Brewery Updates in Minnesota (2019)

Discussion in 'US - Midwest' started by KarlHungus, Dec 27, 2018.

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  1. KarlHungus

    KarlHungus Poo-Bah (3,459) Feb 19, 2005 Minnesota

    2018 Recap

    A lot happened in the Minnesota brewing scene during 2018. A bunch of breweries open up, a few closed, at least one was sold, and there was certainly talk of a couple others being put on the market.

    One trend I noticed was the proliferation of new breweries in the suburban and out-state regions--a proliferation, I think, that will make a lot of people happy, and a few people some money.

    Another trend I noticed was a near halt of breweries opening up in Minneapolis and St. Paul proper. I can't speak much for the state of things in St. Paul, but I'm of the belief that my home city of Minneapolis has about as many breweries as it needs. Perhaps, it has as many as it can support. My feelings are that the wisest/safest business model for a brewery these days is to stay small, become the neighborhood bar, and get ingrained in the local community. There aren't many neighborhoods in Minneapolis that aren't already served by such a brewery. The only part of the city that I think lacks such a brewery is the city's Southwestern corner, but I suspect that's more due to lack of adequate real estate than any other factors.

    The upsetting state of affairs in which far too many breweries are brewing bad beer upon opening, and far too few are brewing better beer as they age continued throughout 2018, and I don't see it changing anytime soon. I base this up to a couple reasons. First, it doesn't take any knowledge of brewing beer to open up a brewery. It only takes a few million dollars. Second, the demand for well trained brewers in the state far exceeds the number of qualified applicants. (I challenge anyone to name another manufacturing industry in which the head production manager (head brewer in the beer world) has 0-5 years of professional experience.)

    2019 Intro

    Moving into 2019, let's keep talking about the breweries in our state that are opening up, closing down, expanding, and changing ownership. Let's try to stay on track better this year too. There was a fair amount of posting in last year's thread that didn't belong there, and a few people BM'd me asking me to speak up about it. I'm in agreement with those people so here you have it people. Beercentric bars and restaurants that are opening up but don't make beer should be talked about elsewhere. Fargo, North Dakota, and Hudson and Superior Wisconsin are clearly not in Minnesota, and their breweries should be talked about elsewhere. Capiche?
  2. Windvaner

    Windvaner Initiate (54) Nov 7, 2014 Minnesota

    Can someone ( maybe Islay!)Pull together a list of planned 2019 Breweries and post it here on Page 1 of this thread so it can be checked throughout the coming year . I’m sure everyone can chime in with info, I know of about ten planned breweries off hand but there have to be more , Growlermag said we got 29 new breweries in 2018.
  3. popsicleian

    popsicleian Initiate (0) Jun 29, 2004 Minnesota

    I think there is another hole in Seward and Longfellow in S. Minneapolis that Arbeiter will go a long way towards filling. Northbound and Venn aren't that far in absolute terms, but they're not walkable for me, and crossing Hiawatha is a pain whether you're on foot, bike, or car. I loved having Harriet within walking distance, and I'll be very happy to have Arbeiter taking its place.
  4. dbhammel

    dbhammel Initiate (78) Oct 24, 2016 Minnesota

    The NE cluster and Insight (and future tenant in the Northgate space) are fairly close but I imagine a decent tap room in the heart of Dinkytown or Stadium Village could do very well with U students and visitors.
  5. Windvaner

    Windvaner Initiate (54) Nov 7, 2014 Minnesota

    Yes to Stadium Village , although Surly is only one light rail stop from that location.

    I think there’s an opportunity for a taproom off Snelling Ave, there’s a lots of residents/houses and students off the stretch from St. Clair & Snelling all the way past Selby/University and the upcoming Major League stadium Allianz Field up towards Hamline U , this entire stretch had a tons of potential and a lot of redevelopments happening ( a few below) but no taproom.

