Monday, July 30, 2012

Excelsior Brewery

I finally got a chance to stop in at the new Excelsior Brewery, taking along my old friend Bryan. This is now the closest brewery to where I live, located in the Western Suburbs of Minneapolis.  I'm pretty sure the location used to be a mechanic shop, and is just off the main street in Excelsior.  The brewery has only been open for about a month and have actually been having a hard time keeping enough beer and growlers in stock to supply the demand.  That is great place to be for a starting brewery, but might be hurting them a bit on quality. 

Bryan striking a thoughtful pose
Since the new Surly Bill passed, breweries can have a tasting room and sell pints of their beer, and Excelsior has put in two movable stainless bars to take advantage of this.  When we were there they had two beers on tap, though they were actually poured from pitchers and not the kegerators hooked up to the bar.  Not sure what that was about.  The first I tried was the pale ale:  not too bad, had some malt to it with some hoppiness.  Overall not great, it seemed a little rough around the edges, possibly due to being served a bit too quickly after fermentation.  The second beer was a blonde.  For a supposedly light and easy drinking beer, it was pretty harsh and burning.  I'm hoping that they figure out their system and get some time to build up some good beers.  I won't count them out yet, but I wouldn't recommend a trip out there yet.  I tend to use my own homebrew as a barometer--if I can brew a better beer, I don't want to pay for an inferior one.  Since I'm my own worst critic, this is usually not an issue...

We were there on  a Saturday afternoon and the place was hopping!  There was a tour going on in the background, and plenty of folks walking in for samples and pints.  They seem to be doing a great job of getting their name out there and have great brewery swag available.


Brady said...

I Have to totally agree with this post. Both times I've tried their beers, I've been unimpressed and thought to myself "my homebrew is better than this!!" They are young and hopfully the beer will get better. I can't seeing it getting much worse!

HALF WIT said...

I couldn't agree more with what you said about the blonde. My wife and I stopped in and it was the only beer on tap - I told her it would be a light refreshing "summer" beer. Wow was I wrong.

Benjamin Flattum said...

Hey folks, definitely see where you are coming from on the comments. As with any small brewery, we hit some early growing pains with our system, taplines, etc. It made me cringe when I witnessed some of our folks pouring out of pitchers because our tap towers were causing the beer to foam so badly.

I can safely say we've addressed all of those kinds of issues in the past couple months and definitely wanted to apologize for you having to deal with them. Starting a small business is a monumental task and with beer as your commodity, I can safely say there are a million things to worry about.

Half Wit, our first batch or two of blond came in at roughly 7% due to the ridiculous efficiency of our brewhouse. It's now down to a light bodied, 5.1% beer and has been our top selling beer. I invite everyone out to grab a pint, on me, to show our appreciation for your early faith and to reward you folks for taking a chance on us. Please email me ( and I will gladly set you up.

Thanks again for supporting local beer, cheers!

Ben Flattum
Excelsior Brewing

Eric Wentling said...

Thanks to Ben for posting here! I've had the newest version of Bridge Jumper and it is coming along nicely. Keep up the good work and I'll keep trying the beers!