A scene from inside Brother Justus’s current whiskey cave/distillery. ___Brother Justus Whiskey, one of the oldest and smallest of Minnesota’s new wave of craft distilleries, is making moves, and taking concrete steps toward a building a bright new future in spirits here in the Twin Cities.…And by “bright new future,” we’re talking pretty literally. Since its founding in 2014, Brother Justus has produced around 2,000 gallons of locally aged whiskey each year from an underground distillery the size of, say, a three bedroom apartment. But in late June, Phil Steger, founder and CEO of the Minneapolis-based whiskey company, signed a new lease on a space in conjunction with Peter Remes of First & First, whose projects are home to 612 Brew, Lake Monster Brewing, and Norseman Distillery.
Brother Justus’s new place is seven times the size of its current one, and has actual windows.
Those panes overlook Columbia Park and Golf Course in northeast Minneapolis, and contain a distillery that measures nearly 14,000 square feet, and ups Brother Justus’s production capacity to nearly 40,000 proof gallons of whiskey per year – all marked shifts toward the present moment for a company who bears a made-up monk as its moniker.
“It is more important than ever that we contribute to positive change for our community, and invest in our values of justice, opportunity, and stewardship,” said Steger in a statement that cites the role COVID-19 and the death of George Floyd have played in changing the world. “The historical Brother Justus created opportunities for people facing tough times. And he held himself to the highest standards of craft and care for the well-being of others. We can’t do less.”
Phil Steger, founder and CEO of Brother Justus, in front of the distillery’s new home.
Architect and interior designer Aaron Wittkamper of Wittkamper Studio will play an integral role in transitioning Brother Justus’s lofty talk into a pragmatic, concrete embodiment of these values and choices.
Brother Justus’s new distillery will be open to the public, featuring a cocktail room proactively designed for social distancing, and that integrates full accessibility for individuals who live with mobility- and sight-related disabilities into the distillery aesthetics and experience. Additionally, the Benedictine monk-inspired spirit is proactively working to include people who face structural barriers to economic opportunity and employment in the jobs created by the new distillery.
“When we build places and businesses where each person is welcome, no matter who they are or how they get around, we create better experiences and richer environments for everyone,” underlined Steger.
But it’s not just new buildings the distillers are working on in the coming year: Brother Justus also has its sights set on releasing a new, cold-peated whiskey, to…
What an amazing 3 years it has been! It’s hard to believe it all started out in a tiny soft serve ice cream truck. Last year I opened my first brick and mortar location at 807 Broadway St in NE Minneapolis, and in May 2019, a Stillwater store was born at 308 Chestnut St E right in the heart of Downtown Stillwater!
A friendly reminder that we offer a wide selection of handmade gluten free and vegan options, as well as lactose free chocolate and vanilla soft serve ice cream. Leave your lactaids at home!
Come visit us….and if you are interested in booking our trucks, please fill out the form on our website. Keep in mind that we get a ton of inquires per day and that kindly it will take us a few days to get back to you: mnnicecream.com
Have an AMAZING summer! – Katie
Take #PRIDE Minnesota! New at NE MPLS 8 new Flavors of soft serve and this special cone “The Double Rainbow” 🌈🌈#loveislove#icecream
Sharing stories in and around the Northeast Minneapolis community. No corner of our community is free from racial injustices. We are facing uncomfortable truths and want to face them head on together to work for change.
We also see that through our community’s losses, beauty is blossoming in the form of mural art and togetherness and the visual call to action is clear.
Here’s what @preserveminneapolis is doing: As a way of standing in solidarity and preserving George Floyd’s memory, we are creating a public online exhibition of this outpouring of street art across the city of Minneapolis.
“I think all ambulances need a barber chair option instead of just a gurney.”
Thirteen years ago, I started giving haircuts in the middle of war while I was in the Army. My Troop needed haircuts, and I found something I was actually good at that could immediately make folks feel better. It changed my life forever.
Fast forward to today. My busy little shop is closed for now, and life as we knew it is changing. But this week, outta nowhere, I was approached by @hennepinems and asked if could donate some cuts and shaves to help raise spirits for some of the most important people in our city during these uncertain times. To say I’m honored is an understatement. Spending time with folks out on the front lines, is something I seem to do good at. The Infantry gave me that. I know the news seems scary right now, but we are gonna be ok. We have some incredible folks watching over our cities, day and night🚑🚒🚓…and the laughter and banter between them isn’t of doom and gloom. It’s of hope and summer barbecues. They know this too shall pass!
BTW-my barber chair is still set up in their breakroom, and I’m not moving it ’til they’re all taken care of. -Chris Pomeleo 💈
“I love making people feel good about themselves. I first learned the special trade of being a barber in the middle of Baghdad, while I was in the Army. After my days of normal duty, I would set up my little barber station in the basement of Saddam Hussein’s palace, and cut Soldiers’ hair. I learned a lot, but more importantly, I found out how much I wanted people to feel like they were the only thing that mattered while they were in my chair. Now, 7 years later, I am a barber and doing what I love! My job is making people look and feel their best – and that makes me a pretty lucky guy. When you get your hair cut, you should be treated like a King or Queen, and I’m the guy to take care of you. I’m classically trained in the art of Barbering, and will take as much pride in your appearance as you would.”