Family Brew

Wonderstuff. Stargrazer. Wagon Party. Sky-Five!
These are not the names of ordinary beers.
But then again, Bauhaus Brew Labs is
not your average brewery.

After launching a successful Kickstarter campaign in
May of 2014, they opened up operations in Northeast
Minneapolis just two months later, complete with a
taproom, outdoor biergarten and canning line. And
things have been shooting sky-high (or five!) ever since.

“We’re thrilled and love how people have embraced
us and helped us grow so quickly,” said co-owner and
brewer Matt Schwandt. “In our wildest dreams we’d
hoped for this kind of a trajectory, but didn’t realize just
how thirsty people are for this kind of beer.”

Bauhaus specializes in lagers,
which are brewed at lower
temperatures using a strain
of yeast traced back to South
America, which is why they are
considered a newer edition to the
pantheon of beers, and really, the
only American contribution. “We
wanted to introduce lagers to a new
generation of beer drinkers,” said
Schwandt. “They’re not just Bud
Light. We wanted to turn that idea
on its head.”

And turn heads they have. Their
beers, all of which can be found at
the new Wedge Table, alternate
between crisp, clean and complex.
Wonderstuff is the upgraded
classic; Stargrazer is the dark
(literally) horse; Wagon Party is
the new kid on the block; and
Sky-Five is the heady, spicy crowd
favorite. Each one is like no lager
you’ve ever had. But the thing that
strikes you first about Bauhaus
beers isn’t the hops or the malt;
it’s the packaging. Bold colors,
simplified forms, and modern lines
exemplify the brand’s namesake
school of thought, and are repeated
on everything from their cans to
their taps to the huge I-beams
that criss-cross their functionally
industrial brewing/drinking space.
“We knew from the beginning we
wanted to be different, interesting
and impactful,” said Schwandt.
“The brewery and the brand is just
a natural extension of our family-
we’re a little quirky, but we embrace
it. We like being different, and we’re
comfortable in our own skin.”

Bauhaus is a family business and has
been since day one, when Schwandt
decided to leave his job as an
attorney and turn his homebrewing
passions into more than just a side
gig. And as it turned out, Schwandt
has a pretty talented family. While
he brews the beers, his wife Lydia
steers the big-picture ship, directing
operations and handling HR. His
brother and his wife (both in the
advertising business) handle the
marketing and communications. And
his other brother manages sales and
distribution, where he’s worked for
more than a decade. In less than a
year, Bauhaus is already being sold
in 70 liquor stores and even more
bars and restaurants around the Twin
Cities, which is not too shabby.
But more than the tangible
successes they’re enjoying right
now, Schwandt is thankful for
the smaller pleasures he’s been
afforded by the way they’ve set
up their business, like getting to
see his kids every day. “They know
this place like the back of their
hands,” he said, looking up at the
fermenters lined up behind the bar.

And while the Brew Lab feels
unmistakably like a production
space, the
atmosphere
is wholly kidfriendly,
from
the duo of video
arcade games to a shelf lined with
board games, and even a corner
with bigger toys, like a loud,
rolling Tonka truck. It feels like
the kind of place you could come
with more than one generation
of your family tree. And that’s
not by mistake. “We want to be
a new kind of family brewery and
pedigree,” says Schwandt. “We’re
not traditionalists. It’s time to switch
it up.”