Hackamore Brewing is in the phase of its startup journey where what was once a dream is now becoming reality: Come spring, founder/president Zac Gleason and his partners — Jake Gleason, John Kraemer, Rich Cleveland and Aaron Melby — will be opening the doors to an 11,000-square-foot brewery, golf simulator, pro shop and forthcoming restaurant in the heart of Chanhassen.
A former properties portfolio director and a prominent food influencer (he posts on Instagram under the handle @sotaeats, reaching nearly 17,000 followers), Zac gave up his day job to pursue his passion for dining and drinks, with an aim to create an elevated bar-going experience, from the interior design to the inventive fare to merchandise in a so-called pro shop cobranded with apparel company Travis Mathew.
While the head brewer’s name is still under wraps, Zac teases a couple details: an award-winning brewer with more than a decade’s worth of experience. Together, they’ve developed 16 taps with a rotating menu of beers, alcoholic seltzers and a solid nonalcoholic beer. Five flagship brews will always be available: Let’s Go Hazy, an IPA inspired by Prince; Number 14, a crisp American lager that’s a tribute to his grandpa; Grandma’s Kitchen, a strawberry-rhubarb pie sour; Potbelly, an oatmeal stout; and the predicted bestseller: the Can Crusher Cream Ale, an easy drinker named after his childhood chore. “I learned the value of money by crushing cans and turning them in for a few bucks,” he says.
Much of the biz is inspired by family; he grew up in Corcoran in his grandparents’ home on Hackamore Circle. “The beers and interior are a bit of an homage to Hackamore Circle,” he explains.
The space is being built out by Kraemer, who is not only a partner on the project but also a friend. The John Kraemer & Sons vice president and director of sales recognized that Hackamore was going to be really special when Zac showed him the business plan. “People want a release and a place to go let their hair down a bit,” Kraemer says.
The onetime office space, with its 20-foot ceilings and loads of glass, is getting a full-gut remodel, with interior design assistance from Summer Krzoska. The end result will feature a blacked-out bar with copper accents, a stage to host live music, a golf simulator, a giant keg wall, a patio, and lounge areas with TVs. “It’s been very fun developing what is going to set us apart in the craft beer industry,” Zac concludes.