“Aye, and I saw Sisyphus in violent torment, seeking to raise a monstrous stone with both his hands. Verily he would brace himself with hands and feet, and thrust the stone toward the crest of a hill, but as often as he was about to heave it over the top, the weight would turn it back, and then down again to the plain would come rolling the ruthless stone.” – Homer’s Odyssey, Book XI.
The tale of the cunning Corinthian king has become shorthand for meaningless toil, and the punishment that befits a life of deceit. But like Sam Harriman said when we profiled Sisyphus Brewing in “Now Open (Or Damn Close)” back in March, it’s also about decision making and choosing one’s path. And it looks like Harriman is just about to get the boulder over the crest, recently announcing brewery’s imminent opening.
We dropped by on Monday to find that Harriman and wife Catherine Cuddy’s brewery is looking polished and ready for patrons. The space has been split down the middle—brewing space to the left, 100-person capacity taproom to the right (above). Here now, are five things you need to know about Sisyphus:
1) Grand opening: Friday, July 11th at noon.
Initial hours will be Friday and Saturday from noon–1am. Friday will feature Chef Shack parked outside, along with sets from comics including Corey Adam and Gus Lynch. They’re lining up another truck, TBD, for Saturday the 12th.
2) There will be Brett
We’re about 99% positive that the eventual Sisyphus signature beer will involve brettanomyces, and the first strong contender is the gorgeous Brett IPA in Harriman’s starting lineup. The beer isn’t a true sour, instead, it contains just a little bit of that characteristic tartness that melts into a lush, citrusy hop flavor. It’s likely Sisyphus will always have at least one semi-sour available.
3) There will be tap turnover
Harriman is brewing on a 2-bbl system, meaning patrons won’t be able to expect any single brew to stay around too long. The other three beers at the opening are a Kentucky Common (a style traditionally made from a second run of whiskey mash), an Oatmeal Pale Ale, and a Black Ale infused with coffee from Duluth’s Alakef Coffee Roasters.
Harriman expects that Sisyphus will begin recording a podcast from the brewery on regular basis, once the opening fervor has died down and they settle into a more normal routine. He describes the show’s concept as “10–20% beer, and the rest, random stuff.” He expects to interview brewers, but mostly, anyone with an interesting story to tell – especially stand-up comics.
5) The mural is on hold
Don’t come to next Friday’s opening expecting to see the long awaited Josh Lemke/Adam Turman mural (below). With the popular artists’ crazy schedules, and the general cacophony that is opening a brewery, the mural has been pushed down the Sisyphus to-do list.
Sisyphus Brewing, 712 Ontario Ave. W., Minneapolis, 55403.