Tea tasting time
For 20 years, Mrs. Kelly's Tea has hosted a holiday tasting. This year, you can create your own mix, with the help of a qualified tea blender who will be able to fill special requests from the more than 100 teas on hand. There'll also be other vendors of food and tea-related items for your shopping needs. Admission is free with donation of a nonperishable food item (or $2) directed toward Perspectives Kids Café and Second Harvest Heartland. Tastings are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 5-6 at the Grain Belt Brewery Warehouse, 77 13th Av. NE., Mpls.
Feast! returns this weekend
Rochester is bringing back Feast!, which debuted last year as a forum for more than 100 of the region's best food artisans. Organizers say they raise a high bar for entry: Only vendors "poised for growth and using locally grown ingredients make the cut." Along with scads of samples, there will be cooking demonstrations by various chefs, including noted author and food writer Beth Dooley, chef Carrie Summers of Chef Shack and chef Jordan Bell from Rochester's Forager Brewery. There's also an area for kids' activities. Dec. 4 is reserved for industry professionals, with the fest open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 5 at the Mayo Civic Center. Regular admission is $5 for adults; additional cost for tastings of beer, wine and spirits. For details, visit local-feast.org.
BWCA love, with a catch
Three Minneapolis chefs took locally sourced into their own hands, canoeing into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness to fish, cooking their catch with flair, then making it all into a video series to support protection of that wilderness. Lachelle Cunningham of Breaking Bread Café, Amanda Cowette of Wise Acre Eatery and Lukas Leaf, executive chef at Al Vento, took the trip (led by Hungry Jack Outfitters) under the auspices of Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters. That group supports the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters, which opposes proposed sulfide-ore copper mining on the edge of the BWCA. The three-part video series, "Fish Out of Water," may be viewed at SportsmenfortheBoundaryWaters.org, with a catch: To view Parts 2 and 3 (and see what they cooked), you'll need to sign a petition against allowing expanded mining.
99 years of beer
Bryn Mawr Brewing has changed its name to Utepils Brewing — from the Norwegian word for the first beer enjoyed outdoors after a long, dark winter — after learning that an Oregon winery had claimed its original name. But little damage done; utepils had been trending on social media among the brewery's fans for some time. Now they just need to finish building the brewery, due to open early next year in Minneapolis' Bryn Mawr neighborhood. But with the holidays in mind, they're offering brewery memberships — or memberships, heh — that include free beer for 99 years. A single membership will run you $1,000, but the first 100 couples can sign on for $1,848, that number being the founding date of the German brewery that once housed the signature copper kettle to be displayed in the taproom. For details, visit utepilsbrewing.com.