by Carol Masters, Becketwood Member
In early April, even before spring lured our winter-weary insider imbibers outside, we boarded the Becketwood bus for a pub tour. Member Bob Kirk was the organizer for a fascinating look at and taste of new microbreweries in Nordeast landmark buildings. The first stop was Emily’s Lebanese Deli, a small (with ample space upstairs for hungry Becketwoodians) but celebrated neighborhood fixture, one of the longest family run Lebanese restaurants in Minneapolis. After a delicious sampling of Middle Eastern dishes, we set off for the next leg of our adventure, driving past the Grain Belt Brewing Co. and Historic District at Marshall and 13th Ave.
The former brewery building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and forms an anchor to the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District, including many members of the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association. A few blocks farther east, we disembarked at the Indeed Brewing Co. in the renovated Solar Arts Building.
This 100-year-old building retains the worn wood and cast iron elements from its industrial use during WWII as a manufacturer of life preservers. Today, the space is reshaped into a “modern, environmentally friendly hub for Minneapolis’ creative community.” The building boasts 109 solar panels, to let the sun power the creativity of its tenants, including over a dozen artists and creative professionals.
We were able tour the upstairs studios, but first visited one of the Indeed taprooms to pick among a multitude of site-brewed craft beers, including a local favorite, Day Tripper Pale Ale. Upstairs, Artist Susan Wagner welcomed us into her studio, showed us what she was working on, and invited us to the upcoming Art-a-Whirl. Held on the third weekend in May, the event has become the largest open studio tour in the country.
The final stop was The Broadway, a historic building at 945 Broadway NE, home to 612 Brew. The taproom there was a high-ceilinged cavernous milieu that, with its exposed brick, timber and concrete floors, still managed to be warm and inviting. Alongside the barroom space was the working brew house, with six 30bbl (bbl?—big, anyway, pictured below) mirror-polished fermentation tanks. Adding to the lively scene was a no-doubt satirical political sign perched on one of the tanks: “Donald Trump drinks wine coolers.”