  6. islay

    islay Disciple (333) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    My lists of breweries-in-planning and the like to kick off 2019:

    All of the following are breweries with taprooms (in-planning) unless otherwise noted:
    1. 22 Northmen Brewing Company, Alexandria: Associated with the already open Carlos Creek Winery.
    2. Accidental Brewing Company, Rochester
    3. Arbeiter Brewing, Minneapolis: Targeting a spring 2019 opening last I heard. Recently posted that it's reviewing plans with an architect. In the old Harriet Brewing space.
    4. Big Heist Beer Co., South St. Paul
    5. Bold I’land Brewing Company, Albert Lea
    6. Bus Stop Burgers & Brewhouse, Minneapolis: Brewpub. Targeting a 12-30-18 opening (pre-2019).
    7. Drastic Measures Brewing, Wadena: From the former Disgruntled Brewing brewer.
    8. Elk River Stadtbräu, Elk River: Possibly stalled. No updates since 2017. I considered adding it to my “defunct plans” list.
    9. Falling Knife Brewing Company, Minneapolis: In the old NorthGate Brewing space.
    10. Fat Pants Brewing Co., Eden Prairie
    11. Fell Run Brewing Company, Taylors Falls
    12. Forbidden Barrel Brewing Co., Okabena or Worthington: I’ve seen it listed for both of these cities, which are near each other.
    13. Foremost Brewing Cooperative, Owatonna: Sounds like this one may be a long way out.
    14. Kulturwerks Brewing, Columbia Heights?: Fell through as a Roseville plan. Seems to be keying on Columbia Heights now.
    15. The Lincoln Brewery, Taylors Falls
    16. Mineral Springs Brewery, Owatonna: Brewpub.
    17. Minn'Ohana Brewing, Mankato: Brewpub.
    18. Oldenburg Brewing Company, Belle Plaine
    19. Outstate Brewing, Fergus Falls: The latest is linked.
    20. Prime Stein, Rochester
    21. Rapids Brewing Company, Grand Rapids
    22. Thesis Beer Project, Rochester
    23. Twelve Down Brewing, St. Louis Park: Long in planning but recently paid for Brewers Association membership.
    24. Under Pressure Brewing Company, Golden Valley
    25. Ursidae Brewing, Minneapolis
    26. Wooden Ship Brewing Co., ?: Currently a homebrew operation helmed by brewers at 12welve Eyes and Dangerous Man, but supposedly considering going pro. Its website says “Minneapolis,” but I’m hearing the location is unsettled.
    27. Unnamed Red Cow / Red Rabbit event center plan, Minneapolis: Unclear whether brewery and taproom or brewpub.
    Special cases:
    1. Bad Habit Brewing Company, St. Joseph: Open now but will be moving to a larger brewery and taproom elsewhere in St. Joseph.
    2. Boom Island, Minneapolis / western suburbs: Ownership seeks to close the Minneapolis location and move to the western suburbs (likely Plymouth or Minnetonka).
    3. Brass Foundry Brewing Co., ?: Open now as a client brewing company, which reports have it is utilizing Fair State’s St. Paul plant. Hinting at opening its own brewery, presumably at least eventually with taproom. In the past was in planning for Minneapolis, later Minnetonka. A very indirect evolution of the closed South Fork Brewing Company, formerly in Delano.
    4. Brew d'État, Burnsville: Open now as a brewery (and already has changed ownership) but considering opening to the public as a taproom / tasting room.
    5. Cosmos Brewing, Hugo / Oakdale: The Hugo brewery, which never had a taproom, closed in 2018, but hopes to open a new brewery with taproom in Oakdale.
    6. El Loro Mexican Restaurant and Brewery, Sauk Rapids: Yes, that El Loro. Brewpub. F.k.a., Urban Lodge Brewery & Restaurant. Currently shuttered but expected to reopen in the coming months.
    7. Hunyuck Brew Co., Oakdale: Open now as a client brewing company. Possible long-term plans for a brewery and taproom.
    8. Inver Grove Brewing, Inver Grove Heights: Brewpub. Second location for the existing Lakeville Brewing Company.
    9. Lake of the Woods Brewing Company, Warroad: This will be a second location of the existing Kenora, Ontario brewery. The ownership group is also planning a Manitoba location.
    10. Lazy Loon Brewing Company, Victoria / Norwood Young America / Glencoe: Has been open for years as a brewery without a taproom in Victoria. Has an associated bowling alley called Lazy Loon Lanes in Norwood Young America that serves its beer on tap (presumably under technically separate ownership). Planning a brewery and taproom in Glencoe.
    11. Lift Bridge Brewery, Stillwater: Building a larger brewery and taproom also in Stillwater.
    12. Pig Ate My Pizza, Robbinsdale: This is an existing restaurant and bar from the Travail folks. Moving into the current Travail space after Travail moves to its own spot. Will be adding a brewing component. Presumably a brewpub.
    13. Schram Brewery, Waconia / Chaska: Schram Vineyards Winery & Brewery has been open for years as a joint winery / brewery with a joint wine and beer tasting room in Waconia, operating on a winery license. Planning a brewery-only with taproom in Chaska. My understanding is that the Waconia venue would continue to serve Schram beer as well even after the Chaska brewery opens.
    14. Vine Park Brewing, St. Paul: Has operated as a brew-your-own-beer spot without a taproom for years. New ownership group (the 651 Tyga Bite folks) is looking to open a larger brewery with a taproom elsewhere (not sure if that would be in St. Paul).
    15. Yoerg Saloon & Brewery, St. Paul: I’m not sure if I have the exact name of the St. Paul brewpub correct. An associated company under technically separate ownership has operated as a client brewer for years. The St. Paul pub recently opened but without house-brewed beer on tap. The house-brewed beer should first be available in January.
    16. Unnamed Travis Temke / M.O.E. Craft Co. plan, St. Paul: An evolution of F-Town Brewing Co. in Faribault, which is shuttering at the end of 2018 (possibly very early 2019).
    One of the breweries mentioned in the lists above (in addition to Bus Stop) is aiming to open this weekend (pre-2019), but my source has asked me not to name it until it officially announces or actually opens.

