Breathing New Life into an Old Brewery

Taking advantage of the Twin Cities’ long-standing craft beer culture, developers are eager to shine a new light on derelict breweries.

By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor

Rendering of Craig Cohen’s planned Keg & Case Market redevelopment in St. Paul

Taking advantage of the Twin Cities’ craft beer culture, developers are eager to shine a new light on derelict breweries.

Local developer Craig Cohen is taking steps to fulfill his vision of reinventing a 160-year-old brewery in St. Paul into a “festival market”. Cohen intends to break ground this fall on the Keg & Case Market redevelopment at 928 W. Seventh St., part of the 15-acre former site of the Schmidt Brewery complex that has been vacant since 2004.

Cohen acquired the 22,000-square-foot building in the summer of 2014 from the St. Paul Housing and Redevelopment Authority and plans to turn it into a vibrant mixed-use development featuring feature two or three restaurants, an indoor farmer’s market and outdoor festival space.

The developer is working with the Minnesota Historical Society to make sure that guidelines are met during redevelopment. “For example, the Jacob Schmidt Brewing Co. mural will remain on the outside of the building,” explained Cohen in a prepared statement. The redevelopment team also includes Studio M Architects Inc. and KALCON LLC Commercial Construction. DTZ Vice President Andrea Christenson is handling retail operations for the project.

The historic brewery at 882 W. Seventh St. closed its operations in 2002, and the site was then occupied by Gopher State Ethanol Co. until 2004, according to Finance & Commerce. In 2014, a $125 million apartment community opened at the complex’s Bottle House and Brew House buildings. Developed by Plymouth-based Dominium, Schmidt Artist Lofts features 247 residential units, including 13 townhomes.

Image courtesy of DTZ