Kim Eslinger
Editor
612-321-8040
kim@millcitymedia.org

Brianna Ojard
Associate Editor
brianna@millcitymedia.org

David Tinjum
Publisher
612-321-8020
dave@millcitymedia.org

Claudia Kittock
Columnist / Non-Profits
Email Claudia...

Merle Minda
Small Business Columnist
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Michael Rainville Jr.
History Columnist
Email Michael...

Ryan Ojard
Staff Photographer

Jenny Heck
Mill City Cooks
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Covering life, work, and play in the Historic Mill District and Downtown Minneapolis Riverfront neighborhoods. Have an opinion, local news or events to share?  Contact us.

Tuesday
May142019

Hennepin County Libraries Are Ready to Keep Your Kids Engaged Throughout the Summer

Every summer, Hennepin County Library (HCL) welcomes thousands of youth from across the county to its various Summer Learning programs. Libraries are critical to keeping kids engaged and learning during the summer months.

This past year HCL offered 992 fun, educational, and interactive Summer Learning programs at 41 libraries, with total attendance of more than 18,000. Hennepin County Libraries are a crucial resource for thousands of families seeking to keep their children engaged and learning during the summer months.

Use this link to drill down by location, date range, activity type, age range, etc.


Tuesday
May142019

Buses to Replace Blue and Green Line Trains May 17-20

Due to scheduled maintenance, buses will replace trains beginning Friday, May 17 during a partial shutdown on the METRO Blue & Green Line. Customers can board replacement buses near the affected stations. Buses run on similar schedules as trains but can take more time. Customers are urged to plan accordingly. 
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From 6:30pm Friday, May 17 until 3:30am Monday, May 20, buses will replace Blue and Green Line trains for these stations:
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Blue Line
Franklin Ave. (Northbound only)
Cedar-Riverside
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Green Line
Stadium Village (Westbound only)
East Bank
West Bank
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Downtown Mpls. - Shared stations
U.S. Bank Stadium 
Government Plaza
Nicollet Mall
Warehouse-Hennepin Avenue
Target Field
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Work being conducted includes skyway maintenance at the U of MN, Washington Ave. bridge work, floating slab and rail break repair along the corridor. 

 

Monday
May132019

The Cohort - Rhythmically Speaking's New Annual Summer Show comes to the Southern Theater in August

Via a May 13 News Release from Rhythmically Speaking:

Rhythmically Speaking (RS) returns this summer with The Cohort, a reimagining of the organization’s annual August production featuring staged works inspired by jazz and American social dance ideas. Running August 15-17 at the Southern Theater, Rhythmically Speaking presents . . . The Cohort celebrates these ideas as innovative and intelligent launch pads for creating community and inspired movement art. Following ten years of annually presenting dance works by eight to nine artists and their varying casts of performers, The Cohort provides more in-depth support to fewer artists creating and performing longer works. This new vision of the RS annual summer production continues support of new work by local choreographers while providing opportunities for artists based outside of Minnesota to show their work here.
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The inaugural Cohort will feature new works by local dance artists Erinn Liebhard (RS Artistic Director) and Julie Warder, and remounted works by visitors Rohan Bhargava (New York, NY) and Pat Taylor (Los Angeles, CA). Liebhard’s new work Feist(meist)er is an energetic romp considering learning to listen when everyone in the room wants to speak, and Warder’s new piece What’d You Say is a quirky exploration of communication accentuated in rhythm. Visitor Rohan Bhargava is remounting Kool Kids 2.0, a comical beat-box and dance collaboration satirizing the elusive state of “coolness,” and visitor Pat Taylor is setting her work A Love Supreme, an exploration of redemption set to and named for the jazz music masterpiece by legendary saxophonist John Coltrane.
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In addition to these four choreographers, The Cohort for 2019 includes a group of nine local dancers who will perform all four pieces on the show. Working with a smaller cast is move toward creating opportunities for Twin Cities dancers to engage more deeply with staged jazz and American social dance ideas through work with both local and visiting artists. The dancers performing in this inaugural Cohort include Nora Anderson, Doug Hooker, Erik Hunder, Sara Karimi, RS Artistic Director Erinn Liebhard, Kelli Miles, Kathleen Pender, Betsy Schaefer-Roob and Cheng Xiong.
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RS engages people in staged works inspired by jazz and American social dance ideas united by a core of rhythmicity. With shared roots of rhythm, social interaction and improvisation, these approaches encourage simultaneous expression of difference and similarity as a means of creating community. RS is proud to be a local and national leader in celebrating the rich history of these forms while nurturing their innovation. Since being founded in 2008, the organization is proud to have presented 91 original and remounted works and engaged 350+ artists and thousands of audience members.
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Rhythmically Speaking presents The Cohort runs August 15-17 at the Southern Theater in Minneapolis. 
Monday
May132019

