Brewery Updates in Minnesota (2019)

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

  1. gatornation

    gatornation Poo-Bah (4,904) Apr 18, 2007 Minnesota

    Also Ansari's has had 3 or 4 recently on tap.
  2. RAH-RAH-Beer

    RAH-RAH-Beer Initiate (25) Jan 1, 2019 Minnesota

    Is there any update on Bus Stop Burgers & Brewhouse? When are they going to be rolling out their in-house brewed beer?

    How about
    Yoerg Brewing? How much of their beer is brewed in-house?
  3. iRun2Beer

    iRun2Beer Savant (995) Jan 27, 2015 Minnesota

    Yoerg has 2 beers (last I checked) that are brewed in house - Bock and Roggenbier - alongside a handful of imports.
    RAH-RAH-Beer and TrailsandAles like this.
  4. grantcty

    grantcty Initiate (119) Feb 17, 2008 Minnesota

    Actually, their bock is not brewed in-house. I believe it was brewed at Octopi in Wisconsin. Thus far, they have brewed and released a hefeweizen and the Roggenbier at their space in St. Paul.
  5. Victory_Sabre1973

    Victory_Sabre1973 Poo-Bah (1,649) Sep 15, 2015 Minnesota
    Society Trader

    Lift Bridge is the latest brewery that has come up to the growler limit.

    From thier FB page:

    Lift Bridge Brewery is proud to bring you local, award winning beers and sell growlers of our product fresh from the source! Unfortunately we will have to stop selling growlers unless the Senate raises the growler cap. Look up your state Senator ( and let them know you want to keep buying growlers!

    Want to learn more? Visit:
  6. Windvaner

    Windvaner Initiate (60) Nov 7, 2014 Minnesota

    A few tidbits:

    Lynlake Brewery in Uptown is adding a Kitchen to its Brewery and LynLake will partner with local chefs who will provide his or her menu for 60 days, much like what Pryes started .

    -Stacked Deck , a brewery I’ve yet to visit has started an expansion on their brewery this week . How long have they been open? Like months , anyhow .

    -Thesis Beer Project in Rochester is deep in construction on their new taproom and drywall goes up next .
  7. iRun2Beer

    iRun2Beer Savant (995) Jan 27, 2015 Minnesota

    You're right - I knew that. Thanks for the correction.
    grantcty likes this.
  8. BeerDrinkinGuy

    BeerDrinkinGuy Initiate (45) Nov 2, 2018 Minnesota

    Oh well. I never really jumped on the growler train. Personally I thought it was a stupid idea having to drink a whole jug of beer before it went bad, just buy a 30 pack.
  9. Victory_Sabre1973

    Victory_Sabre1973 Poo-Bah (1,649) Sep 15, 2015 Minnesota
    Society Trader

    As I've gotten older, and can't drink as much, I'm not a fan of the 64 oz growlers. I'd rather, if I'm not sharing, have a 750 or 32 oz growler.

    That all being said, I really hope that the laws here in Minnesota get fixed. If not, I've got 2 Castle Danger 750ml growlers that will be useless if it isn't (another brewery up to the limit). Each year I loan them to my friends who do an event in Two Harbors, and they use them to keep "happy" at their booth right by the brewery, and bring some back for me.

    But, since we're in the state where nothing is allowed, I doubt it will change.
    JMN44 likes this.
  10. JMN44

    JMN44 Initiate (177) Sep 19, 2013 Minnesota

    I don't buy beer in growlers anymore (not that I bought many). I much prefer crowlers with the smaller serving size and the ability to take it outdoors and just recycle/throw away when done.
    Victory_Sabre1973 likes this.
  11. HeadRetention

    HeadRetention Initiate (68) Jul 13, 2015 Minnesota

    maximum12 likes this.
  12. hopb4fg

    hopb4fg Initiate (56) Nov 8, 2016 Hawaii

  13. maximum12

    maximum12 Poo-Bah (4,035) Jan 21, 2008 Minnesota

    FWIW, I had Class 100 Wee Heavy at Back Channel this past weekend & it was excellent. Easily the best of the flight. If that's indicative of the quality Falling Knife is going to bring to the table, it's a very good sign.
    FallingKnifeDan and JMN44 like this.
  14. islay

    islay Aspirant (245) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    A new-to-me BIP: Frontier Brewing Company in Chanhassen. There's already a brewery in Wyoming with the same name.

    Iffy Brewing Company is looking to open in Blaine or Coon Rapids.

    Word is Arbeiter in Minneapolis is likely to begin construction in late June or early July.