    I’m leaving out a bunch of plans that seem to be on ice or canceled, but plans have been known to revive. I'm sure I'm missing at least several legitimate plans.
    #6 islay, Dec 27, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2018
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  7. Windvaner

    Windvaner Initiate (54) Nov 7, 2014 Minnesota

    That’s some list ! Thank you Sir! you covered the ten breweries I heard about so I’ve nothing new to add. If we even get half these I’d be absolutely shocked .

    What stands out to me as there are NO brand new breweries planned for St. Paul .
    Victory_Sabre1973 likes this.
  8. LOWFisherman

    LOWFisherman Initiate (17) Sep 21, 2018 Minnesota

    Excited to see this thread start up!
    KarlHungus and TrailsandAles like this.
  9. HammsMeASAP

    HammsMeASAP Initiate (154) Jun 14, 2012 Minnesota

    Surprised Plymouth doesn't have anything yet.

    Brooklyn Park/Maple Grove/Osseo/Champlin could handle a couple more I would think......
    islay likes this.
  10. islay

    islay Disciple (333) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    Bus Stop Burgers & Brewhouse in Minneapolis (downtown about a block from U.S. Bank Stadium) did open today (12-30-18) as intended. That's a 2018 opening, for the record. I'm not certain whether its house-brewed beer is yet available (no phone number listed), but I believe its intention was to have house-brewed beer on tap from day 1.

