Shakopee's newest brewery is all about bringing people together over beer.
The brewhall offers sessionable and approachable beers, with the hope that there's something for everyone – including some beers most people have never heard of before (more on this later).
A place for people to gather
Shakopee Brewhall wants to be a place where families and people from the community can come and hang out (there's a game area for kids), and through beer have a conversation with the people they're sitting near – whether they know them or not, brewer Ben Salyards told GoMN.
This philosophy is a big reason why they wanted to open in downtown Shakopee, co-founder Ryan Lindquist said.
He was inspired to get into the craft beer business after touring Lift Bridge Brewery in Stillwater back in 2010. He said the "vibe" at the brewery – and others he visited around the same time – "was pretty motivating."
He and co-founder Damon Schuler then started homebrewing, with the idea they wanted to open their own place. And now, a few years later – and thanks to the help from others in the industry – they've opened their own taproom.
What's on tap
As of Thursday, the brewery has six beers on tap (check the current tap list here), with the ability to "comfortably" have 16 beers flowing, Lindquist said.
"You're always going to see something new [on tap]," Salyards said, adding that he's hoping to release a new beer every two to three weeks.
And as for what people may find on, well "really anything is on the table," Salyards said, which is why he likes what they're doing at the brewhall.
They're not limiting themselves to certain styles. Instead, they want to make beers that most people haven't tried before, but also provide options for those who may be a little less adventurous (so you'll always find something like a lager or an easy drinking IPA on tap).
For example, coming soon on the tap list is a grisette – it's like a saison, but lower in alcohol (more like a 4 percent instead of 7 percent), Salyards explains.
The old and the new
The brewery is also big on incorporating the old with the new, Schuler explained.
That's represented in the beers they have on tap, which will provide options for both the beer snob generation and their parents, Salyards said.
But it's also incorporated into the construction of the taproom.
The brick is made from 100-year-old Shakopee-made brick, while limestone and timber in the taproom are from the original Shakopee brewery that was built in the late 1800s, Schuler said (see photos below).
There are also photos of the old brewery hanging on the wall.