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Med City Beat is an independent news source covering government, business and culture in Rochester, Minnesota.

Est. 2014

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Thesis Beer Project spills the beans on its forthcoming collaboration with Café Steam

Thesis Beer Project spills the beans on its forthcoming collaboration with Café Steam

After months of anticipation, Rochester’s newest brewery is nearly ready to open its doors for the first time.

Thesis Beer Project, the brainchild of former Grand Rounds brewmaster Adam Fredericksen and his wife Allyson Palmer, is set to open later this month. The idea of owning a brewery has always been with both of them — in fact, it’s what brought them together.  

“Allyson and I fell in love over beer,” Fredericksen told us. “Beer’s been a hobby of ours for a while, and when I started professionally brewing, it was something we’d always joke about. When we drove by buildings, we’d talk about whether or not they’d make a good brewery space.”

“It started as a playful conversation, kind of a joke, and then it eventually wasn’t a joke anymore,” Palmer said.

The former Whitewater Wireless building at 1929 Second Street Southwest will feature five barrels and eight fermenters, in addition to outdoor seating on a patio (still under construction) and the ability to turn into a capacity-100 music venue. 

Thesis joins a flourishing beer landscape in Rochester, with five breweries already open and another (Prime Stein, in the former Shoot-N-Save Sports building on 16th Street Southwest) planning to open in November. Differentiation is a must if a brewery wants to succeed, and Fredericksen said Thesis may feel different than the more secluded options in Rochester.

“When we found this space, we were very excited about the amount of traffic and visibility on Second Street, and I was very excited about the noise and activity,” Fredericksen said. “It sets the vibe for the building.”

Partnership with Steam is a ‘natural fit’

While beer is the primary focus of Thesis, it’s not the only brewed drink being served. Café Steam will use the space as a satellite location during the morning hours, before changing over to strictly beer at midday.

Fredericksen said he and Palmer shared a vision for the city’s future with the minds behind Steam, which made partnering with them that much easier. The pair actually began exploring the idea of a collaboration with Steam co-owner William Forsman (who, out of full disclosure, doubles as our chief photographer) at a Har Mar Superstar show two years ago.

“We want this space to be available to the public all the time,” said Fredericksen. “Most people aren’t up for a beer at 8 a.m., so how do you activate this space early in the day? A coffee shop seemed like a natural fit, and for us, Café Steam was that natural fit.”

All about local

The couple has spent years watching Rochester grow, and both are optimistic on what their new project can bring to the city.

“Even though you see all this gigantic change and these big, tall buildings being built, at the street level, there’s this passionate group of people, and all we can do is be a hub for them,” Fredericksen said. “If we can do anything to bring people in that want to keep pushing change and make this city a great place, I’m so excited for that.”

“This is for the local residents,” added Palmer. “It’s placemaking for the people who already live in Rochester … A ‘thesis’ presents an idea to the world, and this is us presenting what we want to see in Rochester, a place that we’d want to go hang out and have a beer at.”

Isaac Jahns is back in Rochester this summer reporting for Med City Beat. The Mayo High School grad studies journalism at the University of Missouri. His main passions are writing music and telling people’s stories.

Cover photo by William Forsman

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