A storied Minneapolis building gets a new lease on life.
by Brian Kaufenberg
Jeff Hahn, CEO of Internet Exposure, describes himself as an entrepreneur. Perhaps that’s what drew him to the historic Day Block building in Minneapolis. Built in 1883 by Leonard Day, a local businessman involved in the flour milling and lumber industries, the building got its name for the fact that Day owned the whole city block surrounding it.
The entrepreneurial spirit of Day is ingrained in the building, which has housed an innovative hospital, furniture maker and undertaker, and a plumbing supply store over the years. Now, Day’s spirit is carried on through Hahn, who bought the building in 2005 to house his third floor web development and marketing company, his second floor Day Block event center, and his soon-to-open first floor brewpub.
Cory Williamson, who is the Lead Interactive Producer for Internet Exposure and resident homebrewer, helped fuel the dream of the brewery. Williamson, Jeff Hahn, and his brother Chris Hahn have been homebrewing in the office for two years, testing batches on a pilot system and sharing samples with their colleagues on “Beer Fridays.”
When the restaurant leasing the first floor did not renew their lease this past year, Jeff Hahn, Chris Hahn, and Williamson jumped at the opportunity to make their dream a reality. They began doing research on breweries versus brewpubs and ultimately decided to move forward with a brewpub and pizzeria concept.
With the plan set, they hired Paul Johnston as their head brewer. Johnston began his career in the beer industry at Midwest Supplies before heading to Siebel Institute in Chicago where he received his Master Brewer’s certificate. He then spent time brewing in the Twin Cities at Harriet Brewing and Lucid Brewing before meeting Hahn and Williamson.
The company applied for their brewer’s notice in January 2013 and they ordered a 10 bbl brewhouse, including a 15 bbl mash tun for higher gravity brews, in May.
“We got a huge boost from the [brewing] community, which was fantastic,” Hahn says about the whirlwind process of opening his brewpub. If everything goes to plan, Day Block Brewing will be open January 2014, serving up piping hot pizzas and five to six different styles of beer to match the preferences of any beer drinker.
The Brewer: Paul Johnston
The Beer: TBD, but expect five to six different styles at the start
Visit: 1105 Washington Ave S., Minneapolis, MN 55415