Think it's hard to keep up with all the new breweries in the state? Try running one. Dangerous Man, who recently announced plans to increase their footprint in Northeast Minneapolis by adding a growler shop, is losing head brewer Keigan Knee to his own start-up, Modist Brewing. Modist, described as a play on the word "modify," will be located in the North Loop neighborhood near Target Field, and will feature a production brewery, a sizable taproom, and a patio.
Located at 505 N. Third St, the brewery will cost nearly $1 million and brew 2,500 barrels in its first year, focusing on production first with a taproom to offer special beers and test out new ideas. The ambitious size is designed to minimize the need for further expansion in the company's early years. Knee is partnering with John Donnelly and Kale Anderson (currently at Lucid) and with Eric Paredes (who has worked with the University of Minnesota, Land O' Lakes, E&J Gallo Winery, and Kraft Foods). The four plan to open Modist this winter, aiming for a late 2015 opening if possible. "I have had the idea for around five years now," Knee says of the new brewery. He's gained much needed experience in the meantime.
While Knee's loss will be felt at Dangerous Man, the company stresses that they wish him the best of luck. "In the three years we have been open we have lost three employees," says Sarah Bonvallet at Dangerous Man. Those employees haven't left based on working conditions, she notes, but to follow their own ambitions with other start-ups, such as Oliphant and Farmhouse Madeline Island in Wisconsin, and, now, with Modist Brewing.
"If every employee we lose goes off to pursue their passion and make this world better," she says. "I could not be happier." Knee has been with Dangerous Man since it opened in 2012.
Dangerous Man's founder, Rob Miller, has created approximately 80% of the recipes brewed at Dangerous Man, so fans needn't panic about staff changes. Knee influenced the flavors at Dangerous Man, but Modist recipes will come from his homebrew recipe book and not from the taps at Dangerous Man.
In fact, Knee was responsible for training Dangerous Man's brew staff, so his influence will live on. Instead of mourning of the loss of a valuable teammate, Bonvallet sees Modist's opening as a reason to celebrate. "We will shed some tears and drink some beers [when Knee leaves the brewery], and have a new place to hang out."
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