TIDBITS November 2022


The Minnesota Retailers Association is pleased to award Urban Growler Brewing Co. with the Building Community Through Retail award as part of the 2022-2023 Minnesota’s Retail Champions program.
“Urban Growler Brewing Co. is the very first women-owned microbrewery in Minnesota, and while that is an accomplishment worth celebrating, what is truly incredible about Urban Growler is how they build community,” said Bruce Nustad, Minnesota Retailers Association president. “Urban Growler and owners Jill and Deb don’t just sell great beer, they have created an inclusive retail environment where your background, your outlook and even your politics are welcome. This is the first time we have recognized an organization for Building Community Through Retail and there is no better recipient. Urban Growler is the community.”

With the changes to the Minnesota laws back in July, consumers have seen a surge in the variety of new products introduced containing hemp-based THC. In the beverage space in particular, the majority of new products we have seen are THC-infused seltzers. While seltzers remain popular, they are not for everyone.
Andrew Afrooz, owner of Solid Gold Hemp, recognized there was an opportunity, so he connected with Dane Breimhorst and Thomas Foss at Burning Brothers Brewing. The trio talked it through and quickly moved to create a product to fill that gap. Kite Soda (https://www.kitesoda.com/) launched Sept. 9 with three flavors to choose from: Citrus, Ginger Ale and Root Beer.

The Society of Professional Journalists has honored Dave Aeikens posthumously with the Wells Memorial Key, the highest honor for an SPJ member.
Aeikens, who served as SPJ national president from 2008-2009, died on Nov. 24, 2021 of complications from a liver condition. He also served as Region 6 director, president of the Minnesota Pro Chapter, chair of the Legal Defense Fund and was a longtime board member for the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, now the SPJ Foundation. He also volunteered for other journalism organizations and initiatives, including being one the founding organizers of the Midwest Journalism Conference, held by SPJ Region 6 in conjunction with other media organizations.
A graduate of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Aeikens began his career in southern Minnesota at the Albert Lea Tribune, his hometown newspaper, later the West Central Tribune in Willmar, Minnesota, and eventually the St. Cloud Times, where he worked as a reporter, editor and digital journalist. He later served as a digital journalist for KSTP, the ABC affiliate in the Twin Cities, and in communications for the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Aeikens is also credited as the father of the Excellence in Journalism convention.


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