Episode 38: Grand Openings! Pryes Brewing, Human Combat Chess


This week’s, it’s about grand openings! We’ve got one of the Twin Cities’ favorite local theatre productions opening their signature show, and a Minneapolis Brewery who has been killing it for years at bars and restaurants across the Twin Cities finally has a home of its own.

You’ve heard of Pryes Brewing, I’m sure, had the award-winning Miraculum at your favorite watering hole … but did you ever wonder why Pryes Brewing had no taproom? Well, the wait’s over! Pryes Brewing will open its taproom on the lovely Mississippi River this weekend, complete with a wood fire pizza oven, and four new beers!

Pryes Brewing co-founder Jeremy Pryes looked back on the journey, which began back in 2012. He talked about the mastermind behind his gorgeous new taproom and the method behind the complete lack of madness in his brewhouse. (Intro)

When we last saw Ethan Jensen, he was delivering the decisive strike in last year’s Human Combat Chess production. Six Elements Theatre is back at it again, starting June 16.

I sat down with Ethan, and choreographer Darwin Hull, and got the details on this year’s show. They introduced us to some of the characters, including a returning king, a couple of Bash Brothers, a cunning strategist … but the ever-popular, psychotic Darwin is conspicuously absent this year. I found out why.


Jeremy Pryes, Pryes Brewing
Originally from Wisconsin, Pryes spent time in New York and California before landing for good in Minnesota. A background in culinary arts and a former life as part of Apple’s technological juggernaut melded together, and created a brewing passion that itself got incorporated in 2012. From there, Pryes began building his team and perfecting his recipes. In 2014, he landed at the same Lucid Brewing nest where Badger Hill Brewing and Bad Weather Brewing got their starts.

From then until now, Pryes Brewing was represented by a single beer – an IPA, Miraculum, that ran around taking everybody’s awards and got on tap at some of the area’s most distinguished restaurants. That expanded to a presence at over 100 spots, but Pryes’ next defining moment is here: his taproom opens this weekend along the Mississippi River. With it comes a partnership with Red Wagon Pizza, and – at long last – four new beers to back up Miraculum. You can find information about the taproom here.

Ethan Jensen (left) and Darwin Hull (right), Six Elements Theatre
Jensen and Hull both bring a wealth of weapons experience to the board for Six Elements’ annual Human Combat Chess performance, but their expertise had been wielded in much different ways. Hull’s characters, historically, have been the battering ram behind which his teams have charged into battle – a temperament not surprising when you learn he’s from Pennsylvania and roots for the Philadelphia Eagles (kidding, but not really, but kidding).

This year, though, Hull stepped off the board to assist with choreography. Next year, “DARWIN SMASH” will be replaced by … he didn’t tell me.

Last year, Jensen personally delivered his team victory by defeating the opposition king on combat. Jensen explained how he keeps active in the “fight family” outside of Human Combat Chess season, and did you know you can earn martial artist status with certain weapons? I won’t tell you which ones Jensen may or may not have, but I’ll tell you he’s coming back onto the board this season with his sights set on another crown …

You can find Human Combat Chess showtimes and purchase tickets here.



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