Side Project Brewing named No. 2 Brewer in the World

RateBeer, an international beer review website, named Side Project Brewing in Maplewood the No. 2 Brewer in the World earlier this week.

This title comes as a great honor and surprise to co-owner and brewer Cory King, who said his focus hasn’t been on rankings, but rather on producing the best beer he can.

“For us, we don’t focus on growth in sales and dollars. We focus on the quality of our beer and just doing things that way,” he said. “So for us to hit these ratings and these rankings, that’s a direct representation of what we are trying to do. … We are just doing what we do, we are loving everything we do, and for that to still make its way onto this list and make waves in the whole community is really cool.

Side Project Brewing focuses on barrel-aged beers like saisons, wild ales and spirit barrel-aged ales.

the side project brewing staff // photo by tim bottchen for side project brewing

For those interested in what King would call more “normal” beers, he and the employees of Side Project Brewing have developed Shared, a collective where Side Project brewers can experiment with making different types of beers than the typical barrel-aged collections and can profit off these creations directly. King would like to focus on expanding Shared in the future.

“We are about as big as we can get on the Side Project side, but Shared has the opportunity to grow, so we are looking for a location that makes sense for us, makes sense for all of our staff and [where] we can have a lot of fun on that side making IPAs, lagers, porters – just stuff people think of when they think of beer,” he said.

For now, King will continue to focus on enjoying his craft and the people that make it possible.

“As long as our staff is really taken care of and they’re happy, our customers are happy, our beer stays the same and we continue making it better like we have been for the last six years, I’m happy,” King said. “For the next 12 months, the whole year, I get to tell everybody that we’re the second-best brewery in the world.”

Brenna Sullivan is an editorial intern at Sauce Magazine.