While looking on the map for the location of our friends’ housewarming party, I decided to check and see whether there were any breweries in the area. I didn’t have any on my list near them so I searched Google to see if there were any near Maple Grove. I was surprised to find that OMNI Brewing Company had fallen through the cracks! We left the party at a reasonable time so we decided to make the short trip to visit the taproom while we were in the area.
OMNI Brewing opened its doors in September of last year. Their goal was to add a taproom to an area of the metro that was sorely lacking quick access to craft beer. Formed by friends Justin Walsh and Zach Ward they are looking to create beers from a wide variety of styles, from easy drinking session ales to rich scotch ales and stouts. This approach is reflected in their name which means ‘all’ or ‘of all things.’ Their brewery and taproom is located in an industrial area within an old Schwann’s distribution center which gave them a jump start with some features not found in any old building.
When we arrived I regretted eating so much at the party because Tru Pizza, that night’s food truck, was putting out some great smells. The truck was parked on their gray crushed gravel patio and faced two large glass garage doors looking into the taproom. After entering we were a little worried there would be no place for us to sit. I’m continually surprised to find that these taprooms further from the cities are so busy. It doesn’t seem to matter whether it’s the middle of the week or late Saturday night, people’s thirst for a quiet night out over locally brewed beer has not yet been sated.
After a quick tour we did find a spot on the wooden rail which faced some of their fermenters. I grabbed a pint for Samantha and a flight for myself and settled in. I didn’t know what to expect of the beers at OMNI since I hadn’t even heard of them until earlier that day. I can report happily that the quality of their beer does hold up to scrutiny. The flight of six: Lake Day (Session Cream Ale), Hopfull (IPA), Sweetness (Stout), Omnipotent (Scotch Ale), Muddy Runner (Coconut Porter), and RUA (Red Ale). Of the six Lake Day and Muddy Runner were my favorites. Lake Day is their flagship beer which was a great start to the flight. It’s got a slight bitterness which counteracts the creaminess quite well. The Muddy Runner had a distinct coconut aroma and flavor. It was well balanced and had a nice light body to which helped to prevent the sweetness from overpowering the flavor.
We weren’t able to stay very long but we enjoyed our visit. After browsing their website and Facebook pages they seem to have a wide variety of food trucks available on the weekends. Check their calendar if you’re thinking of eating there. They also have a decent sized patio that will be available when the weather starts to cooperate. Their brand features the profile of a bear and it’s represented in a great art installation behind their bar. It’s also featured in the handles of their flight board and their full logo is visible on a beautifully made custom cribbage board. If you’re a cribbage fan they host a cribbage league on Sunday nights. Hopefully OMNI is a sign of great things to come as craft beer makes it’s way out of the metro and into the suburbs!