Brew Pubs Provide Local Flavor

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By Caitlin Hogan

Craft beers have been fast gaining popularity in the United States over the past decade and the Greater St. Cloud area is fortunate to have several of its own local brew pubs creating these one-of-a-kind flavorful beers and sought-out social hangouts. Craft breweries are inherently innovative with brewers spending months, and sometimes years, to develop their own blend of flavors and ingredients, resulting in a beer distinctively their own. Taprooms act as the showcase for these carefully crafted brews, so the atmosphere is just as unique as the handcrafted beers they feature. “The space pays homage to St. Cloud featuring reclaimed wood and barn tin, St. Cloud brick, and a bar top that was a bowling alley lane in its previous life,” Co-Founder Nick Barth said of St. Cloud’s newest brewery, Beaver Island Brewing Co. in downtown St. Cloud, which opened in February 2015.

A Social Experience

Taprooms are a reflection of the founder’s personalities and often display the inspiration behind the establishment. They are a place to discover the history, flavor combinations and story behind the brewery’s finest creations as well as discover your own craft beer preferences. Barth describes the taproom atmosphere as “a relaxed environment where there are no TVs but great conversation and plenty of board games. We call it a social experiment gone right!” Beaver Island earned the “People’s Choice” at the 2015 St. Cloud Craft Beer Tour. The bartenders in these establishments have a passion for high-quality and flavorful beers and are an integral part of the social atmosphere of the taproom with their knowledge and willingness to share each beer’s story. Often times patrons meet and even sometimes served by the person who brewed the beer they’re drinking. Third Street Brewhouse, located just outside of St. Cloud in Cold Spring, is known for creating the area’s first local craft beer in 2012 and opened a taproom in 2013. “The atmosphere is intimate, chill and relaxed,” said Krista Amundson, Third Street’s public relations and marketing coordinator of Third Street Brewhouse. “While sitting at one of the tables in the taproom, you’re able to view the brewing tanks where we brew all of our beer. On Friday evenings in the summer, you can sit on the patio and listen to live music.” Third Street has added several seasonal beers to the year-round lineup and its beers can now be found in more than 350 bars.

Beer to Go, Too

In addition to the standard pint of beer, flights with 5-ounce samples of four different beers to enjoy on site and 64-ounce containers called growlers to transport beer off-site. “The taproom offers flights, pints of our beer, BIBCo Merchandise, and growlers,” Barth said. “Growlers allow our guests to enjoy their favorite BIBCo beer at home or on the lake.” Although taprooms typically do not offer food, they frequently welcome patrons to order in from local establishments and food trucks can often be found on-site. Opening this coming fall is Bad Habit Brewing, the first brewery to open in St. Joseph in over 100 years. This taproom will feature the brewery’s handcrafted beer as well as homemade soda. These local treasures are among 50 craft breweries of their kind in Minnesota. Tours are often available upon request or by appointment.

Assumption Chapel, Cold Springs, Minnesota.

Copyright © Bonnie Underwood. 
Not to be used for any reason without my written permission.

Grasshopper Chapel

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This chapel in Cold Spring, Minnesota, stands testimony to a miracle that hap-pened in 1877. Crop failures due to Rocky Mountain Locust infestations occurred in 1873, 1874, 1875, and 1876.

Each year the hoppers ate everything in sight, laid their eggs, and flew away to torment another place. When the eggs hatched, the hatchlings could not fly for 5-7 weeks. During these weeks, they marched across the Midwest, searching for food. When mature, they laid their eggs and flew away. The cycle repeated.

The grasshoppers settled like a huge teardrop across Central North America, from the prairies of Canada down to Dallas, TX. Flour mills closed, farmers starved and governments were desperate. The economy crumbled. Many folks packed up and left.

A Catholic priest in Cold Spring gathered his strug-gling flock. He said that if they would build a chapel and hold an extra weekly service for 15 years, God would deliver them from the locusts. It seemed impossible–but they obeyed.

At the same time, Governor Pillsbury called for a day of prayer and fasting to ask God for deliverance from the Rocky Mountain Locusts.

