Pros: Pleasing design and layout; congenial staff
Cons: Unpredictable beer quality
Number one reason you should go: Inbound is a brewery you don’t hear mentioned a lot in Twin Cities craft beer conversations, or if it is, it’s tucked behind “Insight, Indeed, and that other one…”
Go see the other one.
What is Inbound BrewCo? What we can say is that Inbound is a taproom and brewery located in the North Loop of Minneapolis. That much is sure. But who is Inbound BrewCo? The answer to this seemingly-straightforward question would send Adam and I on a middle school mindbender-style hunt for the truth (“If Maria arrives at the party after Joe but before Wanda……………who would arrive at the party first?” etc etc).
When you visit Inbound’s “About” page, they appear for all the world to be a standalone brewery. But my coworker Sam tipped me off to the fact they are actually the taproom of North Loop BrewCo. (which, to make things even more complicated, used to be Lucid Brewing). Indeed, North Loop’s “Our Story” page calls out Inbound as their taproom. When searching for Inbound beers on Untappd, though, you won’t find any under the North Loop brand – they are all branded “Inbound.” So I think the story to tell here is this: there was a brewing company called Lucid that re-branded and split into two independent arms: North Loop BrewCo, the distribution arm, and Inbound, the taproom arm.
Whatever the case, Lucid/North Loop/Inbound has produced a fine specimen of a taproom. Of all the warehouse-chic places we’ve visited so far, Inbound strikes me as one of the chicest and most well-designed. Their three forms of seating – bar, bench-tables, and stool-tables dressed up in unvarnished pine wood, black chalkboard, and metal – provide compositional variety to the space. Massive, unobstructed floor-to-ceiling windows let in tons of light and give the feeling of drinking in a fish tank, a feeling you’ll never know you wanted until you experience it. Nor will you know you wanted to hang out in a particle board merch garage, but there you go.
Rotating food trucks provide the eats at Inbound. On the night we were there, it was Vito Lucco Pizza Co. (of 612Brew review fame!). To recap: solid pies, a blend of wood-fired and “Minneapolis-style” bar pizza that doesn’t seem like it should work but does.
Finally, a shout out to Inbound’s beertenders, who struck me as especially friendly and considerate.
There is something to be said for the sheer number and breadth of brews Inbound puts out – check out their beer page for a taste. Perhaps to be expected with that amount of productivity, the Inbound brews we tried were all over the map. Some struck us as middle-of-the road, tending towards disagreeable. Some had the right flavors at the right levels, but not much additional complexity. One notable standout was the Super G Lovshake, which impressed us with its creamy, deft balance of hop, orange, and vanilla flavors. You can read our review of that beer, as well as the others we tried, at the Untappd links below: