Surly breaks ground on University-area brewery

The $20 million Prospect Park brewery and taproom is set to open in 2014.

Meghan Holden

Fans of local craft beer gathered Tuesday morning at the groundbreaking ceremony for Surly Brewing Company’s new Minneapolis location to show their support for the popular Minnesota beer.

The brewing company is building a more than $20 million, almost 50,000-square-foot destination brewery in the Prospect Park neighborhood, hoping to draw a worldwide clientele.

Expected to open in late 2014, the brewery will include a restaurant, beer garden, bar, rooftop terrace and event center, according to a Surly press release.

Surly purchased the site, located near TCF Bank Stadium and the University of Minnesota Transitway, in April after looking at more than 80 prospective locations, the press release said.

The company chose to build its destination brewery in Prospect Park because of its proximity to public transportation and the large size of the plot, said Tom Hauschild, a real estate consultant for Surly.

The site will undergo soil remediation before construction begins. The process, which began Tuesday, will likely take a few months to complete, Hauschild said.

The project received nearly $2 million in grants from the city for cleanup, according to the press release.

Despite soil issues, the location is perfect because of the redevelopment currently happening in the neighborhood, Hauschild said.

“This part of the neighborhood will change drastically,” he said. “[It’s] just about to pop.”

Regan Haffele, manager of local bar and restaurant Stub and Herb’s, said he’s excited to see Surly move into the booming neighborhood.

“We’ve got a pretty strong relationship with them, and we’re happy for them,” he said. “And maybe they can bring some more of the craft beer scene over this way.”

Although students won’t be the brewery’s target audience, the extra business from fans on Gophers game days will be a “nice icing on the cake,” Hauschild said.

The massive production will also bring a lot of job opportunities for students in the area, he said.

The construction comes more than two years after Gov. Mark Dayton signed a bill to allow Minnesota brewers to sell their beer on-site.

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak spoke at the ceremony about the city’s partnership with the brewing company.

“We … worked together to transform this formerly blighted site into a destination brewery and the next Minneapolis beer hot spot,” Rybak said at the ceremony, according to the press release.