First Look: Number 12 Cider’s North Loop taproom is open for business

A glass of Black Market, the rebranded version of Number 12's Black Currant Dry, sits on the bar of the cidery's new North Loop taproom // Photo by Aaron Job

A glass of Black Market, the rebranded version of Number 12’s Black Currant Dry, sits on the bar of the cidery’s new North Loop taproom // Photo by Aaron Job

Cider is flowing in the North Loop as Number 12 Cider’s new cidery and taproom opened last week.

The taproom, located at 614 5th St. N. in Minneapolis, adds to the craft credentials of the neighborhood, which already boasts Inbound BrewCo, Modist Brewing, and Fulton Brewing’s taprooms within walking distance of each other.

Number 12 Cider co-owners Colin Post and Steve Hance released their first cider to the world in the spring of 2015 and had been operating a taproom in partnership with the owners of Deer Lake Orchard in Buffalo, Minnesota. With the new urban location, Number 12 is moving its entire production to Minneapolis and has refreshed their brand in the process. In addition to dropping “House” from their name, Number 12 Cider has a new logo and is introducing a slew of new varieties and blends of cider beyond their core three styles, which are also getting a rebrand: Sparkling Dry is now Voyage, Black Currant Dry is now Black Market, and Chestnut Semi-Dry is now Helix. The taproom has 16 total draft lines; their goal is to have them all eventually flowing with different varieties.

Andrew Dimery, the former head brewer of Lakes & Legends Brewing Company, will manage the production side of the cidery. Here, Dimery is moving a keg // Photo by Aaron Job

The Number 12 team hopes to use the taproom to educate consumers on cider, which is often a misunderstood beverage. “Hopefully, you walk out of here [learning] something more about cider that you didn’t already know,” Post said in an interview with The Growler this summer.

Post and Hance are also angling to make a bigger splash in the distribution market with the upgraded facilities. Eventually, Number 12’s core brands will be available for purchase in four-packs of 12-ounce cans, a change from their current 750-milliliter bottles (which they will continue to use for special, limited-run releases).

With the taproom open seven days a week, producing enough cider to keep up with demand is the main concern for Post and Hance. A few months ago, they hired Andrew Dimery, formerly the head brewer of Lakes & Legends Brewing Company, to manage the production operations of the cidery.

A view of the taproom facing North. To the right the stairs lead to an elevated mezzanine which will offer more seating // Photo by Aaron Job

A view of the taproom facing North. To the right the stairs lead to an elevated mezzanine which will offer more seating // Photo by Aaron Job

Left, the taproom while under construction. Right is the completed bar as it appears when entering the taproom // Photos by Aaron Job

The taproom design is wood-forward, though it has a sleeker, more modern feel than the rustic barnwood aesthetic found at many other taprooms. In addition to bar seating, a mix of booths, long communal tables, high tops, and a mezzanine lounge provides different levels of intimacy for guests. Outside, Number 12 constructed a courtyard patio where they will operate a permanent pizza trailer called Little Tomato. Illuminated tap towers draw your eye to the bar, behind which stands a tall three-panel window giving guests a view of cider aging in oak barrels and bubbling away in stainless steel fermentors on the production floor.

Number 12 is the second cidery and taproom operating under the commercial winery license in Minneapolis, after Urban Forage Winery & Cider House in the Longfellow neighborhood. (Sociable Cider Werks is licensed as a brewery. You can learn more about the nuances in The Growler’s Field Guide to Cider.) With two more urban cideries on the verge of opening in Duluth and one more coming to Minneapolis, it’s clear that Minnesota cider is entering a new era.

Colin Post, right, and Steve Hance sit inside their newly opened taproom in the North Loop of Minneapolis, Minnesota // Photo by Aaron Job

Colin Post, right, and Steve Hance sit inside their newly opened taproom in the North Loop of Minneapolis, Minnesota // Photo by Aaron Job

What: Number 12 Cider

Address: 614 5th St. N., Minneapolis, MN

Hours: Monday–Thursday, 3–11pm; Friday and Saturday, 11am–11pm; Sunday, 11am–10pm

Online: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

About Brian Kaufenberg

Brian Kaufenberg is the editor-in-chief of The Growler Magazine.