Public is Invited to the May 21 Boom Island-Nicollet Island Bridge Reopening Commemoration

The Boom Island-Nicollet Island Bridge was repaired last year

Repair of historic bridge connecting Boom Island Park and Nicollet Island to be celebrated on May 21 at 4 pm

Join Commissioner Chris Meyer and the Northeast Minneapolis community on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 at 4 pm to officially celebrate the reopening of the historic Boom Island-Nicollet Island Bridge after a repair project. The event will feature a brief program featuring local officials, a ribbon-cutting and light refreshments.

Event invitation

The Boom Island-Nicollet Island Bridge reopened last November after an extensive repair project revitalized the 118-year-old structure. In April, work resumed to complete remaining work at the site, like grading and turf establishment, concrete abutment work, paint touch-ups, and electrical work.

About the Boom Island-Nicollet Island Bridge

The current trail connection between Boom Island Park and Nicollet Island was originally built in 1901 as a railroad bridge. In the 1970s, the rail yard it served was cleared and the bridge was given to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, which converted it to a pedestrian and bicycle bridge in the 1980s.

In late 2013, the bridge was closed to emergency and maintenance vehicles after significant deterioration was discovered during an inspection. Emergency repairs were completed in July 2015 and permanent repairs were performed May-November 2018.

Project page

Saturday
May112019

April by the Numbers

Downtown real estate market update from Cynthia Froid Group:


Friday
May102019

MPRB Announces Women's Golf Day Has Been Expanded to Women's Golf Week

Via a May 10 e-newsletter from Minneapolis Park and Rec Board:

Last year's response to Women's Golf Day was so great, we expanded it to a week!

Celebrate girls and women playing golf with FREE golf or FREE clinics!

Women's Golf Week has expanded. Instead of just one day, women across Minneapolis can participate in events over five days at six of our seven courses. These three-hour events celebrate girls and women playing golf and learning skills that last a lifetime.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board's Play Golf Minneapolis courses are the only golf courses in the state hosting outdoor Women's Golf Week events, with FREE clinics, or a FREE 9-hole round (walking or riding on a cart) offered at six golf courses throughout the city.

Register for FREE Women's Golf Day Clinics at each golf club.

Friday
May102019

E Line Update: May 2019

Via an e-newsletter from Metro Transit:

Metro Transit is planning improvements to the Route 6 corridor with the E Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project. Bus Rapid Transit brings better amenities, faster service and a more comfortable ride. For more information visit the project web page.

Upcoming opportunities to influence where the E Line will travel

Join us at one of the upcoming Open Houses (no formal presentation, come anytime).

  • Monday, May 20, 4 – 6 p.m., Southwest High School, Cafeteria
  • Tuesday, May 21, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m., Marcy Open School, Multipurpose Room
  • Wednesday, May 22 4 – 6:30 p.m. Walker Library, Bde Maka Ska Room

Learn more about the routing options being advanced for further consideration and some early ideas about connecting bus service. We would like your input.

Northern routing recommendation

Metro Transit staff are recommending that the E Line cross the river from downtown Minneapolis into the Marcy-Holmes and Dinkytown area on 4th Street and University Avenue. This decision was based on current Route 6 ridership, transit supportive land uses, access to regional destinations such as the University of Minnesota, and a large amount of community support. Additional planning work is needed to determine whether the E Line should end at Stadium Village Station or Westgate Station.

