Educational Winemaker Visit

Last month we had the privilege of having Stephen Ross (Dooley) back to our store for a bottle signing!  It was so great to meet him in personEvent Pictures 006 and hear about his wines, especially since he is from Minnesota!  As someone new to the liquor and wine industry, I have to admit I was a little intimidated hearing that Stephen was coming to my store.  I had a preconceived notion that a winemaker would have a bit of snobbery to him with such a wealth of knowledge beyond my comprehension.  But was I proved wrong when meeting Stephen!  He made jokes, posed for many pictures, and was out from behind our tasting bar the entire time engaging with the people coming in to try his wines!  He made a joke that he thought it was so cool that the city of Eden Prairie named an airport after his amazing wine, FlyingCloud.

Stephen said that he loved driving by the FlyingCloud Airport with his dad when he was younger, and thought the name FlyingCloud was so magical and it just had to be the name of one of his wines.  Stephen has a true passion for what he does and believes that wine makes itself; the winemaker is just the caretaker.  It was a wonderful experience to meet Stephen and I hope he comes to visit us at the liquor store again soon!

You can find Stephen’s wines at all three of our liquor stores, and I would highly recommend his Flying Cloud Cabernet.

Jessica Blog Pic
Jessica Tapper, Liquor Store Manager (Kowalski’s location)

*Other photo features Gretchen Holmgren, Operations Manager (left), Stephen Ross, Winemaker (middle) and Jessica Tapper, Manager (right)

Attention all Hopheads!

Hophead VodkaTraditionally, a Hophead is a person that enjoys the hoppy aromatics of pale ales.  Vodka drinkers can now get in on the action.  The latest vodka to hit Eden Prairie Liquor is Hophead Hop Vodka ($29.99).  It is brought to us courtesy of Anchor Distilling – the makers of Anchor Steam and Liberty Ales.

Hops are one of the main ingredients used for beer production.  To make this vodka, the hops are pot distilled with grain neutral spirits to give you a unique and distinctive liquor.  Beer  drinkers definitely need to check out this product.  It’s great by itself on the rocks or with some tonic and a slice of lime.  Though not a Bloody Mary drinker myself, I have to believe it would make a fabulous addition to your favorite  recipe!!

March is a month to celebrate – We have March Madness, Daylight Saving time (I know I will be happy for more sunlight), St. Patrick’s Day and Easter. Make sure to pick up Hophead Vodka for a great new vodka to add to the menu for all of  your gatherings – large or small.


Denise Barthel
Assistant Liquor Store Manager

Join Guinness in Support of Firefighters!

Guinness Gives BackFirefighters hold a special place in my heart, as my dad was a volunteer firefighter in my home town of Buffalo Lake, MN. Being from a small town means many of my friends are still volunteer firefighters. These men & women put their lives in danger every time the siren sounds. Whether a volunteer or full time firefighter, they all need specialized equipment to save lives.

This St. Patrick’s Day season, Guinness & Co. is teaming up with the Leary Firefighters Foundation (LFF) to invite all legal drinking age adults to responsibly raise a pint of the black stuff in support of firefighters across the country. Guinness will encourage consumers to get involved through the brand’s “$100,000 Pour,” a live GUINNESS® pint mosaic that will be comprised of consumer pledges, each of which represents $1 of the $100,000 donation that Guinness has committed to the LFF. Together with the LFF, Guinness will help provide the necessary equipment, technology and training to America’s bravest.

To support the LFF and be a part of the $100,000 Pour, adult GUINNESS® fans can pledge by texting “GUINNESS” to 878787. In response to their text, fans will receive a link to an image of a personalized pint glass and a confirmation number. Fans can enter their confirmation number at and find the pint they “poured” within the 100,000 pint mosaic.  Progress toward completion of the mosaic will also be tracked in real-time on a billboard in New York City’s Times Square.

The Leary Firefighters Foundation was founded in 2000 by actor Denis Leary after a tragic fire in Worcester, Mass. claimed the lives of his cousin, childhood friend, and four other firefighters. The Foundation’s mission is to provide funding and resources to fire departments across the country to ensure they are able to obtain the best available equipment, technology and training. Since its inception in 2000, the LFF has raised over $10 million that has been utilized to provide critical resources, including a state-of-the-art high rise training facility for the Fire Department of New York (FDNY).

Join Guinness in supporting the Leary Firefighters Foundation this St. Patrick’s Day, and remember that the best way to show your support is to do so responsibly.


Schellie Duce
Eden Prairie Liquor
Customer Service Representative

Stephen Ross Dooley is coming!!!

Winemaker Stephen Ross Dooley is returning to Eden Prairie, MN!  He will be pouring wines and signing bottles at our liquor store located at 16508 West 78th Street (Next to Kowalski’s) on March 13.  Stephen visited our stores last year and is one of the nicest guys on the planet.  And his wines are phenomenal.  We can not wait to welcome him back!  What first brought his wines to our attention was the creation of his “Flying Cloud Cabernet Sauvignon”, named after our very own Flying Cloud Airport.

Here’s what Stephen says about why he named his Cabernet Flying Cloud:

“.dooleypic2010..all I can say is that as a boy growing up in the Minnesota  River Valley, when taking trips to the big city of Minneapolis, the highway in those days hugged the Flying Cloud Airport.  So I always found the name curious, either because I liked air travel both on commercial airlines or with my father who had airplanes when we were growing up, or just because I thought the name to be dreamy.  I mean, really, what is a “Flying Cloud”?  My mother taught physical geography, and that was not one of the cloud formations she lectured about.  Flying Cloud is just a really cool name.”

Hope you can join us on March 13 between 4:00 and 7:00 p.m.  I can not think of a better host/hostess gift to bring to your neighbor’s next party than a hand signed bottle of Flying Cloud Cabernet Sauvignon!  Although Stephen makes a killer Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, too…

BLOG Photo-2-100x150  Tammy Wanchena, Central Buyer

Kona Brewing Company Launch Party

LDSCN0021ast Tuesday night (January 29) I attended the most amazing launch party for Kona Brewing Co. beers from Kona, Hawaii!  Held at Lucky 13 Pub in Plymouth, MN, we got the opportunity to taste five beers new to me and I was surprised by which ones were my favorite.

We tried a Pipeline Porter, Koko Brown, Longboard Island Lager, Fire Rock Pale Ale, and Big Wave DSCN0019Golden Ale.  I was shocked to go for thirds on the Big Wave Golden Ale as I typically drink very dark, full-bodied beers and this is a lighter bodied golden ale with a tropical hop and aroma flavor.  Super easy drinking and thirst quenching, and it did not leave me feeling bloated like a lot of other beer does.  My husband fell in love with the Pipeline Porter, which was my other favorite. DSCN0039

These beers are an amazing value at $8.99 a six pack (bottles) and can be found at all three of our Eden Prairie Liquor Store locations.


TAMMY WANCHENA, Liquor Store Manager, Store #1 (by Kowalski's) Tammy Wanchena, Central Buyer