I am thankful for….tap rooms!

Harriet Brewing 11/9/12 – I’m kind of in love with this picture.

Several of my friends on Facebook have been posting daily “Thanksgiving” posts.  I’m a day late (or nine) but decided that it was a good idea and would give me at least a few weeks of content for this blog, which is still woefully neglected.  But since this is a blog about the MSP, I will post why I’m thankful to live here!

Today, I am thankful for the local tap room trend.
This is a very new trend, the first tap rooms opened just last spring.  But it’s a trend that has caught on quickly, and thank goodness!  For those of you who aren’t aware, tap rooms have nothing to do with tap dancing (though I would encourage that crossover!) but rather are basically brewery bars.  A brewery opens up their doors to the public, and the public can buy a glass of beer in the building where it’s brewed.  This is locavorism to the extreme!  
Rendering of Surly Proposed Destination Brewery
Property of Surly Brewing,
found at http://mntoday.mprnews.org/tag/surly/

I’ve visited the tap rooms at Fulton, Harriet, and Indeed brewing.  Summit just opened one, Flat Earth focuses on growlers but will sell you a pint, Pour Decisions and Steel Toe have received approval.  Dangerous Man just announced they are hiring.  And Surly is building the mothership of tap rooms.

I call Surly’s planned facility “the mothership” for more than just it’s size.  The tap room scene isn’t new just by chance.  Laws had to change to make it happen, and Surly had a major roll in making that change.  Both the brewery and it’s fans worked hard to change laws.  Surly plans to build a destination brewery, but all these other breweries have been given a way to better connect with their growing fan bases.
Indeed Brewing Tap Room Offerings – 8/24/12

Each tap room in the area has a different feel.  Much like your favorite bars.  Fulton is big and bright, with a few TVs around the room.  Harriet feels a bit more intimate, especially now in the colder weather.  They have golden mood lighting and when they don’t have live music, they usually play jazz.  Indeed feels most like a bar, but an awesome classic bar serving nothing but great beer.  Indeed is the only brewery that built their tap room first, or at least at the same time as their brewery.  

Another reason I love tap rooms is the same reason I’ve come to love craft beer culture in general.  The people.  The people who hang out at these places are passionate about their beer and willing to crowd into a brewery to get some.  To be clear, none of these tap rooms serve food, or wine, or anything but their own beer.  The good news is that most tap rooms have a rotating schedule of food trucks.  More about those in a coming installment of MSPThanksgiving.
I opted to start with tap rooms because a)I like them (obviously) and b)I was at one tonight.  A favorite local musician, Actual Wolf, was playing at Harriet Brewing so my friend and I bundled up and headed over for beer and music.  It was fun, relaxed, cozy, and the beer was fabulous.  I was thankful for the music, the company, and of course, the beer.  To the TAP ROOM!

This has a more interesting subject, but lacks a certain “je ne sais quoi”


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