Sidhe Brewing, a two-barrel nanobrewery operating on Payne Avenue in St. Paul’s East Side for nearly two years, announced Friday it will officially close on March 25.
Co-founder and head brewer Kathleen Culhane cited the hard-to-find location and the lack of foot traffic as major factors in the decision to close Sidhe Brewing, but this isn’t the end of the line for Culhane. She has plans to open a new brewing company under the name Culhane Brewing in the Station 4 building in Lowertown St. Paul, which has been vacant since 2013.
The decision to start a new company rather than relocating Sidhe Brewing was in part due the difficulty some patrons had in pronouncing the Gaelic word, Sidhe. It also will allow Culhane to raise capital for the new project through a round of investing.
In the coming weeks, Culhane plans to launch an investor campaign for the brewery, which would take over a 3,000-square-foot portion of the former live music venue at the corner of 4th and Sibley streets. If she reaches her top fundraising goal, Culhane would install a 10-barrel brewing system in the basement of the space—a major jump up from Sidhe Brewing’s current two-barrel brewhouse—and eventually a full laboratory. If she reaches her minimum goal, the plan is to begin brewing on the nanobrewery system until they could raise the capital to install the larger system. The main floor will be dedicated entirely to Culhane Brewing’s taproom, and will have room for an 80-foot long bar and a stage for live music.
Most of all, Culhane is looking forward to being in the heart of a bustling downtown area. “I’m just ecstatically excited to be in a place with foot traffic,” she says. Being located at the end of the Green Line, Culhane hopes her brewery will become a frequent stop for light rail passengers on their way to St. Paul Saints games or visiting one of Lowertown’s new restaurants.
Sidhe Brewing will continue to operate normal taproom hours until March 25.