Less than two years after becoming Buffalo, Minnesota’s, first-ever brewery, Hayes’ Public House is making news again: Their beloved brews will soon be available on tap at a handful area establishments.
Hayes’ Public House opened in November 2013 as the low-key, three-barrel system-equipped Irish-pub dream of Pugs Hayes: welder, brewer, business-degree holder, and former mentee of Kieran Folliard. The pub initially offered just classic British and Irish session-style brews and was an instant hit with area beer lovers. To keep up with demand, Hayes expanded his hours and started playing around with more adventurous beers. The pub now offers seven taps, ranging in styles from a Russian imperial stout to a malt-based gluten-free cider, as well as a cask on the weekends.
But Hayes wanted to do more.
So, this past March, he expanded his operation to include four new severn-barrel tanks. “With the new tanks, I’m able to have more control, which will make for a cleaner, even tastier product,” Hayes says. “Once we get back on a brew schedule, we’ll start distributing to a few local establishments—most likely our staples, possibly a seasonal ale. The sky’s the limit.”
Hayes inaugurated the first new tank on April 6 with the pub’s flagship beer, O’Ruaidhri’s Irish Red (pronounced “O’Rory”). The Irish red has been the pub’s bestseller since day one and will be the first to be distributed, says Hayes. As for the other three: Tank 2 will brew Stella’s Pale Ale, a malt-forward ale named after Hayes’ grandmother, who served during WWII and ranked as sergeant; Tank 3 will brew another batch of The Dullahan Celtic Headless Horseman Coffee Porter, made with Buffalo Books & Coffee’s cold-press coffee recipe (five different types of beans roasted in-house at different temperatures to add complexity and depth); and Tank 4 will brew Hayes’ Irish Stout, another pub favorite that will remain in-house, always on nitro.
Asked whether or not bottling or canning are in his future, Hayes quotes his business motto: “Take things as they come, work with what you have, and grow slowly.”
He goes on: “Starting small, building a loyal following, and growing from there gives you more time to enjoy the ride—hard times and fun times. It helps you not take for granted where you are in life and the things you already have—most importantly the family, friends, and loyal customers that helped you get there.”
That said, if demand calls for bottling, Hayes will tackle that project one step at a time. His main goal though is to stay focused on enjoying the process—every part of it. “Passion overcomes money, always,” he says. “If you show passion and believe in what you are doing, money will follow.”