By Anna Hoeschen.
Remember the 1969 film, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid? There’s a point when Etta, Butch and Sundance’s loyal companion, tells the two outlaws to retire their rogue ways for good: “There are other ways of going straight” she says.
During a recession, it makes sense to walk the straight and narrow. Yet, a few outlaws among us have transcended the hardship with creativity and invention. They’ve grown up but won’t give up having fun, they’ve taken deep risks while applying clear judgment, and they’ve paired delicious hopps with timely fermentation.
While craft breweries are decidedly trendy and cropping up everywhere (craft beer runneth over), there’s one nestled in the heart of Minneapolis’s Northeast Arts District that deserves the limelight. On any given Friday or Saturday night, it’s the reason you’ll find Twin Citians, young and old, lining the blocks of 2nd Street NE.
So, how exactly does one blaze a trail, especially a successful one, through the overgrowth of craft brewing? Dangerous Man is the perfect place to find out.
High ceilings, light woods, and an open floor plan are a welcome respite from the homely tavern atmosphere one might anticipate at a beer joint. This is a brewery that knows the importance of paying as much attention to the space and ambience as to the brews themselves. At Dangerous Man, you don’t want to just down your beer and head out. You want to earn a perch in the crowd and stay awhile. In such a warm setting, you’ll inevitably find yourself chatting with other patrons and you may be surprised to discover just how eclectic a group the brewery draws. Sitting atop my bar stool, this is how I came to know the architect to my right who introduced me to his wife’s work.
The space came to fruition with the help of a local design and build company called Rogue Arc. As Sam Holzinger, marketing manager at Dangerous Man, explains:
Since the “Surly Bill” passed, brew houses have been popping up all over the city, giving people the freshest beer possible. Unfortunately for us, the space that screamed our name, was within 300 feet of a church. We fought tooth and nail to amend the law that states no bar or liquor store can be within 300 ft of a religious institution … after a long fight, we passed the amendment, and thus began the journey to opening Dangerous Man to the public.
Dangerous Man’s aim is to contribute to the existing surrounding community and to create a new, smaller one within that. In a nod to these efforts, the brewery actually encourages patrons to bring in food from nearby restaurants and eat while they drink. There are many things like this to love about the brewery, but my favorite part about Dangerous Man is the story behind the name:
The name came about in Austin, Texas at a good friend’s wedding. We rented a huge house for the week and all our friends flew in from everywhere. Rob’s [the founder’s] best friend, who lives in Berlin, Germany, flew in with his wife and daughters. His 5-year-old daughter Tallulah speaks 3 languages, so her English is always creative. We all had a great time at the wedding, especially Rob, who at the time was donning a huge beard and crazy longer hair. The next morning…Rob stumbled out with his crazy beard and hair all over the place. Talulah jumped off the couch and ran to her mom and yelled, “Mummy there is a dangerous man in our house!” He became the dangerous man then and forever more.
There is also this wonderful quote: “All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” –T.E. Lawrence
To those who refuse to go straight, or to those who have artfully maneuvered their dreams into a sustainable reality, we raise our glass.
Images courtesy of Caitlin Cooreman