On Friday, November 21st, Insight Brewing Company officially opened its doors to the masses of avid craft beer drinkers. They served up their beers and welcomed people to a new great place in the twin cities to enjoy a pint and a laugh. It is hard to believe that this is the same place where only seven weeks ago, they were pouring samples out of one serving cooler in the back and serving beers on a rough wooden bar. Amazing is the only way to truly describe what they have turned this space into.
From the unique light fixtures to the artwork on the walls, this taproom has a remarkably cozy feel for being as big as it is. The bow-shaped bar gives patrons a nice place to belly up and enjoy their drinks and conversations. The light fixtures have character and have a nice, warm softness to them as opposed to a more sterile fluorescent brightness. There are a nice mix of high-top and traditional tables depending on what one prefers. Many people really were impressed with the Insight sign on the red brick wall that separates the taproom from the brewery. It is very nice and has been featured on Signs by National Neon Canada recently, as an artistic feature that adds a special feel to the taproom.
For the grand opening, despite the fact that there was a huge crowd, people had enough space to feel comfortable and move around. They had overflow space in the brewery where they set up leather couches for people to sit and watch the owners serving beer from firkins while they mingled with guests. Several people in our group really appreciated the fact that the taproom did not feel tight. There are several taprooms in the area that can feel somewhat claustrophobic when they are at capacity and Insight will not have to worry about that. The high ceilings and different places for groups to congregate make it a very pleasant spatial experience.
The people who decided to join the Insight Passport Club saw the benefits of that decision paying off right away. The separate line for Passport Club members alleviates a glut of people just standing at the bar and keeps lines moving smoothly.
The five beers they had on tap included the Chiswick Porter, Curiosity IPA, Saison De Blanc and their flagship, the Lamb and Flag, an English Premium Bitter. They also have a taproom exclusive Yuzu Pale Ale. The beers embody the global feel of the brewery and will keep people coming back for more. The roasted malt character of the Chiswick Porter, the sessionable nature of the Lamb and Flag and the refreshing cleanness of the Yuzu Pale Ale made me really happy that I decided to join the Passport Club. I will no doubt be drinking more of these two favorites as well to the other beers they have.
It was an incredibly welcoming sensation to have all four of the co-owners out and about throughout the night. They were shaking hands and chatting about their beer. They are all affable and approachable individuals and that is something that goes a long way with the customers. I approached Eric Schmidt and he recognized me from the open house and greeted me with a warm smile and a hearty handshake. The energy radiating off of him as he reveled in this great evening was inspiring. I also got a chance to speak briefly with Ilan Klages-Mundt and his passion for beer knows no limits. He is very passionate about applying the beer knowledge he learned in his travels to crafting unique and thought-provoking beers. As I continue to frequent the taproom, I hope to meet the other owners and hear their stories and inspirations about craft beer. One thing is certain, they are all committed to making each person who walks into their space welcome and valued.
They will be open during the week starting Wednesday all the way through the weekend, including Sundays. They will be closed on Monday and Tuesday. So, get down to Insight Brewing Company and give their taproom a try. Their globally inspired beer combined with their warm hospitality and ambiance make it a must try!