Cossetta’s kitchen manager eyes St. Paul for future brewery

Last City Brewing Co.PNG

As the number of breweries continues to multiply in Minneapolis, only one beer-maker in St. Paul — the pioneering Summit — has taken advantage of Minnesota’s one-year-old taproom law.

But a husband-and-wife team from St. Paul plans to change that. Darcie DeFoe and her chef spouse, Chad White, say they’re committed to opening a brewery and taproom in St. Paul. They’ve even named their startup after the Saintly City.

Last City Brewing Co. is a nod to the 19th century, when St. Paul was known as “the last city of the East.” With breweries like Fulton, Boom Island, Indeed, Dangerous Man and Harriet entering the market in Minneapolis — the so-called first city of the West — DeFoe is determined to remedy the mismatch.

“They’ve got a lot a breweries, and we need to catch up,” she said.

DeFoe and her husband, White, are both natives of northern Minnesota and have lived in St. Paul for a decade. White, former head chef at the Lexington restaurant on Grand Avenue, now manages Cossetta’s catering and production facility. Their business partner, Steve Jacobs, is a St. Paul native who now lives in rural Wisconsin.

DeFoe says her husband and Jacobs will specialize in lagers. Jacobs, a seasoned home brewer, is the “technical kingpin” of the team, while White “sort of brings out the flavor and the ‘chefery’ to it,” DeFoe says.

Brewing January 2011.PNG

Chad White, left, and Steve Jacobs, work on a batch two winters ago in White’s backyard in St. Paul. (Photos courtesy of Last City Brewing Co.)

“He and Steve have worked really hard to make the beers really balanced, super-drinkable — beers that have flavors that are interesting enough for craft-beer fanatics but not so intense or off the wall that they would put off someone who’s new to craft beer,” DeFoe said.

The team is still scouting for investors as they assemble financing for the project, but they’ve already been in discussions with the city of St. Paul about possible locations. They’re hoping to launch the brewery in about a year.

  • catherine reid day

    We would be excited to show them places inside the Creative Enterprise Zone to start up. Summit started in the Zone and we have many great locations and lots of enthused and involved people to cheer them on.

  • Jon

    Summit does not have a taproom open. Fine reporting.

  • Laura Yuen

    Jon, they do have a taproom license with the city of St. Paul. This allows them to sell beer at their facility for events like their 25th anniversary party last year.

  • Jon

    Laura, Summit has a license. They have used it one time for their Anniversary party. They do not have a taproom open where you can go buy pints of beer.