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Stars aligning for Surly brewery in Mpls.

Posted by: Eric Roper Updated: January 10, 2013 - 9:46 AM

Surly Brewing's hopes of constructing a $20 million destination brewery in eastern Minneapolis are starting to take shape.

The Metropolitan Council announced Wednesday that they had awarded Surly, the Brooklyn Center-based craft brewer with a cult following, a $545,300 grant to assist with environmental cleanup at a former potato plant in Prospect Park. That's one of three grants the company said it needed to select the site and perform $2.5 million in remediation.

Surly's plans for a brewery complete with restaurant, beer garden and event center attracted statewide attention when they sought a change in state law to make it possible.

The largest piece of the subsidy puzzle will likely fall into place later this week. Surly has asked the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development for $1.5 million in cleanup funds. A spokesman for DEED said their decisions will be released this week.

UPDATE: The largest piece of the puzzle fell into place on Thursday morning. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development announced that it had awarded the city $1 million in cleanup funds for the 7.4 acre site.

A request for $450,000 from Hennepin County also appears likely to get a green light. County staff are recommending approving the grant, though it likely won't get a final vote from the Hennepin County Board until Jan. 29.

Surly conditionally selected the Minneapolis site, just down the street from a future Central Corridor stop, this September after local governments laid out the red carpets trying to woo the large-scale development.

Located on Malcolm Ave. and 5th Street SE, the "Malcolm Midway" site is currently home to little more than slabs of concrete left over from it's days as a Northern Star Co. potato processing plant.

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