Coming home to 612 Brew
Posted by Kevin Cunningham, Lunds Hennepin wines & spirits manager-in-training
Friday, April 18, 2014
From Dinkytown to Edina. From Uptown to Downtown. The Metro Transit #6 bus gets you to school, to work, and at the end of the day, it gets you home. That’s what it means to 612 Brew co-founder Robert Kasak.
You see, before he was a brewer, Robert rode the #6 bus to work every day. More importantly, he rode that bus home every night. “To this day, when I see the #6 I think about home,” says Robert over beers at the 612 Taproom in Northeast Minneapolis. “That’s what it has always meant to me, and I always knew wherever I ended up, however far I’d wandered, or however much I’d over-celebrated, when I saw that #6 come by I knew it would get me home.”
Sitting with Robert, witnessing the joy and passion he feels when he talks about his beers, his brewery, and his hometown, you’re swept up in his tale. You begin to realize that quintessential fact about the local craft beer scene: these brews and breweries reflect the people and places we’ve grown up with, our neighborhoods and families, and our community’s history. That’s because the people brewing these beers, people like Robert, are your neighbors. They grew up down the street from you, they cheer for your home teams, they sit next to you on the bus.
“I was just a working dad who started experimenting with home brewing,” recounts Robert. “Like a lot of people, I enjoyed sitting on the couch and having a beer or two. But when you have kids, you quickly realize some of the beers out there aren’t conducive to effective parenting.” He pauses and laughs, taking a sip of his beer. “Hey, I love Surly, like a lot of us do in Minnesota,” he says. “But those beers have 6%, 7%, even 8% alcohol content. A couple of those and you’re done for. I wanted to come up with a beer that you could sit down and have a few, but still keep your wits about you.”
That’s when Robert created the recipe for 612 Brew’s signature beer: the SIX Pale Ale. Like working and raising kids, or like creating a destination brewpub while staying true to your commitment to hand-crafted quality, SIX achieves its success through balance. Malty and toasty, with the perfect backbone of hop bitterness and a hint of citrus, SIX has the complexity beer geeks love, while remaining approachable for the everyday beer drinker.
And Robert’s right – as we sipped on our beer it felt like going home. Just like climbing on that #6 bus at the end of a long day.
612 Brew is, unfortunately, not yet available for retail, which means you’ll have to find it on tap. So whether you make your way to 612 Brew’s taproom where you can sit mere feet away from the stainless steel tanks where their beer is made, or you come visit our new Lunds & Byerlys Kitchen in downtown Wayzata where you can enjoy a SIX and many other fine local brews, we’re sure you’ll agree that when their delicious pale ale hits your tongue, it feels like you’re home.