    Linked is an article on Boom Island's upcoming move from Minneapolis to Minnetonka. "Welch and Becker plan to open Boom Island Brewing in its Minnetonka this July. They plan to keep the Minneapolis taproom open as close to when they open the Minnetonka taproom as possible but the two will not overlap." Interestingly, the reason the article gives for the move is that Boom Island has outgrown its space and will be moving to an area with less nearby competition; there's no mention of the shooting and general lack of safety in its current vicinity that Boom Island previously cited as prompting the move.

    I checked out The Lab in the Brewing District of St. Paul. I found the initial batches of beer bland, boring, and basic but not flawed. I found the venue similarly technically well-executed but soulless (and overstaffed, even as service was poor, but it's very early). I'm skeptical of its unique test-batch-based business plan, but more power to BevSource if it can make it work.

    I also visited Yoerg in St. Paul. The brewed-in-house Roggenbier was decent, tastier than anything at The Lab, though also on the bland side. The venue is quirky, and I found it a charming change of pace, but I wonder how many people are looking for its specific combination of remarkably old-fashioned drink, food, and atmosphere in Dayton's Bluff.
  15. LOWFisherman

    LOWFisherman Initiate (24) Sep 21, 2018 Minnesota

    Lake of the woods brewing has its first beer in the fermenter!
    Chaz and Victory_Sabre1973 like this.
  16. RAH-RAH-Beer

    RAH-RAH-Beer Initiate (25) Jan 1, 2019 Minnesota

    According to their Facebook page Schram Haus Brewery is now open.
    KarlHungus and TrailsandAles like this.
  17. Windvaner

    Windvaner Initiate (60) Nov 7, 2014 Minnesota

    BlackStack Brewing, which opened in 2017 in Midway, is starting up its own mixed culture program, with an established sour brewer at the helm: Mat Waddell, the former head brewer and co-owner of Wild Mind Artisan Ales.

    Here’s the link
  18. mjryan

    mjryan Zealot (509) Dec 22, 2007 Minnesota

    Stopped by there yesterday. Nice spot. Had a pale lager, and a black ipa. Nice clean stuff, no complaints.
    JMN44 likes this.
  19. Bravak

    Bravak Initiate (141) Sep 9, 2014 Minnesota

    I really, really need that Luke Skywalker meme, from the last movie, for this.
  20. dbhammel

    dbhammel Initiate (82) Oct 24, 2016 Minnesota

    FallingKnifeDan likes this.
  21. hopb4fg

    hopb4fg Initiate (56) Nov 8, 2016 Hawaii

    Has anybody else stopped in at Schram Haus? Thoughts on their beer offerings?
  22. islay

    islay Aspirant (245) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    I thought the beer was very good, on par with what's being sold at Schram Vineyards. For all I know, the beer might've been brewed at the Waconia site; I'm not sure the equipment at the Chaska location has been up and running long enough to have produced all of the 10 or so beers currently on tap. All four of the beers in my flight were tasty and well-executed examples of their respective styles; my favorite was the Black IPA. I think Schram quietly and recently has blossomed into one of the best breweries in the state based on flavors, versatility, and quality. It doesn't serve trendy fare, is located in the exurbs, and has very limited distribution (without engaging in artificial scarcity marketing tactics), however, so it inevitably isn't going to generate much buzz.
    JMN44 and hopb4fg like this.
  23. HammsMeASAP

    HammsMeASAP Initiate (111) Jun 14, 2012 Minnesota

    Is this the former Wild Mind brewer opening a farm type brewery? Or who was?
  24. HipHoppin

    HipHoppin Initiate (69) Feb 11, 2015 Minnesota

    Yeah thats the head brewer from WM.

    BTW I stopped in at WM over the weekend, knocking it out of the park with their IPAs
    mjryan and Victory_Sabre1973 like this.
  25. islay

    islay Aspirant (245) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    My understanding is that Waddell's association with BlackStack is in lieu of the farmhouse brewery plan (i.e., that plan is dead or at least pushed way out into the future). I've also heard that BlackStack is on something of a hiring spree in addition to Waddell, including a couple of former Fair State brewers, as it looks to infuse itself with talent and shore up its credibility among beer geeks ahead of an aggressive expansion (at the existing site, as far as I know) and distribution push. Word is BlackStack is doing well financially so far.

