In a time where local breweries are reeling because of the loss of taproom operations, announcing a new brewery seems like the kind of crazy thing that only a…craft brewer would do. And alas, a new brewery will soon rise in the old Harriet Brewing space off of Minnehaha Avenue and Lake Street.
Three Northern Brewer veterans—Juno Choi, Garth Blomberg, and Josh Voeltz—along with head brewer Aaron Herman have come together to launch Arbeiter Brewing Co. Aaron spent a lot of time at Town Hall Brewing, which is one of the most well-regarded brewing operations that you probably aren’t obsessed enough with. They’ve been working to get this going since 2018. They’ve survived a government shutdown, a pandemic—you gotta believe in these guys!
What to expect? The initial plan is ales, lagers with a hefty dose of German influence. The working person’s beer—in a space that I’ve absolutely loved visiting.
Here’s the deal: Arbeiter isn’t opening until sometime around July 1. But! You can taste their beer right now at The Lab, this cool experimental space right on the border of Minneapolis and St. Paul. For the last couple weeks, it’s sat on their website as To Be Revealed “New Brewery” IPA #1. But it has a name and a label: Arbeiter Westküst IPA.
Here’s the working description: Inspired by the “old school” IPA flavor profiles from the West Coast of the USA, this IPA achieves the vintage big citrus and resin hop flavors typically found with classic American hops, but does so with clever usage of old-world ingredients.
It’s the first beer The Lab has launched for a big to-be-opened brewery. They’ve done some stuff for homebrewers and sodas and the like. “This was the idea,” The Lab’s founder Janet Johanson told me: The Lab was designed to be a place where consumers could get their hands on new, cool, experimental, pre-launch drinks. But it’s also designed for a scenario like Arbeiter—where people want to build a beer and then try it out. “This is the first big local one we’ve done,” Johanson says.
The Lab also has…uh…a lab. So existing breweries can do testing without having to build their own labs. Also, “it’s a great place to try out a weird habanero beer and not put your name on it and see how it goes,” laughs Johanson.
Obviously, because of COVID-19, the tap room isn’t open. But you can order the beer ahead to get a crowler at TheLabMN.com/shop and be one of the first to try out these beers. Then, on July 1, go visit the team at Arbeiter in their new space.