini-grant program, the brewers and conservationists hope the brand-new brew will raise awareness about rainforest conservation efforts.

Two beers that resulted from the collaboration became available for customers in mid-March, and one sold out in a matter of days. The second, a stout with “notes of chocolate, coffee and nuts,” is still available on tap.

“The fact that this nut could bring global change really intrigued me,” said Jill Pavlak, Urban Growler co-owner. “The point of this is to bring awareness to this nut and to help sustainability in communities.”

The Ramón nut is native to Central America, South America and the Caribbean, and has become symbolic of the conservation and development work happening in the Maya Forest, said Wilsey, director of the University's Master of Development Practice program within the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

The region is facing deforestation, as large portions of the rainforest are cut down and destroyed to make way for cattle grazing land, Wilsey said. He hopes that encouraging widespread sale of the nut — which only grows in the rainforest — will preserve the rainforest.

Wilsey and his colleague Current have been working with the Ramón nut since the early 2000s. During that time, the University has sent three teams to Guatemala with the Rainforest Alliance to study the nut. Wilsey hopes to organize a brewer exchange in the future and bring Urban Growler workers to Guatemala to teach people there how to brew the beer.

“This partnership will help people learn about opportunities that might exist in forest conservation and livelihood development,” Wilsey said.

The Ramón nut is rich in nutrients like protein and fiber, said Collin Motschke, a graduate student whose master's thesis is on the Ramón nut. He said he hopes the Ramón nut will become “the quinoa of the future” and a widely-used ingredient around the world.

Wilsey’s ultimate goal is to have a major business use Ramón nut as an ingredient in a food product, creating marketing opportunities that will increase the rainforest’s value and protect its resources.

“There is so much power in being a consumer, and the consumptive decisions that we make have an impact and have ripples throughout the entire world. This is a way that people can be intelligent, compassionate and sustainable consumers,” Motschke said of the partnership.

Pavlak said she explains the partnership to everyone who orders the beer to spread the message.

“The beer is already good, but the story behind it makes people feel even better about ordering it,” she said.

The Ramón nut could start an international conversation about conservation through this beer, Wilsey said.

“We have this belief that we all want the same things from life, to be loved and accepted, and that goes beyond our community. It’s a worldwide desire and right. To be able to make some sort of impact in another country is really quite amazing,” Pavlak said.

UMN and Urban Growler team up to save the rainforest

April 20, 2018 by Lauren Sauer
Growler Magazine

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ot every beer has the lofty goal of saving the rainforest, but that’s precisely what the University of Minnesota and St. Paul’s Urban Growler Brewing Company aimed to do with two recent beer releases.

Their collaboration centers around the rámon nut, a seed that grows in tropical forests in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. In an interview with the Minnesota Daily, David Wilsey, director of the Masters in Development Practice (MDP) program at the U’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, explains that since the ramón nut can only be grown in the rainforest, encouraging its widespread sale would help in preserving these rapidly disappearing forests in its native lands.

And after nearly two decades spent researching the ramón nut, Wilsey had a (thirst-driven?) revelation—the protein-rich, Central American nut would be perfect for brewing beer.

Last year, he reached out to Deb Loch and Jill Pavlak, the co-owners of Urban Growler, who immediately took to the idea. This March, two beers from the environmentally-minded collaboration were released in the taproom. The Ramón Nut Brew, a brown ale, almost immediately sold out. The Ramón Nut Stout Collaboration #2, a chocolatey, nutty stout with notes of coffee, is still available on tap.

“The beer is already good, but the story behind it makes people feel even better about ordering it,” Pavlak told the Daily. “To be able to make some sort of impact in another country is really quite amazing.”

Read the Daily’s full story here.

Inspiring Women: Jill & Deb Honored at Lynx Game

August 5th, 2018

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On Aug. 5, the Minnesota Lynx continued their Inspiring Women Platform by honoring Jill Pavlak and Deb Loch.

