Summit's taproom opens Friday

  • Article by: TOM HORGEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 27, 2012 - 4:25 PM

The Twin Cities' largest brewery jumps on the taproom trend. Also on the agenda: Cowboy Slim's last stand and Feltoberfest.

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Summit will open its brewery taproom Friday.

Twenty-six years after pioneering the Twin Cities craft beer scene, Summit Brewing will open St. Paul's first taproom on Friday.

The St. Paul brewery always has had a bar inside its events space, but it was mostly used for beer samples during tours and community gatherings. The Ratskeller, as it's called, will now be converted into a pint-selling taproom. Food trucks, such as Barrio, will provide sustenance on the patio.

For beer fans buzzing off the recent spate of taprooms at such smaller breweries as Indeed and Fulton, this is welcome news. From what I've heard, Summit has been mindful of how its taproom would affect bars that sell its product. To start with, Summit's taproom will be open just one day a week, and for a short time block (five hours).

All of Summit's beers will be available in the Ratskeller. On Friday, it will tap a half-barrel of the rare Export Stout, made on its small-batch-testing system. Pints are $4, flights $7.

The all-vinyl Hotpants DJs will kick off the taproom debut.

Welcome to Feltober!

If you've ever been to a high-profile restaurant opening or a glitzy fundraiser in the Twin Cities, chances are Mike Feltault took your photo. Sadly, the gregarious party organizer and photographer died May 3, five days after suffering a heart attack. His friends and colleagues are carrying on his fun-loving spirit with Feltoberfest Sunday at the Mainstreet Bar in Hopkins.

The benefit will celebrate Feltault and raise money to create a University of St. Thomas endowed scholarship in his memory (he was a big "Tommie"). The annual scholarship will be awarded based on leadership, volunteer work and community involvement, which sums up everything Feltault was about. The party will feature live music, $3 Finnegans taps, light buffet, plus a live and silent auction.

Slim's last stand

The long-rumored closing of Cowboy Slim's in Uptown will come true Saturday night. Co-owner Chris Diebold said his landlord is proceeding with redevelopment plans, which call for another towering retail/apartment complex on the block.

Diebold said he's in negotiations to reopen Cowboy Slim's in the new building. But in the meantime, the bro-friendly bar will close with a bang. Saturday will end with the fourth annual Sand & Saddles outdoor party, featuring a beach volleyball tournament, food and beer (no bands this time). Gates open at noon.

Diebold's Cowboy bar brand isn't slowing down by any means. Within the next two weeks, he'll open another Cowboy Jack's in Otsego, Minn. He said many of Slim's employees will move there or elsewhere in the Cowboy network.

thorgen@startribune.com 612-673-7909 • Twitter: @tomhorgen

  • related content

  • Cowboy Slims Saloon in Minneapolis.

  • SUMMIT TAPROOM

    Where: 910 Montreal Circle, St. Paul.

    Hours: 3-8 p.m. Fridays.

    Contact: 651-265-7800 or www.summit brewing.com.

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