‘Rails & Ales’ Partner Spotlight

Leading up to our 6th Annual Rails & Ales: Light Rail Brewery Crawl, your local gurus at GetKnit will be doing a bi-weekly partner spotlight with the goal of helping you get to know our featured brewery partners that much better.  Whether they are your favorite taproom in the Twin Cities or still on your “must hit” list, we hope you find this new article to be informative and entertaining!  For this installment of our next partner spotlight we chatted with our friends at Burning Brothers Brewing Company.  Enjoy…

When did you open to the public?

April 4th, 2014 is when the taproom opened, but we actually shipped our first beer in cans back on January 30th, 2014.

Tell us a little bit about your brewery name.

I’ll just go ahead and say that naming a brewery is a lot harder than most people think. Ultimately, we decided that there needed to be a story behind the name, and we went with our own personal and unique story from our young adult life. After all, how many fire-eaters decide to hangup their torches to go out there and open a brewery?

Describe your brewery in 3 words.

Craft beer for everyone. (OK, it’s 4 words, but still) 

How many years have you participated in Rails and Ales?

Since the first year, so I guess that makes it six.

Any exciting plans for this year’s Rails and Ales?

Beer, beer and more beer.

Where do you find inspiration for your beer names?

At first we tended to focus on fire-related themes and the like (i.e., Pyro, Roasted, Parched, Fused, etc.) but as we’ve grown, we also started to included more locally related themes. Midway (our American Lager) pays homage to our neighborhood in St Paul and Most Coast (one of our IPAs) refers to the quantity of coast line we have here in MN (hint, it’s more than California, Oregon and Washington combined).

Tell us a bit more about why you decided to open a gluten free brewery?

Well, truth be told, it wasn’t the plan on Day 1. Dane (co-owner) getting diagnosed with Celiac disease changed all that, especially when we saw how few gluten-free beer options there were at the time we were starting.

Educate us on gluten free beers – what do we need to know?

The key thing people need to be aware of, is that there is a HUGE difference between gluten-reduced beer and gluten-free beer. Gluten-reduced beer is made by adding an enzyme to traditional beer (i.e. barley based) which is designed to help remove the gluten proteins. The key question with this process is, how much gluten is removed? The scientific community does not have a concise answer to that question yet.  So for people who are gluten-sensitive or have Celiac, gluten-free is going to be the safer choice.

What’s your brewery anthem or motto?

When we started, we loved the phrase “Don’t Fear the Beer!” as we felt it resonated well with the GF community. More recently though, we’ve been leaning on the “Craft Beer for Everyone” as we believe beer is really about bringing all people together, not just the GF community.

What has been the most surprising thing about running a brewery?

The taproom. We weren’t really sure whether a gluten-free taproom would be a draw and it wasn’t part of our original plan. But then after sitting down for a heart-to-heart with our friends at Urban Growler (thanks Deb), they told us we were being dumb and we kind of shoe-horned it in at the last minute.

Are you guys actually brothers?

While often confused for brothers, we technically are not.

When you’re not at your own brewery, what’s some of your other favorite places grab a drink around the Twin Cities?

Much of the original business plan was written late into the night at the Glockenspiel, which sadly is no longer there. However, I think the Half Time Rec and the Dubliner are both still near and dear to our hearts.

What’s a fun fact about your head brewer?

His musical choices are pretty evenly split between Broadway Musicals and 20th century punk.

Do you distribute your beer outside of Minnesota? If so, where?  Tell us more.

We’ve stuck our toes in the surrounding states, but our fans in MN keep drinking more of our beer, so we’ve had to pull back and focus on the home front.

Are the food trucks that post up at your brewery also Gluten Free?  If so, tell us more.

When they are serving at the brewery, we do require them to be gluten-free. Most of the trucks we work with can modify their menu pretty reasonably, and we do have a few that are already dedicated GF, so that helps alot too.

What special events do you have at your brewery throughout the week? Or anything really exciting coming up you want to share?

We’ve got a pretty big variety of things happening, like board game night, yoga, Paint Nite, trivia, plant nite, burpees. While not everything is happening every week, there seems to be something happening most nights.

Visit Burning Brothers Brewing Co. along with 18 other taprooms on our 6th Annual Rails & Ales: Light Rail Brewery Crawl on Saturday, September 14!  Hope to see you there.