Pavlak and Loch are co-owners of the first women-owned brewery in the state of Minnesota, the Urban Growler.

In 2017, the two were awarded the Alice O’Brien Award from St. Paul in recognition of a women-owned business that is committed to equity and empowerment. They are also the sixth-largest LGBTQ business in the state of Minnesota.

Their goal is to be one of the top-10 breweries in the state by reputation, not volume.

The two were honored with a team-signed basketball by Lynx Vice President of Business Operations Carley Knox.

They're Beer for You!

August 5, 2018- Meghanlee Phillips

A dynamic team of three have come together to bring light on those standing out within their industries. Photographer Rodel Querubin, designer, Kelly McMasters and journalist, Abby Hermes have created the Women Breaking Barriers photo series. This project stemmed from a desire to showcase women and companies who are "breaking barriers" by making a difference, and paving the way for women to come. Continue reading for an insight on Minnesota's first women owned brewery! Trust us when we say they are beer for you ;)

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What happens when two women decide to leave their corporate jobs to pursue their passion in brewing?
            Urban Growler owners Jill Pavlak and Deb Loch had the idea in 2008 to start their own brewery. This was arguably the best time to launch their idea, since they were just ahead of the local micro-brewery boom and men were getting their businesses up and running left and right. Together, these two women had the perfect combination of experience; Deb had worked at Summit Brewing Company, has a Master’s in brewing, and started her own at-home brews—while Jill had the sales background and wrote their 160-page business plan.
            The women had to go through nearly a dozen banks in order to open their brewery. Many bankers, even women, told them “we’re just not comfortable” with women running a brewery. Their age and gender were questioned constantly—“Are you sure you can lift the bags of hops?”  The sexism and ageism they faced was unexpected, but their perseverance and grit are what got them over the hurdles and through the next six years.
            They were the national runner up for a Palo Alto Software business plan, won beer competitions and $10,000 in free legal service. Despite the recognitions, it seemed the accomplishments still weren’t enough. 
            But the women believed in their mission. They pushed ahead and looked for new ways to get the business going, ways that Jill says were “a bit old school.”  
            “The good thing about all of this was we had to get creative,” she said.
            When one bank told them that if they raised $500,000 on their own, the bank would front the rest, they went through with drafting architectural designs, sold Urban Growler shirts, called friends and family, and had people donate money to be named founding members (they couldn’t legally say they were looking for investors). After finally raising half a million dollars, with over 50 founding members, the bank told them it still wasn’t enough and they would only let them open at a much higher interest rate.  
            It wasn’t until one of the owners at Burning Brothers Brewing spoke to their bank on behalf of Jill and Deb that all this hard work finally paid off. A stark contrast from the other banks they’d met with, this bank outside of the Twin Cities was swift in their investment.
            The two were ecstatic, Jill recalled, “They weren’t even from around here! They’re down in Mankato and they were all on board. It was just like, ‘here’s your money’ within two weeks. Then multiple banks came back around wanting to invest.” It wasn’t until they got their business license that they received a letter congratulating them on being the first woman-owned microbrewery—and that was in 2014.
            “Every decision we make is with women at the top of mind.” Jill says she and Deb make a point to be accommodating in ways other breweries and businesses may not think about. From the lower ABV beers and temperature of the taproom being geared toward women, to chairs that allow purses to be hung on them, they constantly use their own perspectives to be more inclusive.  
            Since they’ve opened, they proudly display a plaque of those founding members who believed in them from the start and have expanded three times to include their kitchen and beer garden. They showcase local artwork and make sure it is never offensive so that all feel welcomed, and as Jill states, they strive to be a place “where people can connect. Our goal is to warm people up and open their minds, while being respectful and respect differences.”

To hear their story firsthand and see the newly-expanded space, contact Liz at liz@urbangrowlerbrewing.com to schedule a tour. You can find co-head Jill in the taproom, and Master Brewer Deb working behind the scenes, at 2325 Endicott Street, St. Paul, MN.