In 1877 the grasshoppers flew away without laying their eggs. Some credit divine intervention. Others think a late April snowstorm disrupted their cycle. For whatever reason, the grasshoppers left and have been extinct ever since. The Grasshopper Chapel in Cold Spring remains.

It’s a beautiful spot. You’d enjoy a road trip to see it for yourself.

Grasshopper Chapel

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This chapel in Cold Spring, Minnesota, stands testimony to a miracle that happened in 1877. Crop failures due to Rocky Mountain Locust infestations  occurred in 1873, 1874, 1875, and 1876.
Each year the hoppers ate everything in sight, laid their eggs, and flew away to torment another place. When the eggs hatched, the hatchlings could not fly for 5-7 weeks.  During these weeks, they marched across the Midwest, searching for food. When mature, they laid their eggs and flew away. The cycle repeated.
The grasshoppers settled like a huge teardrop across Central North America, from the prairies of Canada down to Dallas, TX. Flour mills closed, farmers starved and governments were desperate.  The economy crumbled. Many folks packed up and left.
A Catholic priest in Cold Spring gathered his struggling flock. He said that if they would build a chapel and hold an extra weekly service for 15 years, God would deliver them from the locusts. It seemed impossible– but they obeyed.
At the same time, Governor Pillsbury called for a day of prayer and fasting to ask God for deliverance from the Rocky Mountain Locusts.
In 1877 the grasshoppers flew away without laying their eggs. Some credit divine intervention. Others think a late April snowstorm disrupted their cycle. For whatever reason, the grasshoppers left and have been extinct ever since.  The Grasshopper Chapel in Cold Spring remains.
It’s a beautiful spot. You’d enjoy a road trip to see it for yourself.

Candace Simar is a writer and poet from Pequot Lakes, Minnesota, in the heart of Lake Country. As a life-long Minnesotan, the grandchild of immigrants, Candace nurtures a passion for Minnesota History. Website: candacesimar.com

GREAT Theatre: As Good As Broadway

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by Jason Grabinger

Since 1998 when Dennis Whipple began GREAT Theatre, the community has benefitted greatly from the exceptional quality shows put on by dedicated actors, directors, and crewmembers each season. What began as a children’s theatre had blossomed into an organization performing a vast range of shows to entertain and enlighten the entire family. GREAT’s mission is to bind the community together through shared theater experiences, and they have a vision to ensure everyone in the Central Minnesota community will have access to the transformative power of the arts. GREAT Theatre has enjoyed wonderful success, and it is all due to the dedication of volunteers and the support of our community. Saint Cloud and the surrounding area is passionate about the arts, and has helped GREAT to build their World Headquarters in Waite Park. The GREAT Theatre World Headquarters is the first of its kind in MN, featuring rehearsal halls, a scene shop, a costume shop, and an administrative office. GREAT is also working on building a learning lab to share the magic of live theatre with people of all ages. Performing over 120 shows and counting, you can find GREAT Productions performing at phenomenal local venues including the majestic Paramount Theatre in downtown Saint Cloud, the Stephen B. Humphrey Theater on the campus of Saint John’s University, and other wonderful venues. The shows, thanks to the passion and talent of hundreds of volunteers are often compared to Broadway shows, and each season offers something new for the entire family. GREAT Theatre is passionate about our community and is an active participant in the betterment of our cities and the residents of them. GREAT is a proud member of United Arts of Central Minnesota. GREAT actors often share their talent and skill for local causes, and weekly summer camps for children of varied ages introduce the wonder of live theatre early. These camps, along with GREAT shows build confidence and encourage people to achieve their dreams. Whether you are interested in seeing a show, volunteering your time behind the scenes, or would love to audition for a role, more information is available on GREAT’s website at www.greattheatre.org. You can also reach them by phone at (320) 258-2728. We are fortunate to have such a quality community theatre in our area, and checking out all that GREAT Theatre has to offer is certainly worthwhile.

