Modist Brewing turning boil kettle into hot tub for first anniversary party


Modsit Brewing is celebrating their first anniversary on April 15 in the most Modist way possible // Photo courtesy of Modist Brewing

Modist Brewing Company was built on a philosophy of “modifying” traditional beer styles and brewing practices in the name of imagination and experimentation. Over their first year in business, Modist has put that philosophy into practice by releasing beers like their First Call Cold Press Coffee Lager and German Fat Cap, a German festbier and American IPA mashup.

So it’s only fitting that when Modist celebrates their one year anniversary later this month they’re extending that adventurous philosophy in the name of throwing one heck of a party. For one day and one day only, fans of Modist will be able to get up and close and personal with their 22-barrel brew kettle when it’s transformed into a hot tub.

Hot Tank Time Machine, as they’re calling the bash, will take place Saturday, April 15 from 3pm–12am. Attendees are encouraged to come thirsty, bring their swim gear, and take a dip in the kettle to celebrate Modist’s first anniversary.

Asked where the idea came from, Modist Marketing Manager Dan Wellendorf said they followed a process similar to how they develop new beer recipes.

“The same way [head brewer] Keigan [Knee] doesn’t start with a beer style in mind when formulating recipes, but instead with a flavor and experience, we started thinking about how we could give a cool experience to all the fans who’ve supported us in our first year,” Wellendorf said. “What better way to say ‘thank you’ than giving them a chance to kick back and relax in our brewery in a totally unique way. I mean, who doesn’t love chilling in a hot tub!?”

Attendees will be able to enter the kettle through the circular port hole at the top and lower themselves into the water on a ladder that Modist custom fabricated from co-founder Kale Anderson’s family pontoon to hang from the port hole. While inside, hot tubbers will sit on a ring of benches that will line the edge of the kettle. There will be a 15-minute time limit to make sure everyone has a chance to give the “Hot Tank Time Machine” a try.

Knee said it took a little after hours trial and error from the crew at Modist to figure out the right water level (two-thirds full), temperature (about 101 degrees fahrenheit), and maximum capacity (six people at a time), but he said they’ve got everything pretty dialed in now.

“We’ve done it before as a team-building exercise for our staff,” said Knee. “But I can’t wait for our fans to get a taste of that same experience.”

Now, anyone who’s ever homebrewed or been on a brewery tour probably knows about the importance of cleanliness and sanitization in brewhouses, so what about the elephant in the room of letting random people jump into their brew kettle?

“We’ll definitely give it a good rinse before we brew in it again, so that’s not really a concern,” Knee said.

Not wanting to send people back out on the town with wet swimsuits in tow, Modist will be putting their mash filter to work at the event to help squeeze-dry swimwear.

“We tested that too and it worked so well it’s almost like the manufacturers had this in mind when they built our mash press,” Knee said. “Our suits came out almost as dry as if we’d just pulled them out of the dryer.”


Ain’t no party like a Modist Brewing party // Photo courtesy of Modist Brewing

And what would an anniversary party be without a special beer to go with it? Modist will release Jacuzzi Juize at the event, a hazy New England-style IPA brewed with a malt bill of wheat and oats, hopped with Italian-grown hops, and aged for four months in red wine barrels.

“The hops are a nod to Candido Jacuzzi, the Italian-born inventor of the hydrotherapy pump that paved the way for the pumps used in modern hot tubs,” Knee said. “And we aged it in wine barrels because the first home hot tubs in the U.S. in the 1960s were made from discarded wine vats.”

But what’s really different about Jacuzzi Juize is the water used to brew it.

“After one of our hot tub test runs in the brew kettle we realized that if we just dumped the water, that was more than 500 gallons down the drain,” Wellendorf said. “Being environmentally conscious is important to us, so we decided to brew a beer with it instead. I don’t know if it was something in the wine barrels or the water after we finished soaking in it, but the beer’s got a really unique earthy, funky aroma to it that complements the fruity qualities of the hops.”

Update, 1:40pm: Fake news strikes again—April fools! No, Modist will not be converting their boil kettle into a hot tub for the first anniversary party. Because that would be gross. They will have a dunk tank, though. Get the real scoop on their party here.

About Keith Grauman

Keith Grauman is the web editor at The Growler. When he's not drinking beer at work, he can be found homebrewing, reading comics or playing with his kids in the front yard of his south Minneapolis home.

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