Now Open (Or Damn Close): Modist Brewing Company

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Eric Paredes admiring his paint job. Construction is still underway at Modist, located in Minneapolis’ North Loop neighborhood // Photo by Aaron Davidson

Beyond the brewing equipment, Modist’s taproom is full of little nods to the brewery’s mission of customizing—or “mod-ing”—a space or process. The centerpiece, as with most taprooms, is the bar. It stretches across the width of the taproom and features ash wood from Wood From the Hood, cement, metal, and stainless steel. Gleaming white subway tiles fill the wall behind the 16 taps, which are split into two custom-built delivery systems. Black asterisk-shaped chandeliers outlined with small round light bulbs hang from the ceiling.

A black “M,” Modist’s logo, hangs on the wall. The lounge area tucked to the left of the main entrance gives off living room vibes, stocked with dark brown leather couches and low tables. Towering garage doors await warmer weather, when they’ll open to a full patio. Together, the black, gray, brown, and white elements, with splashes of that signature turquoise blue, create a modern-yet-industrial, clean cut-yet-cozy effect.

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The bar at Modist, which is serving more as a communal desk during construction // Photo by Aaron Davidson

Instead of ordering from anywhere at the bar, customers will be directed to two tills next to an education/crowler station on the right end of the bar. Then, beer in hand, they’ll slide to the left to drink at the bar or head to one of the 20 high- and low-top tables scattered throughout the space. Those unsure of what to order will be invited to go to the right of the tills to the education station, where a staff member will offer samples, descriptions, and explanations of each beer being served.

Education is key to Modist’s mission. That’s because Modist isn’t going to be brewing their beer according to Beer Judge Certification Program or Great American Beer Festival style guidelines, which means no IPAs, pale ales, porters, etc. will be seen on their menu. Rather, alcohol content, bitterness units, and other such descriptions of what to expect will describe the beers. It’s a risk, and the Modist team wants to transition drinkers into the process as smoothly as possible.

Fermenters border the taproom at Modist // Photo by Aaron Davidson

Fermenters border the taproom, with no glass separating brewhouse from consumer // Photo by Aaron Davidson

As for what those beers will be, Modist will have five flagship beers: Toats, a hop-forward, session ale made with 68-percent oats; pHresh, a tart but not-too-sour “gateway sour”; Wasteland, a bigger, 7–8% ABV, hop-forward ale made with close to 75-percent rye; First Call, a cold-press coffee lager; and Smoove, a caramel sea salt dessert lager that will clock in around 5.5–6% ABV.

Each of the beers reflects the goal of Modist, in big ways and small. “Being a modist means to modify all and everything, with the discipline of tradition,” Keigan says. “We’re out to change the game, get creative, push boundaries, and let our imaginations run wild—and we want to inspire others to do the same.”

They hope to have at least three of their five flagships ready to go on opening day, as well as their “calibration brew,” or, as marketing manager Dan Wellendorf calls it, the “Data Acquisition Ale”—essentially, the beer they’re brewing to get to know their system.

Modist will be a glass-free brewery, meaning there won’t be growlers sold there. But there will be crowlers, and they’ll fill any clean growler. They plan to start distributing to bars about a month after opening (keep an eye on Grumpy’s NE, hint, hint) and canning within the first nine months.

Grand opening is set for Friday, April 15, but Dan says “if you happen to be walking by the week before, and our door is open, feel free to pop in and say hi.”

If and when you do swing by, expect to find one-of-a-kind beer being made with new-to-Minnesota equipment by some of the most creative minds in the business.


Brewer: Keigan Knee

Beer: Toats (a hop-forward, session ale made with 68% oats), pHresh (session sour), Wasteland (hop-forward rye ale, made with 75% rye), First Call (cold-press coffee lager), Smoov (caramel sea-salt lager)

Visit: 505 N Third Street, Minneapolis, (612) 454-0258

Hours: Tuesday-Thursday, 4-10pm; Friday, 3pm-12am; Saturday, 12pm-12am; Sunday 12pm-10pm; open for all Twins home games an hour before and after the game

Grand Opening: April 15

Online: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

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Ellen Burkhardt About Ellen Burkhardt

Ellen Burkhardt is a freelance writer. When she's not writing, editing, or interviewing, chances are she's on the road seeking out good food, drink, and fodder for her next story.

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