Tim Kessler and Max Filter, cousins, St. Paulites, and co-owners of Midway’s newest brewery, Dual Citizen Brewing Company, are calling for beer drinkers to set aside any perceived differences and come together over a pint.
He and Kessler named their brewery Dual Citizen as a tongue-in-cheek ode to calling both Minneapolis and St. Paul home. Filter, born in Minneapolis and raised in St. Paul, says he has always considered himself a citizen of both cities, which have an unofficial, long-standing rivalry.
“It doesn’t matter which side of the river you’re from—you’re always a ‘Twin Citizen,’” Kessler says.
For Filter, head brewer of Dual Citizen, the idea of calling more than one place home runs deeper than his relationship with the Twin Cities. He started homebrewing with Kessler in 2009 and fell in love with brewing as a student at Lewis and Clark College in Portland. In 2012, after completing the Siebel Institute’s International Diploma in Brewing Technology in Chicago and Munich (Kessler completed the program the same year), he moved to Colorado to package with Left Hand and later brew with Renegade Brewing.
“I’m a citizen of Colorado as much as I am of Minnesota at this point,” Filter says. “It’s cool to be able to bring that back with me.”
He and Kessler have dreamed of running their own brewery since 2010, when they had a failed attempt at opening a brewery in St. Paul. Having learned what not to do and after seven years of planning and searching for the right location, their dreams are finally becoming a reality.
For their January 27 grand opening, Filter and Kessler are aiming to have between six and eight beers on tap. Of those beers, Filter is most excited for their Grand Imperial Stout, while Kessler is looking forward to serving the Hoppy Amber. They are focusing on American styles, but plan on asking their customers for feedback on beers going forward.
“We’re not just going to make our beer and say, ‘Here it is. Come and drink it,’” Kessler says. “We want some feedback. Let us work with you and make this a place you want to come.”
Dual Citizen is working with Mo’hops, a startup hop farm in Medford, Minnesota, to source local hops. The entirety of their first crop was enough for a batch of beer, Filter says, and they plan to collaborate on a co-branded beer with them in the near future. They are also working with Inland Island Yeast Laboratories out of Colorado, as Filter has worked with the owner since his Renegade days.
Though Dual Citizen will sell growlers and Crowlers out of their taproom near the corner of University and Raymond, they have no distribution plans for the time being.
“This section of Midway is growing crazy fast right now,” Filter says. “We’re focusing here first and plan on moving as much beer through the taproom as we can brew.”
The neighborhood’s immense growth promises plenty of nearby customers for the taproom, many of whom live right above the brewery itself in C&E Flats. Since the brewery has only a few parking spaces, Kessler and Filter are promoting public transport via the nearby Green Line and walking or biking to the brewery.
With six breweries within a square mile of Dual Citizen, they are working to pave their own path through community outreach.
“We want to reach back out into the community and try and use our platform to bump this neighborhood and community up,” Kessler says. He and Filter have identified several nonprofits based nearby in Midway that they want to work with, and a few have already shown reciprocal interest.
“We’re still trying to figure out what that outreach looks like, whether we’re organizing action days or picking a beer and donating a certain portion of the proceeds,” Filter says. Their aim is to emphasize their taproom as a community gathering place and their business as a community mainstay.
Besides philanthropy, they want to host weekly board game and trivia nights, live music, and food trucks on weekends. With the array of restaurants in the area, like their neighbor The Naughty Greek, Kessler and Filter have been working on providing delivery options to the taproom.
Despite the saturation of breweries in the area, Kessler says their biggest aim is to be the neighborhood brewery. “We want to be here and be local,” he says. “That’s the kind of footprint we want to fill.”
“The word citizen to me means more than just being a resident,” he says. “It means being an active part of the community that you’re in and giving back as much as you take.”
Brewer: Max Filter
Beers: Lyndale Session Pale Ale, Broadway IPA, Kellogg Cream Ale, Grand Imperial Stout
Address: 725 Raymond Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55114