The forecast looks bright for Bad Weather Brewing as they finalize plans for their brewery in a 12,000 sq ft warehouse along St. Paul’s West 7th Street.
The grand plans for the brewery include a 1,500–2,000 sq ft taproom with glass garage doors in the main garage area, an outdoor patio, a special event space in the current front office room, and installing a 20 bbl brewhouse equipped with 20 to 40 bbl fermenters. Most importantly, the new brewery will offer the company a permanent home.
Bad Weather Brewing began brewing its beer in an alternating proprietorship arrangement at Lucid Brewing’s Minnetonka facility in 2013. The partnership made them the third brewery to brew in the same brewhouse behind Lucid and Badger Hill Brewing, who is currently moving into their own brewing space in Shakopee.
The alternating proprietorship is an partnership that allows two or more individual breweries to operate out of the same brewery and share equipment. By pooling their assets, it enables the partner breweries to invest in higher quality infrastructure for the shared brewhouse space, and helps defer down the cost of opening for a new brewery while they search for their own brewery space.
“Our partnership with Lucid Brewing has been a wonderful jumping off point,” said Carpenter. “Sharing knowledge and space with Lucid and Badger Hill this last year and a half has been an invaluable experience for us. With that experience in hand, we can achieve our goal of opening up our own brewery and taproom.”
The partnership with Lucid and Badger Hill that allowed Bad Weather to get on their feet won’t end when they move to St. Paul. The West 7th Street brewery will house Bad Weather’s kegging line to fulfill on-premise retail accounts and taproom, while all bottling will continue to be done at Lucid’s Minnetonka facility and any future canning will be done at Badger Hill’s new Shakopee brewery.
Once Giambruno and Carpenter found the 414 7th St. W. site, the choice to move to St. Paul was a relatively easy decision. “St. Paul, to me, has more of a laid-back vibe. And it needs more breweries,” said Giambruno. “We always wanted to be closer to the cities and we wanted to be closer to St. Paul.”
“Here, [at Smith Ave. and West 7th], you’re the neighborhood brewery,” added Carpenter, “That’s gonna be huge.”
The neighborhood has seen an influx in new, young residents with opening of the Schmidt Artist Lofts at the long vacant brewery, and a collection of independent businesses from Mojo Monkey Donuts, The Beer Dabbler Store, Bearded Mermaid, and Claddagh Coffee have brought renewed interest in the stretch of St. Paul home to long-time businesses such as J.W. Hulme, Mancini’s Char House, DeGidio’s, Pearson’s Candy, and Summit Brewing among many others.
The hope is that Bad Weather’s 100-person taproom will serve as a gathering space for neighbors and expose visiting beer drinkers from other parts of the Metro Area and out-state regions to St. Paul and West 7th Street.
“What this [new] space will give us is a face to the brand,” explained Carpenter. He and Giambruno plan to take full advantage of the opportunity to breathe new life into the vacant warehouse and capture the essence of the Bad Weather brand by refacing the entire building and landscaping the property. “There will be a giant weather vane on top,” Carpenter assured us with a smile.
Giambruno and Carpenter have even created a lifetime membership program that entitles a person to two free pints per visit, a Bad Weather work shirt, pint glass, and members-only ball cap, plus an invitation to an early preview tour and to the soft opening of the taproom all for $1,000.
Businesses can become brewery members for $5,000 and have use of the brewery’s event center twice a year for five years, a private brewery tour for the business, an invitation to the soft opening, and two cases of Bad Weather glassware. Personal and business memberships are capped at a combined total of 200 memberships and can be applied for at Bad Weather’s website now through November 1, 2014.
For members and casual patrons alike, Bad Weather will open its doors to the public in early 2015 and add to the growing community of West 7th Street one pint at a time.