It could be argued that Minneapolis’ newest artisan community, craft brewers, is also the most thriving. Since 2011, over 25 taprooms have opened their doors. But 612 Brew was one of the first. Located in the Northeast neighborhood – now known as the city’s craft brewing capital – 612 prides themselves in not only the beer they create, but also the atmosphere. The brewery houses a two-vessel steam heated brewhouse and six fermentation tanks, all of which are visible from the 70 in-house seats. Their beer is accessible to enthusiasts and newbies alike, offering everything from a grapefruit rader to a traditional German style maibock. I’m thirsty already.
Learn more about 612 Brew’s legacy from the Lead Brewer, Austin Myhran, in our exclusive Modern Midwest Q&A.
Modern Midwest: Tell us a little bit more about 612BREW. When did it begin?
Austin Myhran: 612 Brew was one of the first craft breweries to open in Northeast Minneapolis. Our brewery is located in the Broadway building on Central and Broadway. We will be celebrating our three year anniversary in February (with a brand new beer to mark the occasion, of course). We produce about 2,500 barrels a year encompassing about 20 different styles.
MM: What’s your background?
AM: I am a graduate of The Master Brewer Certification Program through the Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago and the Doemens Academy in Munich. I’ve been brewing professionally for around three years. I’ve had the position of Lead Brewer at 612 for a year now.
MM: What makes 612BREW different from other breweries in town?
AM: At 612 we pride ourselves in brewing beer and cultivating an atmosphere that is accessible to all people interested in craft beer. Our flagship beers lean toward the hoppy end of the spectrum but we have offerings varying from a grapefruit radler to a barrel aged imperial oatmeal porter to a traditional German style maibock and everything in between.
MM: Tell us a little bit more about your ingredients/the making process.
AM: Our brewhouse is what’s referred to as a “combi system”. Meaning it combines a four vessel system into two vessels. We employ a process known as single infusion mashing. To translate, its pretty bare bones, we work to differentiate ourselves by creating unique recipes and having a deep understanding of the fermentation process. The saying goes: “brewers make wort, yeast makes beer” so we try to treat our yeast as the special microorganism that it is, and it pays us back by making us some stellar beer. Also, we try to create a very wide range of styles, from new world, American style ales, to old world, continental lagers.
MM: What’s your favorite beer? What are the customer favorites?
AM: My answer to that question can change by the day, or the hour, or the pint. There are so many fantastic beers being produced by so my fantastic breweries that its really hard to nail one down as my favorite. Its like trying to choose your favorite song or your favorite dog. But the beer that I would be happy to drink exclusively for the rest of my life would be Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, its perfect, and I bet there are quite a few brewers who would agree with me. My favorite beer that we make at 612 would have to be our Farmhouse Ale. Its a traditional French-Belgian style farmhouse ale the we brewed in celebration of my brother’s wedding this past summer. I‘m sure if you took a poll of all of our customers, I think the majority of them would say their favorite is our Unrated Rye IPA, one of our flagships, and by far our best seller.
MM: How do you bring a new beer to life? What’s your creative process?
AM: The inspiration for a new beer can come from anywhere. The key is to try to weave something into the beer that will trigger a memory or a certain feeling for the consumer. Beer is like music or food in the way that it is universal. Not to get overly sentimental, but there’s something about beer that speaks to everyone.
MM: What’s next for you? Are there any new projects on the horizon?
AM: There are always new projects on the horizon. That’s the part of any craft that makes the long hours and high stress so rewarding. There’s always something different and challenging coming up!
MM: Any fun facts about the brand or making process?
AM: The fun part is always getting to be creative, always experimenting and tweaking and perfecting. At the end of the day, we make beer for a living. Who the hell wouldn’t love that? And the free beer…that’s pretty fun too.
Sample a variety of 612 Brew’s craft beer at Modern Midwest’s first-ever “Modern Market” in Minneapolis’ North Loop. In addition to 612, a carefully curated selection of local makers will showcase their goods at Modern Market – all of which embody the Midwest’s distinct take on modern living. Enjoy local food and drink, live music and art while supporting the Minneapolis maker community!
Thursday, December 3, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Fast Horse, 240 9th Ave N, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401
GET IN ON THE ACTION!
$10 in advance / $20 day of