Backyard Getaways: Local Breweries Get Creative to Attract New Fans
Local breweries continue to carve out their own niche in the increasingly competitive craft beer business. There are now more than 150 taprooms in Minnesota. You can find a list here on the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild website. There are three currently in the CCX viewing area: Blue Wolf Brewing Co. in Brooklyn Park, Wicked Wort Brewing Co. in Robbinsdale and OMNI Brewing Co. in Maple Grove.
“We like where we are,” said Zack Ward, OMNI’s founder. “We’re big enough to do some distribution, but are not entirely reliant on it.”
OMNI is the 25th biggest brewery in the state as far as how much beer it ships, distributing locally-inspired drinks like Shanty Town nut brown ale and Lake Day session pale ale or the popular Tropical Milkshake IPA, which is made of vanilla beans, hops and fruit puree.
“To have this big flavorful bomb be so successful is really, really exciting,” Ward said.
Yoga, Cornhole, Even Weddings
Besides the taproom, there has also been an organic growth of cornhole tournaments, cribbage and yoga at OMNI. Sometimes there is even love in the air.
“We’ve had people get engaged here,” Ward said, “that went on their first date at OMNI.”
Besides the tap room, there has also been an organic growth of corn hole, cribbage and yoga at Omni.
Bank Vaults Replaced with Kegs
At Wicked Wort Brewing in Robbinsdale, there are 10 different beers on tap, including Birdtown Blonde Ale and its popular Showgirl Raspsberry Wheat Ale.
“One for everybody,” said Wicked Wort owner Steve Carlyle.
Wicked Wort brewer Joe Popham also revealed there will be some new beers coming out soon. And it’s more than just beer. Wicked Wort hosts a movie night and also has yoga classes.
“We do free tours on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at 7 o clock,” Popham said. “If you bring a canned food donation for PRISM food shelf we’ll get you a free pour of beer. That’s a pretty good trade.”
The tours bring to mind the brewery’s history. Bank vaults have been replaced by kegs which keeps the suds flowing from the basement of the building.
“They walk in and they’re like, “I didn’t know this was here,” Carlyle said. “They thought this was an old bank because at one time it was an old bank.”
Customers are reminded of an era gone by, but also a place to relax and enjoy a taste of what’s to come.
“They like the old school atmosphere,” Carlyle said. “It’s very, very chill. It’s a very chill place.”