Summit's St. Paul beer hall has always been a perfectly pleasant place to throw back a few pints. It just... hasn't traditionally been one of the prettiest.
Recall, if you will, this:
Those largely bare walls and bench-style tables—along with the fact that the beautiful bar was tucked away in a corner—added up to create a vibe that fell somewhere between church basement and middle school cafeteria.
"Our old Beer Hall had its charms, but many of our customers had trouble seeing that charm behind the bare walls and worn, tipsy furniture," says PR coordinator Brendan Kennealy. (And, as pointed out in a press release last week, other local breweries are adding "restaurants, bumper cars, and petting zoos" to corner a share of an ever-crowded market these days.) "It sorely needed this facelift."
But rather than blow it out with a rock climbing wall or helipad, Summit went way, way old-school, transforming the taproom into a traditional German ratskeller over the course of a nine-month renovation.
And the result, well:
The bar? Front and center. The walls? Totally decked out. Those rickety old tables? Blissfully missing from the scene.
There's a stammtisch—the regular's table you'll find at traditional German beer halls—reserved for employees and their guests. And it ain't all old school: The brewery now boasts a 189-inch custom-built video screen where that wide front window once was. And also: more beer, with 20 tap lines now, up from 16.
It's nice in there, y'all.
If you want to check it out yourself, Summit's hosting a whole bunch of festivities over the next four days, starting at 2 p.m. this very Thursday.
Summit Brewing Company
910 Montreal Cir, St. Paul