|Station 5: take a picture with a|
life size pint
Saw the Urban Growler's sneak peak opening on MNBeer and our friends Dan and Lori thought it sounded fun for our Third Friday outing. The Heavy Table wrote up a nice introduction to the brewery, including the two women owners their goal to serve local brew and food. I found the mock up drawings of what the Urban Growler will look like in the future interesting as well.
Following the GPS to Endicott Ave, which is barely this side of the river in St. Paul, we drove slowly through an industrial area until we found the Urban Growler building. We saw The Lyric luxury apartments nearby with the green line light rail down the street. Walking in the door, a part of the initial pitch to invest was that Urban Growler was in an up and coming neighborhood, beer (Surly's destination pub is to be nearby plus "others" are looking at the area) and otherwise, and was to be the next Nordeast. Maybe. Not sure I'm the one to agree or disagree with that claim.
With more people there than I expected, the interior of the future bar and restaurant was set up as eight stations, including the membership table, architectural drawings, beer pouring, meet the chef and merchandise. We voted for the few veggie options on the proposed menu and checked "more veggie options" that someone had written in below. This is the first time we have been at a brewery this early in the process, and trying to match the designs to the physical space was entertaining. The whole point of the evening was to create investment, ranging from a $500 minimum for a T-shirt and your name on the Founder's Wall to a $10 grand investment to be an actual part owner of the enterprise. The $1000 investment was the $500 plus first pint in the door free for life. My wife and I briefly debated that latter before the math failed because we live too far away for it to pay off as well as our Pint Club membership at Town Hall.
So, to the heart of the investment: beer. Eight beers on tap with the Wild Rice Ale out before we walked in the door (I assume because of the previous night's open house). We luckily got to the Rhubarb Wit, my wife's first and favorite, before it ran out half way through the night. My favorite was the Graffiti Rye IPA, listed as their flagship beer on the description sheet, which had a bite that made me sit up and notice it without being overwhelming. Of the rest, the Everyday Ale was an unusual style: Kentucky Common Beer, a pre-prohibition ale that was brewed and enjoyed almost exclusively around Louisville, Kentucky. I liked the sample, but will need a full pint when they open to give it a fair taste.
My wife and I didn't invest, but mostly because of logistics rather than the beer or food on offer. If we lived nearby, the decision would have been tougher. All of the beers were solid to very good with some interesting food planned. Being a veggie, the offerings were slight and, to be fair, similar to most pubs. I look forward to giving Urban Growler another shot when they open and wish them the best of luck.