Blake Verdon and Jeremy “Jem” Hale met in their science classes at the University of Minnesota and quickly became obsessed with brewing. Like many other homebrewers, they dreamed of going pro, but their science training kept them on a systematic path. They found the brewing system they wanted more than two years before they had a location. The location proved trickier. After a false start in Northeast Minneapolis, the pair heard Hopkins was considering changing their laws to allow taprooms. It turned out that the city was “overly helpful” and LTD Brewing Co. settled into a downtown location in a former flower store.
The LTD name and logo were designed to embody multiple ideas. The foundational meaning is “Live the Dream”—and from the Bavarian Träumen wheat beer to the Dark Night Cascadian ale, most of the beers have names connected to dreams. Even within the “dream” idea, there are multiple meanings. Blake and Jem are trying to create a place where people can experience great beer and conversation—a dream for many people. A chalkboard on one wall of the taproom provides a forum for guests to post their dreams for all to see. House-brewed soft drinks, including root beer and a rotating cream soda line (raspberry, orange, and spiced cream) allow non-drinkers including kids to enjoy a drink in the family-friendly environment.
LTD also stands for limited (Ltd.), as in limited-batch brews. Despite adding new fermenters almost immediately, demand has made it difficult to keep nine beers on-line all the time; however, this means that new beers are coming on all the time. Blake said customer interest has led them to keep some sort of IPA on tap at all times, but the goal is to always have something “approachable,” something dark, something malty, and something bitter on draft—ideally more than one of each. Jem and Blake each have their specialties, and have been known to push the boundaries with brews such as Jem’s recent fresh hop cream ale.
As they build their business, the team plans to add new styles (a Belgian tripel is planned, for example) and experiment with new brews. Barrels are on the way and they hope eventually to have a sour program—though they plan to be very cautious introducing strange organisms into their brewhouse.
Local support has been enthusiastic and growler sales had to be delayed—partially because they were waiting for the necessary permits, but also because they didn’t have enough beer to serve in the taproom. Even now, growler sales are ltd. to twenty-five a day. While there is a line of local establishments waiting to get LTD on their own menus, for the foreseeable future the location you can get these fine beers is ltd. to Straight From the Source.
Dark Night Cascadian Dark Ale
6.3% ABV, 83 IBU, 38 SRM
Grain: Rahr American 2 Row, Weyerman German “De-Husked” Carafa III Special Dark, Simpsons Dark UK Crystal
Hops: Simcoe in first wort addition, Warrior at the boil, Simcoe and Centennia last half of the boil, and Simcoe in the whirlpool. Dry hopping with Simcoe and Centennial to finish.