Located above the new and sensational Can Can Wonderland, BlackStack Brewing presents itself as a subdued and quiet, yet still family-friendly retreat from the clanging of pinball machines and the screams of children below. A basement parking garage provides convenient parking, and a maze of industrial staircases connects BlackStack to Can Can, creating the feel of a collaborative campus in the vein of 612Brew and Lake Monster, rather than a singular, standalone location.
The titular black stack rises above the brewery, lending a sense of excitement and impending doom as you drive up to the place.
Inside, the high ceilings, muted music, and open floor plan give a comparatively inviting feeling of spaciousness and openness. Picture the crowds of Dangerous Man, but spread out in Surly’s space. BlackStack feels somewhat vacant, but not unwelcoming. It is a unique experience to sit down and have a conversation at a brewery on a Friday night without shouting crowds or pounding music. Like Able, BlackStack almost reminds of a coffee shop.
The atmosphere is friendly and local – a man in a NAPA shirt at the bar told me he’d walked there from work, and all around families milled about and couples sat down to play one of the board games from BlackStack’s impressive collection.
The food truck on the night we were there was Taco Cat. My chicken tacos were divine, as would be any menu item smothered in Taco Cat’s cool & savory crema sauce (read: all the menu items). If you can catch that truck, I highly recommend it.
Low-noise, well-lit, board game-filled warehouses are great, but I wouldn’t necessarily choose to spend time in them in the absence of a key beverage. So, how’s the beer?
I was wary of BlackStack’s description of its Local 756 IPA as a “New England-style india pale ale,” mostly because I don’t know what that means. But I was pleasantly surprised by its light, orange-peel-bitter flavor. I found the other three BlackStack brews to be pleasantly drinkable – nothing stunning, but serviceable. You can read my Untappd reviews of their line of four brews at the links below:
Pros: Presence of an actual black stack, relaxing & friendly atmosphere
Cons: Is the atmosphere relaxing or boring? Is the building spacious or empty? Is the beer drinkable or bland? You decide!
Number one reason you should go: BlackStack is a unique and promising newcomer to the Twin Cities brewery scene. Go check it out!