If we're to believe this Rich Gang video, the craft beer "lifestyle" isn't nearly as glamorous as one in the entertainment industry. There are fermenters, not Ferraris. Instead of private jet rides with objectified women there are 3 a.m. brew sessions with your bearded bestie.
Granted, Ethan Applen's business development gig with Warner Bros. - where he worked on TV, movies, video games and more - probably didn't have rap star perks. But it was a desired lifestyle change that drove him to co-found Lakes & Legends Brewing Company -- a new production brewery coming to the Loring Park area.
"I wanted to get closer to the end product and the consumer," Applen said. "To me, it's really exciting to actually talk to the person that's using whatever it is you're making and actually get that connection."
Corporate no more, Applen teamed up with his brother-in-law and ex-Red Bull marketing and events guy Derrick Taylor to enter the brew biz. They hope to began construction on their 12,000-square-foot space in the LPM Apartments building within two weeks. Applen hopes to begin distribution soon after opening, but serving its 3,500 to 4,000-square-foot taproom (big by Twin Cities standards) is the first priority.
"We want to make the taproom a really inviting, family space," he said. "It won't be purely industrial -- that sort of functional, 'This is where we brew our beer and you get to taste it.'"
Lakes & Legends will also sell growlers and 750 mL bottles.
Although Applen is a five-year homebrewer, he's entrusted head brewer Andrew Dimery with spearheading Lakes & Legends' lineup of Belgian and farmhouse ales. Dimery has worked at Indianapolis' Sun King Brewing and more recently as head brewer at Bluegrass Brewing Company in Louisville, Ky. Dimery will have a 15-barrel brewhouse and five fermenters (two 15-barrels and three 30-barrels) at his disposal.
While Taylor is the lone Twin Cities native of the three, Applen's family owns farmland in Marshall, Minn., and Dimery's girlfriend is from the area. As Lakes & Legends inches toward a late-summer opening, Los Angeles-based Applen plans to start spending the bulk of his time here.
While they're still determining which specific styles will become core beers, the emphasis on Belgian and farmhouse ales stems from Applen's personal tastes. "They're very individual," he said. "There's not a strict uniformity that there might be to some other styles."