Roseville homebrew supply company Northern Brewer is expanding its South Minneapolis retail location into a full homebrewing experience, complete with a new tasting bar that will sample featured beer and wine recipes.
Samples from the new tasting bar will be free and limited to three-ounce pours. Brews available during the week of the store’s opening will be provided by Northern Brewer, as well as two local homebrew clubs who will brew on-site in the parking lot and share free tastings of their own club-made recipes.
The aim of the renovated store is to create a gathering place for local homebrewers to hang out, try out new recipes, and learn a new thing or two with on-site classes.
Northern Brewer Brewmaster Jeff Merriman says that the rollout is meant to foster a “welcoming and inclusive community of enthusiastic hobbyists.” He hopes that with product tastings, hands-on education, and interactive demonstrations, visitors will have more opportunities for face-to-face interactions with other homebrewers and brewmasters.
Northern Brewer, acquired by AB InBev last year, is the largest homebrewing supply company in the nation. Started in 1993, the company has benefited from the rapid growth of craft beer into the mainstream beverage industry in recent years.
For its part, Northern Brewer hopes to assist homebrewing in becoming as much a household activity as gardening or cooking. “The craft beer industry is centered around ‘what’s new’ and this remodel is our response to keeping things fresh and interesting for our customers,” says Merriman.
The new interactive retail space will especially be focusing on providing a sensory experience for brewers. “While we are consistently complimented on the quality of education we provide, the customer’s desire to be able to touch, smell, taste and interact with the brewing process drove us to create a hands-on class format that is more engaging and solidifies concepts being taught,” he says.
The Minneapolis location at 6021 Lyndale Ave S will host a grand opening on November 18 from 9am to 6pm Homebrew recipes will be on tap throughout that week, including the featured November brew Mustache Envy Belgian Stout. The new tasting bar will be up and running for the opening, and there will be a new “pick-up window” for brewers who pre-order items online.