With floor to ceiling fire station bay doors that open into an airy space, A-Side Public House is the perfect place to grab a beer and burger this spring. It’s really a good stop at any point of the day — there’s a full coffee bar and breakfast in the morning that transitions to lunch and dinner with craft beer, cocktails and wine.
“It’s nice to see the experience and menu change throughout the day,” says Tim Mattson, A-Side head brewer. “We’re much more than your typical brewpub.”
A-Side opened last June, but brewing began in the fall due to delays with the equipment. Tucked into the West Seventh neighborhood of St. Paul, the brewpub’s building was formerly the Station 10 Firehouse–the city’s oldest functioning fire station until 2010. The building remained in use by St. Paul Fire for storage and training until 2017 when the city put it up for outside proposals.
The restoration of Station 10 preserves its historic past while adding a few modern touches. Remnants of the fire station, constructed in 1885, can be found throughout the space including a fire pole, exposed brick walls, and barn doors from the horse stables once located inside the station.
A colorful abstract mural from local muralist Hibaaq Ibrahim brightens up one half of the brewpub next to the full bar. On the other side, diners can get a peek at the five barrel brewing system in the back. A-Side seats about 135 inside and another 40 on the patio. The upstairs event space Gatherings at Station 10 is about 5,000 sq. ft.
“Having this part of St. Paul history, we want to continue the tradition of making an impact in the community and supporting the city,” Mattson says, who was the former head brewer of BlackStack Brewing.
The April 28 release of Red Lager, made in collaboration with a group of Twin Cities firefighters, will allow A-Side raise money for Operation Warm. The national nonprofit manufactures new coats and athletic shoes, and partners with community organizations to provide the garments to children in need. Proceeds from each sale of Red Lager will be donated towards Operation Warm to provide coats for local children.
In addition to the aforementioned lager, Mattson says he’s enjoyed creating a well-rounded beer menu that pairs perfectly with the French-influenced pub fare from chef Drew Ledo, formerly of Aster Café and Dark Horse Bar & Eatery.
The American IPA cuts through the hearty Station 10 Burger, which has a double smash patty, brioche bun, muenster cheese, pickles and house sauce. The French Saison, with its citrus and fruit notes, complements the earthiness and grapefruit-accented flavors of the Beets & Watercress salad, as well as the richness of the Baked Camembert or Croque-Monsieur.
“The sky’s the limit of what we can do here. We’re not planning to distribute, so you can only get the beer here. We want to make it a special and exclusive experience,” Mattson says. “I want to have something for everyone.”
Mattson says he has plans for some more creative and seasonal beers this summer, which may include a coffee sour, and fruit-forward beers such as a blood orange IPA and a fruited sour.
A-Side’s Head Brewer says he also plans to continue collaborations with area breweries such as Nine Mile Brewing and Lakes & Legends Brewing Company. Beer dinners featuring four to five courses paired with A-Side brews are also in the works for groups of six to 12.
A-Side’s owners are Travis and Justine Temke. Travis Temke was a former co-owner of F-Town Brewing in Faribault before moving to the Twin Cities and restoring A-Side, which included $695,000 in public financing from the city of St. Paul. The project was slated to begin in 2019, but faced regulatory delays. F-Town Brewing Co., also received public financing, but it closed in 2018 after about three years in operation and was liquidated to pay off debt, according to the Star Tribune.
Head Brewer: Tim Mattson
Beers: Pilsner, French Saison, ESB, New England IPA, American Wheat (collaboration with Lakes & Legend), DDH New England IPA (collaboration with Nine Mile), English Brown, Milk Stout
Address: 754 Randolph Ave, St Paul, MN 55102
Hours: Mon – Thr: 7:30 am – 9pm; Fri – Sat: 7:30am – 10pm; Sun: 8am – 9pm
Food: Full breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. Brunch is available on the weekends.