It’s official: Surly is coming to Minneapolis.
The craft brewer with a cult following purchased a plot of land Monday where it will build a veritable mecca for beer fans: a $20 million “destination brewery” unlike anything in Minnesota. The facility in the Prospect Park neighborhood will be replete with brewery, beer hall and beer garden.
“We’re excited to be moving to a central location that’ll be a destination for everyone in the Twin Cities,” said Omar Ansari, president of the Brooklyn Center-based company. A consultant for the company said it could be brewing in Minneapolis by 2014, if all goes as planned.
The announcement caps a search that began two years ago when the Legislature approved the so-called Surly bill, allowing brewers to sell pints of their beer on the premises. The new law also helped spur a craft beer boom in neighborhoods across the Twin Cities.
The 8.3-acre site, formerly a food processing plant, is located at the corner of Malcolm Avenue and 5th Street SE. It is just north of what will eventually become the Central Corridor light rail’s Westgate station.
Tom Hauschild, a real estate consultant for the company, said the location is ideal because it is industrially zoned, large enough to accommodate expansion, and close to light rail and bike trails.“This site has so many great attributes,” he said.
The company successfully won $2 million in environmental remediation grants — $500,000 less than they requested — from Hennepin County, the state and the Metropolitan Council to clean up pollution that accumulated over a century of industrial use. It’s also seeking a $500,000 transit-oriented development loan from the county.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak said the city worked with the brewer to change the law and transform the site. “Minnesota Nice is about to get Surly,” he quipped.
Brooklyn Center was among the cities bidding to win the new brewery, but it hasn’t lost the company.
The new facility is intended to expand on, rather than replace, the Brooklyn Center brewery, which will remain operational.
The company said the Minneapolis site is large enough to accommodate production of 100,000 barrels of beer a year. Surly’s production will exceed 20,000 barrels this year.
Attention now turns to the finer details of the plan. The next step is to document pollution at the site in order to release the remediation funds. The company also said Monday that it had hired Barr Engineering as environmental specialists and McGough Construction as general contractor.
The facility — part brewery, part bar and event center — will be the first of its kind in Minnesota. Hauschild said the Stone Brewing Co. brewery in Escondido, Calif., has a similar focus, “although the design styling may be quite different.”