INBOUND IN DEPTH
Check out the North Loop brewery releasing a new beer every week
Images by Stuart Wainstock
By Aubrey Schield
Minneapolis' North Loop is quickly becoming a new brewery central for Twin Citians. Throw in a few more taprooms and the hip dining, shopping and entertainment district might even rival its neighbor to the east, Northeast Minneapolis. While craft beer veteran Fulton Brewery has been a tenant of the area for nearly a decade, newcomer Inbound BrewCo has made a name for itself on the brewery scene.
Located just a hop, skip and a jump from Target Field (it's the perfect spot for pre- or post-baseball game libations), Inbound BrewCo prides itself on a constant rotation of new releases, along with a handful of tried and true beers, such as the best-selling Apricot Pale Ale and delightfully drinkable Stoned Wheat Polish-style beer.
Inbound's taproom is spacious and airy, with an industrial-chic vibe that echoes the overall feel of North Loop itself. Along with its arsenal of tap lines that are constantly featuring new brews, they have an intimate stage for live music on weekends and an upstairs mezzanine for private parties and the occasional table tennis tournament.
Where It All Began
Inbound is the revamped, rebranded version of Minnetonka‘s Lucid Brewing, which continues to brew under the moniker North Loop BrewCo. Inbound owner and co-founder Jon Messier explains that Lucid was open back in the pre-Surly Bill days, when breweries weren't allowed to sell their products in onsite taprooms, so they were missing out on the big brewery boom that hit the Twin Cities. Their solution? Open a taproom and start fresh. After finding space in the North Loop that was previously owned by a garbage sorting company (Jon laughs about the two-foot-thick layer of dirt on the floor of the building when they bought), work got underway on Inbound BrewCo, the neighborhood's third craft brewery and taproom.
Behind the Brewing Scenes
The brewers at Inbound BrewCo are constantly coming up with new ideas for recipes, beer styles and unique flavors so you can expect a new beer every week. In order to facilitate this high-quantity operation, they have a large brewing area; several pallets hold 50-pound bags of malt varieties, pipes run in every direction and fermentation tanks in varying sizes tower high above.
Inbound's brewers are currently working with The Fish Guys of St. Louis Park on an oyster-infused stout soon to be released. I don't claim to be a seafood fan, so I can't give a preemptive stamp of approval, but if it's anything like their other brews, there will definitely be some happy customers.
Additionally, Inbound just released their Hibiscus Saison, which marries a tart, fruity bite with the alcohol notes of a wine. Specially bottled in 750 ml bottles featuring a minimalistic label and wax-dipped seal that would color the distillers at Maker's Mark proud. I'm usually not a big saison fan, but this beer just might have turned the tables, with it's touch of sweetness and refreshing aroma. Plus, the color is nothing short of mesmerizing.
Visit the Taproom
With rotating food trucks featuring everything from street tacos to saucy barbecue, along with outdoor seating and giant garage doors that bring the outdoors in, Inbound BrewCo is a great place to gather with friends and family during a brewery crawl (don't miss nearby Fulton Brewery and Modist Brewing Co.!), before or after a Twins game, or simply a relaxing evening with good company and good beer.
Coming up in July, Inbound is hosting the 5th annual Nershfest free music festival. Head to the brewery July 15 from 3 to 10 p.m. for an outdoor party featuring live music by Black River Revue, Come Together, Hustle Rose and General B & The Wiz.