Breweries Opening/Closing in Minnesota 2018

Discussion in 'Midwest' started by KarlHungus, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. Chaz

    Chaz Poo-Bah (1,929) Feb 3, 2002 Minnesota
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Hah! Well, under half a mile's what gets me to Bang, Urban Growler, and Dual Citizen, and a bit further and I have Lake Monster and the inevitable second taproom for Fair State.

    A twitch further than that and I'm at BlackStack (bet nobody saw THAT one coming), and a more robust walker than I would be fine goin' the extra half mile to Burning Brothers.

    And the other thing is (no, not that many people can drive) what constitutes a neighborhood?

    The area where NorthGate is (or was) is mainly light industrial, but the City (that's R.T. Rybak's Minneapolis to those playing along at home) has in more recent years givin some consideration to its transformation into a proper, residential neighborhood.

    My loft-livin' coworkers have for several years understood that the expected turn from light/industrial to a singles + young family-friendly zone will take time, but they also expect to live there long enough to see it happen. And by then -- who knows? Maybe the new taproom (whomever @islay has identified is taking over the space) will have capitalized on the British Isles / Commonwealth / Irish cultural touchstones which make Merlin's Rest and George And The Dragon such strong, residential neighborhood draws. :sunglasses:
    ceanderson likes this.
  2. MNAle

    MNAle Champion (897) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    A production brewery specializing in traditional English-style ales will have a tough time in the beer geek market and in the general beer market as well, IMO.

    If a brewery wants to focus on that beer style, a combination pub and restaurant would seem to be the way to go, IMO, like Waldmann is trying with traditional German lagers.
    KarlHungus, Chaz and Vidblain like this.
  3. Chaz

    Chaz Poo-Bah (1,929) Feb 3, 2002 Minnesota
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    While I agree with you, Waldmann as the example cited is a very hard act to follow, being effectively a Germananic equivalent of what Sherlock's Home once did so well.
  4. islay

    islay Initiate (188) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    Just to be clear, all I know is that someone recently contacted NorthGate with some level of interest in buying the business, and that this contact was made after NorthGate announced it was closing. It sounds like the potential buyer seems credible and NorthGate is taking this prospect seriously, but I have no idea how likely a sale is actually to go through. I have to imagine there would be multiple parties interested in buying a prêt-à-brasser brewery and avoiding the headaches of build-outs and regulatory hurdles, and a shuttered business seems to suggest "motivated seller." This could be a quick and relatively cheap way for a well-funded home brewer to live the dream. Note that two breweries were willing to take on NorthGate's lesser, former digs (56 and Broken Clock), and now Arbeiter is moving in to Harriet's old spot. That said, if I were looking to open or buy a brewery and taproom in 2018, I'd probably be avoiding Minneapolis proper given the presence of over 30 competitors within the city limits and, more importantly, some of the policies that the city is attempting to impose with little regard for their impact on small businesses and the service industry (not trying to go political; just being realistic about business considerations).
    MNAle likes this.
  5. MNAle

    MNAle Champion (897) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    Congratulations, you make me look something up! (Seriously, I mean that!)

    For those less motivated to improve their literacy, prêt-à-brasser is French for "ready to brew". Now that I think about it, it's kind of ironic to use a French phrase to describe Northgate's facility! :wink:
    stinsonwbs, nogophers, islay and 3 others like this.
  6. tonye

    tonye Initiate (30) Oct 28, 2009 Minnesota

    Oh please, don't get my hopes up!
    burlyb, Chaz and edbeered like this.
  7. Chaz

    Chaz Poo-Bah (1,929) Feb 3, 2002 Minnesota
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    islay and Victory_Sabre1973 like this.
  8. Chaz

    Chaz Poo-Bah (1,929) Feb 3, 2002 Minnesota
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    I'm counting upward of 20 new breweries through 2018 and into 2019. 200, here we come!
    KiddVideo likes this.
  9. BeerBoy

    BeerBoy Initiate (141) Aug 6, 2003 Wisconsin

    Let me tell you about "strong sales prospects...".
    In all my dealings with potential buyers, the two overarching areas where buyers failed came down to the two "C's" - Cash and Competence. They had one or the other, but not both.
    That said, the BrewFarm is still available (must have the above mentioned two C's!) and we're open this weekend MAR 10-11 from 3-7 each day. Matacabras is on the draft tower - come on out!
  10. islay

    islay Initiate (188) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    Broken Clock Brewing Cooperative is building a taproom adjacent to its current, taproom-free space in Nordeast Minneapolis. It hopes to open in time for Art-A-Whirl (starting May 18). Note to other breweries that the cooperative business model seems to enable a lot of free labor from member-owners.
  11. mjryan

    mjryan Zealot (581) Dec 22, 2007 Minnesota

    Is it? Both cultures are filthy with each other’s influences.
    KarlHungus likes this.
  12. FurnaceCowgirl

    FurnaceCowgirl Initiate (116) Jan 26, 2014 Minnesota

    It's illegal for a brewery to have more than 1 taproom.
    Chaz likes this.
  13. Chaz

    Chaz Poo-Bah (1,929) Feb 3, 2002 Minnesota
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Illegal. For now.

