Back in mid-April, Surly Brewing Co. closed on the purchase site for its “Destination Brewery,” announcing it would continue the next steps in developing a $20 million brewhouse, restaurant and more in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Surly Brewing closed on 8.3 acres of land on the northeast corner of Malcolm Ave. and Fifth St. SE in Minneapolis (with a small portion of the site in St. Paul). It also developed partnerships with environmental specialists Barr Engineering and general contractor McGough Construction to help build the facility, which also happens to be a brownfield.
Now, Surly has gotten approval from the Minneapolis City Planning Commission, which unanimously approved the Brooklyn Center-based brewery’s new project after debating the details for more than an hour, according to an article on Minnesota Daily.
“It’s going to be an exciting year. It’s going to happen fast,” said Steven Dwyer, architect of the project … Tom Hauschild, a partner with the project’s management firm, said he expects construction to start Jan. 1. The brewery is planned to open in late 2014.
Governor Mark Dayton signed the omnibus liquor bill in May 2011,which included provisions for a “Taproom License” that allowed Minnesota breweries that produce less than 250,000 barrels (bbls) of beer to sell pints of their own beer on their premises. This law change meant Surly Brewing could move ahead to build its proposed destination brewery, featuring a bar, restaurant, beer garden and event center with the capability to produce more than 100,000 bbls of beer each year. This commission approval is the next step, of course, there were points of contention, according to the article, but those proved to be minor details in a project that all parties wanted to see successful.
The commission and Surly were divided on many citizen-based issues, including parking, bicycle traffic, sidewalk space, environmental concerns and a fence. “The things we were talking about were relatively small things in the big picture,” Dwyer said. “It was a healthy debate. We expected there would be some difficult questions asked.” Planning commission member Alissa Luepke-Pier said during the meeting that the city is already giving Surly many “breaks” to build, and its further request for modifications was excessive.
We’ll keep you updated on how all these issues play out, and we’re excited to see Surly get closer to starting this great project.