If you're looking for a reason to cut out of work and start your weekend a little early on Friday, Fulton Brewery has an excellent one: growlers go on sale starting at 4 p.m. The guys behind the brand will also be offering free beer samples and a peek at the inner workings of the brewery. "This weekend will be more of an open house format," says Jim Diley, vice president of Fulton. "We will do formal tours at some point down the road, but since we're just opening we want to encourage people to come up and touch the equipment and talk to us. We'll all be there to talk about anything from the basics of the brewing process to discussing intricacies of a certain recipe." Come for the free samples, stay for the trade secrets.
Here are the details:
As the only downtown Minneapolis packaging brewery, it makes sense that Fulton would branch out to selling the refillable half-gallons. Their one caveat? Under Minnesota law the brewers are only allowed to fill Fulton-issued beer vessels, so don't show up with a Gasthof's boot or an old apple juice jug expecting to go home with some Sweet Child of Vine.
Aside from working on their winter seasonal, a Russian Imperial Stout called Worthy Adversary, which Diley describes as "a variation on our Firkin winner War and Peace," Fulton has another big project in the works: an onsite taproom. "We have our building plans back from the architect and will have them reviewed by the end of the week, so it's moving along, and we're very excited." Will the taproom serve food? "We will definitely be just beer at first," Diley says. There's nothing in our plans in the way of a kitchen. When we look at other successful taproom models like Odell Brewing in Fort Collins, they allow themselves to just focus on the beer and being a brewery and not a restaurant. They work with the food trucks in the area and make pairing suggestions. We want to work with the other businesses in our area and complement them."
Fulton expects to open the taproom to the public by February or March. The project was made possible by the "Surly bill" that the Minnesota Legislature passed earlier this year, which made it legal for brewers to sell pints of their own beer on brewery premises. For now, we'll settle for 64 ounces in a convenient take-home container.
Growler sale dates and times:
November 18, 4-7 p.m.
November 19, 12-5 p.m. November 23, 4-7 p.m.
Beers available: Lonely Blonde, Sweet Child of Vine IPA, and a limited supply of the Libertine, an Imperial Red Ale.