Today I met up with an old friend to grab a beer and catch up. After years of being out of touch, we found that we have grown into a major common interest – beer!
So, we decided to get together at 612Brew, the latest brewery to pour out of NE Minneapolis. After opening on Wednesday, I doubt the place has seen a quiet moment!
Adam Turman graces the walls, there is a small merchandise corner, and food trucks await drinkers in the parking lot, too. I enjoyed feeling like part of the action with the tanks bordering one side of the tap room.
There were four selections for tasting today, 3 out of which were described as quite hoppy. Not wanting to deaden my tastebuds, I started with the SIX, the Pale Ale:
“SIX is a golden-colored, American pale ale flavorful for craft beer fans and approachable enough to be your everyday beer. Light-bodied and biscuit-flavored with a light hop aroma. It is named after the local bus number that runs past the original 612Brew test brewery, where the beer was first brewed, and the first number of the company name.” -612
Being a former MetroTransit dependent, I can empathize with the name.
My second selection was the Zero Hour Midnight Wheat. I decided to jump on the hop bandwagon and I was glad I did. It was a pleasantly dark mystery in terms of style, which didn’t bother me at all.
While my friend David and I were on round two, Ryan Libby, co-founder and marketing director came over to chat with us. His passion and pride were absolutely clear in the first few minutes encountering him. I enjoyed hearing about his vision for breweries in Northeast Minneapolis. He wants to pull people from Indeed, Dangerous Man, Northgate (coming soon), and 612 together to create a Minnesota brewing district. Boom Island remains another possibility.
[L to R: David Ryding of The 16oz Society; Me; Ryan Libby of 612]
In a market that is growing so quickly, I, amazingly enough, don’t see a looming over-saturation point. Its something I have discussed with people both inside and outside the beer industry. Ryan’s Minnesota Brewer’s District encourages me that there will be ongoing collaboration, mutual support, and maybe some healthy competition between brewers.
As I said with Dangerous Man, these NE (and Twin Cities, for that matter) breweries will need to find their niche, specialty, or target market as more and more breweries come onto the scene. To me though, as a drinker, I can only see positive outcomes.