    In 2005, I reckoned retail sales of wine, and spirits on Sunday wouldn't happen in my lifetime. *SHAZZAM!* It happened a lot sooner than I expected.

    I imagine that breweries of a certain size would want to have two taprooms if they have two physical locations, and I with Sunday Sales behind us, I expect it's a goal for some.
    edbeered likes this.
  14. MNAle

    MNAle Champion (897) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    Well, there were two sides to that equation! Didn't I read recently where drinking alcohol extends life expectancy? :grin:
  15. Chaz

    Chaz Poo-Bah (1,929) Feb 3, 2002 Minnesota
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    I will live a long life.
    KarlHungus and eggsurplus like this.
  16. HawkEye19

    HawkEye19 Initiate (141) Jun 15, 2006 Minnesota

    If I continue to drink during Vikings NFC Championship games, I'll become immortal.
  17. islay

    islay Initiate (188) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    Some updates:
    • A reminder that Tilion in Cannon Falls is open now (had a private event on 3-9-18, softly opened on 3-10-18, and grandly opens on 3-17-18). "Just as a heads up, we lost our IPA to the chiller gods, so we are opening without one on tap. But...never fear for our grand opening on Saint Patrick’s day weekend we will be adding two IPAs and a Pale ale," it noted in a 3-9-18 Facebook post.
    • Torg in Spring Lake Park claims on its Twitter page to be "opening June 2018."
    • Yoerg Saloon in St. Paul has a new projected opening date of 4-15-18, according to a 3-10-18 Facebook post.
  18. Xanthophhyll

    Xanthophhyll Initiate (111) Sep 25, 2017 Minnesota

    Chaz and Victory_Sabre1973 like this.
  19. mkhartnett

    mkhartnett Disciple (361) Oct 27, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I went on Friday around 7:30. Most tables and booths were full with some people standing around and I will say, that place gets loud. Was able to walk right up to order a beer and a hot dog. Got the Cinnamon Crunch, a Cinnamon Brown Ale. Was alright. No flaws t hat I noticed.. Got the Korean dog, which is basically a vendor hot dog with some Korean sauce on it. For $6 it's a bit much. The bun was dry and crusty. Then tried the Bitter River. A hoppy saison. Was pretty meh.

    They are really pushing "First Brewery in Edina." I don't know why that would be a thing and it's barely in Edina. It's location is not ideal, just in an office park/strip mall thing. Unless their beer gets amazing, I wont' be heading back.
    Chaz likes this.
  20. islay

    islay Initiate (188) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    I actually quite liked Wooden Hill. I had flight-sized pours of all eight of its initial beers. The only flaws I discerned were in Batch #1 IPA (under-attenuation and diacetyl), and they were minor. The two that @mkhartnett tried were my other two least favorites. I was really impressed by the other IPA, Code 3; that's in the running for best opening IPA I've ever had, and I've had a lot of them. Kold Shoulder Kolsch might have been even better by the standards of the style. With saisons, IPAs, a brown ale, and a Kolsch, you can tell it's not exactly pushing the style envelope (despite the presence of a "wheat stout") or on-trend, and that's going to make it hard for it to generate much discussion on this forum. I didn't try the food.

    I liked the straightforward venue, even though I agree that it was too loud. The space (but definitely not the customers or staff) oddly gave me a subdued Miami vibe (probably the bright light coming in the windows, the Dolphins colors, and the small-scale but Wynwood-esque pop/street art). If they ever brew a Florida Weisse, you'll swear you're at J. Wakefield (kidding). I think the location -- at the confluence of Edina, Bloomington, and Eden Prairie (which now have a grand total of one brewery among them) and near a lot of happy hour-craving office workers -- is superb. Wooden Hill is better than it needs to be in an underserved area. It would make my top 5 of breweries to open in the last, say, year-and-a-half, if I judge all of them by first impressions alone. That said, I'd call it merely a roughly average craft brewery overall at this early date.

    Blue Wolf in Brooklyn Park, on the other hand, has its work cut out for it.
    mkhartnett likes this.
  21. ajbanana

    ajbanana Initiate (106) Jan 4, 2017 Minnesota

    Made it over to Dual Citizen. Got a flight of the stout, amber, Ayd Mill and Broadway. Liked the amber best then the stout, while everybody in my group of 5 actively disliked the Ayd Mill and a friend got the Lyndale which nobody was fond of either. It's a cool space and right on the light rail, which is convenient for me, and I'm more of a dark beer person anyways but not sure I'll seek it out again much.
    Chaz likes this.
  22. JMN44

    JMN44 Aspirant (229) Sep 19, 2013 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    So you went a few weeks after they opened, had 2 beers and will not go back again unless you hear their beer get amazing? You're a tough reviewer!
  23. mkhartnett

    mkhartnett Disciple (361) Oct 27, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Ha. Less that and more I just don't go out to a ton of breweries anymore so to get me to go out of my way to get to a specific brewery, would take them having something special to go (or if friends wanted to go).
    Vidblain and Victory_Sabre1973 like this.
  24. Windvaner

    Windvaner Initiate (39) Nov 7, 2014 Minnesota

    Finnegans the brewery that gives all its profits to charity had a media preview of their new brewery/taproom today in Minneapolis .

