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Sidhe, a Wiccan Brewery, Opens and Impresses in East St. Paul's Payne-Phalen

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It's easy to paint the newly opened Sidhe Brewing Company (pronounced "she") as "the Wiccan brewery," but the new start-up isn't just a female-owned nanobrewery with an affinity for Mother Earth. It's also a much needed watering hole addition to St. Paul's east side.

See also: New St. Paul Brewery, Sidhe's Beer Hits the Market at El Señor Sol Tap Takeover

Located in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood, the new brewery, owned jointly by Kathleen Culhane, Robin Kinney, Rosemary Kosmatka, and Erica Rogers, is in a soft open phase with taproom hours each Thursday through Sunday. They are planning a grand opening on May 29.

After starting construction last summer, Sidhe is clearly still a work in progress with bare walls, measuring tape, and ladders in plain sight, but the beer is ready now, and it's impressive -- an array of six different taps, many with a distinctive, earthy base.

Flights are available by the mini-pour, meaning you can try all six at $1.50 a pop, or go for just a couple of them, or tackle the grown-up sizes such as a 10-ounce tulip of Hopped Up McGonigal IPA (8.3% ABV), or a 16-ounce pint of Dark Moon Rising dry stout.

The Bast Kissed cream ale features a clean malt base and easy drinkability, but it didn't jump out from the pack. The Barking Cat Belgian golden strong did: It's a nice spiced beer with a hint of honey that gives a cloudy, heavier feel and would make a nice spring patio beer -- unless you have plans for the day afterward. It's got a 9.9% ABV. The Greenman's Harvest nut brown ale stood out as well. It has a clean profile like the Bast Kissed and will be sold to at least one St. Paul bar outside of the taproom soon.

The Plaza del Sol building

The Plaza del Sol building

The Dark Moon Rising was another favorite, with a big roast profile that finishes smooth. The malt roast is prominent but avoids the smoky, overdone aspect of many similarly dry stouts.

Señor Sol Victorious Mexican/Vienna lager, named for Sidhe's neighbors at Señor Sol Mexican restaurant, is also currently on tap. The Vienna malts give a nice sweetened depth and the whole thing would go down easy with a plate of enchiladas.

The layout of the building is inviting, open yet cozy -- a true corner pub vibe. It seats 68 and has a well-stocked game shelf, including Rock'em Sock'em Robots and Star Wars-themed Life.

Head brewer Kathleen Culhane is using a custom built 2bbl system, so supplies are limited and fresh. The taproom is currently the main place to get Sidhe beer, but they are planning to slowly enter into some accounts with local bars as well.

Sidhe's grand opening, later this month, will feature music, poetry, comedy, and more.

Grand opening: Friday, May 29: 4-11 p.m. Saturday, May 30: Noon-11 p.m. Sunday, May 31: Noon-7 p.m.

Regular taproom hours: Thursday-Friday: 4-11 p.m. Saturday: 12-11 p.m. Sunday: 12-7 p.m.

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