Todd and Linda Haug have been bombarded with questions since they stepped down (Linda in February, Todd less than 2 weeks ago) at Surly Brewing. Most of their friends and family assumed they would start a brewery here in the Twin Cities, but that’s false. The former Café 28 owners are moving six and half hours southeast to Chicago, Illinois where they will be joining forces with 3 Floyds Brewing—a craft beer powerhouse just across the border in Indiana.
Todd will be helping the brewery out with their expansion, distillery and all sorts of things—but the main focus will be new products and engineering. “They need help with a lot of things down there. We respect the hell out of them” Todd says. He won’t be the head brewer, but he’ll have a crack at creating some new beers there at some point in the future. “It’s exciting for us” he says. The biggest thing for me is I get to work with Chris Boggess [the head brewer] down there. It’s a very wide scope of work, and he won’t have to worry about everything.”
Todd plans to continue making music down there as well. The longtime Powermad guitarist sees the band sticking together for the most part, and he’s excited about playing in a city with a great music scene. He also has some musician friends down there that may end of creating some music with down the road.
Linda will be in on the restaurant and will also be helping with some design stuff. The couple sounded very happy on their way back here from Chicago over the weekend. In fact, the house is sold and they are adamantly searching for a house down in The Windy City where they’ll bring their talents along with their family of 5 cats. She says they’ll miss their friends up here in Minnesota, but they have plenty of friends down in Chicago already. “We have lots of friends down there. It’s heartwarming. I’ve always loved the energy down there” said Linda.
The move is expected to happen within the first couple weeks of December and work should start for them sometime in January or shortly after. There will also be other opportunities down the road for the couple which includes traveling the world. Don’t rule out a move to Europe down the road either. 3 Floyds and Mikkeller have a brewpub called WarPigs over in Copenhagen and Todd seemed intrigued as he spoke about it. In other words, this is not the end of their journey.
So what about Surly? Todd was the brand, the attitude, and the culture there. “Omar is going in a different direction. I see it getting worse. But no blame. I poured my heart and soul into that place” he stated. It sounds like he’ll really miss the brewing staff though that he helped build over his 10 years at the brewery. “Surly is left in very capable hands. I won’t be there to help them out. That’s the shitty part.”
“When the door closes, a window opens. We’re going in a different direction” said Linda.
Minnesota wishes you well.
Dara grabbed the story last night as well. Read her take here.