Alloy Brewing Company is like a phoenix or underdog or some other analogy of unprecedented brewery that surpasses all expectations.
Alloy Brewing Company thrives quietly in Coon Rapids, MN just 20 minutes north of the closest craft beer-opolis NE Minneapolis. The brewery itself could be easy to miss if you don’t know what you’re looking for – it resides in an old car mechanic shop (think Jiffy Lube turned taproom) and still retains the appearance of its predecessor. However, it’s that same history that makes Alloy Brewing the unique paragon of beer that it is.
We stopped in Alloy on a Wednesday night 45 minutes before closing time. The place was relatively quiet, which was okay because it allows us to soak in the personality and flavor of a brewery better.
We settled in at the bar and – instead of deliberating our way through a new menu – invited the barman Jason to pour us a flight of his favorite beers on tap. As he placed them in front of us, he pointed each one out, explaining what it was and what he appreciated about it.
Alloy has won 16 awards since opening their doors six months ago in June of 2017 and rightly so! The taste of the beers was incredible, and the variety impressive. One thing we appreciate about a brewery or taproom is variety, and Alloy has that – from cream and red ales to scotch and old ales, American and New England IPA’s to porters and stouts.
Specific beers worth mentioning are the Aluminum Alt Bier, Iron Arm Belgian Strong and Iron Kilt Wee Heavy Scotch Ale. The Altbier had a unique taste that reminded me I of red licorice, unexpected but decidedly delicious. Katie agreed. The Iron Arm Belgian Strong was full of vanilla and oak, warm and fruity. Scotch ale is a taste we’ve only recently discovered but have really enjoyed. The Iron Arm was bready, boozy and dangerously tasty. Needless to say, the variety of brew was impressive.
We also asked Jason about the story behind Alloy – the name and location. Alloy, by definition and according to their website, is
a mixture of metals and elements. Alloys are created to make something better or stronger.”
At Alloy, they consider the brewing process to be very similar:
the specific blends of malted barley, hops, water and yeast create something unique and more delicious than the ingredients could ever hope to be on their own.”
Alloy’s mission, then, is simple:
to achieve the dream of “Making the unrefined, exceptional”.
They do it well.
As far as location, the Alloy team members live in or near Coon Rapids and wanted to provide their community with a taproom of their own to experience and enjoy. The building is a renovated automotive garage, car wash and car rental service; the aesthetic – like large garage doors that open in the warmer months – has been kept to give it a sort of cool, industrial feel. The floor spaces that mechanics would have worked out of have been covered with beautiful wood inlays. The place really does have a tastefully mechanic yet comfortable feel.
For their beer selection and taproom vibe, Alloy is a place I would eagerly take someone new to the craft beer scene, confident they would find something they like.
Here’s our full review (categories are rated out of five 🍺):
- Beer Selection (number and styles available): 🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺
- Beer Taste (expected of style): 🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺
- Location (find-ability/ accessibility): 🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺
- Atmosphere/Venue: 🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺
- Service (of staff): 🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺
Other noteworthy factors: A pretty cool logo that especially stands out against a full glass of light beer; super friendly staff; great space, especially in warmer months when garage doors are raised; a good number of monthly events to attend or participate in.
Cheers to making the unrefined, exceptional! 🍺