Good news for fans of StormKing Barbecue, the short-lived restaurant that closed its Eat Street location in 2018. As of May 10, StormKing is back, and this time with both barbecue and beer made in-house.
StormKing Brewpub and Barbecue is a partnership between Black Sheep Pizza founders, Jordan Smith and Colleen Doran, and Rapids Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. The brewpub is taking over the space that used to be ONE Fermentary, next to Number 12 Cider. With this partnership, recipes from Rapids Brewing Company will be brewed in-house at StormKing.
“I knew Jordan [Smith] from Black Sheep and I have a connection to him through one of his daughters,” explains Bill Martinetto, managing partner at Rapids Brewing Company. “I reached out to see if he’d be interested in starting a partnership and bringing great food and great beer together!”
“It was the greatest thing!” exclaims Smith. “Bill’s best friend growing up is dating my daughter. She told me that he was interested in talking to me about restaurants. Then, Bill gave me a call. We decided that barbecue and beer was a great idea. And StormKing 2.0 was born.”
According to Smith, they’re a brewery first, restaurant second. The food items are not meant to be center stage, rather, they’re meant to support and enhance the craft beer they have on tap.
“Sometimes it takes breweries a while to get into the swing of things,” says Smith. “After a year or two, their beer gets a lot better. I didn’t want to wait that long. I wanted to provide great beer right off the bat, which is why this partnership is perfect.”
Ryan Woodfill, who has brewed at both Crescent City Brewhouse in New Orleans, Canal Park Brewing and Lake Superior Brewing in Duluth, will be the full-time, on-site brewer at StormKing; he’ll be working with a 10-barrel system as he brews Rapids’ recipes. The brewpub opens on May 10, and by the end of the first week, they plan on having 9 of our 12 taps filled.
“Our mainstay beers are the Hands On Hazy IPA, Jam IPA, Noble Pilsner, She Gone Rye Lager, and the Brown Boot Brown Ale,” Clare Regan, StormKing’s project manager shares. “We’re also brewing a porter, hefeweizen, American pale ale, and a cream ale that is absolutely delicious!”
The brewpub boasts an approximately 150-seat taproom and a 60-person patio. The taproom has tall ceilings, a fireplace, and comfortable seating. Martinetto describes the space as “industrial chic with a cool, cozy vibe.”
“We want to ensure that our customers feel comfortable and welcome,” says Regan. “We don’t care how much you know about barbecue or beer, we’re here to help you find something you enjoy!”
When StormKing 1.0 opened back in 2017, the menu only included authentic Texas barbecue. With the hopes of being more inclusive to customers’ needs and tastes, Smith has made a few changes to the menu. The brewpub will still include the Texas barbecue classics, like brisket, burnt ends, and pulled pork, for example. But they’ll also have a selection of sandwiches and snacks like nachos, smoked wings, and chips and dips available.
“There are definitely a lot of moving pieces to this operation,” says Smith. “But we’re just excited to have people come try our amazing beer and delicious food—and of course, have a good time!”
Starting May 10, StormKing Brewpub & Barbecue will be offering both dine-in services and takeout options for food and beer.
Brewer: Ryan Woodfill
Beer: Hands On Hazy IPA, Jam IPA, Noble Pilsner, She Gone Rye Lager, Brown Boot Brown Ale
Address: 618 N 5th St, Minneapolis, MN
Hours: Mon–Fri: Open at 4 pm; Sat–Sun: Open at Noon