Friday, April 26, 2013
612 Brew Review 4/2013
Continuing the epic saga of one day and 7 beer venues, our third stop on the tour was 612 Brew in Northeast Minneapolis. The brewery is located in the historic Broadway Building, with the entrance around the corner. The building is in the midst of major reconstructive surgery and I think will soon be a bigger draw to this neighborhood.
Exposed brick and concrete floors give this building and brewery a very industrial look. This is one of the few places we visited where the tap room is really in the same room as the brewery and fermentation tanks...they line the outside edges of the very large room. There is a 15 barrel brewery with several 30 barrel shiny fermenters. A very cool Adam Turman mural is front and center within the brewery, adding a pop of color and branding to the otherwise fairly utilitarian taproom.
We were greeted upon arrival by a friendly and helpful member of the staff and found ourselves part of a large table to take over. The joint was doing a very brisk business at about 3 PM on Saturday and I can only imagine the zoo this must be later in the evening! They claim that they can fit about 70 people in here, and plan to open a patio for the summer months as well. They had a Cajun food truck parked outside with menus to peruse within the tasting room.
They do have a beer sampler for $11, pretty pricey, but I love me a sampler so I can try them all. We were able to taste the four beers they currently had on tap this way. The first beer was Six: a fairly light bodied pale ale that didn't quite hit the mark for me. The second was Zero Hour: a good name but not my favorite beer. I'll admit a bias here, that I really do not like black IPA as a style...so if you love that stuff, try this one out and tell me what you think! My favorite was the Rated R: a very hoppy red ale with spicy rye and a really nice balance. I was in the minority for liking this one, but I'll stand by my taste buds! The seasonal on tap was Mary Ann: a ginger infused lager that had way too much sulfur for me--overwhelming and clashing with the ginger character. So out of 4 beer I really liked one, disliked two and was ambivalent to the last one.
Overall, I think this location and tap room is the most notable as a working brewery compared to most we visited. The staff were great and the vibe was happy and relaxed. I wish the beers were a bit better so this could be a complete package. These guys are very new and I'll give them some time to get the hang of their new equipment before I make up my mind fully on the beer quality. I'd love to hear what my readers think, so comment away!