Ongoing analysis of southern routing options to Southdale Transit Center

Three routing options are being advanced for the southern portion of the E Line. All three options end at Southdale Transit Center, with routing either on 44th Street to Xerxes Avenue, 44th Street to France Avenue, or Xerxes Avenue to France Avenue via 50th Street. Southdale Transit Center is being recommended as the southern endpoint due to strong community support, integration with the planned and existing bus network, and high ridership at that location. Metro Transit is seeking feedback on which option should be selected for the final E Line routing at the upcoming open houses.

Routing options still under consideration

Chick here to enlarge the map

Future questions & steps

One recommended alignment will be brought to the community and the Metropolitan Council this fall. The recommendation will include some early ideas about station placement and connecting bus service. More detailed planning on station locations and connecting bus service will occur in 2020. Additional engineering will be needed to make the E Line construction ready. Community input is needed and will be sought in every project phase.

Friday
May102019

House of Charity's new CEO, Deborah Moses, is Setting the Bar High 

Article by Claudia Kittock

For more than 60 years, House of Charity has been serving those in need in Minneapolis. Located at 510 S 8th Street, their mission is to feed those in need, house those experiencing homelessness, and empower individuals to achieve independence. The House of Charity’s treatment program served 211 people in 2015, with a return on investment to society of $6,542,700. This organization does amazing work, and as is their tagline, they are "the heart of the city."

Deborah F. Moses, CEO/Executive Director of House of CharityIn December of 2018, the House of Charity Board of Directors named experienced nonprofit leader Deborah F. Moses, DPA, MPH, as the new Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the agency. Deb is a lifelong resident of Minneapolis and has worked in many local nonprofits. She has a Ph.D. in public administration and says that coming to House of Charity felt like "coming home."

Deb is particularly invested in health care and improving access at a reasonable cost. The fastest growing demographic in people experiencing homelessness is in the over 55 age group. Many of them have struggled with health issues, and the cost of care can wreck economic and social havoc.

Deb hopes to integrate House of Charity into the community in an even more meaningful way, and is looking for community members to help. House of Charity does kind, respectful, compassionate work 365 days a year, and they can do even more with additional help. How can you help? There are several ways:

Learn more about House of Charity and the work they do, and sign up for the newsletter.
• Volunteer for weekend brunches at http://www.houseofcharity.org/volunteer
• Tell other people about what you have learned and your experience as a volunteer.
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Please consider not only the personal costs to those experiencing homelessness, but the societal costs. We can invest our money and help improve the lives of so many, and reap the financial benefits of those investments.

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About Claudia Kittock

Claudia is a resident of the Mill District. In addition to writing for Mill City Times, she is a founding Board Member of Friends of the Mill District. Claudia is the author of Health Through Chaos, mentors young adults at YouthLink, and has served on the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association (DMNA).
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Contact: claudia@millcitymedia.org

 

Friday
May102019

Hennepin County Requests Your Thoughts on the Washington Avenue Project

Via an e-newsletter from Hennepin County:

Washington Avenue and South 2nd Avenue intersection

Washington Avenue user survey

We want to better understand your experiences on Washington Avenue South (County Road 152) since the road was reconstructed.   

In 2017 Hennepin County reconstructed Washington Avenue between Hennepin Avenue and 5th Avenue South in downtown Minneapolis. The project, completed in a partnership with the City of Minneapolis, updated the road for all users. New features include:

  • cycle track and bicycle signals
  • shortened crossing distances for people walking
  • enhanced streetscaping, including trees, plantings and benches
  • improved driving surfaces
  • dedicated turn lanes at key intersections

Now that people have had some time to use these features, we are collaborating with the city to gather feedback from users like you. We have designed a survey for each type of road use. Please take whichever survey(s) best describe your typical use(s):

The surveys will close Friday, May 17.

