A much-anticipated new brewery just opened in the Lowertown neighborhood of St. Paul.
Barrel Theory Beer Company, which was co-founded by two Surly alums, will start with five beers on tap (see more on those below). And soon the the brewery will begin barrel-aging its beer in a cellar under the taproom.
The brewery's name isn't just about all the barrel aging they plan to do, though. The name is derived from Liebig's Law of the Minimum, which says the capacity of a barrel is always limited by its shortest stave, according to the brewery's website.
"At Barrel Theory, we don't define our brand by our best-selling or most successful product, but by the overall quality of our beers and customer service," the website says. "Our quality control philosophy is simple: If the beer isn't something we are proud of, we won't serve it to you."
The brewery, which is located in a historic building, uses lots of wood and exposed limestone in its 90-set taproom, according to the Pioneer Press. And in the basement is a limestone-lined cellar where the brewery will store all of its barrels.
The Growler says the room will store up to 150 barrels, including bourbon, wine and virgin barrels, that'll be used to make high gravity bourbon stouts and mixed-fermentation sours, among other brews. Co-founder Brett Splinter told the publication there's room for growth in the barrel-aged beer market, and he hopes to experiment with different styles.
Barrel Theory opened with the following five, unaged beers on tap:
– Batch 1: A West Coast-style IPA brewed with Amarillos, Simcoe, and Columbus hops, which give the beer notes of pine and citrus. It has an ABV of 6 percent.
– Java Oats: A coffee stout that's brewed using English malts and "loads of oat," as well as freshly roasted and ground coffee beans from St. Paul's Bootstrap Coffee Roasters. It has an ABV of 6 percent.
– Key Sublime: It's a Berliner Weiss-style kettle sour with a key lime pie flavor, which comes from key limes, bourbon vanilla and Vietnamese cinnamon. It has an ABV of 4 percent.
– Rain Drops: A Northeast-style IPA that's hazy, juicy and tropical. It's dry hopped with Mosaic and Citra hops. It has an ABV of 7.5 percent.
– Raining 3S: It's a double IPA that's dry hopped with Vic Secret, Citra, and Mosaic hops. It has an ABV of 9 percent.
But the brewery says keep an eye on its website, because the tap list will be updated daily.
People are excited
News that Barrel Theory would be opening in St. Paul came last fall, and people have been anxiously awaiting its opening.