Urban Growler Brewing For Growth in St. Paul

Posted by Chris Erbach

Jul 25, 2018 11:13:45 AM

“It’s all about the community and how we bring people together through beer,” said co-founder and Master Brewer Deb Loch.

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Celebrating their fourth anniversary in business, Deb and co-founder Jill Pavlak have been slowly building their brewery through quality products and local participation. Urban Growler (www.urbangrowlerbrewing.com) was opened in July 2014 when Deb and Jill combined their talents and passion to create outstanding beer, food and a welcoming space for the community.

And their brand tag line says it all: “We’re Beer For You!”

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As Minnesota’s first female-owned brewery, they had many challenges getting their vision in place. But with the help of friends, family and even total strangers, Urban Growler became a reality. Their patrons believed in the founders vision and their support helped get one of the hottest new breweries off the ground. Now that spirit is being repaid with a company that is there for the community.

The brewery, located at 2325 Endicott St. in St. Paul, Minnesota, features a warm, welcoming taproom, on-location kitchen and an outdoor beer garden. There are also indoor retail spaces that can be rented for hosting meetings, weddings, and local social gatherings.

But one of the most interesting things about Urban Growler is the building itself. This century-old brick and timber space was once home to the St. Paul Police horse stables back in the late 1800’s. After that tenure, it became a manufacturing facility for wooden skis and hockey sticks (after all, this IS Minnesota) as well as other warehousing in later years. The designers for Urban Growler did an awesome job of resurrecting the true character of the old building while adding a few modern updates for comfort and accessibility.

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The brewery is looking to output 2000 barrels this year, up from about 1250 last year. Their flagship brewsinclude traditional beers like their CowBell Cream Ale, Midwest IPA and their De-Lovely Porter. They also brew an interesting Kentucky Uncommon Ale and a “West-Coast-hops-meets-East-Coast-maltiness” Golden Hammer IPA. All Urban Growler flagship beers are lovingly handcrafted in 10-barrel batches under the close supervision of Master Brewer Deb.

But one of the best things about being a small brewery is that you can brew small batches and experiment with limited releases. Last year, Urban Growler brewed over 40 different beers, some as small as half-barrel experiments! Most of these end up in the taproom where their popularity is voted on by their customers’ consumption. The more popular winners then might end up as a seasonal or limited release for distribution in cans.

Lately much of their focus has been on a concept that they call “Plow to Pint®”. They have found that people would rather drink locally and that they appreciate locally sourced products. For this endeavor, Urban Growler uses ingredients harvested from farmers in the area to create unique beers with a distinct twist. Some of the recent favorites include Blueberry Wheat featuring blueberries harvested from a family-owned farm in Princeton, MN, and an Oak Aged Imperial Ale with Frontenac Grapes that used classic oak barrels and Frontenac grapes gown outside Red Wing, MN. They are currently working with the Rainforest Alliance in Guatemala and the University of Minnesota to create a collaboration brew using the sustainable ramon nut. Not your ordinary Stout.

While most of the flagship beers at Urban Growler are filled by a Wild Goose system into preprinted cans bought in bulk, these new small batch creations are getting canned and labeled using pressure-sensitive custom-designed labels. This allows the brewery to be more flexibile while doing a small batch economically and using eye-catching designs for their new brews.

Urban Growler has been canning approximately 150 cases of their small batch seasonals every few months. But because of their success, they are now looking to ramp things up to 250-case batches of their special beers once a month. To do this, the brewery had to invest in a new automated labeling system.

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After much research and a few false starts, they happened to find Weber Packaging Solutions online. They contacted Weber whose local rep came out to see what the best solution would be for Urban Growler. The brewery was growing and would need to be able to scale up to the larger brew runs at higher speeds in the future. Reliability was key to a new system and it had to be easy for the staff to operate.

