Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Minnesota Breweries One by One #38: Modist Brewing, Minneapolis, with Deviation 02/Dreamyard

They opened in April of 2016. Does the point of establish-
meant mean when they first got the idea to do it, or when
the partners signed the paperwork? I'm a little confused.
This little project of mine has never had a very neat and tidy path. Modist was not actually the 38th brewery I visited. I saw them well before I called them #38 (on April 14, where, according to Untappd, I had Toats and Calibration), but I did not give that visit a number. I had their beers and enjoyed the space, but never said this is brewery #whatever. And on May 1, Jason and I did a bike ride from my place to Steel Toe (#36), to LTD in Hopkins (#37), and finally to Modist, and I called it #38, but guess what? I took no notes. I took some photos, and some of them were crap, and I've lost them all. It was a fun stop, though, because Nate and Margarita were there with us, and Rick Spalding showed up, and that's always fun. Maybe that's why I took no notes. But no notes, and lost pics. (Again, according to my posts on Untappd, I had Smoove and pHresh.)
Here's head brewer/co-owner Keagan Knee
serving me a sample at Autumn Brew Review.
Cheers, Keagan!

So, in July, the 10th to be exact, I went back, and took pics, which I have, and notes, which I don't. On previous visits, I took notes, because nothing could be taken home. Now, they had the crowlers. I've reviewed four of their beers from the crowlers so far: First Call, pHresh, Wasteland, and Toats. Some of these were actually gifts in sample form. On that 7/10 visit, I wrote notes on another one which was not canned, Smoove, but I can re-write those, as I now have a crowler in my possession. I also took notes on a marvelous beer called 100% Wheat, ...alas, missing are those notes. (Again, Untappd says I had 100% Wheat, Toats, Smoove and Wasteland.) Also, it tells me that I had Deviation 2 on October 27, but I'm going to have it again.

What's the deal with Modist? It is the brainchild of co-owner/head brewer Keagan Knee, who I've known since he was brewing at Harriet years ago, before he joined the Dangerous Man team. Other owners and partners (Kale Anderson, John Donnelly, Eric Pareides) were also involved with Harriet in the past. The found their space in downtown Minneapolis, close to the Twins Stadium, just around the corner form Fulton, and opened with a state-of-the-art facility with un-heard-of capacity for high yields and low residuals and very little waste. High efficiency is the name of the game here, as well as turning out uncategorizable product. Nothing that Modist has put out so far really sticks into neat little folders, but that doesn't bother me none. Whether it has an impact on their ability to reach out to the marketplace, that's another story. And a story for another day, because for right now I just want to talk about what they're doing right.


And here's my old pal Steve Legas who I randomly
bumped into at Modist. If you drink good beer in
Minneapolis, you will meet Steve eventually.

And I'm going to pause to write a review of a beer that is currently being called Deviation 02, but will soon be known as Dreamyard, and it might be called an IPA, but it is certainly 80% wheat and 20% oats. I also completely forgot the hop bill for now, but never mind. I'm going to open that can and tell you about what I'm drinking.

Deviation 2, soon to be known as Dreamyard.
Deviation 02, 7% ABV., 88 IBU. Modist Brewing Co., North Loop, Mpls., MN.

Hazy (but promising in future batches to be hazier), bright golden hued, large and lasting ivory head. Looking fantastic.

In the nose: bursting with citrus sensations, lemon, grapefruit, tangerine, not too terribly bitter, but bursting with hoppy delights.

A view of the taproom on a quiet Sunday night.
In the mouth: Pow! More citrus, more hoppitude, more delicious bitterness. Big, beautiful bitterness, with the lushness and smoothness of wheat and oats below it. Marvelous malt bill beneath, solid, sturdy, dependable, and, yeah, delicious. It's a complex and simply tasty beer, and it's one of the best I've had in quite awhile. I hope it becomes a success for Modist, and I'll do my duty banging the drum for it. Pretty danged tasty stuff.

Here's some gobbledygook I tore off of the internet: "A New England IPA meets a 100% wheat malt bill. Fantastically hazy with aromas of apricot, peach, and citrus. Over 3.5 lbs of Citra, Bravo, and Ella hops per barrel make this beer an incredibly juicy and citrusy treat with an approachable level of bitterness."

Co-owner/head of sales John Donnelly serves up a
Deviation 3 for me. 
And what can I tell you about the taproom? It's pretty much like all the others, but it's all it's own. Rows of communal tables, but a little lounge area off to the side, with an incredible amount of local artists on display. There's the merch, there's the games, a long bar, the awesome lights above. Pretty cool room. I've mainly been on Sundays when it's "tres relaxant", but on a recent Thursday night, it was all a-popping with trivia and stuff. And there's good beer around, always, some infusions, some more cool things.

I think that Modist is one of the best additions to the local brewing scene in the past year, but they somehow have not gotten their due. Maybe they need to have a bigger impact on the market. Once their canning line takes off, and the 12 ounce cans replace the crowlers, and they get into stores, then they'll be better known. They don't make beers that fit neatly into boxes, so once they get an "IPA" in the market, perhaps that will change things. It isn't easy to put out uncategorizable beers, not in the least. They're trying, though, and I applaud them for it. Keep making great beers, guys, and I'll be there to drink them, and I'll be telling all of you to join me!
100% Wheat
side view, with patio
tanks, tanks, tanks!

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