It took me longer to visit Bang Brewing than I care to admit. When I finally did get my butt in the door, I discovered it’s everything I’ve been missing.
Despite the snow, the patio looked cozy as hell. But I’m a Minnesotan, not crazy, so I made my way inside to the intimate taproom. Located inside a literal grain bin, with seating for just a dozen or so people, Bang is a tiny space. But, that doesn’t prevent the brewery from hitting you with a, well, bang.
Bang’s website refers to the brewery as The Bin, and elaborates that it is 100% powered through wind in addition to being waste free. Beer and environmentally conscious? That’s straight up my alley.
I drank both This (Magnum and Cluster hops, 7.0% ABV, 65 IBU) and Nice Coffee (Fresh Hop STP Dark Ale infused with Kopplin’s cold press, 6.5% ABV, 65 IBU). Both beers were more than enough to add Bang to my list of breweries to revisit, but the Nice Coffee was really something else. Call me a coffee fiend, but I love a well-done coffee beer.
I solicited advice from the owners, Sandy and Jay. They told me, “The basic idea of this place is housed in minimalism and simplicity. It’s a flexible use space; the idea was to have the smallest footprint with the biggest impact. We like the space between objects.” Plus, their goal of marrying efficiency to impact is just getting started. They added, “It never stops because there’s always room to improve.”
Here you have two people that have taken the path of complicated energy sources, unpredictable ingredients, and limited menus and made a business of it. But, even when they’ve finally got it all down to a science, they’re prepared to change their ways for the sake of progress and bettering their business and—in effect—their lives.
Choosing to continually reexamine and restructure one’s life and business is a humbling experience. Releasing the ego to accept positive change isn’t as easy as it might sound, but it clearly yields some beautiful results. Whether you’re building an organic brewery or learning why you have such inconsolable road rage, reflecting, simplifying, and refining will likely lead to progress.
Finding the space between objects, between peaks and valleys, between emotions and reactions is the key. There is so much more space to create goodness in our lives, even if it’s a 1,300 square foot grain bin.