Naysayers who think microbreweries have saturated the market and there's nothing new to offer should look no further than 56 Brewing. The new brewery is set to open in late March or early April in Northeast and will offer a unique, green-themed operation, including a sort of subscription service for beer.
You read that right: 56 Brewing is following a "CSB" plan. Similar to a CSA (community supported agriculture) program, in which participants invest in a farm and receive regular produce in return, 56 will allow people to invest in batches of beer.
"Basically by prepaying for the beer you get a discount and some great membership benefits," says Kerry Johnson, who owns 56 Brewing with her husband, head brewer Kale Johnson, and six other investors. The brewery hopes to eventually deliver its beer via a bike delivery service.
Though they can only sell 90 shares of the CSB program to start, "anyone can buy the beer anytime even without membership," Johnson says.
56 purchased its brewery site and equipment from old tenants NorthGate Brewing. The microbrewery is limited to roughly 750 square feet, and will start out serving draft accounts at bars and restaurants about town and filling growlers and pouring samples without a taproom.
"Expanding into a larger system with a taproom in a few years, that would be awesome," Kerry says, but first they want to establish the brand based on a quality reputation and noteworthy beers. What truly sets 56 apart is its eco-focus.
Owners will plant an onsite garden and grow their own hops, as well as herbs and spices, some of which will make its way to the beer. And since the brewery is located just off the in-construction St. Anthony Parkway Bridge, 56 hopes to build a clientele of cyclists using nearby paths.
Why 56? That's a secret to be revealed at their grand opening this spring.
Kale has been homebrewing since 2009. "I remember one of our fist dates was when he invited me to a homebrew session in his backyard", says Kerry. "Kale and Nick [Chute] have been homebrewing for many years, making the best beer I have ever tried."
Their beers will be made with as many local ingredients as possible. "Everything in the brewery has ties to Northeast," says Kale.
When 56 opens, it will serve four flagships, listed below, and a rotation of seasonal and occasional barrel-aged beers.
56 Brewing's regular rotation beers: Dark Territory, dark chocolate coconut stout Northeast Nectar, honey kolsch Lake Sandy Rye, rye pilsner Polonaise APA, American pale ale
56 Brewing 612-404-0056
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