A Perfect Pint's Michael Agnew releases definitive guide to upper Midwest breweries


For those who find it too daunting to keep up with the brew scene in the upper Midwest, Michael Agnew has a primer. The owner of A Perfect Pint and Minnesota's first certified cicerone (like a sommelier, but for beer), Agnew has compiled a guide book that examines every brewery in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois.

"About four years ago I had this feeling that something great was happening to the beer scene in the region," says Agnew. "As grandiose as it sounds to me now, I really wanted to help make the upper Midwest into the next Colorado Front Range." To do so, Agnew hit four states, tacked 10,000 miles on his odometer, and sampled everything he could find.

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Nathan's Famous hot dog-eating contest to host qualifying round in St. Paul

Categories: Events

Joey Chestnut at the 2012 Nathan's Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog-Eating Contest
ESPN's cameras were rolling. The contestants stood ready. "Blitzkrieg Bop" blared in the background. The countdown began. Joey Chestnut reached for his first hot dog from the pile of Nathan's dogs before him and pushed it towards the back of his throat with vacuum-like effect. In the ten minutes that followed, he would consume 68 hot dogs, making him the world's top hot dog-eating champion.

Chestnut has won Nathan's Famous Fourth of July hot dog-eating contest for the past seven years, and has no plans to slow down. But if you want to dethrone the champion, your most gluttonous dreams could come true on June 1, when Nathan's Famous rolls into St. Paul to hold a qualifying round for its annual competition.

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7th annual Fish Bites event celebrates sustainable seafood

Categories: Events
Courtesy of the Minnesota Zoo
Seafood lovers have a vested interest in the Minnesota Zoo's message: Sustainably sourced fish and fruits de mer are the future -- or else.

At the 7th annual Fish Bites event, this Thursday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley, eight Twin Cities chefs will gather to celebrate sustainable seafood and spread the word about how to preserve our favorite, tastiest species.

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Register for unlimited bacon at the Bacon Chase 5K and .05K

Categories: Events
Via Kimtaro on Flickr
Everyone approaches exercise differently. For some, it's an optimal form of stress relief. Endorphins are released, heart rates increase, and obsessive thoughts are pushed to the wayside. For others, it's about staying fit. But for the vast majority of us, exercise is a way to justify eating copious amounts of unhealthy foods.

That's where Bacon Chase 5K and .05K comes in. Bacon Chase is a bacon-based race that will take place in Lake Nokomis Park in Minneapolis on July 19. The race is put on by Red Frog Events, a Chicago-based company responsible for Great Urban Race, Warrior Dash, Firefly Music Festival, and American Beer Classic.

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Celebrate bacon at the first-annual River Falls Bacon Bash

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Eat Street Social launches exclusive drink club for craft cocktail connoisseurs

Categories: Cocktails, Events
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Joy Summers
A frothy booze treat from Eat Street Social
Gone are the days when drinking was kept only to back rooms and speakeasys. Or are they? With a special new program at Eat Street Social, craft cocktail connoisseurs can add a bit of the mystery back into their libation enjoyment. 

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30 Days of Biking combines Thai food and a nighttime bike excursion

Photo by Phil Vello, courtesy of 30 Days of Biking
Ride your bike, eat Thai food, then ride your bike some more to raise money to buy bikes for kids!
If you're at all involved in the local social media scene, you've likely heard of 30 Days Of Biking, a group dedicated to promoting bicycling as an alternate means of transportation. The people behind the initiative have set up a fundraiser in partnership with northeast Minneapolis Thai restaurant Sen Yai Sen Lek, to help raise money for an organization called Free Bikes 4 Kidz.

The event will take place on Tuesday, May 6 at 5 p.m. and will start with a three-course meal at Sen Yai Sen Leck and will end with a nighttime bike ride along the Mississippi river. Dinner is $30 and $5 of every meal will be donated to Free Bikes 4 Kidz.

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Solo Vino in St. Paul expands store selection and hosts largest rosé tasting yet

Solo Vino Rose Tasting.jpg
Joy Summers
Think pink this May

Wine fanatics will soon notice a few changes when entering Solo Vino, St. Paul's beloved Selby Avenue wine shop. Space has been made for a beer cooler and shelves have been added to include a wider selection of hard alcohol. And that's not all that's expanding. This year owner Chuck Kanski has ordered the biggest tent yet for their sixth annual celebration of rosé.

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Fifth annual Savor Minnesota event in Shakopee celebrates local wine

On April 26 at Canterbury Park, Savor Minnesota hosts its fifth annual wine and food event
If locally produced wine is your thing, or you don't know a lot about it and want to, then mark you calendars for April 26 when Savor Minnesota takes over Shakopee's Canterbury Park, turning it into a celebration of locally grown grapes and locally produced food. This will be the event's fifth year and will feature over 40 Minnesota wineries, breweries, and various other food producers.

Thirsty event goers will receive a wine glass they can use to sample an array of local wines and beers while munching on treats from local producers like Caves of Faribault, the New French Bakery, and Olive on Tap. The event runs from 1 to 5 p.m. and tickets are $40 if purchased in advance and $45 at the door.

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Chipotle to bring food and music festival to Minneapolis this summer

Categories: Events, Food, News
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Chipotle's Cultivate festival will take over Loring Park 

Heads up, residents of Loring Park: This summer the international burrito chain Chipotle will bring its Cultivate "food, ideas, and music" festival to Minneapolis, and more specifically, to your 'hood. 

The event, which is slated for August 23, is designed to be a celebration of sustainability in our food system and will feature a number of national and local chefs, musical acts, and interactive experiences that help festival goers understand the importance of a sustainable food system and the "reality of processed foods."

The Loring Park festival will feature Amanda Frietag of the Food Network's competition cooking show Chopped, along with celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern, and local chefs Jamie Malone, Jack Riebel, Paul Berglund, and Eric Anderson, all of whom are well known for their support of sustainable foods.

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St. Paul to host Twin Cities Burger Battle

Categories: Events, Food, News
Prepare yourselves: A burger battle will soon take over Mears Park
If there's one thing we love here in the Twin Cities, it's our burgers. With several restaurants touting their own "perfect" variations on the classic sandwich, it's about time somebody set up a Thunderdome-style competition to see who really does have burger bragging rights. The Sanneh Foundation, a nonprofit that seeks to provide life skills to at-risk inner-city youth, has finally gone and organized such an event.

On May 17, several of the Twin Cities' top burgers will enter Mears Park in St. Paul's Lowertown, and only one will leave with the title of the Twin Cities' best burger. 

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