New MN breweries...

Discussion in 'Midwest' started by accordselux, Feb 13, 2013.

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  1. accordselux

    accordselux Aspirant (238) Nov 26, 2007 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    It's exciting to have new breweries, but my head is spinning keeping track of them. So many new ones opening, often with different strategies to distributing their beer.

    Am I the only one that feels a little like this? It reminds me of DJ Night from Portlandia:

    It's nice to see this growth, but I'm wondering if it will be sustainable. I wasn't there, but it feels like the flip flop of the 90's trend: Businessmen not knowing much about beer opening breweries, and now it feels like it's brewers not knowing much about running businesses opening breweries. What can our market sustain? What will keep those businesses going? Format, style, price?
    Revenant and rjvaudreuil like this.
  2. RKPStogie

    RKPStogie Initiate (0) Nov 4, 2011 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I agree. I was just reading another post here and two more trying to open this year, band brewing and burning brothers brewing, I've never heard of. I wish everyone the best of luck, but the TC market my be saturated.
    Revenant likes this.
  3. KarlHungus

    KarlHungus Poo-Bah (2,872) Feb 19, 2005 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Don't sell out local beer entrepreneurs short. Some of them appear to know nothing about either brewing or running a business. In fact, too many of them seem to know too little about professional brewing for my comfort. I used to make it a point to try all of the new local breweries shortly after they came onto the scene. That changed after it became apparent to me that most of them are putting out inferior product. For the past year or so I've been waiting until I here positive things about a new brewery before I try their beers. The fact that I have only tried beers from a couple of the dozen plus breweries that opened last years says something about how few positive things are being said about our new breweries.
  4. incutrav

    incutrav Initiate (0) Jan 16, 2007 Minnesota

    Except for Stillwater and a couple bad brews from Lucid and Badger Hill(the latter of which has since been good), everything I have tried has been solid. Dang. Man, Indeed and 612 all have very good lineups. I have heard Northgate is well made. List goes on and on- Boom Island, Olvalde, Carmody, Canal Park, Excelcisor, etc, etc. I would say 'most' MN breweries are putting out good product.

    Recently made a run down the river and hit up Red Wing Brewery and Reads Landing Brewing. Nothing mindblowing at either place, but no off flavors. As a longtime homebrewer, I would be thrilled if I could replicate the quality.
    PatrickJamesMulcahy likes this.
  5. Revenant

    Revenant Aspirant (280) Aug 8, 2012 Minnesota

    Now we just need a few to open in St Paul.
    mjryan, Ish1 and PatrickJamesMulcahy like this.
  6. jera1350

    jera1350 Poo-Bah (2,175) Dec 15, 2007 Minnesota

    Hammerheart is another new one that should be opening shortly. They have some really unique beers in their lineup too. Curious to try their stuff.
  7. maximum12

    maximum12 Poo-Bah (3,403) Jan 21, 2008 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I think the market is soon going to be saturated for bottles/cans, but certainly not for brewpubs.

    Go into just about anyplace that's around & it's packed. Barley John's (well, if I opened a place in my closet it would always be packed, too), Dangerous Man, Indeed, Town Hall, Lift Bridge, etc. are all busy places that seem to be thriving.

    I strongly believe that it's places with these nice little tap rooms that are going to survive the inevitable fallout, whether that fallout is next week or five years from now. They're developing followings among beer geeks, casual drinkers, & most importantly, neighborhood types, & those are the people that are going to make them a success. Even if they struggle to gain a share of shelf space, if they keep making good beer, people will keep flowing into their tap rooms.

    To me, Lucid/Badger Hill have it backwards. Without a tap room, nobody identifies with them as their 'local', so their beer has to be superior to get the kind of following that Indeed already has. And without that kind of fall-back/following, they're very vulnerable once the market hits that saturation point.
  8. wellestone

    wellestone Initiate (0) Feb 11, 2009 Minnesota

    we are nowhere near saturated as compared with other beer destination cities such as Seattle, especially when many of our recent openings have been smaller neighborhood places with little or no distribution.
  9. Chaz

    Chaz Poo-Bah (1,570) Feb 3, 2002 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    After compiling this list* a year ago, I reckoned there were another two to three dozen Minnesota ventures at
    various stages of the "Brewery In Planning" designator, and I was correct. I've since learned of a dozen more.

