Three friends who met at the University of Minnesota are days away from opening what could be the most anticipated new microbrewery in Minneapolis. The final kare11.com Microbrewery of the Week is Indeed Brewing Company, located in what is now known as the Solar Arts Building, a 98-year-old building at the corner of 15th Avenue and Quincy Street in northeast Minneapolis. Two of Indeed's three co-founders, Nathan Berndt and Rachel Anderson, gave us the back story on the brewery.
How did your brewery come to be?
Nathan: Tom [Whisenand, Indeed's third co-founder] and I had always talked about opening up a brewpub. One night in November of 2010, I texted him and said let's get this business plan for a brewery going and it started going from there. We started planning and talked to Rachel, she's been a close friend of ours and we wanted her to help with the graphic identity and then soon realized that we needed someone like her involved. So it became the three of us and we started seriously getting after it in January of 2011. We began meeting on a weekly basis, if not two times weekly, for the next year. Then it was last July we started looking for a space and finally came across this place [the Solar Arts Building in northeast Minneapolis] in October and signed a lease four months later.
How did you name your brewery?
Rachel: It was a lot of back and forth, and a lot of brainstorming. We just started lists and everyone had their favorites, but nobody jumped on any name until Indeed popped up. I think it was Tom who came up with the name and I thought, "that rings kind of true." It took a few weeks but then we all really like the name.
Nathan: There's a lot of things that go into a name. We kind of shelved the naming for a week weeks. We had talked about the name Indeed at one point and we stopped thinking about it because it was hindering us from the rest of our business plan, so after we had discussed our mission and philosophy a little more in detail, we came back to it.
Rachel: And it fit perfectly.
What's your favorite beer you make?
Nathan: The Day Tripper Pale Ale. I really like the smell of citrus. It's very aromatic and hoppy-smelling. It's lighter tasting. My taste buds have kind of moved away from IPAs and I'm now drinking western style pale ales. To my knowledge, I haven't had a western style pale ale in this market yet. My wife thinks I'm a little snooty because I'm always looking for one, but I'm looking for the beer that we've made but isn't available anywhere yet.
Surprisingly, a lot of women like the Midnight Ryder (American Black Ale). I think it's because it's more balanced than the Day Tripper is. The hops, the malts and the bitterness all balance much more.
What's your favorite beer someone else makes?
Nathan: I like anything Odell does. That's probably my favorite brewery. Odell IPA is one of my favorites. Locally, I really like what Steel Toe is making. I like their beers a lot. And Oskar Blues.
Rachel: I'm a Surly fan. I like Furious, but I've gotten introduced to more west coast stuff from these guys. I like Odell and Deschutes.
What are your plans for the brewery's future?
Nathan: I think we're pretty focused on making sure our flagships are consistent. That's paramount for us; consistency and quality. That's why we're starting out with only two beers for flagships and adding a seasonal like Shenanigans Honey Wheat [Summer Ale]. But that's our number one goal: consistency and quality.
Where growth goes depends on the market and what people want. We're definitely prepared to grow with it. With our current capacity of the tanks we have out there, we could do maybe 3,200 barrels per year. We can grow in this building alone probably to about 30,000 barrels.
What is the best piece of advice someone gave you before you started?
Rachel: We've had a lot of really good people that we've worked with so far. Some of the advice I took to heart, since we are all friends, is that we have to always remember that business can get really touchy but don't let your friendships take the brunt of that. That was important when going into business together, we all remain friends even though we're in business together.
Nathan: "Twice as long, twice as much." Hear that one all the time and, sure enough, it's twice as long as and twice as much. Time, money, everything.
Describe the local craft beer scene in 11 words or less.
Nathan. On the up and up.
Rachel: I think the Upper Midwest is taking shape as the next big beer destination where people will be coming to this area specifically for that purpose, like people go to Colorado and Oregon and Washington.
If you're not drinking beer, what are you drinking?
Rachel and Nathan [in unison]: Espresso.
Nathan: If I wasn't doing this, I'd probably be opening an espresso shop. We do some pretty good espressos and macchiatos here.
Indeed's grand opening is Friday, August 10. Their indoor taproom and outdoor patio have seating for 130 patrons. The taproom will be open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and will feature various local food trucks parked right outside the backdoor. In place of growlers, Indeed will be selling 750 mL bottles out of their taproom.
Learn more about Indeed at indeedbrewing.com, on Facebook and Twitter.
Previous Microbreweries of the Week:
Lift Bridge Brewing Company
August Schell Brewing Company
Excelsior Brewing Company
Third Street Brewhouse
Surly Brewing Co.
Steel Toe Brewing
Boom Island Brewing Commpany
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