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The Growler Magazine will stop printing after its August issue

The Beer Dabbler, though, will return when festivals can happen again.

The Growler Magazine, which has covered the craft beer scene in Minnesota since it first started exploding, will cease publishing a print issue after August. 

Matt Kenevan, the owner, founder and publisher of the free magazine, made the announcement in a letter published online Thursday

Kenevan said his plan in 2012 was to build a community through craft beer and its culture, calling attention to local breweries in a visually appealing and thoughtful way. 

"Over the last 80 print issues, we achieved this with The Growler — with the help of many — and I feel that we have served our purpose and fulfilled our goal. Therefore, the August 2020 issue of The Growler Magazine will be the last print issue," Kenevan wrote. 

At the beginning of the year, Kenevan said the future was bright. But the COVID-19 pandemic was a direct hit to the food and beverage industry, which The Growler relies on for advertising to produce the publication.

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That, coupled with the loss of revenue from not having festivals, compromised the magazine's sustainability into future years, he said.

"I love what we’ve built here, and we’ll wrap things up with our heads held high for having done excellent work," Kenevan wrote, noting he's thinking of the 15 full-time staff members and their families. 

The Beer Dabbler, which is closely linked to The Growler, will resume once large events are allowed again.

Kenevan signed the letter, saying: 

"Thank you for making The Growler a part of your lives. It’s truly been an honor to have brought you this magazine over these past eight years. Hopefully, it connected with you, your business, or someone you know in one way or another. Hopefully, you learned something new or was happily reminded of something old. Hopefully, one day The Growler will rise up once again. The future is unclear but today we are doing what needs to be done. Drink local and often my friends!"

Media outlets hit by pandemic

The Growler is the latest print publication in Minnesota to announce it is calling it quits or to trim its number of publications amid the pandemic.

Last month, two Iron Range newspapers merged into one, and in May the Duluth News Tribune trimmed its publishing days. The Hastings Star Gazette and the Bulletin of Woodbury and Cottage Grove announced they would shut down in April. Meanwhile, the Lakeshore Weekly News and the Eden Prairie News ceased publication April 30.

The changes follow a national trend for newspapers. According to Forbes, newspaper revenues have dropped between 20 percent and 30 percent during the pandemic. 

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