The craft beer bomb has hit Minnesota and exploded all over Northeast Minneapolis.
Over the last three years, Minnesota breweries have expanded from Summit and Surly to over 100 throughout the state. Towns as far west as Marshall, east as Stillwater, south as Rochester or north as Bemidji boast breweries within their city limits.
But as craft beer expands its reaches to even further regions of the state, one area still remains a bit underserved – downtown Minneapolis.
While Uptown’s LynLake is a mere two miles south from the heart of downtown, and just three miles north lies a plethora of Northeast brewhouses, part of the culture is creating taprooms for any and all neighborhoods that want them.
Back in April, Lakes & Legends announced they were planning to open a new brewery in the heart of Loring Park, just feet from downtown Minneapolis.
The farmhouse style brewery was hoping to open its doors in late summer 2015. But as anyone who’s taken on the challenge of opening their own business, or has eagerly awaited the opening of a new business knows, these things always take longer than anticipated.
“I think both Derrick [Taylor] and I had these assumptions that things will move a lot faster than they will. And you just don’t know the hurdles you’re going to run into,” co-founder Ethan Applen said.
After securing permits in April and breaking ground in June, Lakes & Legends finally opened for business on Nov. 11, 2015.
Follow them: on Twitter at @lakesandlegends, on Facebook at Lakes and Legends Brewing Company. or visit their website online.
Owners: Ethan Applen and Derrick Taylor
Brewer: Andrew Dimery
Location: 1368 Lasalle Avenue, Minneapolis
Hours: Wednesday and Thursday: 3 – 10 p.m., Friday: 3 p.m. – 12 a.m., Saturday 12 p.m. – 12 a.m. and Sunday 12 – 9 p.m.
Contact: 612-999-6020 or email@example.com
The nearly 4,000 square-foot space holds the taproom, brewhouse, storage and about 150 seats. There will also be a 40-seat patio once spring returns.
“We wanted to have the room to grow into it,” Applen said.
In order to do that, the barriers between the brewhouse and taproom are on wheels, allowing for the space to be converted to whatever shape patrons may desire.
As with other breweries, food is permitted in the taproom.
Applen said they are working with neighboring restaurants to have menus in house, but guests are invited to bring whatever they want to eat into the space.
They also offer chips, pretzels and a meat and cheese platter from the Northeast Food Building.
“We’re not going to have a kitchen here anytime soon, but we’re very food friendly,” Applen said.
One place where they’re not friendly is with the IPA. You won’t find one on their menu.
Each beer on tap is an easy-drinking Belgian inspired brew.
“Even from the beginning we kind of wanted to be an easy access brewery,” Applen said.
The menu consists of goldens, whits and saisons. But Applen said that while the beer will stay drinkable, there will be a lot of room to play with the flavors. Right out of the gate they released a cranberry saison for Thanksgiving, and while there isn’t currently an IPA they have plans for a Belgian IPA down the road.
So far, Applen said the best seller has been the Marigold (Strong Gold), but his personal go-to is the Belgian Milky-Stout (Stout).
Pints cost $5 and flights range depending on how many beers you choose to try.
It’s clear that Minnesota culture has influenced the brewery. String lights and reclaimed wood decorate the taproom while Adirondack chairs make up part of the seating.
But before even going into the taproom, it can be seen in the name.
“We just kind of liked how it sounded,” Applen laughed. “The lakes is obviously about Minnesota and that’s kind of the providence of the beer being from here. Belgian by way of the Twin Cities.”
As for legends? Applen said that is about the story of the beer and the stories people tell while drinking the beer.
“[It’s] telling the stories of the people who provide us things to make the beer,” Apple said. “[But it] is really about the stories that people tell while they are getting together enjoying the journey.”
The stories of people enjoying the journey to Belgium by way of the Twin Cities’ newest farm-to-beer brewery.
To celebrate their opening, Lakes & Legends will be having a Grand Opening party on Saturday, Dec. 5.
The party runs from noon to midnight and will mark the release of their newest brew — a speciality winter ale. There will also be a book and toy drive to benefit Children’s Hospitals of Minnesota.