Yes, another one! Another new local brewery. But this new Minneapolis brewery is big news, a 15-barrel system (as big as Surly when Surly opened) smack dab in the middle of Northeast Minneapolis, with a tap-room serving Indian street food. No, really. Here are the details: 612Brew is four friends and co-owners, Adit Kalra, Robert Kasak, Ryan Libby, and Jamey Rossbach, who started as home brew enthusiasts and went on to . . . Yeah I know, it’s exactly the Fulton Brewing story. Except totally different! Because this new 612Brew will specialize in something called “sessionable” beers, that is, beers that are lower in alcohol, that you can drink a few of. This session beer thing is evidently a controversy and hotspot in craft beer circles, this lower alcohol line might be drawn at 4.0 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) or 4.5 percent; it might have to correlate to lower prices, or it might not. (If you want to learn more, check out The Session Beer Project.) Ryan Libby, one of the co-owners of 612Brew, tells me that while sessionable beer has a rich tradition in England, where lower alcohol beers were historically taxed at a lower rate, 612Brew is not looking across the pond, they will be making American-style sessions. “We want you to drink us every day—they’re lighter beers.” But not light beers. RateBeer.com has a nice list of the top 50 American Craft session beers, if you want to see if you’re already unwittingly on board the Session train. Surly has two of them, Surly Bitter, and Surly Hell, so hell! Maybe we already are a national session beer leader. Will we take over the sessionable beer market? I guess we’ll find out. While we eat Indian street food. Why Indian street food? Co-owner Adit Kalra’s family owns Tandoor, in Bloomington, and the friends have become big fans of beer alongside Indian snacks such as samosas and aloo chat—co-owner Ryan Libby tells me that the 612Brew Rye IPA goes particularly well with Indian treats.
The brewery itself looks pretty easy on the eyes: It’s going into the northeast corner of Broadway and Central, where they both swoop up as they do, in one of those buildings that’s partly below the actual street level. I’m told this gives the brewery a nice amount of privacy and the capacity to put a rain-garden in right in the middle of the city. Projected opening date? This fall: October or November. 612Brew, 945 NE Broadway St., Mpls., 612brew.com