Summit to open taproom

Summit Brewing Company is opening what appears to be St. Paul’s first taproom.

“This is definitely something we’re excited about, to bring more people in to experience our beer where it was made,” said Summit Brewing Marketing Coordinator Carey Matthews.

Starting out, the brewery’s rathskeller is only going to be open to the public on Fridays from 3-8 p.m. They’ll also open the patio above the bluffs, Matthews said. Summit’s brewery is west of downtown St. Paul, not far from the Mississippi River.

Matthews said the limited hours allow the brewery to continue the practice of allowing community groups to use the rathskeller a couple times a week.

The brewery will hire an additional six part-time workers to run the taproom and handle an additional tour.

It’s “a return to tradition obviously,” Matthews said. “Things like prohibition really changed the way beer was viewed and consumed, and I think we’re getting back to community… and knowing where your beer comes from.”

The taproom will be open by late September.

While cities like Minneapolis and Duluth have seen a spate of new taproom openings, St. Paul’s taproom scene has been less fizzy. But that may be changing. A St. Paul couple announced plans for a taproom last May.

The trend kicked off when Gov. Mark Dayton signed the “Surly Bill” that legalized taprooms in 2011. Surly Brewing Company is still in the process of choosing a location for its planned $20 million facility.

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