New taproom alert: Minnesota's first Latino brewery lands a home in Minneapolis

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Lager Bronce will soon return to a restaurant near you. Jerard Fagerberg

Not to put the jinx on 'em, but you know how most breweries and bars end up opening months after they planned to, beset by delay after delay?

Well, so far, La Doña owner Sergio Manancero has had almost the opposite experience. Since signing a lease for Minnesota's first Latino brewery in Minneapolis' Harrison neighborhood earlier this year, he says things are going even faster than he hoped they would. Construction is humming away; the architects, designers, and contractors have been on top of everything; the walls will go up this week.

So, how soon can you expect to visit?

"We’re probably going to be open in July,” Manancero tells us. 

Maybe that's because he started La Doña (originally Doña Chela) almost two years ago, and has been planning to have a space of his own ever since. Now, he has one, in the form of a 10,000-square-foot building at 241 Fremont Ave. N., not far from downtown Minneapolis. Eventually, the cervecería will have a 3,500-square-foot taproom, plus production space — and, crucially, given that July opening, a 3,500-square-foot patio. 

“We’re trying to stay Latin-influenced, but infuse it as much as possible with Minnesota things,” Manancero says of his plans. “That interesting fusion between warehouse taproom in Minnesota, and going down the street in Latin America, drinking at your local cantina.” He describes it as a cross-cultural experience, one that will maintain the familiar industrial feel of a Minneapolis brew hall, but come accentuated with murals inspired by Latin artists. 

La Doña came to the market with the one Mexican Vienna-style lager — Lager Bronce — in 2016, and that’s the first thing they'll brew in the new building.

If you've been looking for Bronce on the bottle list at places like Hola Arepa or Bar Luchador, which once stocked it, you may have noticed it's been MIA for the last few months. That's because there hasn't actually been any; La Doña's been on a brief brewing hiatus as Manancero got to work on the taproom. It'll return soon, though.

He has a head brewer coming on (he's keeping the name a secret for now), who will bring back Bronce and develop new Latin-inspired brews, using yeast and grains sourced from South and Central America.

“The space in Harrison is really attractive to us," Manancero tells us, "because there’s nothing over there yet, kind of. We’re looking forward to being able to draw people to that neighborhood."

For more on La Doña's backstory, click here to read our 2017 profile about the groundbreaking brewery


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