It took Insight Brewing’s Ilan Klages-Mundt years of perfecting his recipes, traveling the world and studying brewing methods and beer styles before Insight opened last November. Now, Insight is celebrating its first anniversary on November 21 with bands, beer, and games in their sizable Hennepin Avenue location that is sandwiched between the Northeast Brew District and Surly’s destination beer hall.
Each beer has a story that is rooted in a real journey.
Dubbing the party "A Trip around the Sun," Insight is doing what they know best. "Planning festivals is a lot of work but it pays off because you get to have fun," Klages-Mundt says, proud of his achievements. With plans for a special menu from Gastrotruck, music from Toki Wright, MaLLy, Appetite for Zaccardi, Pleezer, and the Nathan Scott Phillips Band, and the release of their Gravity Well imperial stout, it’s a big day for fans of local beer, local music, and local food. Taking place just before Thanksgiving, Insight promises shelter in case of inclement weather, but the party will take place regardless. They will have tents at the ready in case of precipitation, be it rain, sleet, or snow, and their taproom is nearly 3,000 square feet and can fit a healthy crowd itself.
After a year in business, there have been ups and downs for Insight, lessons along the way. The brewery increased capacity ahead of schedule, and also re-branded this past summer, renaming their beers to reflect their story of global inspiration—not just Klages-Mundt’s travels, but the story of their beers themselves. "We're paying homage to stories like The Odyssey," says Brian Berge, another of the company’s founders. "Although we take creative liberties to have some fun, each beer has a story that is rooted in a real journey, a real craft beer adventure somewhere in the world."
More of those beers are on the way. The party will be the release of Gravity Well, a beer that Insight plans to sell aged going forward. In 2014 they released it to get it to market, but they held back some of the batch and it will reappear on Nov. 21 side by side with their fresh 2015 version. The kicker? The 2014 is double barrel-aged, first in bourbon and then in rye whiskey barrels. It’s also to be sold in 750mL bottles, a first for Insight. Supplies are limited and they expect to run out within the day.
That doesn’t mean your chance to take home Insight beer is passing. They also have 16 oz. cans on order and hope to have their canning line in operation soon, potentially even by their anniversary. Then they will be selling Sunken City saison, Troll Way IPA, and Hell Chicken pale ale in four packs at local stores.
With a year at the taproom complete, Insight Brewing is ready to see where another trip around the sun takes them.