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Autumn Brew Review Review


September: Apparently still ’tis the season where Oktoberfests and summer shandies can hold hands because it’s still warm, but we’re starting to really love fall and drink fall-ish harvesty beer. We sent our beer festival trend correspondent Isabelle Wattenberg to get at the 140+ breweries of the Autumn Brew Review by the MN Craft Brewers to tell us what’s going on and here’s what she (mostly) remembered:

First things first: This correspondent arrived in NE well-prepared, thanks to the ABR app with its plan-your-itinerary feature (dominating my to-dos: sours, imperial stouts, and everything from Lift Bridge). Also important: The rain on Saturday was #fakenews. Pooh-poohing the stormy forecast proved an acceptable decision, as just one shower skimmed the grounds and had zilch effect on dispersing the line for Surly, which stretched about ten tents deep for most of the afternoon. Darkness might be the pied piper of beers.

A few things we particularly appreciated from the Review:

—The pop-up brass band, always prompting a skip or two from the crowd (props to the guy who carried the tuba the entire time)
—Couple costumes: notably one pair clad in dirndl-and-lederhosen, and another in shark-head hoodies. Pro Tip: it’s much easier to keep track of your partner when they’re dressed like a shark. Plaid shirts just don’t provide the same distinction.
—Crowns and headdresses made of woven hops. Yes.
—Aside from an understandable explosion in gourd-forward brews, the spectrum of offerings had a summer pie feel: standouts include Wild Mind’s Cinnamon, Vanilla, and Peach Silla Ale and Barrel Theory’s Key Sublime.

This writer’s runaway dark beer champ goes to Bent Paddle’s Barrel Aged Double Shot Black Ale with Coconut and Cocoa, with an honorable tip of brim to F-Town’s Moon Boots Peanut Butter Porter. And gotta give some N/A appreciation to Prye’s Arnold Palmer. Refreshing sip and then some.

Win Tickets: Nicole Krauss

Nicole Krauss

The New York Times dubs Nicole Krauss “one of America’s most important novelists”—and she’s coming to MPLS + STPL!

Krauss will be reading from and speaking about her most recent novel, Forest Dark (which actually just came out this week on Harper!), a riveting story of parallel transformations and self-discoveries, at the Uptown Church. Tickets for the event are now available. Copies of Forest Dark and other books by Nicole Krauss will be available for purchase at the event courtesy of Magers & Quinn Booksellers, and a book signing will follow the presentation.

It would be a really good look to roll into Saturday’s Lit Crawl already having tickets to this big deal book lit event, and we want to give you a pair. Just reply to this email that you’re interested for a chance to win!

photo by Goni Riskin

Quick Q+A: Blackout + John Gebretatose


Not too long ago a local DJ couldn’t stop talking off our ear about the late night show from all-black improv troupe Blackout. And since then, she isn’t the group’s only super-fan we’ve run into. Blackout’s on-the-spot comedic performances—that also involves their audience in dialog on difficult social issues—have entertained and educated many new and returning fans in MPLS + STPL. 

This Friday at their regular spot at the Phoenix Theater, Blackout celebrates a busy two years of comedy in which they’ve showcased their informative and interactive act all over town. Before the big party, we sent some quick questions to Co-founder John Gebretatose about all the places they’re performing these days, any difficulty with The North, and what to expect from their big party. 

Secrets of the City: Two year anniversary, recently a part of the totally sold out event Charlottesville Revisited, a part of New Griots Festival—what’s it like to be a big-time Improv group?

It’s amazing. We have been killing it and have not stopped since our first show. We work hard, we support each other and make each other look good. We are excited to see where we can take it to next. My personal dream is to sell out First Ave. As well touring our act. In due time.

Do you see Blackout as a part of a larger scene, whether it’s an improv scene or POC arts scene? Or is the group just exceptional?

All the above. We are talented as fuck. Every person on the team has a unique voice and plays with no fear.

Have you been at the Phoenix for the last two years? How has that venue played a role in developing your shows/materials?

Our regular show every 3rd Friday of the month at 10:30 PM has been at the Phoenix. But we’ve been all over the world representing Blackout.

The Phoenix has been wonderful and our partnership is based on honesty and respect. They respect us and allow us the freedom to just do us. That’s really the only way for us to really do what we do.

Dialogues with the audience have been a key part of your shows, have there been any particularly difficult interactions over the past two years? Or did MN Nice keep things civil and repressed?

There’s been shows that follow a tragedy in the black community and we address issues head on. As far the audience, no matter how polite they want to be, we will call out and make fun of whatever we want and need to. People usually come to our show knowing what to expect, but if they don’t what we do and they are MN Nice, well, I guess they have some things to figure out about their life that night. Like who told them they should see Blackout? What is ok to laugh at? How far is the exit door from their seat? And whatever else they are wondering. Obviously, we can’t control that so we just do us. We just be funny, have honest discussions and maybe we all leave learning something new. Maybe.

Scale of 1-10, how crazy is the the Two Year Anniversary Party on Friday going to get, especially by midnight?

10 or higher. We are celebrating Black Excellence!

Tickets still available for Blackout Presents: Two-Year Anniversary Show. Friday, 10:30 PM. $10.

Win Tix: St. Paul Slim + Lizea Harper + Captive Agents

st paul slim 2

St. Paul Slim is the emcee. The W8 On Empty Space is the painter. In the tradition of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Slim is his own artistic invention. St. Paul Slim has created a legacy of lyrical prowess through his booming voice. He speaks for the streets, he speaks for the people, and he speaks very loudly.

His journey began as a member of the hip hop duo, Guardians of Balance, and through the years has found himself featured on albums alongside the likes of Atmosphere, Prof, Lizzo & Yelawolf & sharing stages with artist such as KRS-1, MC Lyte, Cee-Lo & Wiz Khalifa. While his commitment to music hasn’t waivered, his visual artistic talents have evolved from private notebooks at home into #TheW8OnEmptySpace. Tonight at the Turf, Slim is joined by spoken word artist, activist and MC Lizea Harper and throwback hip-hop duo Captive Agents and hosted by DJ NASP. Wednesday, 7:30 PM, $8 advance, $10 door. Turf Club. 

St. Paul Slim is one of our favorite local MCs and we want everyone to get a chance to check him out. If you’re at all interested in hip-hop, go see him—and we’ll send you! Just reply to this email that you want to go.

Local News Pop Quiz: Watch Out!

We thought we’d test your local news knowledge with this Pop Quiz. See if you can pick which of these tweets from local TV news stations are original and which ridiculous ones we just made up. Answer here.

Target recalls nearly 180,000 dressers that can tip over

Minnesota volunteers fly supplies to Florida for Irma relief effort

Blame game over falling panels at U.S. Bank Stadium

Coyote cheats death, survives 20 mile ride stuck in woman’s grill after being hit by car.

Neighbor’s canned rhubarb sends 3 to hospital

Target recalling 180,000 dressers that can tip over onto children.

St. Paul police investigate shooting of security guard at St. Catherine’s University. Suspect sill on the loose.

Minneapolis police officer faces six felony charges