You're Gonna Make It After All: Broken Clock Brewing Co-op in Minneapolis
Sunday morning came and I needed to hustle down to Minneapolis pretty early, as my show was a 12:30 show at Broken Clock Brewing Cooperative. This was a late add to the tour, which I appreciate.
Broken Arrow is the first co-op I've even played at, so the arrangements were structured a bit different, and I was curious about how a co-op taproom experience might vary from a usual brewery. The short answer is that it really didn't, it looked and felt pretty much like any other young brewery.
A brewing co-op, for those not familiar, is where the brewery is sort of community owned... people can buy a membership that gives them a stake in the actual business, employees can buy in, etc. and everyone gets a say in decisions around the direction of the enterprise and how it is managed and run. Often times the brewing facility might be shared between several groups of brewers who all contribute to the brewery's output. As such, the focus is usually more on the creation and well being of a community built around the entity, as opposed to to strictly profitability... at least in theory. Broken Clock was founded in 2015.
Broken Clock Brewing Cooperative - Minneapolis, MN
Brews are rotating frequently in he taproom, and limited distribution elsewhere. More info on where to find them here.
I was told a few days before that a dog enthusiasts group would be having an event overlapping my sets, which was cool with me, as I am a dog guy myself (Django, my boxer, has been mentioned here before). During my drive in I was thinking about how funny it is that dogs have found such a home in the craft brewery industry, and are a common sight breweries.... which made me wonder, where do the cat people go? Wineries? Distilleries? Do they just stay home? I never hear of cat groups holding events at breweries, nor anywhere else, for that matter. I don't complain, as I'm allergic to cats anyway.
My throat was still a bit scratchy and my range not back to normal, but I again was only playing for 2 hours, and was confident I'd be able to avoid songs that would stress my vocals. When I arrived at Broken Clock and grabbed my guitar and went inside to see where I needed to set up, and as I opened the door I was wildly surprised to see.... cats! Tons of kittens, actually. Some kitten group actually was having an event at the brewery prior to the dog people! So once again, yet another new experience that would only happen on tour...
The taproom was a spacious, long space in a sort of warehouse/industrial type complex, which reminded me of the setup at Land-Grant, Lenny Boy, and a few other breweries... with the bar running down one side, tables in the middle, and a proper stage in the back, along with a sort of living room type setup for chilling a bit more comfortably. Behind the building was a good sized outdoor patio setting, stocked with tables, fire pit, cornhole and other outdoor games, and spaces for visiting food trucks.
For the first time ever, I am not able to do a proper review of the beers I samples, as I not only have lost my notes, but I evidently also forgot to take a picture of their menu (which I usually fall back on when I can't find my notes). Ironically, I DID remember to take photos of the crowd from the stage (see photo below), which I've only remembered to do maybe 3 times out of all these shows!. I do remember a very good Key Lime Pie sour or gose, which was very good, and that' pretty much all remember.
I also remember the Summer Dreamin' Milkshake IPA (6.4%), which was a hazy IP using pineapple, guava, and vanilla bean, along with a bit of lactose to creamy it up. This was a good one too, with the fruit flavor having an interesting way of emerging most pronounced on that backend.
I can tell you that I tried 4 beers at Broken Clock, and they were all very good. My apologies to the good folks there for losing my notes and not having much more to report.
My sets went well, and on setbreak I have some interesting conversation, particularly with a couple where the young man was wearing a Montauk shirt, so we shared memories on places to raise hell back in the day as kids.
As I was wrapping up my set another guy was loading equipment in, evidently they host an open jam every Sunday afternoon, and some of the locals told me they are often much better than you'd expect from an open jam. Unfortunately I couldn't stick around to check it out, but it's something to think about if you're looking for a fun Sunday afternoon around Minneapolis.
Next up I'm running over to Rocheser, MN after having Monday and Tuesday off.... then return to Minneapolis Thursday for two shows on Thursday (an early show at one brewery, then a late show at another).