When we found out Minnesota United, our local MLS team, was moving into TCF Bank Stadium for a spell while their new stadium was under construction, we wanted to do something. We’re a brewery with a giant beer garden just down the street, so we had two groundbreaking, outside-the-box, Galaxy Brain ideas:
- Make a beer for them, and
- Have a big party.
Thankfully, the Loons were on board with both these initiatives, and thus were Rising North Pale Ale and the Official Prematch Party born.
The idea was simple. We’d throw open the beer garden a couple hours before the game, get a band to play some tunes, set up some games, fire up the food truck, sell a bunch of soccer beer, then march to the stadium with a brass band. We’d never done anything like this before, so your guess was as good as ours as to how it would go over.
Match day arrived, and so did the forecast. A spring snowstorm was supposed to hit, so good luck getting anywhere in the metro area, let’s play soccer. We were already committed, so we opened the gates, and…everybody showed up. Everybody. Roughly 3,000 people visited throughout the day, we welcomed Minnesota soccer legends like Alan Willey, the snow started flying, and we followed the Twin Cities Stompers to TCF.
Of course, this was the day that local soccer fans had waited for their entire lives. Once the grind of the regular season took hold, we figured the enthusiasm would level off a little bit.
But you all kept showing up.
Wednesday nights, Sunday afternoons, DJs, live bands, different menu items: It didn’t matter. You came to our house before every match and made it your own.
You also helped us raise thousands of dollars for charity with Surly Gives a Damn, as we donated $2 from every Rising North pint sold in the beer garden to various worthy causes. This includes $5000 alone for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts with Matter.
We also need to recognize those who may not have made it here, but did make Rising North a hit across the state. The official beer of MN United will definitely return in 2018.
We can’t thank you enough for helping us celebrate the first year of Major League Soccer in Minnesota. We’re already thinking about what we can do for next season, and if you have any suggestions, you know how to reach us (social media, Pony Express, semaphore, etc.).
Until then, Come On You Loons.