GREAT
Great River Educational Arts Theatre
710 Sundial Drive Waite Park, MN
320.258.2787
www.GreatTheatre.org

St. John’s Pottery

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by Jason Grabinger

Whether you are an artist yourself, or simply appreciate the art of others, Saint John’s Pottery in Collegeville, MN is a jewel waiting to be discovered. For over 35 years, Saint John’s Pottery has been living out the Benedictine values and traditions, fulfilling Saint John’s University’s dedication to integrating art and life. Students, apprentices, and visiting artists are engaged by Artist in Residence, Richard Bresnahan. However, the public is welcome to visit the gallery, purchase handcrafted pottery, and experience the magic in the process to create true works of art through guided studio tours. Richard Bresnahan is a master potter who has directed pottery at Saint John’s University since 1979. Having studied art at Saint John’s himself, Bresnahan also studied in Japan. He works to provide mentorship to artists, teach art courses, and provide lectures and exhibits across the globe. Bresnahan also designed and operates the Johanna Kiln, which is a sight to see in itself as the largest wood-fired kiln in North America. His art has been prominently displayed in museums, and is considered one of the premier artists in our area. Saint John’s Pottery is a phenomenal place to visit for people of all ages and cultures. Along with seeing local art at its best, a trip to Saint John’s Pottery will enlighten you in many ways. You will learn how art relates to the preservation of our environment, see the link between work and worship, and enjoy the celebration of diverse cultures. The methods for creating pottery are also an interesting and valuable process to experience. The studio tours will show you firsthand the cycles of clay processing, glaze development, and the preparation and firing of the famed Johanna Kiln. Saint John’s Pottery is just minutes from Saint Cloud, and is an excellent demonstration of how wonderful and diverse our local area is. Visitors are welcome on weekdays from 1:15 to 4:30 PM, and Saturdays from 10 AM to 4:30 PM. For more information, you can visit their website at http://www.csbsju.edu/saint-johns-pottery, or give them a call at (320) 363-2930. You will not want to miss experiencing the wonder waiting for you at Saint John’s Pottery.

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STRIDE Academy

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STRIDE (Students and Teachers Reaching Individual Dreams through Education) Academy began over a decade ago as a thought written on a napkin in the basement of Amy Dvorak (former board member). Countless planning meetings took place with Dale and Dory Beutel (founders and former director) Liz Bergan (former board member) and Rassier’s. Eventually a building was secured and recruitment started.

When I was hired, in the summer of 2005, STRIDE was located in an office in Waite Park. Staff was hired and asked to start right away with registering students and testing them in reading and math there. We patiently waited for our building to be completed while training as a team on the campus of SCSU. We started the 2005-2006 school year with students in grades K-5. We originally planned to house only

K-4, but had many parents requesting fifth grade. So at the very last minute the decision to add fifth grade was made. We were full to capacity and even had waiting lists for most grades.

 STRIDE Academy Charter School was started by the Beutel’s, and a few others an educational option for our community. I believe STRIDE was, and still is, the best school option around. At STRIDE we level in math and reading, and we cap our enrollment so as not to overpopulate the classrooms. We require a dress code, and participate in community service learning projects by grade level. We learn and live The 7 Habits, require families to volunteer 30 hours a year, and we operate on a year round schedule. For these reasons and many more STRIDE Academy is THE best option for children in Central Minnesota.

At STRIDE our mission is to provide educational experiences for all children, promoting a strong foundation in all core academic areas. Using researched based curriculum, students will excel academically through real-life educational experiences in a challenging, caring, and student-centered environment. By meeting each student’s unique educational, emotional and social needs, students will be empowered to become responsible life-long learners and leaders.

In the last decade I’ve been able to see STRIDE grow from a K-5 school to K-8. We now have 95 staff members, 700 students, and we recently became one campus again after having an elementary and middle school for the last few years. It feels good to be back together in one place. We have also been chosen as an official Leader in Me School, which allows for the integration of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People into our daily routine. We are the only Leader In Me school in Central Minnesota. This is truly an honor and one we plan to uphold proudly.

Since STRIDE Academy is its own district our school board ultimately makes the decisions, along with our sponsor (Friends of Education). We at STRIDE are held to the same standards as the public schools so parents can feel good about choosing STRIDE over the neighboring community schools.

I am proud to be a teacher at STRIDE Academy, proud my own children do or

gone to STRIDE and extremely proud to have helped shape some of the best individuals while teaching here. We have a motto we like to say and that is “Live, Love, Learn, Leave a Legacy”. STRIDE has left a lasting legacy on students here in Central Minnesota.