Steve Sylvander, the local Weber rep, suggested a PackLeader 501 wrap-around labeling system that would fit right into their existing canning line. And since Weber is one of the largest label manufacturers in the USA, Steve helped Urban Growler get their custom labels printed for the first few runs. Their first two brews off the new line were a Rhubarb Wit (yum!) and their Kentucky Uncommon.

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Head brewer, Jesse Pittman, who came to Urban from Swamphead Brewing in Florida, was there for the installation and managed the first runs.

“Experience has taught me you need good gear with a simple interface that is easy for everyone to run,” said Jesse. “It took no time at all to teach the other brewers and staff how to work the PackLeader 501.”

Urban Growler is now in the position to can and share more of their specialty beers with an ever-widening audience. Being self-distributed, the brewery only reaches the metro St. Paul/Minneapolis and surrounding areas for now. But plans are to continue to spread their brand and grow at a comfortable pace.

When asked what lies ahead in the future for Urban Growler, Deb replied, “We want to grow to be one of the top ten breweries in Minnesota by reputation. We want to continue to build our brand by bringing people together with our quality products and innovation.”

I have a feeling they will do it.

#WomeninBusiness: Beer, money, LGBTQ, marriage, and the support of the community

 

#WomeninBusiness: Beer, money, LGBTQ, marriage, and the support of the community.

- A conversation with Deb Loch, master brewer, and Jill Pavlok, co-head-honcho at Urban Growler Brewing Company

This is the first, and so far, the only #brewery in #Minnesota that is founded by women. Deb is a master brewer, and together with her partner Jill, they've opened up a brewery where they serve some awesome brews and food!

In today's podcast, we'll talk about beer, of course, about the science of beer, about sacrifice and support for the one you love, about running a prosperous business, and about how fun it is to make your dreams come true!

We hope you enjoy!

Music by Cheryl B. Engelhardt. Get your free download at http://cbemusic.com

If you like what you're seeing and hearing, we would love for you to become our Patreon supporter.
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For the price of a cup of coffee or more, you’ll get cool perks like getting your name mentioned in our next podcast recording, or a handwritten note from us, or you’ll get the current issue of our most awesome The Business Magazine for Women magazine, delivered directly to your inbox. 
We're also working on adding T-shirts and other exciting things that you will be able to enjoy with your pledge. Have an idea? Comment below.

Your support will give us the resources we need to continue bringing you these interviews with the amazing women, the Wonder Women of every industry.

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#beer #women #lgbtq #patreon #womeninbusiness #podcast#wonderwomen #wonderwoman #monicaantohi#thebusinessmagazineforwomen #wonderwomenpodcast #cbemusic#music #cherylbengelhardt #freedownload

URBAN GROWLER: WOMEN BREWING GREAT BEER

WOMEN DRINKING BEER –BY KATIE JONES - MAR 7, 2018

It’s about two in the afternoon as I sit and chat with Liz Foster, the event coordinator and former beertender at Urban Growler. We’ve got a flight between us as deep cut Prince tracks play subtly in the background. As I chat with her and later when I go for the amazing Mac & Cheese (add the bacon, it’s worth it) people filter in like the muted sunlight, in ones and twos.  They grab stools or tables, wherever is comfortable. I watch the staff rotate and share a meal and a beer at the bar as they start and end their shifts.  I overhear a conversation about Marvel vs. DC movies and join in easily. I strike up a conversation with the woman sitting a seat down from me and we notice those around us are half men and half women and we smile.  This is a day in the life at the Urban Growler.

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Full Article Here

Best Breweries in Minneapolis (By Neighborhood)

Explore Minneapolis Microbreweries By Bike or on Foot

Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, exploring the Minneapolis microbreweries never gets old. After much research and many pints, I’ve assembled five self-guided biking or walking neighborhood routes to the best breweries in Minneapolis including tips and suggested restaurants. 

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As if the beer at Urban Growler Brewing Co. wasn’t delicious enough, pair that with their delicious tater tots in the beer garden and your heart (and tummy) will be happy. This brewery is also the first women-owned brewery in Minnesota, which I think is pretty awesome.

