This past January, Pour Decisions Brewing Company in Roseville quietly closed its doors, announcing a merge with Bent, an up-and-coming brewery/distillery. The two businesses would become one, located in the Pour Decisions site on Terrace Drive.
Some eight months later, Bent's "brewstillery" taproom is now open to the public with a lineup befitting the merger: Nordic Blond and Dark Fatha beers from Bent's original offerings mingle with several of head brewer Kristen England's recipes from Pour Decisions. The distillery side of operations just received its license last week and has yet to begin making spirits, but the brewery is all systems go.
Minnesota law forbids a single owner to hold both a taproom and a cocktail room license, so Bent's onsite bar will serve only beer. Cocktail fans will have to get their spirits at bars, restaurants, and liquor stores.
The new taproom has been refitted for a more welcoming vibe. The former home of Pour Decisions, whose name still appears on the sign at the entrance to the industrial park, was minimal and focused on brewery accessibility. The new design is modern with industrial touches; the bar is neatly finished, with an emblem hanging behind it and a large-screen TV nearby. A wrought iron fence separates the distillery from the bar with a clear view of the equipment just behind the taps.
The 115-capacity taproom is open, inviting, and spread out. The bar portion gives way to separate tables and stools near the brewing area, also separated by a fence. While the nearby fermenters make one feel close to the brewing equipment, a piano in one corner of the room keeps the ambiance playful and entertaining.
The patio area is shaded with parasols, though the view of the industrial park doesn't offer much atmosphere beyond the fresh air. Two garage doors open directly into the taproom for a steady breeze and natural lighting, though the open-air ventilation can be of limited effect depending on the weather. On a hot, humid August day whatever weather is outside is felt inside, and the only way to fight the heat is with a cool Nordic Blond. But overall the space is open, spacious, and inviting, and offers a variety of ways to enjoy Bent's beer, from booths to bar stools to piano-side seats and a patio.
The beers are traditional in style with American craft flourishes. A flight features four samples, ranging from light and spiced to dark and chocolatey. Special offerings such as the award-winning barrel-aged Kalamity and the seasonal Maroon & Bold are available separately. While most of the mainstays on tap are sessionable, the brewery embraces a wide range of styles.
In the flight, the Rage on Wombat, an Australian sparkling ale, is light and peppery with a biscuit profile. The Moar, a Scottish Session IPA, is a standout with a light apricot taste that gives way to a sweet honey finish. It registers 44 IBU but has a very hoppy profile with a bitter finish minus the bite that comes with a higher IBU count. The Nordic Blond has been available in 22 oz. bottles for a few months and is described as a cross between a pale ale and a blond ale, with light carbonation and a sweet, creamy finish, and the 9.3% ABV Dark Fatha American Emperial stout is rich with a lot of depth. For non-drinkers and DDs, Bent also sells cold-press coffee and a variety of commercial sodas. Complimentary Krunchers and Cape Cod chips are available for customers to enjoy along with their beers.
In addition to the flight, the 10-ounce pour of Kalamity is rich and powerful, with a vanilla sweetness, a stinging tart cherry, and the barrel effect of whiskey. Regular beers from the site are sold in a range of sizes: five-ounce ($2), 10-ounce ($3), and 20-ounce ($5-$6 depending on the beer). Growler refills are $12.
Federal regulation requires separation of distilling and brewing equipment, thus there is a fence inside the property to distinguish the spirits production from the brewing area. Bent's liquors, once in production, will be made using grain wash created in the brewery and then distilled into spirits such as bourbon, vodka, and gin.
Bent opened doors on August 21. They are currently offering two-for-one beers with a ticket stub from the State Fair.
Bent Brewstillery 1744 Terrace Dr, Roseville 844-879-2368