Angela Schmitz,

Teacher and Parent

The Frieze of the Prophets

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The stained glass windows on the east side of First Presbyterian Church, St. Cloud, are copies of a John Singer Sargent oil painting, “The Frieze of the Prophets.” Sargent (1856-1925) born in Italy to American parents, spent most of his life in Europe and lived in London for many years. He established a reputation as a portrait painter of celebrities and fashionable people. Critics considered his portraits technically excellent but subjects often complained about his depiction of them. He later abandoned portrait painting and began architectural decoration. From 1895 to 1916 he painted a series of murals for the Boston Public Library showing scenes of Judaism and Christianity. The “Frieze of the Prophets” occupies the entire north wall of the exhibit. Moses stands in the center of the other Prophets holding tablets symbolizing the foundation of religion. The names appear in Hebrew and English. Sargent hoped the murals would be pleasing to the eye. The frieze became enormously popular. The Boston Library included some of the paintings in an illustrated catalogue, “The Copley Prints. ”In 1901 a church in Maine asked to use the Prophets in stained glass windows. The idea soon spread to other churches. The First Presbyterian Church installed the windows, copies of five of the 19 Prophets in the mural, in 1917 when they constructed their present building. Other Christian symbols surround the images of the Prophets. Guests are welcomed to view these windows at the First Presbyterian Church.

The Frieze of the Prophets
340 5th Ave So., St. Cloud, MN 56301 | 320.251.8277 | www.fpcstcloud.org

The Good Earth Food Coop

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Local and organic foods fit for a community

Honey. Grains. Organic produce. Free-range poultry. Grass-fed beef. Fresh-baked whole grain bread. The Good Earth Food Coop has a history of bringing nutritious foods and nutritional products to its members and the greater St. Cloud community over the years. In 1971, the cooperative opened in Christ Church/Newman Center at St. Cloud State University, and few years later, it moved to East St. Germain Street. Finally, in 1994, food the cooperative relocated to Centennial Plaza on Veterans Drive where it’s been in operation for over 20 years. Today, membership participation is at an all-time high of 3,000 individuals/families. If you’re interested, a lifetime membership costs $100. For that, you receive so much.

Mission: Nutrition

Members of the Good Earth Food Coop are committed to helping themselves and others stay healthy by eating and using healthful products that are grown organically and sustainably. The coop works with local and regional producers to also ensure the health of the land and environment as well. “Every dollar we spend in the community goes back into the local economy,” said Dawn Johnson, Produce Manager, who buys from 14 Minnesota producers. “Anywhere from 75 to 85 percent of our produce is local in the summertime. In the winter, the percentage drops, but we offer root vegetables like onions, carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash, potatoes, and others.”

Supportive of sustainable, organic, and local agriculture

Johnson purchases produce from the Central Minnesota Sustainability Project, and has also donated plants to the group. “Last year, we bought more from them than ever before,” said Johnson. Luke Salisbury, Bulk Manager, has been with the Coop for eight years. He buys flour from Swany White Flour Mill in Freeport and Whole Grain Milling in Welcome, just northwest of Fairmont in southern Minnesota. Of his 15 local/regional vendors, most grow the grain themselves, or cultivate the honey, maple syrup, and wild rice. Other items on the menu come from regional vendors. Eggs and poultry come from the Larry Schultz Organic Farm in Owatonna. Thousand Hills Cattle Co. in Cannon Falls provides grass fed beef items. Artisan breads and rustic pastries come from Fred’s Bread in Eden Prairie. “We know our customers by name or member number, so they can come and talk to us whenever they have a question about pricing or a suggestion about a product they’d like to see us stock,” said Salisbury. “Our prices are pretty comparable to a regular grocery store. We try to match prices on organics whenever we can.”

Member Perks

First, you receive discounts on purchases: 5% one-time monthly discount, 10% discount on pre-ordered cases (bulk), monthly specials, finally, use your own cloth bags for shopping to receive a .05 cent token per bag which will be collected by the Coop on a monthly basis, and the value donated to charity. Shop “Member Super Sunday,” and receive 10% off an order of $100 or more. Second, monthly “Owner Deals,” posted on the website. Third, products are clearly labeled: green tags denote local items; orange tags indicate gluten free products; red tags highlight monthly specials. “One of the most important member perks is the ability to vote for the Board of Directors and to run for the Board as well, and thus, help govern the future of the Co-op,” adds Salisbury. If you haven’t explored this local, member-owned gem, do so today!