    I still question the commercial viability in this market of the farmhouse ales and slow sours in which Waddell excels. The complex and challenging flavors present in such beers stand in stark contrast to the one-note, accessible sorts of beers that are dominating conversation and flying off the shelves right now. I see literally years-old Olvalde, Schell's Noble Star, Fair State, Indeed Wooden Soul, and Fulton Culture Project slow sours (to cite some of the most highly respected breweries in that category) languishing on liquor store shelves at price points in line with pastry stouts and NEIPAs that move very fast, and the saison category has shrunk markedly in the last half decade. Notice that Wild Mind was drifting away from farmhouse fare or covering up the flavors with loads of fruit even before Waddell left, and some of the other would-be prominent local players in that space (such as Fair State) have largely backed off.
    JMN44 likes this.
  26. KarlHungus

    KarlHungus Poo-Bah (3,070) Feb 19, 2005 Minnesota

    The key being 'so far'. Good luck to them continuing to do well financially after expanding into distribution. It utterly baffles me how so many brewery owners operate under the delusion that double digit growth will last forever.
    islay, JMN44 and maximum12 like this.
  27. islay

    islay Aspirant (245) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    I share your skepticism. Much of its current success is based on pricy, high-margin 4-packs of NEIPAs, and I strongly suspect it's only a matter of time before consumers get over the habit of paying a huge premium for the latest lightly tweaked recipe. BlackStack, perhaps recognizing its vulnerability in that area, is trying to diversify its product offerings, which is wise, and to cultivate a reputation as a broadly excellent brewery, not just another NEIPA specialist in a time in which that style is beginning to lose its cachet. The problem is that it likely soon will have to swim against the tide as sales fall in its inordinately profitable bread and butter product.

    The BlackStack business plan always was heavily distribution-focused. That might not have seemed crazy when it was in planning in the mid-'10s (although even then it seemed late to the party), but the road ahead looks a lot rougher now even as BlackStack is doubling down on its original, arguably outdated, vision. Like a gambler who wins big his first time at a casino, BlackStack may be dangerously emboldened by its early success.
    gatornation, KarlHungus and JMN44 like this.
  28. Windvaner

    Windvaner Initiate (60) Nov 7, 2014 Minnesota

    Totally get what your saying about expensive 4-packs ! (Out today)

    One offs are fine but they need more variety in their core retail lineup and some of those beers need to be beers in the accessible (Surly/Bent Paddle )$9.99 range . If they canned that Coffee Lager they made with Truestone Coffee I would buy it all year long !

    I am glad to hear they are expanding at the taproom and hope they add a little flare to the aesthetic on the inside as they have a blank canvas as that place is huge.
    JMN44, hopb4fg and Victory_Sabre1973 like this.
  29. hopb4fg

    hopb4fg Initiate (56) Nov 8, 2016 Hawaii

    Yep. Brewer ad:
  30. dbhammel

    dbhammel Initiate (82) Oct 24, 2016 Minnesota

    I don't disagree with your suggestion that it would be a good business practice for Blackstack to diversity some of their offerings, but what evidence do you see that the NE IPA craze is at all subsiding?
    mrpeterandthepuffers likes this.
  31. islay

    islay Aspirant (245) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    • Massive drop in hype for the style on BeerAdvocate (likely a leading indicator for the interests of beer consumers more broadly)
    • Witnessing lack of enthusiasm at recent bottle shares for the likes of Tree House and Trillium
    • A lot of talk among formerly enthusiastic friends as well as BeerAdvocate participants about how they're over the style
    • Being told by local brewery owners that they believe interest in the style has passed an inflection point and that they're strategically preparing for a market in which they can't lean on NEIPAs for guaranteed buzz and profits
    I'm not saying that the style is going away* or even that it has peaked in sales, but I do think it has peaked as a cultural phenomenon and that revenue declines will follow at some point in the not-too-distant future.

    * I've long predicted that NEIPAs eventually will settle into their natural role as gateway beers that can quietly be taproom and core lineup staples without having much buzz (along the lines of blonde ales, wheat ales, etc. of yesteryear) because their sweet and juicy flavors are so familiar, accessible, and attractive to newer drinkers. I think the unusually high prices and utter domination of taplines and liquor store shelves, however, require the fuel of hype and positive social reinforcement that's in the process of subsiding.
  32. HeadRetention

    HeadRetention Initiate (68) Jul 13, 2015 Minnesota

    Pig ate my Pizza and microbrewery opening next week
    edbeered likes this.
  33. islay

    islay Aspirant (245) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    According to Instagram posts, 22 Northmen in Alexandria has kegged its first beer and plans to open in June.

    Oldenburg in Belle Plaine has started brewing and still claims to be "Coming spring of 2019" in a pinned Facebook post.