    A pro brewer told me a while ago, "go big or go home", and in that sense Minnesota entrepreneurs will have to bring their best *and* the state as a whole will have to go big in terms of total number of breweries, lest we start to look like some ABV-capped backwater state. On the other hand, we still carry legal statutes dating to Repeal, but there's no reason some of those can't be eased as the Craft Beer industry ramps-up production and numbers. In fact, the of-age buying public will demand those restrictions be eased.

    So, can the overall state market support 100 Nano/breweries/pubs? The answer is a resounding YES! I learned that sort of optimism from Beer Knight Lanny Hoff, and am constantly reminded to remain optimistic as I see locals making their homebrewer's dreams become beverage market reality.

    *Many thanks to Tip Top for the virtual Xerox before the internet ate my homework. ;)
  10. accordselux

    accordselux Aspirant (238) Nov 26, 2007 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Thanks for the replies!

    I just wanted to open up a discussion, no particular right answer.

    Like some of you mentioned, I am seeing some things:

    Some brewers are making spectacular product.

    Some brewers aren't.

    Localized taprooms are nice, and I like the idea of that preprohibition local brewery, but the question is, is the local enough to support the brewery?

    What will this do to out of town breweries? It's always harder to get the limited releases from other breweries if you don't buy the normal lineup.
  11. morimech

    morimech Poo-Bah (2,784) Nov 6, 2006 Minnesota

    I can see Minnesota supporting 100+ breweries. Location is going to be much more important as taprooms and developing local connections are going to be important to survival. The beer world is getting more localized. The Lucid/Badger Hill/Bad Weather situation is certainly interesting. Relying 99% on off-site sales requires bringing the goods. They have not been that successful to date although Lucid has improved immensely in the past 12 months. But they split the risks. I would like to see breweries opening in smaller communities surrounding the metro area. Waconia could use one, I have the space and a good location.

    As far as out of state/limited beers, I could care less. I buy Sierra Nevada 12-packs occasionaly but 95% of the beer I buy is brewed in Minnesota. A lot of it brewed in St. Paul or New Ulm.
    SortaAmbivalent likes this.
  12. tharreld

    tharreld Initiate (136) May 7, 2010 Montana

    Good topic. I consume the majority of my beer at home due to the driving risks. I visit a few of the NE Tap rooms as they are within 3 miles of home. I can't see myself driving across town to a tap room. Local is important. The beer I buy for home is often times local and mainly from Summit, Schells and Surly. With the big 3 putting out such good beer at reasonable prices and find it hard to buy more expensive, often times less quality local beer. I also buy a fair amount of non local beer. opinion. Need good beer or great location, preferably both. I would imagine that we will see some breweries fade to black in the next few years.
  13. NuclearDolphin

    NuclearDolphin Initiate (0) Sep 9, 2011 Minnesota

    I agree, as long as the demand is there I don't see any reason why we can't have more breweries, and I think we can pull it off. Personally I would like to see more breweries set up shop in the South Metro (Shakopee, Savage, Lakeville, etc.)
  14. UMNbeerhunter

    UMNbeerhunter Initiate (0) Oct 21, 2010 Minnesota

    The more the merrier. I feel that its a numbers game. The more that open the better our chances are at having a world class one pop up.
  15. GFG

    GFG Initiate (0) Oct 24, 2012 North Dakota

    I wasn't overly impressed with Northbound's beers myself. Living in North Dakota I haven't had the opportunity to try much of the other new breweries but I'm looking forward to trying 612.
  16. morimech

    morimech Poo-Bah (2,784) Nov 6, 2006 Minnesota

    I believe there is still a brewery in process in Shakopee as well as one across the river in Chaska.
  17. Chaz

    Chaz Poo-Bah (1,570) Feb 3, 2002 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

  18. NuclearDolphin

    NuclearDolphin Initiate (0) Sep 9, 2011 Minnesota

    Found this article yesterday about Patriot's Brewing, which is opening up in Faribault. They didn't indicate when they would be opening though...
  19. jera1350

    jera1350 Poo-Bah (2,175) Dec 15, 2007 Minnesota

    The article said they planned on opening this fall.
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