Minnesota's craft beers may seem all shiny and new, but Wild Mind Artisan Ales wants to turn back the clock to simpler times and age-old brewing styles.
The new brewery plans to open at 6031 Pillsbury Ave. S. in late spring or early summer, and will specialize in lesser known rustic Belgian ales.
"About 70 percent of our beer will fall into the sour, wild, and farmhouse categories,” says Mat Waddell, founder and head brewer. The remaining beers will pull from familiar styles like pales ales, stouts, and potentially cider and mead.
Wild Mind is stressing the rustic aspect of its beers, which will use Minnesota cultured wild yeasts. The taproom will be green, welcoming, and family-friendly in the Windom neighborhood. Inside it will have a community feel, with a large projection TV for movie nights and screening the Olympics this summer; outside, the courtyard will have yard games and a screen for summer movies.
Waddell plans to pull from the neighborhood’s lush scenery, integrating elements from nearby parks, trails, and lakes to capture Windom's personality. Inside the brewery, the wood cellar will be on full display, where the beers will be aged in large oak barrels called foudres.
A mechanical engineer by trade, Waddell notes that his family has been making beer since his great-grandparents’ generation. He’s volunteered at Capital Brewing in Madison, Wisconsin, and will be interning with Badger Hill this spring. Rustic ales have long appealed to him, with their varied profiles and ingredients, and he sees an opening in the current beer scene.
“I started out three years ago wanting to open an oak barrel-aging brewery because I couldn’t find these styles of beer in Minnesota,” he says. “Nobody was really focusing on that.”
With the build-out underway, south Minneapolis will have its new brewery soon enough. “I’m really excited to showcase these, especially in our foudres," says Waddell. "It is a style that I truly enjoy and am passionate about brewing.”