Thursday
May092019

North Loop Reconstruction and Pedestrian Improvements

Editor's note - This is the first of an ongoing series of updates as the North Loop Reconstruction and Pedestrian Improvements project advances.

North Loop Reconstruction & Pedestrian Improvements

The North Loop Reconstruction & Pedestrian Improvements Project consists of two separate projects:

  1. A full street reconstruction along 3rd St N between 10th Ave N and 5th Ave N
  2. A pedestrian improvement project generally bounded by 10th Ave N on the north, 1st Ave on the south, West River Parkway on the east, and 4th St N on the west

North Loop Reconstruction Updates

On May 6, 2019, the project began with brick paver removals on 5th  Ave N.  Next week the contractor will remove the roadway pavement and east sidewalk on 5th Ave N (between Washington to just past 4th St N).  Once removals are complete CenterPoint Energy (CPE) access the site to install a 6" high pressure steel gas line.  CPE's work is anticipated to take 7 weeks to complete.  Once the gas main installation is complete the Contractor will return to 5th Ave N to begin underground utility work.

Upcoming Construction

7th Ave N (Washington to 4th St N, the contractor will jump over 3rd St N) removals will begin the week of May 13th.  7th Ave N will be closed to thru traffic.

Work expected for the week of May 13, 2019

  • Asphalt milling on 5th and 7th Aves N
  • CenterPoint Energy continue installing 6" gas line between 2nd St N and Washington
  • CenterPoint Energy will start 4" gas replacement on 7th Ave N
  • Continue salvaging brick pavers on 5th Ave N
  • Begin pavement removals on 5th Ave N
  • Begin pavement removals on 7th Ave N

Other Information

Bi-weekly stakeholder meetings will be held the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month from 7:30 am to 8:00 am to provide updates and to address any construction related question or concerns.

For more information on this project, visit the project website.

Upcoming Construction

Construction is scheduled to begin on June 3, 2019.

Traffic may be detoured around the work as crews move from intersection to intersection; however, the detours are anticipated to be short in duration and in distance (usually to the next block over).

For more information on this project, visit the project website

Thursday
May092019

Hennepin Avenue Downtown Reconstruction Project Update

Editor's note - This is the first of an ongoing series of updates as the Hennepin Avenue Downtown Reconstruction project advances.

Hennepin Avenue Downtown Reconstruction Project

Hennepin Ave. reconstruction project, led by City of Minneapolis Public Works, will be reconstructed between 12th Street and Washington Avenue beginning Spring 2019.  The project will reconstruct the pavement from building face to building face, including improvements to public and private utility infrastructure, and improved infrastructure for pedestrians, bicycles, transit, and vehicles.

Latest Project News

Private Utility crews have been installing new fiber optic conduits this past week from 10th to 12th and plan to be complete down to 11th this week.

CenterPoint Energy and Clearway Energy have continued their work between 7th and 8th Streets installing new condensate and gas mains.  They plan to wrap up the services this week in that block. 

What's Coming Up

Next week the fiber optic work will continue between 11th and 12th Streets, and CenterPoint will continue replacing the gas main across the 7th Street intersection.  The Sanitary Sewer replacement work will begin at 9th Street. This work will stretch from 8th to 10th.  At this time the traffic lanes will be moved to the outer most lanes, maintaining 1-lane in each direction through the work zones.  Refer to PDF below for more details.

8th Street will be closed east of Hennepin.

Looking ahead, private utility work is planned to begin in June between Washington and 4th St.

Hennepin_Update_Vol3.pdf

For more information on this project contact:  

Construction Manager, hennepinCM@minneapolismn.gov or 612-225-4049

www.hennepindowntown.com

 

Thursday
May092019

Mill City Summer Opera's 2019 Production: Così fan Tutte

Mill City Summer Opera returns to the Mill City Museum this July with Così fan Tutte, considered to be one of Mozart’s most “controversial” operas. It will be sung in Italian with English supertitles.

