Located in quaint and historic downtown Hopkins, LTD breaks some of the molds that many craft breweries fit into. Perhaps this is because it’s located in a suburb rather than a neighborhood measured by its distance to Downtown Minneapolis; perhaps it’s because the brewery was founded by some guys who wanted to Live The Dream, and nothing more.
Filled with families and an easygoing Saturday afternoon crowd, the taproom had a quiet hum of energy. The beertenders’ camaraderie is reminiscent of Peter Pan’s lost boys, except they are grown men who seem quite at home; their love for the beer was written all over their faces.
I enjoyed a flight of great beer, including Apricot Sour, Orange Peel Patio Crusher, Raspberry Pilsner, Amber Ale, and Summer Daze. Our beertender helped me make the selections, and the range turned out great.
My advice came from Michael (and the 6-man taproom staff who gave him their input). He told me, “If you’re going to do something, dive in face first. And always double check your valves when you’re opening tanks.”
Michael told me, “I try to live that way. The owners of the company–Blake and Jeremy–that’s kind of what they do. They got tired of going to their day-to-day menial jobs that they weren’t happy with. They had been friends and brewing together for quite a while, and Blake gave Jeremy a call and said ‘Want to start a brewery?’ Jeremy said ‘No…’ but slept on it for a night and said, ‘Holy shit I actually do.’ So they did it! They weren’t quite sure where it was going to go, where it was going to end up, or even what area they were going to be in, but they just did it. That’s kind of how I came aboard, too. I decided to bail on the job I had for something I had no experience in and no idea whether it was going to work out, and just went with it.” Michael is now one of the assistant brewers and works the taproom. “It’s been fun, and I would not change it for the world.”
Michael also told me about the story behind the name, which started as meaning “Live The Dream” but also conveniently functions to describe the brewery’s limited batches (with unlimited possibilities).
With nearly every brewery, I get the opportunity to meet people who decided to completely upend the status quo and pursue a job that makes them legitimately excited to talk about work. I’d say that’s a pretty damn good way to live.
P.S. Odds are, the guys were playing Pokemon Go in that pic.