The latest northeast Minneapolis brewery will open its doors today at 3 p.m. Bauhaus Brew Labs, just up the road from 612Brew, brews German-influenced beers with an American craft twist. The brewery will be serving Wonderstuff Neu Bohemian Pilsner, Wagon Party West Coast Style Lager, and Stargrazer German Style Schwarzbier for their opening, with a fourth flagship, Midwest Coast IPA, coming soon.
The brewery is family-owned, with Matt Schwandt serving as head brewer. The remodeled warehouse space includes a 2,000-square-foot taproom, a biergarten that connects with Tyler Street, and a canning line. The taproom, dubbed "The Haus," will offer numerous activities such as live music, karaoke, and trivia, and will be open Wednesdays through Saturdays. They will regularly host food trucks and have room to eventually house 12 beers once they're fully up and running. Many of the taproom features were funded via an earlier Kickstarter project.
As for the brewery's German focus, Schwandt points to some of his favorite German-born beers to explain how they've influenced his own brewing:
- Köstritzer Schwarzbier: This beer was the inspiration for our Stargrazer German Style Schwarzbier. It's a jet-black Bavarian lager that has only very modest amounts of the roast qualities one would normally expect to taste in a black beer. It's got a very smooth bitterness from the malt, very little hop bitterness, and some nice burnt sugar and raisin notes. Also, like Stargrazer, Köstritzer Schwarzbier is a lager beer with a moderate amount of alcohol that finishes clean and crisp. It's a dark beer for people who don't think they like dark beer.
- Uerige Sticke (Altbier): While technically an ale, altbier is more of a hybrid beer that has characteristics of both ales and lagers. Our Wagon Party West Cöast Style Lager is notionally an altbier in that it is also a hybrid beer that has the clean, crisp characteristics of a lager with some fruity, ale-like esters. The hallmarks of altbier are a rich, bready malt profile with a substantial amount of hops that express pleasant floral qualities -- it's sort of like a moderately hopped, amber German-style IPA. Our Wagon Party is based more on the steam beer style (a.k.a. California common), but these two styles actually have quite a lot in common.
- Ayinger Altbairisch Dunkel: Münich Dunkel is the staple dark lager of Bavaria and one of the most classic lager styles of all time. It's got a rich, toasty malt profile and very low hop bitterness and aroma. Münich Dunkel is usually moderate in alcohol levels, and can be enjoyed any time of year. The differences between Dunkel and Schwarzbier are sometimes difficult to ascertain, but Schwarzbier is usually a bit darker in color with some more prevalent, but still subdued, roast qualities.
- Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier Dunkel: Dunkelweizen is dark hefeweizen, and it's got some incredible depth of flavor for a weizen. Like traditional hefeweizen (far more prevalent in the U.S.), dunkelweizen has the banana and clove flavors that most people associate with German wheat beer. Dunkelweizen, however, also has some rich malty notes with hints of chocolate and spice. Dunkelweizen is just as refreshing as hefeweizen on a summer day, but it's got some wonderful flavors and textures that reward the more adventurous beer drinker. Dunkelweizen is currently the inspiration for a forthcoming seasonal offering from Bauhaus.
- Pilsner Urquell: Okay, this is a Czech pilsner, not a German pilsner. But this beer is the inspiration for our Wonderstuff Neü Bohemian Pilsner. While German pilsners are typically very dry in the finish, thereby allowing the hop bitterness to linger on the palate, Czech pilsners are decidedly more balanced. In fact, many pilsner fans consider Czech pilsner to be the world's most perfect beer because of its perfect balance between malt and hops, as well as its incredible drinkability. Unlike Pilsner Urquell, Wonderstuff incorporates a number of hop flavors and aromas not typically associated with the Czech pilsner style. This is actually true of all Bauhaus's lager beers, and it's one of the things we are doing differently than other breweries producing lagers. Wonderstuff has that same great balance between malt and hops as traditional examples, but drinkers get flavors and aromas of passionfruit, mango, and lemongrass in Wonderstuff. We want this beer to change beer drinkers' perceptions of light lager beer.
Bauhaus launched in bars at the start of the week and will be available in over 20 metro locations soon. Cans are expected to hit stores in late summer or early fall.
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