Opening night performance is July 12, including a gala reception at 6pm and reserved seating for the 7:30p performance, plus a dazzling after-party with the cast to cap off the evening. Opening night tickets are available now.

Additonal show dates are July 14, 16, 18, 20, 22 and 24, and those tickets will be available May 14. 

Wednesday
May082019

Donate a Brick to Survivors Memorial at Boom Island Park

Survivors Memorial at Boom Island Park

A memorial to survivors of sexual violence has been proposed at Boom Island Park. The memorial, 30 feet wide with a circle of benches and three mosaic panels, would be built as early as this summer.

Donating a brick ($1,000 or more) offers individuals, businesses and organizations a unique opportunity to show solidarity with victims/survivors of sexual violence and to honor those you love who have endured this traumatic experience.

 

Tuesday
May072019

Tour the I-35W Construction Area on Bike to Work Day with Mayor Frey and MnDOT on May 17

Bike to Work Day with Mayor Frey and MnDOT

MnDOT and the City of Minneapolis are hosting a bike tour of the 35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown project to celebrate Bike to Work Day.

Join Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and MnDOT Engineer Aaron Tag on your commute home and get an up-close and informative view of the project. Friday, May 17, 4 to 6pm, beginning at The Commons, 425 Portland Avenue S.

Riders will stop at Franklin Steele Park to learn about construction and get a good view of the I-35W/I-94 interchange followed by a stop at 24th Street to hear about the new pedestrian bridge, then a stop on the Midtown Greenway under I-35W to learn about the new Lake Street Transit Station, Orange Line and connection to the Midtown Greenway. 

Reservations are required - contact us today because space is limited! Reserve your spot by emailing Tess.Nejedlo@hdrinc.com.

Tour schedule:
Registration begins at 4:00pm. All riders need to be registered and have their bikes safety checked by 4:30pm.
The tour begins at 4:30pm at The Commons in downtown Minneapolis and will end at 6:00pm at the intersection of I-35W and the Midtown Greenway.
Riders are encouraged to join Lake Street Council for a taco stop at Taqueria la Hacienda, 334 E Lake Street #101. Meals at own expense.

This event is part of the 35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown project between 43rd St. and 15th St. in Minneapolis. mndot.gov/35w94.

Animated video of finished project. Looks like it will be worth the pain when the work is complete!

Monday
May062019

Apply to Serve on the Parks for All Community Advisory Committee

Help set the vision for Minneapolis Parks over the next decade! Apply to serve on the CAC for Parks for All: MPRB Comprehensive Plan 2021 by June 7

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) just launched “Parks for All,” a new comprehensive planning process that will set its priorities and policy direction for the next decade.

Parks for All will engage Minneapolis residents and park users, along with MPRB staff and commissioners, over the next two years to shape the future direction of Minneapolis’ park and recreation system.

The Parks for All Community Advisory Committee (CAC) will have a big influence on the comprehensive plan process and policy directions, so if you are passionate about parks and recreation in Minneapolis, please apply to serve on the CAC by June 7! Lots more details about Parks for All and the role of CACs can be found below.

What is Parks for All?
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The last MPRB Comprehensive Plan was approved in 2007 and set a vision through 2020. Parks for All is the next MPRB Comprehensive Plan, which will guide the Minneapolis park and recreation system for the next decade.

The MPRB Comprehensive Plan guides everything done by the MPRB. It articulates why the MPRB exists, identifies how the MPRB performs its work, and describes what the MPRB hopes to become.

Parks for All is separate from the recent City of Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan. It solely covers the Minneapolis park and recreation system. It will build off other recent MPRB plans including service area master plans for neighborhood parks, master plans for regional parks and other plans and policies that have been developed by MPRB in recent years with community input.

What is a Community Advisory Committee (CAC)?

MPRB Community Advisory Committees provide volunteer opportunities for stakeholders to share insight and resources and serve to build and sustain relationships between the community and the MPRB. Members of the CAC are expected to represent the views of park users and to work collaboratively with each other and the public to provide advice to the Board about the project. 

