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Breweries opening in Minnesota 2013/2014

Discussion in 'US - Midwest' started by mnstorm99, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. Mplsmetro57

    Mplsmetro57 Savant (320) Minnesota Jan 30, 2013

    Lulz...

    "After opening its doors just yesterday, The Freehouse—the new Minneapolis brewpub from Blue Plate Restaurant Company—is getting some attention for its beer pricing. While the brewpub offers up its own house-brewed pints for $6, it's charging a whopping $7 for tallboys of Coors Light, PBR, Bud Light, and other "guest cans" of beer. The brewpub is also charging $8 for pints of "guest taps" including Indeed Midnight Ryder (which would sell for $4 in its own taproom).

    The pricing debacle spread quickly in the Twitter-universe, too. The Heavy Table weighed in with a sarcastic "Whoa, cool: Trendy NYC beer prices right here in Midwest!" while co-owner Stephanie Shimp justified the pricing by tweeting "Why would anyone even 'want' a National brand at a local brewery!" in response."
  2. Shouldn't that be reworded to, "Why would anyone even 'want' to sell a National brand at a local brewery!"
  3. SipIt

    SipIt Aficionado (205) Minnesota Jul 18, 2013

    Ha, a brewpub selling cans of Coors and Bud Light tells me it's a place I don't have to try out. Not saying it won't work out in that location, but I certainly won't take them seriously as a brewery.

    The dudes at Day Block Brewing won't have to worry much about these cats stealing their business when they open up...
    McRyan, sacrelicio and herman77 like this.
  4. mnbearsfan

    mnbearsfan Savant (415) Minnesota Dec 25, 2009

    Looks like I will keep going to Cuzzys and Fulton
    evilgenius1917 likes this.
  5. mjryan

    mjryan Savant (455) Minnesota Dec 22, 2007

    I think it's a little early to suppose the Freehouse is getting by on anything just yet, they haven't even been open a week.
  6. sacrelicio

    sacrelicio Initiate (0) Minnesota Feb 15, 2005

    Two days! I know I'm harsh, but I'm skeptical of cutesy joints that "brew their own!"

    I want good beer.
  7. mjryan

    mjryan Savant (455) Minnesota Dec 22, 2007

    Well, these guys having been running great bars and restaurants in the Cities for years, so I'll personally give them the benefit of the doubt.
    djschnabel and cmannes like this.
  8. sacrelicio

    sacrelicio Initiate (0) Minnesota Feb 15, 2005

    Oh yeah, I dig the Lowry, Longfellow, and Groveland Tap. But I am skeptical of their brewing ability.

    And I hate the words "sammich," "sammie", and "breakie."
    feloniousmonk and GeezLynn like this.
  9. mjryan

    mjryan Savant (455) Minnesota Dec 22, 2007

    Well, they hired a pro, so that's a good start anyway. He made good beer at his last gig. And, I absolutely despise the words "sammich", "sammie" and even though I've never heard it before, "breakie".
  10. GeezLynn

    GeezLynn Advocate (500) Minnesota May 10, 2009

    This is what it sounds like to me - a catch all model. A bar/restaurant first that happens to brew some of their own beers. No reason for a brewery/brew pub to offer macros (especially at those prices) unless their goal is to satisfying every type of customer, rather than the "build a following of customers who like your beer" approach. No doubt they know what they're doing from a business standpoint.
  11. herman77

    herman77 Advocate (500) Minnesota Jan 24, 2010

    Who is their brewer? Where was he before?
  12. mjryan

    mjryan Savant (455) Minnesota Dec 22, 2007

    His name is Pio or something. He was the previous brewer at RB Mpls.
  13. sacrelicio

    sacrelicio Initiate (0) Minnesota Feb 15, 2005

    Right. It sounds like an urban Granite City type joint.
    That gives me hope that the beer could be really good.
  14. McRyan

    McRyan Aficionado (230) Minnesota Jul 25, 2012

    The food is good and despite the names of the menu items the menu rocks. I highly recommend the $1,000 burger (short rib, brisket & sirloin, duck fat, No 4 butter house English muffin, cheddar)!!

