A lot can happen in a year. For a business, a year is sometimes the total span of its life. For Insight Brewing in Minneapolis, it has meant a lot of excitement,progress, and after a lap around the sun, a celebration.
When I first set foot into Insight’s space back at the end of September of 2014, it was raw and scant. There were no decorations on the wall, the aesthetics echoed the midway point of a do-it-yourself basement renovation. If they weren’t allowing potential patrons to sample their beer, I am not sure if I would have been too excited about the place. However, they did have their beer available for consumption and I was intrigued. The beer styles spanned the gamut from malty to hoppy with a certain amount of nuance that I thought was a good sign for a place that was not really totally up and running. I signed up for their Passport Club and eagerly began awaiting the grand opening of Insight Brewing.
When I arrived at the brewery for the grand opening, I could not believe my eyes. Instead of a sheet rocked, rough-around-the-edges space, I was welcomed with warm lighting, comfortable seating and a very enthusiastic crowd of craft beer drinkers ready to see what Insight was all about. Insight Brewing took off and has been impressing ever since they opened.
The past year has seen Insight undergo a unique re-brand, complete with a new logo, label art and beer names. Their new slogan is “We craft Legends,” a nod to the new names of their beers that each come complete with a back story. They have expanded to accommodate a canning line, which puts their beer into liquor stores. They have also expanded their taproom offerings to showcase even more of Ilan Klages-Mundt’s brewing acumen. They constructed an outdoor patio to allow for patrons to enjoy the wonderful summer weather and a pint. Amidst all that, the constant has been that Insight is passionate about providing its loyal fans and Passport Club Members a place to have a good time.
On Saturday, November 21st, Insight threw their first anniversary party. They had a food truck, live music playing on an outdoor stage, big wheel bike races, hand-made cigars and a release of their Gravity Well, a barrel-aged double stout dipped in golden wax. The cold temps did not deter revelers from basking in the bright lights of the music stage as bands like Pleezer, Appetite for Zaccardi, and Toki Wright rocked the parking lot.
Inside, droves of drinkers filled the warm space that is newly adorned with the amazing metallic wall hangings of their new label art. Although there were many different brews to try, I settled on the Gravity Well. I wanted to make sure that I knew what I was getting when I pre-ordered my 2 bottles of Gravity Well to enjoy later. The flavor of gravity well was very smooth, highlighted with notes of dark chocolate, coffee and some vanilla. It was not overly hot and had a nice balance of sweet and bitter. I ran into several other familiar faces and we chatted about the beer and other things. We were talking about our favorite breweries to frequent in the area and the lists were pretty similar. I thought it was a nod to what Insight is doing that a bunch of well-traveled beer geeks were conversing about their favorite places to get a beer while all sipping on a glass of Gravity Well.
As someone who has spent their fair share of time at Insight Brewing Co. over the last year, I am happy for their success. The people behind the beer are passionate about providing well-crafted beer along with a place to gather. Here is to many more years of celebrations, Prost!