 Responsibilities of CAC members include: 

  • Become knowledgeable about the MPRB Comprehensive Plan and process,
  • Understand and represent the park and recreation needs of the community and park visitors,
  • Act as community liaisons for the project,
  • Help identify communities, organizations, user groups, populations and others that should be consulted in the engagement process,
  • Provide feedback on a draft plan,
  • Help identify values, strengths and needs within the Minneapolis Park system and within their communities,
  • Provide insight on the long-term policy direction of MPRB,
  • Report back to appointers or appointing bodies, as requested, on the plan process, information presented, and possible recommendations, and
  • Engage in working groups and subcommittees as needed.

CAC members are expected to attend and participate in public CAC meetings and a Parks for All Summit.

MPRB Promise:

The MPRB will work with the CAC and stakeholders for advice and innovation in formulating solutions and will incorporate suggestions on the process and plan to the maximum extent possible. Transportation and childcare reimbursements are available upon request for public meeting attendance.

Time Commitment:

The total time commitment for CAC members is estimated at 25-40 hours total. The majority of meetings will likely occur on weekday evenings and weekends every other month from July 2019 through September 2020. The CAC will have between 5-7 official CAC meetings of about two hours each. 

Appointment Process:

All completed CAC applications will be forwarded to all the appointers. The CAC appointers include MPRB Commissioners and a selection committee comprised of MPRB staff and community representatives. Applicants may be contacted directly by an appointer to discuss the project and interest.

Community Collaborators: Another opportunity to engage on Parks for All

MPRB invites local grassroots, neighborhood and cultural organizations to convene their own conversations about the future of Minneapolis parks and recreation through the Community Collaborator program. Please consider submitting a project proposal designed to broaden community engagement for Parks for All.

Funding varies $500-$3,000 according to the project idea and proposed budget. Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis with three rounds of submission and review in April, August and December 2019. First deadline has been extended to May 10.

Parks for All CAC Application [PDF]

 

Community Collaborator Application [PDF]

 

Project Page

Monday
May062019

‘Share the River Nordeast’ Canoe Event Returns on June 26

Experience the Mississippi River in an evening of community, canoeing and cookies.

The Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO), 2522 Marshall Street NE, invites the public to a family-friendly evening of cookies and canoeing on the Mississippi River on Wednesday, June 26, 2019, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The fourth annual Share the River Nordeast event offers visitors the chance to take a free introductory canoe ride on the Mississippi River with experienced guides. Attendees can also enjoy a complimentary cookie from local nonprofit bakery Cookie Cart and tour indoor and outdoor exhibits at the MWMO’s Stormwater Park and Learning Center in Northeast Minneapolis.

“Share the River Nordeast offers a fun, safe, and family-friendly way to experience the Mississippi River,” said MWMO Executive Director Doug Snyder. “The more people connect with the river, the more they will see it as something worth cherishing and protecting.”

Paddlers will follow a route that will provide an up-close look at the heron rookery north of the Lowry Avenue Bridge, as well as the Upper Harbor Terminal site. Canoe trips will be led by National Park Service rangers and staff from the Mississippi Park Connection and Wilderness Inquiry.

In addition to learning how to paddle on the river, participants will have opportunities to learn about the river’s history, water quality, plants, animals and more.

The event is open to kids and adults of all ages. Visitors who wish to take a canoe ride must be at least 30 pounds in order to fit the provided life jackets.

Attendees are advised to use on-street parking, as the MWMO’s parking lot will be off-limits for the event. Bike parking, a Nice Ride station and bus transit options are also available in the area.

Sunday
May052019

The Minneapolis Brewing Company

Article by Michael Rainville, Jr.

Grain Belt, the friendly beer. It’s hard to find anyone in Minneapolis who doesn’t enjoy a cold and refreshing Grain Belt. While it is very popular around the Twin Cities, it has had its fair share of trials and tribulations, so let’s take a look at how Minneapolis’ beer came to be.

