Five by 8: Grain Belt comes home

1) Grain Belt, the beer that hasn’t been brewed in Minneapolis for more than 30 years, will enjoy a homecoming of sorts next month.

August Schell Brewery, which has owned the Grain Belt brand since 2002, is launching “Grain Belt Nordeast” on April 7.


The beer company says the line with honor Northeast Minneapolis, where Grain Belt Golden was first brewed in 1893.

Of course, like any longtime drinker, Grain Belt has soared, stumbled and recovered quite a bit in its history. The brand vanished during Prohibition, but later flourished to become a dominant brand in the Midwest.


Grain Belt Brewery (Minnesota Historical Society)

In the mid-1970s, G. Heileman bought the brand and moved production to the Schmidt brewery in St. Paul. After a few more twists and turns, Schell wound up with Grain Belt and moved production to New Ulm.

Schell calls the new Nordeast beer an American Amber lager with a “light maltiness and hop aroma with a mild bitterness.”

If you want to pound one April 7, you’ll have to hit a bar or liquor store in Northeast. It won’t be available anywhere else until the next day, Schell says.

2) Fans of good breaking news photography should take a look at the shot Bemidji Pioneer photographer Monte Draper captured Monday during an apartment fire.

The Pioneer’s news story reports that the fire damaged the 63-unit Regency Park Apartments.

All the residents appeared to have gotten out safely, the Pioneer reported. Fire officials called the fire the worst in Bemidji in more than 50 years.

3) A bit of the old St. John’s hospital on the Metro State University campus in St. Paul will survive as the college builds new classrooms.

Metro State will use nearly $6 million in state funds to raze and then replace the top two floors of the hospital building, the East Side Review News reports.

St. John’s German Lutheran Hospital was an edifice of East Side pride when it opened in 1915. Later it served as Metro State’s first home. The building has been vacant for several years.


St. John’s Hospital in 1915 (Minnesota Historical Society)

4) Minneapolis artist David Rathman scored some attention with a series of paintings and a short film about the 1974 “Rumble in the Jungle” boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman.

From a New York Times Style Magazine blog:

The Minneapolis-based artist has touched on boxing themes in his work before, but was nonetheless flattered when he was commissioned by No Mas and Muhammad Ali Enterprises last October to create a “Rumble in the Jungle” short film to commemorate the fight’s 35th anniversary. Now completed, the film and corresponding watercolors will be previewed tonight at the Larissa Goldston gallery. We caught up with the artist and father of two before the opening for his take on boxing, painting and sports fantasies.

5) And finally, the Minnesota Zoo is trying to get visitors excited for spring by sharing pictures of its baby camel.

The male mail Bactrian camel was born March 4 at 128 pounds. In three or four years, it will stand eight feet tall and weigh 1,600 to 1,800 pounds.

  • James

    I believe you meant to type male Bactrian camel.

    Remember the old grammar rule: Czech yore spilling care fully.

  • bsimon

    “like any longtime drinker, Grain Belt has soared, stumbled and recovered quite a bit in its history.”


    Also, every time I see vinyl siding melting, or in the case of the bemidji fire, burning, I wonder if its really a good material for construction.