If going by bicycle, the University of Minnesota transitway will drop you just a few short blocks from the brewery! You can also take the Green Line light rail towards St Paul-Union Depot and get off at Raymond Ave.

Full Article Here

ERIC’S TOP 25 MINNESOTA BREWERIES OF 2017

Eric Wentling / December 14, 2017 / Beerploma News

“Northern Ale Guide – helping craft beer lovers explore MN beer. We provide great beer discounts and unique information about more than 60 local taprooms- all while supporting solutions to fight hunger around the world through our Craft Your Community initiative. Learn more at northernaleguide.com

Note: I actually used the Northern Ale Guide this year and made it to just under half of the breweries who were included.  That’s a lot of free beer over the year and well worth it if you are like me and like the excuse to go explore a bit!  –Eric

For the last 10 years or so I’ve been publishing my top Minnesota brewery list.  As a super beer geek, beer blogger, podcaster, and homebrewer, I like this excuse to really think back to the past year’s beery adventures.  And I like to share.  Looking at the current MN brewery list it looks like I’ve been to just over 80 of them, but that leaves about 60 I haven’t been to yet!  I rate a brewery on a combination of beer quality (for style and for my personal taste), as well as the taproom experience if I’ve been there.  If I have lots of good experience with particular beers or breweries they are likely to get higher on my list than say… a sample I tried at a beer festival.  Your results may vary from mine, but hopefully this will either spark some lively debate or even prompt some of you to check these out.  Last year I got a lot of grief for not including a certain bearded Nordeast brewery from list, but hey at least I knew folks were reading the article and actually cared!  I also throw a few of my personal favorites from each brewery so you can see if your tastes align with mine.  Here goes, let loose the dogs of BEER!

23) Urban Growler (St. Paul):

Urban growler continues to be one of the more comfortable taprooms in the area.  With recent expansion and now packaging, we’ll hopefully be seeing more of this outside of St. Paul.  De-Lovely Porter, Pumpkin Saison. 

Full Article

2017 Lavender Community Awards

By Kassidy Tarala December 7, 2017

The recipients of the Lavender Community Awards were nominated and voted for online in the month of November. Winners demonstrate clear dedication and leadership by being either out or an ally, and working for the advancement of the community that is comprised of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and allied people. Without further ado, we are proud to present the recipients of the 2017 Lavender Community Awards. 

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Jill Pavlak and Deb Loch
Organizational Involvement: Urban Growler Brewing Company

“We live, eat, and breathe our brewery.” This statement alone could probably sum up the dedication Deb Loch and Jill Pavlak have for Urban Growler and the GLBT community. “We hope we are making our community proud. We came up with the idea to start a brewery during a very divisive time—politically and religiously. The Catholic Church had mailed out CDs trying to encourage people to vote against the marriage amendment. We were both raised Catholic; no longer practicing, but we’re both still saddened by the church’s stance and thought, if people would just sit down with us and have a beer they would realize there is nothing to be afraid of. We all want the same things from life: to be loved and accepted. Period. So, the idea to open a brewery to bring people together through beer was born. All are welcome here. Period.”

Despite their busy schedules at Urban Growler, the two still find time to give back to the community. “As I mentioned, we live, eat, and breathe our brewery, so we don’t have much time to get involved in other organizations. So we do what we can to bring the organizations to us. We do PhilanthroBrews, fundraisers for nonprofits that fit with what we value: schools, women and girls organizations, animal rescues, and the elderly,” they say. “We think it’s cool to be given an award for being true to yourself, your mission, and your values. We will continue to do what we can to make the community proud. We SINCERELY appreciate all the support from the LGBTQ and ally community.”

