By: Anthony Bettin
“The first day we moved into the first location we were like, ‘Oh no, it’s too small,’” says Qiuxia Welch, who co-owns Boom Island Brewing Company with her husband, Kevin.
“We moved to the second and it was like, ‘Oh god, this is too small also.’”
The couple hopes they've solved their space problem with their latest location, set to open in Minnetonka Aug. 23.
The Welches say the new space is 2.5 times as large as the last one, which opened in Minneapolis in 2011. More space means increased production (read: more beer!), as well as more taproom seating—enough for around 180 people, with room for nearly 40 more on the patio.
“We designed the seating with different situations in mind. We have a 40-foot bar, a lot of long tables if you come with parties,” Qiuxia says. “We also have a booth, where you want to be more private. And then we have this area, it’s more of a comfortable seating area.
“Everybody will find a space and, more importantly, a beer you love.”
“This is really a more underserved area in terms of craft beer,” Qiuxia says.
“This is the place that worked out,” Kevin says. “Now we set our minds to it and we design and build this taproom and brewery so that it accommodates everyone and makes them feel special.”
Boom Island Brewing was founded as a Belgian-style brewery—Kevin, who also serves as head brewer, fell in love with the country’s beer over many trips. With the newfound space, Qiuxia says they’ve got “capacity to make more diverse style of beers and new beers.”
“We will brew beers that the community wants,” she says.
“I’m going to be able to do a traditional Belgian-style Pilsner, which would suit the light beer crowd,” Kevin says. “Finally I can do an Oktoberfest or a maibock.”
But worry not, diehard Boom Islanders—the move doesn't mean they're leaving their flagships behind.
“All of our mainstays are always going to continue on,” Kevin says. “The whole thing is built for versatility.”
Made in Minnesota
“Everything is reclaimed or locally sourced, including welding and ironwork,” Kevin says of the new space's furnishings.
“I’m really proud,” Qiuxia says. “All the materials and all the things, it’s really to reflect everything’s made in Minnesota.”
That includes what she calls "the showstopper"—wooden beams on the bar top reclaimed from a 125-year-old bar in Dodge City.
“We talk about craft, not only craft in beer, but craft in the woodworking,” Qiuxia says. “Every single wood in that place is handcrafted and hand-stained.”
You can’t talk breweries without talking food, and Boom Island has plenty of options. Grab and go snacks like chips, popcorn and a cheese plate will be available from the brewery. Like most beer halls, a rotating stable of food trucks will provide more options, and Boom Island is working on a partnership with a couple of local restaurants to make sure there’s something for everyone.
“We really want to be a really active partner in the community,” Qiuxia says. “Great customer service, great beer, great space.”
Though no one knows what the future of Boom Island holds, the Welches are hoping this latest move is their last.
“In this whole process, we felt like the community has been so welcoming,” Qiuxia says. “The city of Minnetonka has been wonderful.”
Boom Island Brewing Company will hold a grand opening for its new space Friday, Aug. 23, featuring Arcane Kitchen food truck. In addition to their new taproom, you can find their beers on tap at various bars and restaurants in the Twin Cities, and in cans and bottles at many liquor stores.