Three Breweries Currently Eyeing the Capital City
On a 7-0 vote, the Saint Paul City Council today changed the licensing requirements to make more taprooms possible in redeveloping sections of the city. The change takes effect in thirty days.
The city already allowed brewery taprooms in St. Paul—Summit Brewing Co. opened one last fall. However, Summit is located in an industrial park, not a mixed-use neighborhood. Until today, Sec. 409.06 of the Saint Paul Legislative Code prohibited the city from issuing a liquor license to any premises located within 300 feet from a school or house of worship. Council member Russ Stark, the Ward 4 representative who authored the change, noted “churches and charter schools have proliferated in recent years in the West Midway industrial area, making it much harder to find a location in the area where a brewery-associated taproom in St. Paul would be permitted.” Stark hopes that the change will encourage even more craft breweries with taprooms to locate in the city.
The taproom model, while relatively new to Minnesota, has found increasing favor around the country. The taproom (or tasting room, as it is sometimes called) allows the brewery to create a positive cash flow and to make early reinvestment in the business, according to Jack Curtain, an industry analyst writing the most recent issue of The New Brewer. Tap rooms also build recognition for the brand, and allow customers to talk to brewery personnel and experience the brewing environment—critical activities for a business in which the backstory of the beer is almost as important as the flavor.
“Microbreweries are part of a growing urban agricultural industry where I believe we’ll see continued growth over the next few years,” said Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. “They bring a creative vibe to the Green Line that draws in all generations to explore their local craft beers and other neighborhood businesses. Saint Paul has been a beer town for generations, and these microbreweries and taprooms in St. Paul are small businesses that continue to make Saint Paul a vital and energetic city.” Three businesses already have plans to take advantage of the development along the Central Corridor light rail line to create breweries: Bang Brewing Co. (2320 Capp Road), Burning Brothers Brewing (1750 Thomas Avenue), and Urban Growler Brewing Co. (2325 Endicott Street). The rapid growth seen recently promises new jobs and new opportunities for the city, as well as a greater variety of beers and gathering places for area beer lovers.
View Prospective St. Paul Breweries in a larger map