Full Article

 

“Getting Hitched” – Urban Growler Brewing Company Provides Time to Vow and Space to Wow

By Terrance Griep October 12, 2017
Categories: Food & DiningOur SceneStyle & Entertaining


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When you hoof your way through the Capital City’s Saint Anthony Park neighborhood, it’s not hard to invoke an earlier time, especially when you get to 2325 Endicott Street. You notice straw-colored brick that, supported by licorice-colored steel, forms a farm-like edifice, and, as if recalling a dead stranger’s memories, you can almost see a tweed-hatted, denim-swathed laborer fastening a wagon’s pole shaft to its trace, its trace to its harness, and its harness to its reins. You can almost hear the rhythmic clip-clop-clip of hooves leaving the building, the round, wooden grind of a wagon’s spoked wheels as it gossips with the cobblestones. You can almost whiff the smell of…the smell of…well, it’s probably best not to dwell on the pongs of that Gilded Age.

If you tread past the doorlike windows and enter through the windowy door leading to Suite 11, you’ll find an inviting establishment that has come into existence only recently—relatively speaking, that is.  Urban Growler Brewing Company was opened in July 2014 by head brewer Deb Loch and her partner, Jill Pavlak. These two combined their complementary skills and passions to create great beer, food, and space for everyone.

That last point is key. “Everyone needs to feel loved and accepted,” Deb Loch elaborates. “Today there’s so much that divides us. At Urban Growler, Jill and I wanted to create a culture where we could come together—GOP, DFL, gay, straight, whatever—where we’re brought together by a common culture…beer.”

That last point is key, as well.  Urban Growler isn’t just a trendy taproom, it’s a packaging microbrewery. That means that beer crafted in the brewery taproom is poured into kegs and further distributed to metro area retailers. (Growlers, not incidentally, are handled, refillable half-gallon bottles popular amongst beer connoisseurs…because moderation is for frou-frou wine drinkers.)

The in-house hops soda can also be enjoyed within the building where it was created, that building being a repurposed horse stable used by the Saint Paul Police Department before the invention of the high-speed chase. The Urban Growler features a kitchen, a taproom, a beer garden, and a patio, and that’s not all: it also includes places that can take that space-for-everyone-ness to its most strident form: marriage.

Loch and Pavlak know about that particular institution—they are, in fact, life partners as well as business partners…and although their marriage ceremony was a low-key affair that predated the opening of their business, it left a mark on their approach when aiding and abetting the matrimonies of others. “Our main goal is to make it easy for people,” Loch assures. “We meet with the couples and figure out what they want and what we can offer. We’re always trying to reduce their stress. There are so many possibilities.”

The opportunity to borrow space itself arrived in gradating possibilities. Urban Growler’s first rental area was an upstairs room nicknamed, for the obvious reason, the Hayloft. Spatial capacity was increased with the addition of the Barrel Room. An even-more-recent addition has compounded potential social volume to nearly-Madonna-wedding-levels…that is, Urban Growler can now accommodate from 150 to 175 possible wedding guests.

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This area has been used for multiple rehearsal dinners, myriad wedding receptions, and precisely one nuptial ceremony. “So far,” Loch qualifies. “Many of the renters create themes for their weddings or their dinners. The only limit is their imagination. The exposed brick creates real ambience. It’s not just a dinner—it’s an experience.”

Loch reports “rave reviews” from people who have turned the space into their own experience…but when pressed, they’ve made suggestions that led to improvements in air conditioning and accessibility. Says Loch, “We’re always listening.”

The establishment’s website promises, “neighborhood atmosphere, specialty house-made beers and tasty food menu come together to create a memorable event for you and your guests.” You might not think of a brewery as place to say your vows, but a repurposed stable might, in fact, be the perfect place to get hitched.

Circling The Wagons—Rehearsing, Receiving, or Betrothing at Urban Growler

Although parking can be a misadventure within Saint Anthony Park, it’s not much of an issue for visitors of the Urban Growler in search of a hitching post. A large parking lot is adjacent to the former stable, and other lots abound in the area. Further, because the Urban Growler is helpfully surrounded by roads, on-street parking is also available.

