Soccer fan? British expat? This distillery will be your new favorite place in the Twin Cities

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Get ready, ya hooligans. Royal Foundry Craft Spirits

When Royal Foundry Craft Spirits opens this spring, it will have the Twin Cities’ biggest cocktail room.

They'll also round out their 15,000-square-foot building (241 Fremont Ave. N., Minneapolis) with a tasting room, a private events space, and an area for games. There will be Nine Pin Skittles -- a U.K. pub pastime that's not unlike bowling -- and plenty of TVs tuned into Premier League soccer. And outside, a 70-meter cycle track will open this summer, hosting "league and semi-pro bicycle competitions in the vein of the traditional English sport of Cycle Speedway," according to a release.

Is this all sounding a little bit British to you?

Well, cofounder Nikki McLain grew up in the Midwest, and her husband, cofounder Andy McLain, was born in Edina. But Andy's parents are Brits, and he was raised in Europe. “It’s kind of an homage to his family ... and we'll really carry that theme through from when you walk into our building to when you taste our products to the whole cycle speedway that we’re going to build," Nikki says.

For one, they'll focus on British-inspired spirits: a London style dry gin, a navy style rum, and a single malt Scotch style whiskey. On the food side, the team plans to partner with British food trucks around town before -- ideally -- debuting one of their own.

Nikki notes that while the Twin Cities has a surprisingly robust expat community, there just aren’t a ton of British establishments around. Want to watch soccer? Her husband will tell you your best bet is probably Brit’s Pub or… Brit’s Pub. “Sometimes, [expats] don’t feel like they have a home or a pub to go to,” Nikki explains. “We’re going to have that pub feel, even though we’re going to have a more industrial, contemporary style in our design.”

Royal Foundry will provide "equal opportunity" for fans hoping to catch Premier League matches. And they'll try their very best to be agnostic about it (though Andy does support Arsenal -- boo or cheer that info accordingly).

Sound like something you're into, cycling-slash-soccer fans? Might as well donate to Royal Foundry’s GoFundMe -- if you do so to the tune of $100 by February 28, you’ll be entered to win free drinks for life.


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