New Brewery Coming to Minneapolis???

Surly Brewing Co. announced Friday that a site near Highway 280 and University Avenue in Minneapolis has “risen to the top” of its short list of prospective sites for a new $20 million destination brewery it wants to build.

In a statement, Brooklyn Center-based Surly said it likes the “Malcolm Midway site” because it straddles Minneapolis and St. Paul; is near bike trails and public transportation, including a new Central Corridor light-rail transit station; and is zoned and sized properly for the project. The site, about a half-mile east of TCF Bank Stadium, is unused industrial land that has been marketed as a redevelopment site.

However, the brewer — the fourth-largest in Minnesota by production, according to Business Journal research — the also cautioned that “it’s not a done deal and much needs to happen for it to become a reality.” The biggest obstacle is to prepare the site — a demolished food-processing plant — for development “after its variety of industrial uses over more than a century.”

Surly has been working on plans for a new brewery since early 2011, saying it needs the additional capacity to keep up with demand. In July, it hired architecture firm Hammel, Green and Abrahamson Inc. to design the project.

Surly has applied for grants from Hennepin County, the Metropolitan Council and the state of Minnesota to cover some of the costs related to site cleanup and preparation — and there is likely to be a lot of cleanup (see a Star Tribune slideshow of the property to get an idea how much) . The grant awards will be announced in January.

“While the ‘Malcolm Midway site’ is an attractive option for this project, it’s not the only option and we continue our due diligence investigation on other site options in Minneapolis and beyond.” Surly said in a statement. “As we’ve said before, this is a 100-year decision so we are being mindful, patient, and thorough with our search. We are looking forward to getting more Surly soon!”

Source: Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal