Rocky path for Bullwinkle

Bullwinkle Saloon, a longtime University of Minnesota hangout, has closed for the second time in two years. The Seven Corners bar shuttered in 2011 until a new owner revived the Bullwinkle brand (slightly tweaking the name from Bullwinkle's Saloon) the following spring. But less than two years later the lights are out again in the narrow tavern. Its phone number has been disconnected, but a sign on the door posted by Minneapolis' licensing department indicates that the bar closed in November, meaning that college kids now have one fewer place to drink cheap beer.

Talk-and-taste at the Turf

In conjunction with its "American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition" exhibit running through March 16, the Minnesota Historical Society is presenting monthly talk-and-taste programs in the Turf Club's Clown Lounge. Tuesday's "History of Hip" event looks at Minnesota's famous moonshine, Minnesota 13, as well as trends in micro-distilling and craft cocktails based on vintage classics. It features guests from the Stearns County Historical Society; Adrian Panther of Panther Distilling in Osakis, Minn., and Lee Egbert of Dashfire Bitters and upcoming St. Paul distillery 11 Wells. While January's event is sold out, tickets remain for Feb. 4 and March 4.

7:30-9 p.m. Tue., $10 ($8 MNHS members), 21-plus, 1601 W. University Av.,

St. Paul, 651-259-3015,

Brainiac of beer

If every savvy microbrew consumer is a "beer geek," brewer Ben Smith is a straight-up poindexter. Apparently, Smith, who was hired by Surly this summer, takes suds science pretty seriously. Last month Smith earned the top score on the Institute of Brewing and Distilling's Diploma in Brewing Exam, which measures knowledge of brewing science and technology. Smith won the international trade group's JS Ford Award with the highest score out of 200 test takers and snagged a separate award for a high mark on a packaging exam.

Michael Rietmulder