Minneapolis was quickly growing during the late 1800s. The milling industry offered thousands of jobs for immigrants, and what do people who work long hours love after an exhausting day on the job? Relaxing with a nice and flavorful beer. As lumber and flour mills were popping up left and right along the Mississippi riverfront, so were breweries. On July 15, 1890, four of the city’s most popular breweries, Orth Brewing Company, The Heinrich Brewing Association, F.D. Norenberg Brewery and Malt House, and Germania Brewing Association, consolidated to form the Minneapolis Brewing and Malting Company. Soon after, the newly formed company realized using four separate facilities was not very efficient. They consolidated their equipment and resources and built a brand new brewery on the site of John Orth’s original brewery he started in 1850 that was also the first brewery in Hennepin County.

The Minneapolis Brewing Company brewery taken on 13th Avenue NE looking west.

The $500,000 brewery, or over 14 million after inflation, would go on to produce 300,000 barrels a year, and additions in the coming decade would see production grow to over half a million a year. The brewery had five main brands, Gilt Edge, Weiner, Kaiser, London Porter and Extra Pale, and it wouldn’t be until after the 1893 Nicollet Island-Northeast Fire when they would introduce their Golden Grain Belt Old Lager. The newly renamed Minneapolis Brewing Company would go on to be a beer powerhouse in the Midwest and they were the 2nd largest brewery in the state after Hamm’s.

Like every brewery in the country, the Prohibition Era was not kind to the Minneapolis Brewing Company. To make ends meet they started the Golden Grain Belt Juice Company where they would make near beer that was labeled as Minnehaha Pale Ale. They used a specialized process to take the alcohol out of the beer and then made rubbing alcohols, toilet preparations, and barber’s supplies. However, these new products could never bring in the money like beer did, so in October of 1929 they liquidated the company.

Golden Grain Belt Juice Co crate

Once the 18th Amendment was repealed, the Minneapolis Brewing Company began producing beer once again in 1933. This time they would make their Grain Belt Old Lager the face of the company, and the famous slogan “The Friendly Beer with the Friendly Flavor” was created. It would take another twenty years for Grain Belt Premium to hit the shelves. This new beer was made to please the “younger, more fickle consumer.” If only they could taste craft beer now.

Grain Belt label from 1945

In April of 1975, Irwin Jacobs purchased the Grain Belt brand and eight months later, sold it to the G. Heileman Brewing Company in La Crosse, Wisconsin. It wouldn’t be until 1991 when Grain Belt would come back to Minnesota when a group of investors bought the brand and the old Schmidt Brewery in St. Paul, and started the Minnesota Brewing Company. During this time, Grain Belt had a short-lived resurgence not only in the Midwest, but nationally too. In 1994 they won a gold medal in the American Lager category at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver.

Unfortunately, the company could not continue to run, and on June 24, 2001, the Minnesota Brewing Company closed down for good. However, Ted Marti of the August Schell Brewing Company noticed how passionate Minnesotans were about Grain Belt, and he bought the brand shortly after the closing of the Minnesota Brewing Company. Since then, Schell’s has done wonders for the Grain Belt brand. To honor the beer’s heritage and original location they created Grain Belt Nordeast, my favorite beer. Six years later they started making Grain Belt Lock and Dam in honor of the closure of the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam, and around the same time they made a special beer for the Minnesota State Fair, Grain Belt Blu. This beer became very popular and now you can find it on tap and in stores.

The story of the Minneapolis Brewing Company and Grain Belt has its ups and downs, but there’s one thing that will always stay the same, it is one of Minneapolis’ great staples. From enjoying a Grain Belt Blu on a restaurant patio looking out over the Minneapolis riverfront on a summer evening, to cracking open a cold Nordeast in the backyard around a bonfire, Grain Belt is as Minneapolis as it gets.

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About Michael Rainville, Jr.

A 6th generation Minneapolitan, Michael Rainville Jr. received his B.A. in History from the University of St. Thomas, and is currently enrolled in their M.A. in Art History and Certificate in Museum Studies programs.

Michael is also a lead guide at Mobile Entertainment LLC, giving Segway tours of the Minneapolis riverfront for 6+ years.