    The other brewery that I mentioned was aiming to open this weekend appears not to have done so after all.
    Victory_Sabre1973 likes this.
  11. islay

    islay Disciple (333) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    I just got word from a customer that there is not yet house-brewed beer on tap at Bus Stop, but it definitely is open as a bar (much like Yoerg in St. Paul). From a brewery standpoint, I personally will consider both to be 2019 openings.
  12. BeerDrinkinGuy

    BeerDrinkinGuy Initiate (55) Nov 2, 2018 Minnesota

    Wow thats a great list. Also to Islay, how do you know all this info, are you part of the brewers association?
    Victory_Sabre1973 likes this.
  13. doner24

    doner24 Initiate (93) Apr 16, 2013 Minnesota

    Under pressure Brewing has been open the last couple of days for a soft opening.
  14. islay

    islay Disciple (333) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    That's the one. It squeezed in an intentionally quiet opening on New Year's Eve and met its internal, possibly tax-related, deadline. A grand opening is coming at some point in January, according to its Facebook page. Under Pressure fills in a hole in the brewery map with its Golden Valley location. This is the long-in-planning effort from respected local homebrewer Lori Ertl, making it one of the few female-helmed breweries in the state. I believe it has a 3-barrel system, making it nearly a nanobrewery, so don't hold your breath for distribution. It opened with an amber ale, a California common, and a brown ale.
    stinsonwbs and Victory_Sabre1973 like this.
  15. ZAP

    ZAP Poo-Bah (4,815) Dec 1, 2001 Minnesota
    Society Trader

    Stopped by Invictus, Clutch, Lake Monster, Bad Weather and Waldmann over the Holidays...short stops at each with more time at Invictus and Clutch since I had not been there before. Lupulin we stayed a little at too.

    I'd rank them like this. This is only based on this visit.

    1. Waldmann

    -Love a place that can produce quality German beers (Dunkeel Weizen was the standout but Alt and Vienna also impressed). Love the setting there too. Not sure if I like them more than Utepils for German style beer but they are close.

    2. Lupulin
    -I think I was one of the first to tout this place as great and also one of the first to tout Brett and what he was doing at Disgruntled as great back in the day so I obviously expected Brett's collaboration with Lupulin on a hazy IPA to be great. It wasn't. Not good really. You could call it unique but a harsh jagged overriding bitterness. A lot of other beers at Lupulin were excellent though. The Como Park IPA they were closing off for buy one get one growlers and it was a big hit at a party I took it to. I found it a nice flavorful, approachable IPA one could drink a few of.

    3. Clutch
    -I actually thought their beer was pretty solid. Not elite but pretty good. The single malt double hop stuff was good...three version when we were there...a real interesting hefe with Nelson Sauvin which leaned more traditional hefe with the perfect touch of Nelson Sauvin hops to add a unique twist...Blame it on Brexit was a bit muddled but decent enough. Prices were reasonable and that was surprising.

    4. Lake Monster
    -I would normally put Bad Weather ahead of Lake Monster but both had beers with Comet hops in them and that is all I tried from both. Lake Monster's version was very solid.

    5. Bad Weather
    -Like I said overall I like their beers but this time I only had the Comet Hop version and am rating this trip on beers consumed and this was very bland and flavorless. A Bud drinker might like it.

    6. Invictus
    -I tried all their beers. One IPA (Called "Most of our Favorites" was decent. A couple other beers(Kolsch) were ok and the vast majority were below average or poor particularly their high gravity beers and their other IPA's (one unbalanced harsh bitterness, the other lacking IPA characteristics from start to finish). I glanced at their growler prices and they are absurd for the quality of beer they produce.
  16. Victory_Sabre1973

    Victory_Sabre1973 Poo-Bah (3,091) Sep 15, 2015 Minnesota
    Society Trader

    A good friend of mine has been there twice, and he isn't a beer expert, though I'm working on him, and said pretty much the same things about them.

    I'll be waiting a while before I try them out.
  17. SudsSavant

    SudsSavant Initiate (167) Jan 9, 2007 Minnesota

    Anyone heard anything about Portage Brewing in the past 24 hours? Hearing some rumblings but haven't seen anything confirmed or official yet..
  18. JakeJohnson

    JakeJohnson Initiate (158) Jan 30, 2015 Minnesota

    It burned down last night. There are some videos and pictures posted on Facebook. Luckily, no one was injured.
  19. SudsSavant

    SudsSavant Initiate (167) Jan 9, 2007 Minnesota

    There it is, same thing I was hearing. Thanks for confirming yet sorry to hear the news.
  20. Victory_Sabre1973