    House-brewed beer is still a ways out; it'll just be a restaurant and bar to start. If Pig Ate My Pizza in Robbinsdale is on the Yoerg / Bus Stop schedule, it could be quite a ways (and if it's on the Opinion Brewing Company schedule...). "While we get our equipment up and running, you can expect exclusive collaboration brews on tap to start. We’ve been working with Surly Brewing Company, Barrel Theory Beer Company, Lakes & Legends Brewing Company, HeadFlyer Brewing, Fair State Brewing Cooperative, Dangerous Man Brewing Company, Fulton Brewing, and other local craft breweries to develop a hop-a-licious lineup for our grand opening."
    Victory_Sabre1973 likes this.
  34. SudsSavant

    SudsSavant Aspirant (225) Jan 9, 2007 Minnesota

    Sorry Wicked Wort. You served us well as our de facto overflow seating space but now we're on our way to the top and only want to play with the big boys!
  35. Windvaner

    Windvaner Initiate (60) Nov 7, 2014 Minnesota

    Pig Eat My Pizza

    On Draft:
    Fairstate Brewing Coop. Collab | Hazy IPA | 7.0% ABV | 12oz. pour

    Brewed with wheat and oats, hopped only in the whirlpool and fermenter with Cryo Citra, Denali, El Dorado, and Idaho Gem complementing the loads of pineapple, tropical fruit and citrus.

    Headflyer Brewing Collab | Champagne Ale | 6.0% ABV | 16oz. pour

    Brewed with pilsner malt, rice and extra enzymes resulting in a refreshingly dry finish, hopped late in the whirlpool with Nelson Sauvin hops and conditioned on delicious black currants.

    Lakes and Legends Brewing Collab | Pale Ale | 5.6% ABV | 16oz. pour

    Brewed with Triticale (wheat and rye hybrid) lending to a smooth mouth feel with “spicy” rye background notes, hopped with MN grown Zeus and Crystal hops.

    Surly Brewing Co. Collab | Berlinerweisse | 3.5% ABV | 16oz. pour

    Crushably light, conditioned on passionfruit and guajillo chilis.

    Barrel Theory Beer Company Collab | Berlinerweisse | 4.5% ABV | 12oz. pour

    Sour ale conditioned on fresh Meyer lemon and strawberry.

    Fulton Beer Collab | Russian Imperial Stout | 9.5%ABV | 12oz. pour

    Conditioned with whole bean PEACE COFFEE and cacao nibs

    Dangerous Man Brewing Co. Collab | Raspberry Sour | 5.6% ABV

    Filled out with oats and lactose, generously hopped with Strata and Denali hops, conditioned on raspberries, lemon peel, and Madagascar vanilla beans.
    sudo, burlyb, morimech and 1 other person like this.
  36. mjryan

    mjryan Zealot (509) Dec 22, 2007 Minnesota

    Why is it that so many grizzled veterans of the craft beer realm dig NEIPA so much? When it’s no long the “it” trend, are we just going to go back too drinking trillion ibu pine bombs? I don’t see folks like Trillium, or Barrel Theory putting Plinyesque WCDIPAs on draft anytime soon, or ever.
  37. islay

    islay Aspirant (245) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    I suspect the "grizzled veterans" who enthuse over NEIPAs do so for the same reasons that the greenhorns do: They enjoy the sweet, juicy, familiar flavors and soft mouthfeel, and they enjoy feeling like they're on the vanguard of a scene. That said, it certainly seems to me that a larger proportion of grizzled veterans than newer consumers of craft beer dislike NEIPAs.

    I think you'll see a big shift in the critical and commercial popularity of breweries as NEIPAs lose their luster, even as the old NEIPA specialists attempt to pivot to other styles. I don't see WCIPAs making a massive comeback (although I could see them making a minor one), as craft beer now is dominated by bitterness-averse consumers, unless perhaps the inevitable upcoming loss of craft beer's cool factor causes the industry to lose a big chunk of its newer customers (to potentially financially devastating effect).
    gatornation likes this.
  38. JMN44

    JMN44 Initiate (177) Sep 19, 2013 Minnesota

    I think we all have friends that don't like craft beer because it's "too bitter". They assume all craft beer tastes like a bitter IPA.

    NEIPA's have much less bitterness so those people can potentially become new craft beer customers if they try it. I think it is a smart business decision to have a NEIPA on tap to attempt to convert those "craft beer is too bitter" beer drinkers since IPA is the likely beer type they will sample.
    mrpeterandthepuffers likes this.
  39. mjryan

    mjryan Zealot (509) Dec 22, 2007 Minnesota

    If craft beer is now dominated by bitterness averse consumers, how is it that NEIPA will decline?
    maximum12 likes this.