Bottoms up! St. Paul’s Summit Brewing Co. took delivery of four 18,600-gallon stainless steel fermentation tanks today.

By July, Summit will install a dozen of the new 45-foot-tall vessels, allowing the brewery to double its beer-making capacity.

Read more and see more photos here.

(MPR Photos/Jennifer Simonson)

"People say you can’t make money with a small brewery. Yeah, you can… You just can’t have employees." - Ken Thiemann, Borealis Fermentery

From reporter Curtis Gilbert:

Minnesota is undergoing a “beer boom” and catching up with the rest of the country. In just the last two years, the number of breweries in the state has nearly doubled to 53, driving a proliferation of local beers.

The “Surly Bill” that passed the Legislature in 2011 is a major factor. Surly Brewing Co., which lobbied for the change, is one of the larger breweries in the state, but the law also opened the door for many smaller beer makers. It offered them a better shot a profitability, allowing brewing establishments to sell their beer by the pint right on site.

It’s called a taproom license. To distinguish: a brew pub is a bar that serves food as well as beer that they make on site; a brewery does not make or serve food, but can serve its beer by the pint, bottle or jug, thanks to the Surly bill.

Dangerous Man Brewing, which opens to the public Jan. 25, is case in point. Owners, husband-and-wife team Rob Miller and Sarah Bonvallet actually wrote up a business plan in the mid-2000s for their northeast Minneapolis brewery.

"We spent maybe two years talking about it and really putting our heart and soul into it," Bonvallet said. "That’s when we discovered it was absolutely illegal to have a microbrewery in Minnesota that actually served their product."

In less than two years since the Surly bill passed, the state has issued more than a dozen taproom licenses. Pour Decisions, a Roseville brewing company, obtained one last week. It’s owned and run by Kristen England and B.J Haun, a pair of Ph.D.s who plan to brew beer on the weekends while they pursue careers in pharmacology and plant genomics, respectively, during the week.

Cont. reading…

(MPR Photos/Jeffrey Thompson)

RELATED: New batch of taprooms serving up in NE Minneapolis ‘brew district

Peace Coffee Shop head barista Jackson O’Brien brews a cup of coffee by pouring water over ground coffee in a Hario V60 drip cone at the Minneapolis shop.

Heavy Table’s James Norton joined All Things Considered to talk about the new crop of “Third Wave” coffee shops in the Twin Cities and Duluth — and to let us know about new breweries opening up on the North Shore.

Also this: The Duluth Beer-Beef Cycle — Fitger’s Brewhouse plans to sell steaks from locally made and beer-grain-fed steer.

Summit to open taproom

Summit Brewing Company is opening what appears to be St. Paul’s first taproom.

"This is definitely something we’re excited about, to bring more people in to experience our beer where it was made," said Summit Brewing Marketing Coordinator Carey Matthews.

Starting out, the brewery’s rathskeller is only going to be open to the public on Fridays from 3-8 p.m. They’ll also open the patio above the bluffs, Matthews said. Summit’s brewery is west of downtown St. Paul, not far from the Mississippi River.

Matthews said the limited hours allow the brewery to continue the practice of allowing community groups to use the rathskeller a couple times a week.

The brewery will hire an additional six part-time workers to run the taproom and handle an additional tour.

It’s “a return to tradition obviously,” Matthews said. “Things like prohibition really changed the way beer was viewed and consumed, and I think we’re getting back to community… and knowing where your beer comes from.”

The taproom will be open by late September.

Read more from reporter Jon Collins

This concept drawing of Surly Brewing Company’s $20 million brewery and restaurant was released last year.
Even though Surly Brewery has yet to pick a location for its expansion, the legacy of the Surly law passed last year has been the proliferation of craft beer-makers that are taking advantage of the change. Veteran craft brewer Summit in St. Paul, which also pushed for the legislation, now has a taproom license, and upstarts Harriet, Fulton and Lift Bridge have also opened taprooms.
Read more from reporter Laura Yuen.

This concept drawing of Surly Brewing Company’s $20 million brewery and restaurant was released last year.

Even though Surly Brewery has yet to pick a location for its expansion, the legacy of the Surly law passed last year has been the proliferation of craft beer-makers that are taking advantage of the change. Veteran craft brewer Summit in St. Paul, which also pushed for the legislation, now has a taproom license, and upstarts Harriet, Fulton and Lift Bridge have also opened taprooms.

Read more from reporter Laura Yuen.

Thanks to Kickstarter, Bemidji Brewery will have its first public batch of brew on tap in a few local pubs by early summer.

Tina Hanke, Justin “Bud” Kaney and Tom Hill set out to raise $15,000 on the site, but by the time their three-month online campaign ended in January, the trio had surpassed that goal by several thousand dollars. About 250 people contributed money to the hometown brewing venture, more than half of them strangers to the three.

Read more here.

"Dave Hoops from the Brewhouse told me there’s even a North Coast Style now. It’s hoppier and more floral than West Coast, but with lower alcohol. There are other cities with beer identifies, and beer tourism cultures like this, cities like Portland, Ore., and Boulder, Colo. I think when we look back on the 2010s, we’re going to see that new breweries improved Minneapolis, but they transformed Duluth."

— Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl on the burgeoning beer scene in and around Duluth.

Tags: Duluth beer

Above: Harriet Brewing owner Jason Sowards, left, and Ben Kubes load kegs for  delivery around the Twin Cities on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012 at the  Minneapolis microbrewery. (MPR Photo/Jennifer Simonson)
We have a bit of a beer boom going on right now in Minnesota. Fulton, Lift Bridge, Boom Island, Harriet, Surly — and many, many more.
Small beer-making operations have  been popping up all over the city — and around the state. At least 10  new breweries opened in Minnesota last year, from Castle Danger Brewing  on the North Shore to Olvalde Farmhouse Ales near Winona.
That’s great news for beer lovers,  but it also raises a question: can the Minnesota market support them  all? Read the whole story here.

Above: Harriet Brewing owner Jason Sowards, left, and Ben Kubes load kegs for delivery around the Twin Cities on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012 at the Minneapolis microbrewery. (MPR Photo/Jennifer Simonson)

We have a bit of a beer boom going on right now in Minnesota. Fulton, Lift Bridge, Boom Island, Harriet, Surly — and many, many more.

Small beer-making operations have been popping up all over the city — and around the state. At least 10 new breweries opened in Minnesota last year, from Castle Danger Brewing on the North Shore to Olvalde Farmhouse Ales near Winona.

That’s great news for beer lovers, but it also raises a question: can the Minnesota market support them all? Read the whole story here.