The Paper Collector

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Art gallery and custom framing

Kate Evens is the familiar face of The Paper Collector, located in downtown St. Cloud. The shop’s primary focus is the art gallery and custom framing services. However, as the name suggests,

the business also sells antique paper items.

The mix of The Paper Collector’s inventory is impressive, and it might give customers insight into the personalities of the proprietors who operate the gallery/antique store. Everywhere one looks, in every display or cozy nook, there are treasures

from years gone by to today’s contemporary interests.

Artwork from local and regional artists
Prints from major publishers, abstract to traditional renderings
Greeting cards and pottery from the Sisters of the Order of St. Benedict (Kate is a “Benny.”)
Antique paper: advertisements, postcards, plat maps, trade cards, books, sheet music, and magazines
Vintage photography

Almost all of the art the shop features is from local artists, says Kate. Customers also appreciate the quality of the custom framing. Today, Kate’s daughter, Cath, handles the framing as Kate offers her expert consultation.

“Choosing the right style of matting and frames can enhance the art,” says Cath. “However, the wrong combination of mat and frame can take the focus away from the art, putting too much importance on the framing.”

The Paper Collector’s selection of frames features several frame companies, each with its distinctive look. Frame styles range from contemporary colored lacquer or metal frames to gilded antique frames. Specialty frames might display embossed dragons, or be made of birch bark, or possibly, shell. Customers find the sheer number of styles from which to choose––numbering over 2,000––is truly impressive.

“Everyday items can be framed, not just art,” says Cath. Sports jerseys, trip souvenirs, and photo collages are the most common items she’s framed. However, occasionally, Kate and Cath are asked to frame an unusual piece. These have included a violin, military medals, wedding gowns, shark teeth, and a jeweled necklace.

The Paper Collector routinely participates in St. Cloud’s Downtown Art Crawls, and both Kate and Cath welcome the crowds that come.

“People like to come to look at everything,” says Kate. “Downtown is really the place to browse and to shop. People get a better feel of ‘customer service’ when store owners know your name, are personable, and build relationships… We have the greatest customers!”

Many of their customers have been with them since the shop’s opening. In 1984, Kate established The Paper Collector on Fifth Avenue, to expand her longtime interest in art and antiques. She moved the store a year-and-a-half later to its present location, just across from the Stearns County Court House.

Stop in and say, “Hello” during the Art Crawl, when you’ve got a framing project, or simply to view the treasures of this unique shop––The Paper Collector.

Trisko Jewelry Sculptures – Wearable Sculptures

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Creating jewelry images as “Wearable Sculpture” allows me to concentrate first on creating a intriguing form, and then adapting it to wearability. By designing each ring as a unique sculpture, I am able to eliminate the circular form typically used to make rings, and thereby create an ergonomically correct design, which balances the ring on the finger without turning or tipping. The intellectual underpinnings of my work are a Master’s Degree in Sculpture and Metals as well as a degree in Mathematics, enabling my work to reflect an architectural quality, with pieces often standing as sculptures-in-the-round. Most of my jewelry pieces are the result of the “loss wax” method, which enables them to be polished to a more graphic finish and eliminates the solder joints and seams that often appear in fabricated pieces during polishing. I lap most pieces to maintain sleek, sharp lines, and pay close attention to detail and perfection in each piece I create. None of the my work is molded. Rather, each design requires a separate wax model and casting. In fact, some pieces utilize several wax components, which are then cast, polished, and assembled. Often, these finished pieces are modular units with strategic alignments that allow my creations to become additive and subtractive sculptures.

My unique images are available in 14K and 18K white or yellow gold. Complementing my work are beautifully individually selected gemstones, custom cut or carefully sorted for size in order to make the math “work” in my architectural style of design. Each finished piece is then copyrighted, marked “14K or “18K”, and stamped “Trisko.”

Robert C. Trisko
www.trisko2.com