by Steven Wright
Central Minnesota’s newest brewpub and restaurant, Urban Moose Brewing Co., took an important step last week, entering into a purchase agreement to buy the American Legion building in Sauk Rapids.
The agreement, which was announced last Friday by owner Roy Dodds, will create a pathway for renovation and construction to the existing Legion building on Benton Drive.
The brewery plans to integrate Dodds’ existing venture, Flying Pig Pizza, in the proposed location and offer an expanded menu, along with original craft beers.
Urban Moose originally planned to construct its facility along River Avenue in Sauk Rapids, but with soft, unbuildable soil on the lot it would have carried a price tag of up to $200,000 for soil corrections.
After opting out of the River Avenue location, Dodds is now convinced the Legion building is the perfect home for his new endeavor.
“The building lays out very nicely and is a good size for the concept we’re creating,” Dodds said. “There’s a lot of decorative block on the building that fits our color scheme and look.”
The new location will be equipped to serve more than 100 people in the restaurant and up to 150 in the taproom, which will double as an event center and area for private meetings. The menu at Urban Moose will offer a wide variety of new meals, including healthy options.
“People who generally prefer craft beer like to have more natural, healthier foods and we will drive the menu in that direction,” Dodds said.
With Flying Pig Pizza joining forces with the brewhouse, customers will continue to see a trend of unique pizzas with a variety of toppings to keep their taste buds satisfied.
“We will probably add another twist to our pizza menu too,” Dodds added. “We offer a gluten-free pizza and a healthy vegetarian pizza which is low-carb, low-fat and has amazing flavor.”
Urban Moose Brewing joins a popular surge of craft beer and breweries in central Minnesota that has grown during the past years with companies like Bad Habit Brewery in St. Joseph, Beaver Island Brewing in St. Cloud and Third Street Brewhouse in Cold Spring. Dodds has already developed relationships with local brewers and is happy to see the camaraderie that exists in the industry.
“We will all work together, that’s the fun part about the microbrew industry – the brewers are a brotherhood, they’re not competitors, and we are all excited to work together and coordinate events and support our local community,” Dodds said. “The support from our community, both the St. Cloud area and the city of Sauk Rapids, has been overwhelming.”
Urban Moose Brewing Co. aims to be serving food to and brewing beer for customers by May 2016.