“I have some bad news to report,” Adam messaged me the day we were supposed to go to Bent Brewstillery. “Well interesting news maybe, depending on your interests. You wrote the name of the brewery wrong. It’s actually Brew Benstillery and they only play Ben Stiller movies.”
Sadly (or happily, depending on your interests) that was not the case.
With only a small metal sign to indicate its existence, Bent Brewstillery joins the likes of Steel Toe (and Bald Man, to some extent) in the category of breweries situated somewhat oddly in business parks, where approaching them feels more like you’re about to go to your 9-to-5 blue collar job rather than happy hour at 5 on a Friday.
It’s places like this that excite me the most in the world of breweries. With a gleaming palace like Surly, you pretty much know what you’re going to get. But with a brewery like Bent, so plain and unassuming on its face, what’s on the inside is always a surprise.
This one was a winner.
The crowd at Bent Brewstillery is clearly fueled by the population of the suburbs in which it’s located – dogs and kids abound. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly – coworkers, friends, and couples meeting for happy hour. Young and old alike feel at home.
The decor at Bent is interesting – the wall art is a clever mish-mash of prints from their Brent Schoonover-designed label art characters (dig in more to that story with this article from The Growler) and cut paper pop culture icon art from Australian artist Kristi Abbott. I personally fell in love with the Bill Murray.
Bent Brewstillery is not only rife with the board games I’m coming to realize are a staple at any Twin Cities brewery, it also goes the extra mile with a collection of pinball machines – every kid’s (and let’s face it – most adult’s) dream.
The beer at Bent Brewstillery shows a similar commitment to idiosyncrasy and experimentation. Their ExperimentALE series is well into the 40s. I tried #41 and #42, Tropical IPA and Nom De PLum, respectively.
Pros: Interesting beer, friendly atmosphere, DOGS, cool art
Cons: Failure to capitalize on Bent Brewstillery/Brew Benstillery wordplay
Number one reason you should go: Go to Bent Brewstillery to taste the only 6% ABV orange juice you’ll likely ever encounter and listen to CFO Brenda Blume extol the virtues of Kristi Abbott’s cut paper art…then go buy a print of your own, if you’re feeling saucy