- Matthew Thorsen
- Kris Nelson
The lower end of Pine Street is inching closer to becoming pub-crawl territory as two beverage-based businesses prepare for opening this spring.
Behind 703 Pine Street, the partners in Queen City Brewery have gleaming Minnetonka Brewing tanks in place; they recently used a forklift to hoist a 1951 International Harvester truck called Ethyl onto a platform in the middle of the room. It presides over the U-shaped mahogany bar from Burlington's shuttered Ethan Allen Club, behind which a bank of taps will dispense the brewery's beers.
After a test run this week, partner Paul Hale — who will double as brewer — expects Queen City to start selling growlers, bumpers and pints of beer by mid-March. While he and Paul Held, Phil Kaszuba and Maarten van Ryckevorsel are still planning their exact mix of brews, one is set: Landlady Ale, an amber-colored extra-strong bitter.
A bit farther north on Pine Street, a fresh coat of white paint covers the interior of the former U-Haul facility where the guys behind Citizen Cider will open a 50-seat bar-slash-tasting room in March.
Co-owner Kris Nelson says he and his partners are still deciding what kind of food they'll serve with their cider. But they know what they want in the space: a long wooden bar, a window that offers a glimpse of the production floor, enormous garage doors looking out onto Pine Street and the Adirondacks beyond, and an outdoor deck.
Pine Street may need a few more crosswalks soon. "We'd love one with the sign of a guy holding a growler," Hale jokes.