    Victory_Sabre1973 Poo-Bah (3,091) Sep 15, 2015 Minnesota
    Society Trader

    That's the important thing that no one was hurt. Hope they can recover.
    morimech likes this.
  21. LOWFisherman

    LOWFisherman Initiate (17) Sep 21, 2018 Minnesota

    How horrible! Hope they can rebound, glad nobody was hurt!
    morimech and Victory_Sabre1973 like this.
  22. steiny58

    steiny58 Initiate (0) Jan 14, 2015 Minnesota

    I'm hearing that Accidental and Thesis might be one in the same.
    islay and morimech like this.
  23. LOWFisherman

    LOWFisherman Initiate (17) Sep 21, 2018 Minnesota

    They posted in Facebook about an hour ago they will clean up the pieces, and they will be back!

    Wish them the best of luck
  24. LOWFisherman

    LOWFisherman Initiate (17) Sep 21, 2018 Minnesota

    Lake of the Woods Brewing company is eyeballing a March brewing start.

    Brewing equipment hopes to arrive late Jan/early February
    Victory_Sabre1973 likes this.
  25. islay

    islay Disciple (333) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    This Pioneer Press article (linked) was published in September, but I stumbled across it recently. Apparently the University of Minnesota is considering starting a brewpub (or possibly a taproom; I don't trust the media to know the difference) on its St. Paul campus: "To the south, the U wants to someday replace its Commonwealth Terrace Cooperative, an aging housing complex aimed at students with families and those pursuing advanced degrees. Such a project could include a hotel and retail space along Como Avenue, which President Eric Kaler suggested might include a pub selling student-brewed beer."
    TrailsandAles likes this.
  26. Windvaner

    Windvaner Initiate (54) Nov 7, 2014 Minnesota

    #27 Windvaner, Jan 8, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
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  27. islay

    islay Disciple (333) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    Linked is an article on Prime Stein Brewery in Rochester. The article doesn't exactly leave me brimming with confidence about the project ("I’ve been thinking of a way to be my own boss and own my own business for a long time" and "eventually land[ed] on brewing;" fifteen homebrew recipes including a "solid amber beer;" beer to "contain less intrusive flavors;" no lease; "We aim to be serving our very first beer by December 31st of 2019;" "The ten-year plan is to have several breweries opened under the Prime Stein name"). Good look to them regardless.
    maximum12 and Victory_Sabre1973 like this.
  28. Bravak

    Bravak Initiate (158) Sep 9, 2014 Minnesota

    The first thing that came to mind was Luke Skywalker saying “This is not going to go the way you think.”
    Victory_Sabre1973 likes this.
  29. islay

    islay Disciple (333) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

  30. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (2,412) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    I heard an interview with a couple of the principals of Brass Foundry last night on the radio (sorry, didn't get their names or positions...)

    Anyway, they said they are planning on opening their own brewery in Long Lake.

    They have started with only 2 beers, a blonde ale and an IPA, and according to the reviews on this site (overall 3.8), the IPA does not even seem to be a NEIPA!

    A startup with only 2 beers and not going for the orange juice? Amazing! :stuck_out_tongue:
  31. morimech

    morimech Poo-Bah (4,385) Nov 6, 2006 Minnesota

    Brass Foundry also sold the old South Fork brewing equipment some time ago.
  32. islay

    islay Disciple (333) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    Brass Foundry claims to be aiming for a spring opening for that Long Lake brewery and taproom.

