Utepils is a word that means the desire you have for the first beer you can enjoy outdoors. This time of year in Minnesota is tough. The holidays are over and the Winter Carnival has wrapped up. If you are like me, your attention turns to the long-awaited start of baseball and the time when you can begin to enjoy craft beer outside again. Luckily, there is a place opening soon that encompasses that desire and has even named their brewery after it. Utepils Brewing Company will soon officially open and I suggest you get there if you want to drink a craft beer in one of the nicest taprooms in MN.
The Vision of Utepils
Dan Justesen knows a thing or two about craft beer. He has been a fixture in the Minnesota craft beer scene for over 13 years. He also understands that if you give people a place to gather and good beer to drink, the rest takes care of itself. Justesen says, “Don’t ruin what’s already a good thing; friends and beer.” I believe that you will find he definitely stays true to that philosophy at Utepils.
From when people enter the brewery, he wants patrons to feel like they are walking into a European town square to enjoy a beer. People will be able to rinse their steins in a water feature called a “lauter grant” as they walk in. This feature is something that harkens back to Germany. If patrons want, they can even get spring water there to take home as well. I can honestly say that it has that feel and that is before all the final aesthetic touches are in place.
The Utepils Brewhouse
They have a 50 barrel brewhouse that makes them the 6th biggest in the state. The system is an energy efficient Varia-boil System and built in Germany. Eric Harper, formerly of Summit Brewing Company, designed the brewhouse. The brewhouse has capability to brew up to 6 batches a day. Their hope is to be available in 16 oz. cans eventually, but for now they are going to be on tap at various places. This place is definitely focused and built for production.
The Beers of Utepils will represent approachable, yet well-crafted classic European styles. They will feature a Kölsch Style, Hefeweizen, Pilsner, Altbier, and an IPA.
The space where craft beer drinkers will drink and enjoy eachother’s company is absolutely beautiful. There is a great amount of light that will stream in through the huge windows. The taproom has a variety of seating from communal picnic tables to high-tops. There is room for 197 people indoors making it a spacious place to gather for a craft beer.
Aesthetically, Utepils immediately moves into my favorite few taprooms in the state. The paintings on the wall depicting all five of their offerings are complex and tell a great story. The artist responsible for the terrific paintings in the taproom is Sean Gray. His tremendous gift for using pictures to tell a story really add to the overall allure of Utepils.
Above the bar you will see a colossal top of a copper brew kettle that has been converted into a light fixture. Just past the bar leading to the outside is a huge window that will eventually lead out to a landscaped beer garden.
Utepils Grand Opening
Utepils Brewing Co. will officially be open to the public on Saturday, February 18th starting at noon. Although they have been doing a few weeks of soft-openings on weekends, the 18th will kick off the official opening of the brewery and you should see all five beers on tap. There will be live music and I am sure a food truck or two. Utepils also encourages people to bring food in or order a pizza.
The opening of Utepils has been a long time coming. I can safely say that if you head down there for a beer, you will see that it is definitely worth the wait.
Utepils Brewing Company is located at 225 Thomas Ave. N. Minneapolis, MN 55405
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