    It opens Saturday , which times well with a certain celebration on March 17th . Here is the taproom list for anyone who is interested.

  25. Windvaner

    Windvaner Initiate (39) Nov 7, 2014 Minnesota

    Ursa Minor Brewing to open in Duluth’s Lincoln Park ‘craft district’ .
    HammsMeASAP and Boldbrew like this.
  26. JakeJohnson

    JakeJohnson Initiate (144) Jan 30, 2015 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I’m really excited about the Barrels of Life series. The new head brewer has previous experience at Allagash and New Belgium, so I’m expecting good things from him. I don’t think he had very much control when he was at Insight, which is probably why he left.
    Vidblain likes this.
  27. Windvaner

    Windvaner Initiate (39) Nov 7, 2014 Minnesota

    JakeJohnson, islay, maximum12 and 2 others like this.
  28. HammsMeASAP

    HammsMeASAP Initiate (75) Jun 14, 2012 Minnesota

    Been wondering for quite sometime what was going on with this.
  29. MNPikey

    MNPikey Devotee (413) Feb 27, 2011 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Rustech in Monticello is getting closing to being able to brew. Brewhouse and tanks were installed today I guess.
    nograz and Victory_Sabre1973 like this.
  30. JakeJohnson

    JakeJohnson Initiate (144) Jan 30, 2015 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Even though there is a high likelihood it will be crappy, it’s exciting to have a new brewery on the east side and have a former 3Mer behind it.
    whudathunkett likes this.
  31. HeadRetention

    HeadRetention Initiate (133) Jul 13, 2015 Minnesota

  32. islay

    islay Initiate (188) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    Brass Foundry Brewing Co., which previously was considering a Minneapolis location, instead will open in Minnetonka. It's "set to open in early to mid-July," which I'll take to mean a late 2018 opening based on the "Double It" rule.

    Lake of the Woods Brewing Company is in the works for Williams, Minnesota. There's an existing brewery in Ontario with the same name that appears to be unrelated.

    Word on the street is that there's another brewery planning an opening in Lowertown St. Paul. It's supposedly going to be in a large former restaurant space. I don't have a name associated with the plan (or the former restaurant). This is new chatter, so I doubt it's the old Lowertown Brewing Company BIP, but I can't rule it out. It's not the same plan as Stacked Deck, which is set to open later this year. It's also not the same plan as Culhane, which I'm hearing is indefinitely shelved as a generic plan and, as a specific plan, will not be happening in the old Station 4 space after all.
  33. cheeseheadinMinneapolis

    cheeseheadinMinneapolis Initiate (195) Sep 20, 2017 Minnesota

    islay, you really got my head spinning with the last paragraph. street chatter but not but maybe this plan A no plan b maybe but no plan c little birdies say it's coming soon but not them or there
  34. Windvaner

    Windvaner Initiate (39) Nov 7, 2014 Minnesota

    Extra Extra ! The new Bend Paddle Taproom opens :beer:
  35. Victory_Sabre1973

    Victory_Sabre1973 Meyvn (1,300) Sep 15, 2015 Minnesota
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Here's an article on the owners of Lake Of The Woods Brewing

    Key part of the article:

    The brewery is planning on opening in the winter of 2018. By years end look for a pint of Lake of the Woods Brewing Co. beer at your favorite Lake of the Woods restaurant and bar.

    Since I fish there several times a year, I'm pumped up about this.
    Chaz likes this.
  36. HammsMeASAP

    HammsMeASAP Initiate (75) Jun 14, 2012 Minnesota

    Wasn't there a MN brewery that had to change their original name idea due to a Canadian brewery? Within the last few years or so?
  37. writerwithwrywit

    writerwithwrywit Initiate (112) May 11, 2016 Minnesota

    I think it was Urban Moose Brewing (now Urban Lodge) in Sauk Rapids. I can't recall who forced them, but it was likely Moose Drool (Montana) or Moosehead (Canada), which apparently had control over all moose-related names. Or, at least that's what I recall (possibly incorrectly).
    Victory_Sabre1973 likes this.
  38. LuskusDelph

    LuskusDelph Aspirant (285) May 1, 2008 New Jersey

    That's not true.
    I've been to several breweries that definitely should close.
    Ish1, Boldbrew and HammsMeASAP like this.
  39. Chaz

    Chaz Poo-Bah (1,929) Feb 3, 2002 Minnesota
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    I'm surprised that they've left the Moose on Monroe alone. :wink:
    Heh, there's something to be said for that perspective. When brewpub chains were more prominent, a lot of my friends LOVED those places. Notably, those guys were non-drinkers.

    There are likely a few Minnesota brewery / taprooms which thrive due to location, alone.
  40. Salix

    Salix Initiate (176) Nov 16, 2012 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Spiral brewing Hastings per there post on instagram is set to open up in April. Which is close not to have a specific date in there post.