In recent years, “MN-made” has become a more prevalent parochial marking than salt deposits on a pair of snow boots. Beer is no exception.
Nearly two-thirds of Minnesota craft breweries have opened taprooms within the past three years. Foreseeing a beer-making trend that will continue thriving for years to come, Ilan Klages-Mundt steps into the competitive market with Insight Brewing, offering authentic takes on world beers.
Klages-Mundt insists on brewing only the styles from countries he has visited and learned the local brewing craft (or invented combinations of his own: sample the Champagne-style Saison de Blanc). He’s unveiled a tap list at Insight featuring five brews spanning styles from England to Japan. The Yuzu Pale Ale uses Japanese Yuzu, a citrus fruit similar to a cross between an orange and a grapefruit, to create a refreshing beer with subtle fruit infusion. And with its chocolate and toffee brown malts, the Chiswick Porter is made using a style learned on staff with the Fuller brewers in England.
Some of Insight’s beer is also featured in the food-truck fare served at the taproom: Tollefson Family Grill braises its pork in a tasty Lamb & Flag English-style beer, and the kick from Vin’s Italian sausage comes from Insight’s own Curiosity IPA.
Klages-Mundt hopes to eventually serve each beer in the ideal temperature conditions of the style, including what he hopes will be the first 52-degree proper English pint in the Cities.
Insight’s location on E. Hennepin Ave., at the periphery of a maze of industrial outlets, remains close enough to join the circuit of recently opened taprooms such as Surly and Northgate Brewing (with a brewery tour bus to connect them, just in case your search for a designated driver comes up dry). While the taproom won’t take home any awards for elaborate décor, the design could just be a reflection of the head brewer’s mantra for making balanced beer—keep it simple.