    As to its Question 63 IPA, it's a classic Midwest IPA, with high bitterness (by the low standards of 2019 IPAs), piney West Coast hops, and a substantial malt backbone but low in residual sugars. I consider it easily one of the best Minnesota-brewed IPAs in liquor stores today, not that that's saying much in the "juicy" IPA era. It's an IPA for IPA fans around here who didn't just really get into IPAs in the last three years. It actually reminds me somewhat of the original Fair State IPA (later known as Fair State IPA Classique), and I wonder how much influence Brass Foundry's contract brewery Fair State had on the recipe (not a bad brewery by which to be influenced, especially when they don't feel pressured to be trendy).
    ZAP, MNAle and KarlHungus like this.
  33. BeerDrinkinGuy

    BeerDrinkinGuy Initiate (55) Nov 2, 2018 Minnesota

    This will be actually very interesting. I'm not sure if other places like this exist or not but it should appeal to everyone. Hopefully they get that road marked better because everyone thinks its a two lane street the entire way haha
    burlyb likes this.
  34. mjryan

    mjryan Initiate (0) Dec 22, 2007 Minnesota

    I’m really intrigued by the concept. They have a more than experienced brewer at the helm, so I’m not worried about quality at least. Could be really interesting.
  35. SudsSavant

    SudsSavant Initiate (167) Jan 9, 2007 Minnesota

    So how is this different then BrewHub like Toppling Goliath went to?
  36. Chaz

    Chaz Poo-Bah (2,273) Feb 3, 2002 Minnesota
    Society Trader

    As I understand it, BrewHub is a contract brewing facility (or facilities - they own and operate several regional-scale breweries as I recall), whereas BevSource has until now always and only been an outfit that arranges a match between a “beer company” (proprietor) without and a brewery of its own. and a host, contract brewery of brewing facility.

    For instance, BevSource May have helped a company like Yoerg’s Beer find a contract brewer like Octopi to brew their flagship and seasonal brands, whereas Yoerg’s did not initially own their own brewery, taproom or pilot facility. By contrast, a brewery like Toppling Goliath may have sought out the services of BrewHub independently of an intermediary such as BevSource.

    Does that make sense?

    As I understand it, BevSource did not until now own its own brewery, Taproom, or pilot brewing facility, which makes this is a new addition to their existing area of expertise.
    islay likes this.
  37. islay

    islay Disciple (333) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    In addition to Chaz's explanation, I'll note that, to my knowledge, no brewery in Minnesota that contract-brews for a client brewing company, or that permits other brewing companies to brew on site as part of an alternating proprietorship relationship, serves the beers of that client brewing company or alternating proprietor at its taproom. For instance, Badger Hill's taproom doesn't feature any Finnegans beer on tap despite the fact that the bulk of Finnegans beer is brewed at Badger Hill in Shakopee as part of an alternating proprietorship relationship. (If anybody has any counterexamples, I'd be interested in hearing them.) I don't want to say that it would be illegal to do so under Minnesota law, because I don't know if that's a clear and settled legal matter, but I do believe the reason this doesn't happen is because breweries fear it would be a violation of the law. My point is that a purely contract-brewing operation like BrewHub may be legally prohibited from selling in its own taproom any beer the rights to which belong to one of its client breweries.

    Also, my understanding is that any alcoholic beverage BevSource might make, if it is to have only a brewing license, would have to be majority malted-grain-based. But perhaps it could obtain additional licenses (winery or distilling) to broaden its alcoholic beverage portfolio. Even then, selling non-malt-based beverages on site would be at best legally complicated (and selling distilled beverages legally prohibited since a beverage-maker can't operate both a taproom and cocktail room under Minnesota law).
    #38 islay, Jan 14, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
    KarlHungus likes this.
  38. morimech

    morimech Poo-Bah (4,385) Nov 6, 2006 Minnesota

    My usual reliable source tells me that there will be no taproom, just a production brewery in Long Lake.
    islay likes this.
  39. islay

    islay Disciple (333) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    According to its Facebook page, as of this writing, Yoerg in St. Paul remains unapproved by regulators to start brewing, so expect no house-brewed beer at the brewpub until February at the earliest (and, for Yoerg, the rule is double it, and double it, and double it, and...).

    Another brewpub delayed by waiting for regulatory approval (in this case due to the partial federal government shutdown) is Minn'ohana in Mankato. The owner now is planning to open, like Yoerg, without house-brewed beer on tap initially.
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