He can be reached at mrainvillejr@comcast.net.

Sunday
May052019

The Preserve Minneapolis 2019 Walking Tour Season Announced

The Preserve Minneapolis 2019 Walking Tour season has arrived. Enjoy the Downtown Riverfront Walking Tour, Warehouse District Walking Tour, Historic East Hennepin Walking Tour and many more. 

Check the Preserve Minneapolis Walking Tours page for the full list and to purchase tickets.

Saturday
May042019

Build Labs LLC Works to Ease the Tech Talent Shortage Utilizing Space at WeWork

Small businesses are a crucial component of our economy, and they are being recognized May 5 -11 during National Small Business Week.

One example is Build Labs LLC, founded in 2017 by serial entrepreneur JD Dietricha. It's a small business in downtown Minneapolis that is working to train people for high-paying technology jobs. They are based out of WeWork in Capella Tower, and work with the tech community within WeWork often.

On a daily basis we hear how companies scramble for tech talent - and Build Labs LLC is looking to change this. They are an immersive coding experience for developers and designers launching their careers in technology. Their structured apprenticeship provides these newly minted technologists with the experience, training, mentorship and environment they need to accelerate their capabilities. At the end of their apprenticeship, they are hired full time by Build Labs LLC clients.

Having grown from two people to a staff of six in a short period of time, the flexible and amenity-rich WeWork space is the perfect office option for Build Labs LLC. There is a growing demand for coworking office spaces like WeWork. In addition to Capella Tower, WeWork has two other Minneapolis locations - 729 N Washington Avenue and 1330 Lagoon Avenue. They also have numerous locations around the globe.

Friday
May032019

A-Mill During Art-A-Whirl and Doors Open Minneapolis present: A-Mill Behind Closed Doors

For the first time in its history, the Pillsbury A-Mill, 315 SE Main Street, will open its hidden museum to the public for Art-A-Whirl + Doors Open Minneapolis, while resident and guest artists display and sell their work at A-Mill durning Art-A-Whirl 2019. A-Mill is the only venue that will open their doors for both Art-A-Whirl and Doors Open!

Come see what’s behind A-Mill’s doors during Art-A-Whirl + Doors Open Minneapolis May 17 (5pm-10pm), May 18 (12pm-8pm), and May 19 (12pm-5pm). Admission is free.

The Pillsbury A-Mill is honored to have been chosen for Minneapolis’s inaugural event, “Doors Open Minneapolis” - a “weekend-long event that allows the public free, behind-the-scenes access to buildings in the City of Minneapolis that are architecturally, culturally, or socially significant.” In addition to showcasing an exclusive view down the tunnels beneath A-Mill, Mill City Museum will provide graphics throughout the building showing the Pillsbury A-Mill’s historical timeline.

In the Gallery on -1, visitors will be dazzled by a unique show from 3 local artists entitled “Eidolon.” In the photography studio on -2, our sponsor Wooden Hill Brewing Company has created an interactive community art project. Aptly named “Crafting Community”, guests will be able to paint a pop-up mural drawn by local artists.

Explaining how Wooden Hill Brewing, a local brewery in Edina, chose to be involved in A-Mill during Art-A-Whirl + Doors Open, owner Sean Ewen explains, "My brother and I started Wooden Hill Brewing Company to share the joy of craft beer with others. And going beyond beer, we created the non-alcohol beverage, Steeped, so that everyone can experience the joy of drinking a locally crafted, small batch beverage. It's really about crafting community, which is why we host rotating art displays in our taproom and regularly host give back events. A-Mill during Art-A-Whirl + Doors Open is the perfect fit because we can promote local artists and locally made beverages at the same time. Our friends at Stray Dog NE will also be onsite providing speciality sausages, sandwiches, and snacks that pair perfectly with our beer."

From the caves down below to the specular rooftop views up above, there is truly something for everyone to enjoy. To further entice visitors to explore the building and shop for art from over 50 resident and guest artists, there will be an interactive scavenger hunt with prizes using a mobile app!

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