Start-up brewery Urban Growler is now open for business, six years after revealing its plans for a St. Paul suds factory. For now, the brewery is in its soft-opening phase, operating for limited hours on Wednesday through Saturday, with a promise to increase hours as more beers have completed brewing. In the meantime, the St. Anthony Park brewery is serving two beers: CowBell Cream Ale and Sission IPA -- both mild and easy-drinking beers that pair well with the brewery's kitchen offerings.
"We want to be known for good food and beer," says Jill Pavlak, who co-owns the brewery with Deb Loch. "Chef Paul [Suhreptz] is killing it with his Cubans and spinach artichoke dip."
A grand opening has been scheduled for August 27 at 5 p.m. and will feature a ribbon-cutting ceremony by the owners, their families, Mayor Chris Coleman, and several other St. Paul figures who helped the company get on its feet. Urban Growler hopes to have its Rhubarb Wit on tap for the event, which is the first in their series of Plow to Pint beers -- beers crafted using locally farmed ingredients.
What does the grand opening mean for the business? "The only difference between now and then," says Pavlak, "would be the customer experience. Instead of 'customers' [our current visitors] should be referred to as 'guinea pigs.' We are still training and working out some issues."
The brewery is a few blocks north of University Avenue and next door to Bang Brewing in an industrial part of the St. Anthony Park neighborhood. It is housed inside a former city stable building with a brick exterior, high ceilings, and ample natural light. The brewery is also the first Twin Cities taproom to include a kitchen, and is notable as Minnesota's first woman-owned brewery. The owners say they're excited about Urban Growler's community, near to other breweries but also surrounded by creative enterprises and small shops.
"You should jump off the Green Line light rail at the Raymond Station and grab a Nice Ride bike and cruise north," Pavlak says. "You will find some sweet vintage shops and restaurants: Succotash, Keys Café, Foxy Falafel, and Barely Brothers Records, to name a few. Continue on to Bang Brewery, Burning Brothers Brewery, and end up with yours truly, Urban Growler."
Sounds like your next weekend excursion has been planned, Hot Dishers.
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