Surly Brewing Co. is set on grants for potential new location

Brooklyn Center-based brewery is evaluating use of Minneapolis site

Brooklyn Center-based Surly Brewing Co. has received approximately 80 percent of the grant funds it has requested for the clean up of a potential destination brewery site in Minneapolis, according to city spokesperson Matthew Laible.
The Metropolitan Council approved $545,300 earlier this year to support part of the clean up of a 8.3-acre vacant industrial site in the southeast Minneapolis Prospect Park neighborhood at Malcom Avenue and 5th Street Southeast. The brewery has now received additional grants from Hennepin County’s Environmental Response Fund and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development to total approximately $2 million toward the project, Laible said.
“This is a big step in the process and will allow Surly to move forward in the next steps to potentially acquire and redevelop the site,” said the company’s spokesperson Lee Jones.
Jones said the focus now is on the environmental investigation of the “Malcom Midway Site” and its viability for development.
“We applied for assistance to remediate the site so it can be a realistic option for our destination brewery,” he said.
The plans are to build a new brewery with a restaurant and beer garden, with the potential option of an event center. Surly Brewing Co. is looking for a site that is close to public transportation and has room for parking and future growth. The Malcom Midway Site is close to the Central Corridor Light Rail and in an area where a number of developments are approved for construction or already in the works.
Any changes to the operation in Brooklyn Center have not been announced.
The city of Minneapolis applied for the three grants on behalf of Surly Brewing Co. and the city council will formally accept the funds, Laible said. The Hennepin County Board approved $450,000, the amount requested by the brewery, from the Environmental Response Fund for the project.
Money from a mortgage registry and deed tax supports the Environmental Response Fund for cleanup of properties in development. The legislature did not renew the tax for the fund starting Jan. 1, but there was money available to issue grants now as well as in the spring.
“Now that the $2 million has been secured, Surly is considering whether those grants allow them to take on the site, or if the remaining environmental funding gap and site prep costs are still an issue,” Laible said.
In the meantime, staff from Minneapolis’ community planning and economic development department are continuing to work with Surly Brewing Co., he said.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has approved a plan for the environmental remediation at the Malcom Midway Site.
“The contaminants include petroleum and mineral spirits releases, buried ash, heavy metals and miscellaneous wastes related to the long industrial uses and filling at the site,” Laible said.
Remediation plans involve the entire site because the contamination is widespread. If there were a new building on the site it would have vapor barriers and a venting system designed to address the contaminated soil vapors in the subsurface, Laible said. Contamination in the soil would be removed to a landfill and the entire site would have a “clean cover” to control any remaining impacts, he said.

Contact Katy Zillmer at [email protected]