Nov 3, 2019

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The Nine Lives of the Hamm’s Brewery

The Nine Lives of the Hamm’s Brewery

If you haven’t heard yet, there may be something really actually finally happening to the old Hamm’s brewery.

And when I say “really actually finally”, I’m talking about how over the past nine years I’ve written many articles about rumors of something happening to the buildings and then nothing happens.

So do I dare write another article about redevelopment of the brewery and curse it from happening? Haha.

Rob Clapp is the visionary who transformed the old American Canning building in St Paul into what is now known as Can Can Wonderland. His idea over there was such a success that he has big plans for the Hamm’s brewery. As a matter of fact he has already bought two of the buildings!

In an article from the Pioneer Press he sums it up pretty good here “I’ve had a love affair with this building for a decade,” Clapp said. “I refer to it as beautiful chaos. The most crazy, dilapidated chaos, but there’s a beauty beneath.”

It’s funny because I know exactly what he’s talking about.

I myself have been mini obsessed with the brewery also even to the point of having actual dreams that I lived there haha. I have been inside the old brewery multiple times to see how it was set up and also did my best to match up old pictures with what’s left of the place for a video I did for Saint Paul Revisited and Land of Sky Beer Waters. If you would like to see it check out the Land of Sky Beer Waters YouTube page.

So what are the plans for the brewery? Well many things, so much so that the entire plan will take an estimated 10 years! One step is to bring back the Urban Organics concept that didnt pan out. This time doing the process on multiple floors of the building. Next is, you guessed it, artist lofts! This is the most no brainer of ideas mainly because the neighborhood is full of artist types already so why not expand the art crawl over to the East Side a little more?

Oh yeah remember when I wrote that article about some Hawaii coffee company possibly moving into the side building off Minnehaha, well that didn’t go through but now that building may be used in this future development. More possible uses would be some type of food or restaurant within the complex.

Currently there are just food trucks that show up to Saint Paul brewing and 11 Wells distillery but with an onsite food source that could make things a little more user friendly. Frankly more breweries that are opening up now have an onsite food source. I think people, including myself, are getting bored with food trucks especially when a simple food is like $12 or whatever and doesnt really compliment the beer itself, call me a snob but yeah most of the food offerings are some donut with bacon it and that magically jacks the price up…ok I know it’s the convenience and etc but still.

Also the vision for the buildings are to have roof top greenery, solar panels and yes even a zip line and enclosed slides! Now you can drink and take your life in your hands all at the same time haha.
If you take a look at the pictures Ive attached from Rob’s ideas you will see the buildings will be beautified with artist style decor while still keeping the look of the brewery at the same time.

It should be cool when the sun hits the wall at sunset the building already glows but with the added colors it could become a new rainbow on the East Side of St Paul.
I’ll try to keep everyone up to date when I hear more info on this project.


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