Urban Growler: Minnesota’s First LGBTQ+ Woman-Owned Brewery
If you’re looking for some delicious brews to kickstart your fall, look no further than Urban Growler, a delightful woman and LGBTQ+ owned brewery in St. Paul. Urban Growler is the perfect place to grab a drink, relax after work, bring the kids (for their non-alcoholic beverages of course!) and enjoy the community.
Founders and owners, Jill Pavlak (she/her) and Deb Loch (she/her) have created a little slice of heaven right here, and they’re excited to continue sharing it with the community for the tenth year! Having a brewery together has always been a dream of theirs. Pavlak says, “Brewing has always been Deb’s passion. She started homebrewing in the ’90s, which quickly turned into an obsession. She brewed beer, soda, switchel, and kombucha… as for me, connecting, networking, and building community have always excited me.” The couple’s connection to brewing goes deeper than the beer, though. Pavlak adds, “We take pride in every pour and plate. In short, we built a brewery because we wanted to work together and bring people together!”
The Urban Growler has something for everyone—literally. Pavlak says, “In the taproom, we offer tasty small-batch craft beers, handcrafted hard seltzer cocktails, and many non-alcoholic cocktails, such as Lemon-Basil-Lavender or Not-A-Colada. We also offer a diverse food menu that pairs well with our drinks. We have tasty burgers, Reubens, chicken sandwiches, vegan bowls, salads, shareables, and much more!” With so many options, Pavlak and Loch know it can be tough to choose just what you want. Pavlak says, “we offer samples and flights, allowing people to explore a variety of flavors and find their perfect match. Our knowledgeable team (the best in the business) is always ready to assist and provide recommendations based on individual preferences.” The pair put so much love and care into their menu, it’s no wonder it’s a community favorite.
Adding new flavors is no problem for Urban Growler. Pavlak says, “[Deb] loves experimenting with flavors. If someone says, ‘I don’t like xyz beverage,’ her wheels start turning, and she takes on the challenge to make something they will like. She’s a bit of a mad scientist. Sometimes her hair looks the part (I say with love).” Pavlak continues, “We use many of her concoctions from the early days in the brewery today—our Honey Cream Soda is loved by kids and adults alike. We also use her handcrafted hard seltzer or double hard in every cocktail. [And along with] our chef and team, one of her recent non-alcoholic hits was the Kind Of A Big Dill Pickle Lemonade we brewed for Nordic Waffle for the Minnesota State Fair, and people loved it!” It’s very clear that Pavlak means it wholeheartedly when she says, “We both have a deep appreciation for the artistry and craftspersonship that goes into creating unique and flavorful beverages.”
Urban Growler is a perfect spot for everyone in the community, and Pavlak and Loch work hard to make sure every person feels included and safe. Pavlak says, “Our brewery offers a taproom, beer garden, and event spaces where people can gather and enjoy great beer, hard seltzer cocktails, NA beverages, and elevated pub food in a warm, welcoming urban oasis… our mission is to create a brand that brings people together, regardless of backgrounds or beliefs. We also love providing a space for people to connect over food and liquid love!” Getting the community involved just makes The Urban Growler all the more able to offer unique experiences to customers. Pavlak explains, “We are known for our Plow to Pint series, where we partner with small, local farmers or urban gardens, bringing their story and ingredients to our brews.”
Even though it might seem like it’s all rainbows and butterflies now, it wasn’t always such a positive experience for the couple. Starting a business is already difficult enough, but as two LGBTQ+ women on top of that, it proved to be an extremely challenging endeavor. Pavlak and Loch are resilient, though, and their successful, bustling business is proof of their strength. Pavlak says, “We were not taken seriously and [were] discounted time and time again. We experienced homophobic and sexist comments from people in power (banks), which made us dig deep into our resilience and determination tanks. We were not going to let ignorance prevent us from achieving our dream. We rallied support from the community, and after a lot of help from a lot of people, here we are, entering our 10th year!”
Urban Growler is a champion of diversity and the celebration of what makes everyone unique. Pavlak says, “Our connection to the LGBTQ+ community is rooted in our belief that everyone deserves a safe and inclusive place to unwind and be themselves, especially in these challenging times. It has always been our intention to offer a place where people can come together, celebrate diversity, and create lasting connections.” She adds in, “Deb and I believe that each letter in LGBTQ+ represents a unique and valuable identity, and it is through embracing and supporting one another that we can make meaningful progress.”
There’s nothing better than a delicious beverage among friends. Check out Urban Growler and enjoy a community-focused space with some truly delectable eats and drinks!
2325 Endicott St., Saint Paul
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 3:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Friday, Saturday: 11:30 am – 10:00 pm
Sunday: 11:30 am – 7:30 pm