| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter Youtube RSS Feed

Development News

Northgate Brewing expands to include taproom, more craft ales

Northgate Brewing

After just one year, Northgate Brewing is upgrading to new digs. The Northeast Minneapolis brewery just signed a lease on a new space at 783 Harding Street NE, which will include a 1,500-square-foot taproom.

Co-owner Adam Sjogren says neither he nor his partners anticipated the rapid growth. At around 750 square feet, Northgate’s current location at 3134 California Street NE is one of the smallest brewing spaces around. “We were very small,” Sjogren says. “There was not a lot of room to grow.”

With almost ten times the square footage, including the taproom, the new space will allow Sjogren to experiment with different brewing techniques that will be even more true to the brewery’s focus on English session ales.

“We really want to be able to have the space to do some barrel aging, some real ales—cask stuff—and be able to make some one-off batches and test them in the taproom to see what people really like,” Sjogren says.

Most English-style ales get a bad wrap in the States, Sjogren says. They don’t pack the same slap of citrusy hops and don’t have the same high alcohol content Minnesota beer drinkers have become accustomed to in their microbrews.

By nature of the ingredients and brewing process, these session ales don’t travel or store well, Sjogren adds. They have to be enjoyed fresh, and thus close to where they’re produced. He and business partner Todd Slininger grew fond of the earthy freshness these beers offer while traveling in the British Isles several years ago.

“It’s really good over there, but it gets represented poorly, we think, here in the States,” he says.

There will soon be more of Northgate’s fresh session ales. The brewery produced around 300 barrels in its first year, according to Sjogren. That was distributed between 30 different tap accounts around town and about 40 liquor stores. With the added space, Sjogren expects Northgate will have the capacity to produce around 1,500 barrels the first year.

Northgate’s new space will share a building with the soon-to-open Wander North Distillery—a new venture by Brian Winter who is looking to distill quality spirits from locally sourced grains. Winter and Northgate’s head brewer Tuck Carruthers used to play on the same rugby team, according to Sjogren.

Collaboration between the distillery and brewery is a foregone conclusion, Sjogren says. What might such collaboration look like? Sjogren says Northgate could make a “wash”—the process of rinsing the yeast used to brew a batch of beer for reuse—then give the wash to the distillery to use and age for spirits.

Sjogren attributes a good deal of Northgate’s early success to the supportive craft beer community in Northeast Minneapolis. Several other recently opened breweries have experienced similar growth and expansion in the last year and half. Indeed Brewing Co., Dangerous Man Brewing Co., and 612 Brew are among them.

“It’s as true as everybody says and most people don’t believe,” Sjogren says of the mutually supportive craft beer scene in the Twin Cities. Northgate Brewing plans to open its new space later this year.

Source: Adam Sjogren
Writer: Kyle Mianulli
Signup for Email Alerts
Signup for Email Alerts