Kirkland French vs Kirkland American vs Grey Goose

There’s talk on the internet that Costco’s French vodka is actually Grey Goose. Or maybe it’s made by Grey Goose. Or it’s made in the same region as Grey Goose using the same techniques and ingredients.

Or maybe not.

Either way, I bought all 3 of these and I put them head to head. To head.

Not shown: the top of the ridiculously tall Kirkland French bottle.
Not shown: the top of the ridiculously tall Kirkland French bottle.


Hey there. Sorry for the complete lack of blog posts as of late. We were gearing up for a trip, and then we took said trip. We went to Costa Rica for a week. It was super rad.

But enough about that.

This blog is about Minnesota.

It’s Minnesota in late February and today was 18 degrees. Yuck. That’s better than the -11 the other morning (which is an over 100 degree change for me in just a couple days).

Anyway, I’m going to get back here and post some meaningful blogs posts soon. I swear. But for now, I don’t have much Minnesota stuff to talk about.

I haven’t eaten anywhere new lately. We haven’t been to a new town. We haven’t been to the Mall of America because Al-Shabaab said they were going to blow it up (not really, they are a bunch of punks). Come to think of it we should go to the Mall of America just because those idiots say we shouldn’t.

So, yeah. Cabin fever is setting in. Spring should be coming along anytime though, right? Right?

Surly Brewing Destination Brewery Minneapolis

Surly built their new destination brewery in Minneapolis and it just opened 2 weeks ago. Shellie and I went there last Saturday night at about 9 PM. Upon walking in we were carded and told the kitchen was closed, so beer only. Which wasn’t a problem since we just ate at Jerusalem’s. We got a couple beers and started poking around.

Of course I had read about this place, both before it opened and the recent reviews of it, so I kind of knew what to expect. But honestly, this place is bigger and better than I pictured. The Beer Hall, as they are calling it, is the main room of the building. I’m not sure how many people it seats, but there are a lot of tables in there. Most of them are bigger and shared with other groups of people, but there are a few smaller tables.  At one end of the room there are windows into the brewing area. At the other there are windows facing out to the patio (patio! this is an acre of soon-to-be-beer-garden that can seat another 500 people). These windows are actually doors and it looks like the whole wall can be slid to the sides and opened up.

Surly Brewing Beer Hall
Surly Brewing Beer Hall

It’s Too Cold

It is painfully cold out today. As I write this it is -6 Fahrenheit, and we’re looking at a high of -4 today. That’s cold no matter where you’re from. I’m from Minnesota, by the way.

My view right now
My view right now

That’s my view right now and I can feel the cold coming through the closed patio door. I guess it isn’t terrible to look at, but I know what it feels like out there.

So, I guess this isn’t a travel, beer or food blog post. But it is a blog post about Minnesota. A lot of times when I travel I fall in love with a place. I go home and look at what it would cost to live there. What people do for a living. Maybe how they lean politically. I was thinking, do people do that with Minnesota? Do people come here and fall in love with it? Would I?

Not right now I wouldn’t. With this kind of weather you run from your house to your car. Then hustle into work. Then go back home. You can’t really get out there and explore when it’s this cold out. At least I don’t.

But, this will pass. Tomorrow it’s supposed to be 13 degrees, above zero! Heat wave! And soon enough spring will come, and that’s when the fun starts.

I’m working on some new posts right now. Shellie and I have done a bunch of stuff lately, so I need to get cracking on that. I’ll be back with posts about Minnesota beer and food and travel.

Merry Christmas from Minnesota

Merry Christmas, or whatever it is that you celebrate. I mean that sincerely, be happy in whatever way it is that makes you happy.

I for one enjoy a secular-capitalist-consumer style Christmas.

I’m sitting at home right now. Looking at our Christmas tree lights twinkling away. With a pile of presents under the tree. The house is clean and ready for tomorrow’s guests. It’s just me, and a beer, waiting for Santa Clause to show up.

So, enjoy. Get together with family and/or friends. Let your hair down. The holidays only roll around once a year.

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays!

Seasons Greetings!

Happy Kwanzaa!

Merry Chanukah!

Whatever. See you tomorrow!

Landmark Center and Rice Park St Paul

Let me be really clear here, I am not a fan of winter. I don’t like the cold. I don’t like snow at all. I don’t snowmobile, ski, ice skate or luge. The only good thing about winter is that there are no mosquitoes outside. Of course it’s too cold to be out there anyway.

So, what was I doing outside at nighttime in Minnesota? Well, for one it was unseasonably warm out. We had 3 days in a row of over 50 degrees. Which is entirely unheard of here in Minnesota in December. For another thing it was foggy and ridiculously beautiful out.

See?  Beautiful.  Landmark Center St Paul
See? Beautiful. Landmark Center St Paul

Bars At the Mall Of America

Listen, Christmas shopping is tough. I know. Believe me, I know. Other things that are tough include: regular shopping, walking, dealing with crowds, going into Build A Bear Workshop (hell, just walking past Build A Bear sends me straight to the bar), and not getting a drink for awhile.

So, since you’re stuck at the mall you may as well sneak away for a pint or two. And as luck would have it I’ve been to The Mall of America once or twice. I may or may not have had a beer.

Let’s do this floor by floor and side by side. Quick aside…the mall has 3 regular levels and one entertainment level. The fourth floor is mainly on the east side, with the movie theater on the south.