Once inside, you have multiple options where celebrating is concerned. The first of these is the commodious Barrel Room, part of which is offered for your partying needs. When it’s not teeming with celebrants indulging in its singular character, the Barrel Room also serves, as its name implies, as a barrel aging room. The space can be configured for seated meetings or cocktail height tables for receptions and socializing.

If you’re not stairs-averse, you might consider the Hayloft, which looms over the Taproom. It can house up to 49 partiers, thanks to its previous iteration as an actual, lowercase-h hayloft, harkening back to its years as fuel storage for the police horses who protected and served your great-grandparents. Much like the Barrel Room, the Hayloft can be configured in any number of ways.

The Taproom is available for rent exclusively on Mondays, the particulars of which are handled on a case-by-case basis. And, come to think of it, if you’re the type of person who would want to get married on a Monday, you’re probably not going to set foot inside a brewing company in the first place.

Regardless of the day, catering options abound: a virtual tray-o-copia is available—veggie trays, fruit trays, sandwich trays, and hummus trays, each accompanied by a side of appropriately savory garnish; finger foods are available for your tactile and gustatory pleasure—spinach dip crostini, bruschetta, chips and pico, beer cheese ball and crackers which serves 15 to 20 guests…or five writers.....

Full Article

Introducing 50 Inspirational Minnesotans Over 50

September 14, 2017

ST. PAUL, Minn. – AARP Minnesota and a civic engagement group called Pollen are honoring 50 Minnesotans over age 50. 

The award smashes the myth that older people are washed up. Instead, the honorees are doing groundbreaking work in their communities. 

They come from all over the state and from diverse backgrounds, ranging in age from 50 to 86. 

Seth Boffeli, communications director for AARP Minnesota, says many of the award winners moved from corporate to nonprofit or volunteer work.

"People who are in their 50s and 60s have a lifetime of experiences, of skills, and they take all of that, they just pour it into those new endeavors, and it really makes a difference in communities across the state," Boffeli states.

The 50-over-50 award honors 10 people in five categories: nonprofit groups, business, arts, community and disruption, meaning dispelling stereotypes about aging.

Jill Pavlak won in the business category. She and her wife Deb own Urban Growler in St. Paul, the first female-owned microbrewery in the state. 

They left successful corporate careers to take on the new challenge about six years ago – before same-sex marriage was legal and when the issue was dividing Minnesotans against each other.

"Boy, when this was all happening, if people would just sit down with us and have a beer, they would realize there's nothing to be afraid of,” Pavlak states. “We all want the same thing – and the whole reason for the brewery was we wanted to bring people together."

Urban Growler has community tables and organizes community-building events.

Pavlak says life experience has taught her to take setbacks in stride and to ask for help when she doesn't know something.

"As I age, I just think of the accumulation of wonderful people I get to have in my life,” she relates. “All these connections you've built over the years of your working life and your career and your friendships. You have so many people to support you."

That sense of gratitude and a taste for adventure is something the honorees all share. To learn more about the honorees and how to nominate someone, visit 50over50mn.org.

Full Article

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WHAT IS YOUR BLUE RIBBON BEER?

August 24th, 2014- St. Paul, MN--Cowbell Cream Ale was chosen as 1/25 brews.  The Better Beer Society (BBS) and our team of Certified Cicerones® have partnered for the second year with the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild at the 2017 Minnesota State Fair on developing and implementing a quality control and assurance program for this year’s beer entries, offering feedback and reporting to breweries who are represented by the Brewer’s Guild, as well as ensuring quality flights and the best experience possible for fairgoers.

Come visit us at the Land of 10,000 Beers exhibit in the Agriculture Building and enjoy a newly curated Blue Ribbon flight highlighting some of the most exciting and quality brewing being done by Minnesota breweries.

We’ve gone to great lengths to ensure inclusion that embraces brewery, stylistic, regional and seasonal diversity.

Below is our selection for the 2017 Blue Ribbon Flight. Recognizing, of course, that taste is subjective, please join us this year using the hashtag #myblueribbon and let us know what your blue ribbon beer is. Cheers!

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Meet the 2017 "50 Over 50"

August 15th, 2017—Minnesota, USA—Jill Pavlak was featured in "50 Over 50".  Fifty of the most inspiring and accomplished leaders from across Minnesota.  

"In 2008, Jill Pavlak, St. Paul, traded a successful career in sales for the pursuit of her dream: opening a brewery with her partner, Deb Loch. Jill took restaurant and liquor store jobs to learn the food and beverage industry, visited breweries across the country with Deb, and together saved up their “beer money.” Today, at 52, Jill is living her dream with Urban Growler, Minnesota’s first woman-owned brewery which she co-owns with Deb. In an industry often viewed as belonging to young people, Jill has created a successful brewery that caters to diverse patrons of all ages … and their dogs. Her commitment to the local farm culture is poured into the brewery’s “Plow to Pint” series of beers made from local ingredients. With a mission of “bringing people together through beer,” it’s no surprise that Jill is particularly proud that Urban Growler has been recognized for creating a welcoming space for all".

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Hit the road with two beer tours of the Twin Cities

MAY 31, 2017 — 4:49PM-- Minneapolis, MN

What’s better than beer on a warm summer day?

As the Twin Cities beer scene continues to grow, the proliferation of taprooms makes it ever easier to string together taproom-hopping tours both in the center of, and on the edges of, the metro area. Here are two trip options — one long and one short — that offer thirst-quenching opportunities.

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Business Awards honor eight St. Paul businesses

March 25, 2017 at 11:55 am
By FREDERICK MELO | fmelo@pioneerpress.com | Pioneer Press

The city of St. Paul inaugurated a new tradition on Wednesday — the St. Paul Business Awards, which honor local businesses that have contributed to the city’s fiber through services, employment, charity and good works.

The annual award contest, which is based in part on nominations from the public, was the brainchild of St. Paul City Council Members Rebecca Noecker, Dai Thao and Jane Prince.  The selection committee included representatives of the Neighborhood Development Center, St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, Midway Chamber of Commerce, Highland Business Association, Neighborhood Development Alliance, East Side Neighborhood Development Company and Dayton’s Bluff Community Council... READ FULL ARTICLE

Urban Growler Receives 1st Annual Alice O'Brien Award from City of St. Paul

March 22, 2017
St. Paul, MN

Business is booming in St. Paul – and our business community is one of our city’s most valuable resources.  From small businesses to major employers, new start-ups to generations-old family firms, St. Paul companies provide jobs and services to residents, support for our non-profit institutions, and a solid foundation for our city’s growth and prosperity. To recognize the outstanding businesses that call St. Paul home, the City of St. Paul is launching the Saint Paul Business Awards Program.

The Saint Paul Business Awards Program will recognize local businesses that provide critical services, contribute to our community, invest in their employees and are committed to our values of equity and diversity. 

Click here to see full award list

Watch video below or click here:

Women-Run Nonprofit, Brewery Celebrate #ADayWithoutAWoman

Gov. Dayton Proclaims March As 'Women's History Month'

March 8, 2017 5:00 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Wednesday is International Women’s Day.

The United Nations-designated day, which has been observed since the early 1900s, falls on the same day as “A Day Without a Woman.”

Women across the country were encouraged to take the day off from work to show how the importance women play in the nation’s economy. It is put on by the same group that organized the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. in January.... Full Article & Video

MEET THE WOMEN BRINGING MONUMENTAL CHANGES TO THE MSP CRAFT BEER SCENE

MEET THE WOMEN BRINGING MONUMENTAL CHANGES TO THE MSP CRAFT BEER SCENE

Every time I do an interview at a brewery, I’m always directed to the same person. Typically, I’m referred to the brewer, and typically this brewer is a man -- a congenial dude with a blue-collar ethic and a beard that could sell beer on its own. This image of the brewer has come to epitomize the very identity of brewing in its many facets. This person isn’t just the creator; they’re the manifestation of the entire craft beer industry....

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