Nov 29, 2022 - Business

Minneapolis’ newest taproom is skipping the beer

Illustration of a pattern of beer taps.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The former Able Seedhouse and Brewery in Northeast Minneapolis is becoming Būch Fermentary & Taproom, a venue serving hard kombucha seltzer and other beverages.

Why it matters: In a brewery-heavy metro, the new taproom will be a dedicated space for alcoholic drinks that aren’t beer.

Context: The taproom comes from the founders of Būch, a locally made kombucha seltzer that's gluten-free, vegan and low-sugar with 4.5% ABV.

What they're saying: Kombucha is a traditionally nonalcoholic fermented beverage high in probiotics. Būch co-founder Ryan Appleby is betting that the taproom will help increase the drink’s popularity.

  • “99% of people object to the idea of kombucha seltzer, then they try it and [are] like... "this is good!'” he told Axios. “Kombucha has kind of a polarizing rep. We’re trying to overcome that.”

What to expect: Around half the taps will pour Būch's hard kombucha, and the fermentary will brew other alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks, including a THC beverage.

Yes, but: Although the location launched the popular Animales Barbeque Co., don’t expect any food trucks just yet.

  • For now, it’s focusing on healthy pre-packaged options, such as salads, Appleby said.

Between the lines: The taproom is a unique addition to one of the most popular streets in Northeast. New distillery Earl Giles, taqueria Centro, MN Nice Cream and Indeed Brewing are within a one-block radius.

What’s next: The taproom won’t open until early next year, Appleby says, but the location is hosting a pop-up THC taproom next month in partnership with Minneapolis Cider Company.

  • The four-day event will feature plenty of Minnesota-made THC drinks, plus cannabis educational courses and other nonalcoholic beverages.
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