Photos by Kevin Kramer, The Growler
Just blocks away from their original California Street production brewery in Northeast Minneapolis, 56 Brewing is putting the finishing touches on their new 20-barrel brewhouse and taproom before their May 5 grand opening celebration.
The new facility is a major upgrade for the Community Supported Brewery, which operated a five-barrel brewing system in the 700-square-foot building originally used by NorthGate Brewing (which is now being passed to Broken Clock Brewing Cooperative). The brewery is outfitted with a three-vessel, 20-barrel brewing system, a 40-barrel fermenter, a 40-barrel brite tank, and three additional 20-barrel fermenters—all of which will afford head brewer Nick Chute and co-founder Kale Johnson the ability to experiment with more one-off recipes.
They also announced plans to introduce cans to market this summer. Using a mobile canning service, the brewery will package their California Street IPA and NE Nectar in 12-ounce cans.
The new building also gave 56 Brewing co-founders Kale and Kerry Johnson, Kristin Noraker, Joe Wirth, and Micah Godfrey the space for a 160-person taproom and outdoor patio.
A mezzanine above the bar will double as taproom seating and an event space that overlooks the brewhouse and a mural by local designer and artist Matt Erickson. Outside, a wrap-around patio overlooks a community garden where 56 Brewing will grow special ingredients for their “garden to growler” beers.
The building, formerly a truck repair shop, was stripped down to a blank box before construction began in November 2016. Since then, the team has worked around the clock to get the brewery up and running and the taproom constructed.
Kerry Johnson walks us through the industrial design of the taproom, which showcases pops of blue and orange against a backdrop of black steel girders and warm, rough-cut wood. The taproom is an exciting and slightly nerve-wracking new chapter for the business, but the ownership team is confident their newly hired taproom staff is up to the task of introducing patrons to the 56 brand.
After the grand opening, the taproom will be open Monday–Thursday, 4–11pm; Friday and Saturday, noon–midnight; and Sunday, 11am–8pm.