Surly Mulling 4 Locales for $20M “Destination Brewery”

The short list of possible sites for the brewery include two in Minneapolis, one in Brooklyn Center, and a fourth in an unnamed “inner suburban” location.

Surly Mulling 4 Locales for $20M “Destination Brewery”

More than a year after Surly Brewing Company unveiled plans for a $20 million brewery—and subsequently spearheaded a change in the state’s liquor laws to make the vision possible—the Brooklyn Center-based company has narrowed its list of possible sites to four.

Surly first announced its brewery plans in February 2011, saying that it will feature a beer garden, bar, restaurant, rooftop deck, and event center.

Surly in August hired Minneapolis-based real estate advisory firm Tegra Group—which was involved in several iconic local projects, including the Walker Art Center and Target Field—to help it select a location for the project.

The company on Tuesday released few details about the four potential properties but said that the list has been narrowed to two in Minneapolis, one in Brooklyn Center, and a fourth in an unnamed “inner suburban” location.

One of the Minneapolis properties is at 3171 Southeast Fifth Street, a former food processing plant near the University of Minnesota, Tom Hauschild, a partner at Tegra Group, told Twin Cities Business in a Wednesday e-mail.

The second Minneapolis property is in the Bassett Creek Valley redevelopment area, which is west of Interstate 94 and north of Interstate 394, and located in the Harrison neighborhood.

A site in Brooklyn Center, the city in which Surly’s existing brewery is located, is also a contender. Hauschild said that “a combination of multiple sites are being considered” in the city but “they cannot be disclosed.”

Last, Surly said that it was approached during the past couple of weeks about the possibility of building the brewery in an unnamed “inner suburban” location. That spot, however, is “substantially larger” than what is included in Surly’s current plans for the brewery, and if selected, it “may change the project scope.” Hauschild declined to disclose the precise location or the city in which it’s located.

When asked whether a formal announcement will be made by the end of this year, Hauschild said that “time frame may be possible,” but each potential location “will require investigation, negotiation, and coordination, the timing of which is largely outside of Surly’s control,” making it difficult to provide a time frame.

Surly, meanwhile, said in a press release that a formal announcement is “still months away.”

“As Surly has said in the past, this is a 100-year decision and location and viability is absolutely key, so it does take time,” the company said.

Other local breweries moved quickly to take advantage of the so-called “Surly Bill”—which Governor Mark Dayton signed in May 2011 and which allows Minnesota brewers to sell pints of beer from their breweries in on-site “taprooms.”

For example, Fulton Beer opened its Minneapolis taproom in March, drawing more than 1,000 during the opening party. Harriet Brewing soon after opened a taproom in Minneapolis, and several other breweries have announced plans to open their own, including Indeed Brewing Company and 612Brew, among others.

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