After many long nights and lots of hard work, a downtown Minneapolis brewery born in a garage in Southwest's Fulton neighborhood is finally putting its first six-packs on the shelves.
"It’s been exciting," said Ryan Petz, co-founder of Fulton Beer. "It's real fun for us. We’ve been working on getting bottles out since we started two years ago."
Petz and three other locals—Brian Hoffman, Pete Grande and Jim Diley—first started brewing in Diley's garage and quickly expanded. For most of the last two years, they've sold kegs of their many kinds of beer to area bars and restaurants. However, said Petz, the seemingly small jump from kegs to bottles took a lot of work, along with a brand-new brewery space in the Warehouse District.
"Even tasks that seem relatively simple, like packaging, are deceptively complex," the four brewers wrote in an email to fans. "From designing labels, six-packs, and cases to getting set up with new vendors to going back and forth with proofs and color drawdowns to the government approval process, there’s a lot to it. Let’s just say we’re glad that part is behind us."
This week, the first cases of Fulton's "Sweet Child of Vine" and "Lonely Blone" beers arrived in around 100 area liquor stores—and promptly flew off the shelves. Petz said that Fulton's distributor has had to drop off extra bottles at several stores. A number of fans have been so excited for their first store-bought taste that they've taken to tweeting and posting pictures of themselves on Facebook with their newly empty bottles of Fulton.
That popularity bodes well for the young company, but also means Petz and his co-workers will pull a lot of late nights to meet demand.
"Well, maybe not quite all nighters," Petz said, laughing. "You start early and finish late, and start early the next day."
Want to find Fulton near you? Petz says his company is selling to the following liquor stores in Southwest: