The Bachelor Farmer celebrates its second anniversary with a traditional Kräftskiva festival

Categories: Festivals

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Photo courtesy of The Bachelor Farmer

The Bachelor Farmer takes its Nordic heritage super seriously. Maybe you already knew that; perhaps you've experienced the delightful pyttipanna (like a Swedish version of breakfast hash, but without the hash) offered at brunch or the delectable, ever-rotating "toast" options on the dinner menu. But far be it from one of Minneapolis' most notable restaurants to stop at the food; even the Dayton family likes a good party, after all.

This year, Saturday, August 3 marks the second installment of The Bachelor Farmer's Kräftskiva; their first celebration took place last August. Traditionally, Kräftskiva is a Swedish crayfish party held at the beginning of August and characterized by traditional Swedish music, an abundance of beer and aquavit, and, of course, loads of chilled crayfish. The Bachelor Farmer edition of Kräftskiva doesn't stray far from those original components.

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"The core of what we're doing is crayfish," says Paul Berglund, executive chef at The Bachelor Farmer. "The tradition is to cook them with dill and serve them chilled, so we'll be serving them chilled with an aioli so you can just basically dip them."

Also on the menu will be The Bachelor Farmer meatballs with a chilled potato salad, grilled corn on the husk, and bannock -- a "nice buttery quickbread or biscuit," for those unfamiliar. For those who attended Kräftskiva last year, this all may ring a bell.

"We're actually going to run the same menu as last year," admits Berglund. "We had such a positive response... Our menu changes all the time here in the restaurant, but we had such a great time last year that we decided to keep the menu."

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Photo courtesy of The Bachelor Farmer

But what's a party without a little booze? Fulton Brewery will be providing the beer for the evening, and the sno-cones -- which last year served a primarily kid-friendly, dessert-only function -- will be offered this year in both nonalcoholic and adult varieties.

"The after-dinner sno-cone, more kid-friendly, will be much sweeter. The cocktail options will be using the same machines, but they won't be anywhere near as sweet," says Pip Hanson, the mastermind behind the cocktail list at Marvel Bar below The Bachelor Farmer. "The natural choice will be drinks that are traditionally served on crushed ice -- tiki drinks, like mai-tais and mojitos, or mint juleps, all of which are already drinks that you want to drink in the summer."

Keeping in the Kräftskiva tradition, The Bachelor Farmer has also rounded up some delightful aquavit options.

"We're going to be featuring aquavit shots again as well," offers Hanson. "We'll be featuring two local or semi-local providers: Gamle Ode, from a local guy who commissions this stuff through 45th Parallel in Wisconsin, and North Shore, which is based out of Illinois."

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Photo courtesy of The Bachelor Farmer

While many of the food and drink items have remained the same from last year, Nathan Rostance, Director of Operations at The Bachelor Farmer, easily notes some small but crucial changes.

"Anyone who was here last year will be happy to hear that we're doubling the number of bathrooms. We're adding more beer lines as well, people will be pleased to hear that, and more food lines as well," offers Rostance. "Last year it was an open event, this year we are charging a $4 cover charge, just because of the band we were able to get. It's going to be largely the same, very intimate, very fun, with great food, great beer, and great music."

Speaking of the music--aside from the diverse and distinctive food and beverage offerings, this year's Kräftskiva will also be offering a tantalizing palate of local music, featuring sets from Joey Ryan & the Inks, the Cloak Ox, and a very special guest, to be announced.

"It's not the Replacements, it's not Prince, and it's not Springsteen, which are the three most common guesses, so I can root those out right away. In Kraftskiva, the music is more about traditional Swedish songs, but for us it's going to be a little more rock 'n' roll than that," laughs Rostance, refusing to give many clues as to the third act. "Our special guest is someone who is getting some national attention. All I can say is that they are really cool, they're really fun, and we're really fortunate to get them."

Leave it to The Bachelor Farmer to turn something as decidedly unsexy as smacking on crayfish into one of Minneapolis' most unexpectedly perfect summer celebrations. They'll be bringing out the cone-shaped party hats again this year, and from the sounds of things, the second edition of Kräftskiva is already shaping up to be the sweetest summer night in Minneapolis.

"The music is going to be incredible. The food is, as always, going to be really good. It's really meant to be a celebration of summer and crayfish and beer and aquavit," says Rostance. "We'd just love for people to come down and see what we do and enjoy some music with us on a hot summer night."

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Kräftskiva will be taking place on Saturday, August 3 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on 2nd Avenue North between North 1st Street and Azine Way, alongside The Bachelor Farmer. $4 admission at the door. For more info, click here. For the curious, check out this video on traditional Kräftskiva fests.



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