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Tap Talk: Minneapolis' Clockwerks Celebrates Twin Cities Home Brewers

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – One of Minneapolis' newest breweries is giving back to the community from which it came.

Clockwerks Brewing opened seven months ago in downtown Minneapolis. But like most craft taprooms, the concept for the business had been brewing for a lot longer.

Lonnie Manresa and Brett Michlitsch first began concocting the idea for Clockwerks over six years ago.

Like most with the dream to brew their own beer, they talked about the idea for a long time. Michlitsch was an avid homebrewer, and Manresa's father had long been a fan of craft beer.

Then, in 2011, when it became tangible, they put the idea into motion.

Being from Minneapolis, both men knew they wanted to house their business there.

They scouted out a few locations, but eventually landed on the building at 25 North 4th Street, just west of Hennepin Avenue.

Next, came choosing a name.

"We had a difficult time coming up with the name because its's going to be your brand, it's what you're going to be known as going forward – forever," Manresa said.

So, they threw a naming convention party.

Michlitsch brewed beer, friends gathered in one space and came up with names and everyone voted on the top 10 names.

From there, the pair narrowed it down to two and shopped those around. Ultimately, the landed on Clockwerks.

"It encompasses a lot about brewing – timing, aging – and it also helped set up our steam punk aesthetic," Manresa said. "It mentally gets you prepared for what you'll be having."

Additionally, it plays into their philosophy of brewing time-tested beers.

When explaining their current line-up, Michlitsch said their main focus on was drinkability.

"We define ourselves as a lager brewery," Manresa continued. "We brew…styles that have been time proven to be very drinkable."

Michlitsch was sure to add that this philosophy didn't hinder them from doing more experiments in the future. He mentioned infusions, firkins and barrel again were all in his brewing plan.

But, with the influx of breweries continuing to pop up throughout the Twin Cities, it helps to have something that makes you stand out.

For Clockwerks, it is their Pro-Am brewing program.

The program, which pairs a professional brewer with an amateur brewer, is meant to give homebrewers a chance to work on a larger system that they otherwise would not get the ability to.

Home brewers are invited to bring in a sample of the beer, and if Michlitsch and his team like it enough they will ask the brewer to come in and brew a large batch.

The brewers come in, make the beer and when it is finished a keg goes on tap at the taproom.

As Michlitsch explained, it's a way to celebrate the people that are really at the crux of the craft beer boom.

With just a few months to go before the brewery turns 1-year-old, they are well on their way to definition themselves amongst the see of Minneapolis breweries.

And when asked to do so Michlitsch said, "Gears, beers and cheers."

Clockwerks Brewing

Follow them: on Twitter at @ClockwerksBrews, on Facebook at Clockwerks Brewing, or visit their website online.
Owners: Lonnie Manresa and Brett Michlitsch
Brewer: Brett Michlitsch
Location:  25 North 4th Street
Hours: Monday – Thursday: 3 – 10 p.m., Friday: 3 p.m. – 12 a.m., Saturday: 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. and Sunday 12 to 8 p.m.


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