Examiner, St. Paul Water Makes Great Brew

Makes Great Brew

Examiner.com writer Jake Lewis, profiles Last City Brewing Company. Thanks, Jake!

Even with all of the breweries popping up in the Twin Cities area, most are in Minneapolis. This is fantastic for the city and the multitude of breweries that are opening up, but what about Saint Paul? In the minds of the founders of Last City Brewing, Saint Paul is the only option.

The idea of Last City was born when Darcie Defoe brought her now husband Chad White to a company Christmas party, where he tasted Steve Jacob’s homebrew for the first time. Instantly, White was hooked. He immersed himself in homebrewing and sought out more education on the subject. After waiting for over two years, White was accepted to the Craft Brewer’s Apprenticeship with the American Brewer’s Guild. Through his courses and internships with various breweries, his knowledge of the business developed, as did the plan for Last City Brewing.

Named for Saint Paul being known as the ‘Last City of the East,’ Last City Brewing is looking to open as a lager centric brewery with a capacity to both keg and package their products from the beginning. With the city’s rich brewing history, specifically regarding the lagering caves in the area, and its quality of water, Saint Paul was the perfect fit for the trio.

Being a bigger part of that challenge is that a properly brewed lager is largely dependent on the water being used. “Saint Paul has a consistent water supply… and the chemistry makes it easy to work with,” says Jacobs. Having been burned out on ales some time ago ,in over twenty years of homebrewing, Jacobs turned to brewing classic European style lagers, and has seen how greatly various types of water can affect a brew, especially when it comes to lagers. Last City Brewing’s decision to focus on lagers was simple. “I love the challenge of brewing a lager,” says White. “They’re so hard to make well and dial in. Nothing is masking anything. That’s the chef in me. I’m blending the hops; I’m blending the malt. You can taste all of it. If I make any mistakes in that process, you can taste it, I can taste it, and it drives me nuts. I love the art and science of brewing, and that’s what attracts me…I’m going to do as many lagers as I can get away with doing.”

“It’s a classic style of beer that America loves,” says DeFoe. “They don’t know how much they actually love it, because they haven’t had a real one.”

Having spoken with colleagues in the industry and seen the benefits of the economies of scale, the owners have decided that struggling to keep up with demand and fighting for keg sales to pay the bills in the extremely competitive Twin Cities market is not for them. Last City Brewing will make their mark starting out with a 30 barrel system which will enable them to both keg and package their beers to reach a wider audience. Keep an eye out for their American Pre-Prohibition style lager, which will roll out as soon as the brewery gets up and running.

Last City Brewing updates can be seen at their website which is currently being run as a blog to keep readers abreast of what is happening.

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