    The beer is a total miss for me. I had the IPA and the Brown Ale the stout will be ready tomorrow. They took absolutely no chances with these three styles. I don't understand the rationale behind this approach, these are complete gateway beers for non-craft drinkers.
  15. mjryan

    mjryan Savant (455) Minnesota Dec 22, 2007

    Don't all brewpubs happen to brew at least some of their own their beer? It seems like you are saying that the brewing aspect of the Freehouse is an afterthought. Maybe I'm reading you wrong. I really can't imagine that anyone would put the huge amounts of money and time into opening a brewery for it to be an afterthought.
  16. McRyan

    McRyan Aficionado (230) Minnesota Jul 25, 2012

    They did no promotion of the beer while the build out was happening. It was a mystery to most who brewer even was for awhile. They know the space is in a prime location and they have a huge following. They played to their strengths and that is not brewing their own beer.
  17. grantcty

    grantcty Aficionado (235) Minnesota Feb 17, 2008

    It may not be a strength now, but I think it could be. I'm not sure why they would spend the time and money on brewing equipment if they weren't serious about making good beer. Their brewmaster wasn't at Rock Bottom for very long, but I recall his beers being solid.
  18. Mealhouse

    Mealhouse Savant (365) Minnesota Feb 19, 2012

    Whats not to understand? Their target market isn't BA members, they are likely targeting the much larger demographic that has little to no craft beer experience.
  19. mjryan

    mjryan Savant (455) Minnesota Dec 22, 2007

    Yeah, he was there maybe a year give or take. I don't think Mpls was his first gig either.
  20. mjryan

    mjryan Savant (455) Minnesota Dec 22, 2007

    I think it's a little early for any of us to know who their target market is. They have only been open a few days lol.
    KarlHungus likes this.
  21. Mealhouse

    Mealhouse Savant (365) Minnesota Feb 19, 2012

    Probably true that its too soon for us to know, but they clearly know who they are targeting. My assumption is just based on the location, design, marketing and beer selection at launch. Maybe its just me but if they were marketing to a more beer-centric consumer base it would seem they would actually promote and highlight the beers they'll be offering the articles about their opening, instead they've focused on food an atmosphere.
  22. McRyan

    McRyan Aficionado (230) Minnesota Jul 25, 2012

    They highlight local craft beers at all of their other locations. Are you saying they are trying to attract a less experienced craft beer clientele (or no craft exp.) by opening a brew pub?
  23. Mealhouse

    Mealhouse Savant (365) Minnesota Feb 19, 2012

    In compairison to their other locations their guest tap list looks a little disapointing, but maybe they have some surprises planned both on the guest list and on site beers.

    Just as someone who hasn't visited and has only looked at the articles and website I don't get a whole lot of motivation to go check it out because similar or better guest taps can be found through the metro and they don't provide much detailed information about their own brews.
  24. Probably not opening in 2014, but Rhombus Guys Pizza who have locations in Grand Forks, Fargo, and seasonally in Mentor, MN recently advertised on ProBrewer that they are looking for an experienced brewmaster to be located in eastern North Dakota (which some people call western MN ;) ). They recently bought a historic opera house in downtown Grand Forks and rumors were that it might be a good place for a brewery.
    Chaz likes this.
  25. GeezLynn

    GeezLynn Advocate (500) Minnesota May 10, 2009

    No, I think we're on the same page. I shouldn't get ahead of myself without even having visited the place, but from the information so far, it sounds like making world-class beer is not their top priority. Maybe I'm wrong.

    Lots of people are making lots of money right now producing everything from bad to amazing beer.

    Eh, most likely a Blue Plate Co. venture took the time to identify a target market before they started. Also wouldn't be surprising if they were casting a very wide net.
  26. sacrelicio

    sacrelicio Initiate (0) Minnesota Feb 15, 2005

    I just don't see the point of brewing your own if you're not going to do it really well, especially at this stage in craft beer history. They could have just done a concept similar to their Lowry pub with a more downtown flavor if they wanted to do something beer focused in that location, and saved themselves the hassle of actually brewing. We'll see though, a former Rock Bottom brewer could mean good things afoot.
    McRyan likes this.
  27. Mealhouse

    Mealhouse Savant (365) Minnesota Feb 19, 2012

    Certainly could see a senario where they were really pushing to get the doors open and start making some $ on an obviously expensive location and due to this they may be a little behind on the brewery side. Would love to see it be sucessful and provide some unique offerings.
  28. Pug

    Pug Savant (365) Minnesota Jun 6, 2012

    I think that's the exact rationale they are going for. Those are standard styles that can make up the backbone of a brewery's lineup. It gives them a base to build from if they plan to get somewhat more creative in the future (which I would expect), but if I went to a pub, I would expect to see an IPA, Brown, and a Stout on tap. If they happen to be fairly to style guidelines without a lot of flair, that's totally cool with me.

    But we'll see what they do several months from now when they've been open longer and brewing longer. I'm not saying they're going to be awesome, but I'll give them a shot to prove themselves.
    Chaz likes this.
  29. mjryan

    mjryan Savant (455) Minnesota Dec 22, 2007

    Let's not forget that they have multiple pubs to which they can distribute their own company brewed beers to. A Groveland Tap exclusive DIPA? Why the fuck not? A Highland Helles for Highland Fest? Sure. An oyster stout for the Lowry? Seems like a good fit. Beer is not an afterthought for these guys. Just saying.
  30. tonye

    tonye Aficionado (120) Minnesota Oct 28, 2009

    Seems to me that a big difference between Freehouse and the other Blue Plate locations is that Groveland Tap doesn't charge $8(!) for a pint of Indeed Midnight Ryder. I'm way too cheap to care about a place that charges $8 for a $5 pint.
    McRyan likes this.
  31. McRyan

    McRyan Aficionado (230) Minnesota Jul 25, 2012

    The base beers at Northbound were not bland and basic. They took some chances right out of the gates. Freehouse did not, no buzz about this place.
    SipIt and sacrelicio like this.
  32. Pug

    Pug Savant (365) Minnesota Jun 6, 2012

    No argument there. I'm just saying that I understand the strategy. I'll stop by Freehouse at some point and I'm guessing that I won't go back very often because it might not be what I'm looking for (same reason I've only been to Granite City once). We'll see.
    McRyan likes this.
  33. McRyan

    McRyan Aficionado (230) Minnesota Jul 25, 2012

    Went to Sociable Cider Werks for the first time last night. I can't say enough nice things about this place! Can anyone school me quick on apple Graffs? I had the Chopper witch was dry hopped goodness cider
    (never thought i would say that). It tasted a lot like an American wild ale. The actual beer they had was good as well.
  34. herman77

    herman77 Advocate (500) Minnesota Jan 24, 2010

    Is this place open for good now? I read in a Strib article they had a soft opening a few weeks ago and they will open late Dec/early Jan.
  35. McRyan

    McRyan Aficionado (230) Minnesota Jul 25, 2012

    They were backed last night at 9:00pm and had a food truck there, i would say yes! The beer they do on a 2 barrel system. They had a smoked brown, saison, black saison, and English bitter. You can mix cider and beer on their beer flights for $7!
  36. mjryan

    mjryan Savant (455) Minnesota Dec 22, 2007

    Graf is a fictional beverage S King dreamed up for his Dark Tower series of books. Sort of an apple ale. Some homebrewer decided to give it a go awhile back and came up with what is essentially a cider mixed with a small portion of lightly hopped beer. Brewing TV has an episode about it that will give you more information.
    McRyan likes this.
  37. sacrelicio

    sacrelicio Initiate (0) Minnesota Feb 15, 2005

    Yup, they started making good examples of brewery staples right out the gate. They've taken a few chances so far, but even their everyday beers are very well done.
    KarlHungus and McRyan like this.
  38. mjryan

    mjryan Savant (455) Minnesota Dec 22, 2007

    Yeah, crazy chances on their IPA, porter, brown ale, and honey wheat ale.
  39. McRyan

    McRyan Aficionado (230) Minnesota Jul 25, 2012

    At the time when Big Jim came out it was taking a chance doing something different same with the Smokehouse Porter. Both of these beers are light years ahead of anything at Freehouse. Never said they were crazy...
  40. mjryan

    mjryan Savant (455) Minnesota Dec 22, 2007

    Big Jim is a good IPA, but how is an IPA something different? Everyone brews an IPA, it's the safest beer just about any craft brewery anywhere can brew.
    sean_mpls likes this.

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