Now Open (Or Damn Close): Torg Brewing in Spring Lake Park

For Dave and Debbie Torgersen, brewing was simply supposed to provide a fun activity to do together. Something they could dabble in as Dave approached retirement from the U.S. Army, something they could get more serious about once his 30-year military career was officially finished. “We went overboard very quickly. It became an obsession,” Debbie … [ Read more]

Now Open (Or Damn Close): 608 Brewing Company in La Crosse, Wisconsin

Phil Humphrey doesn’t mince words when he talks about his favorite beer styles and what he wants to brew at 608 Brewing Co. “We’re focusing more on the newer, trendier beer styles—you could say the New England IPA for sure,” Phil says of the soon-to-open La Crosse, Wisconsin, brewery. About four years ago, Phil really … [ Read more]

Now Open (Or Damn Close): Angry Hog Brewery & Taproom in Austin, Minnesota

Angry Hog Brewery & Taproom may be new to residents of Austin, but its location is anything but. The building for a long time was home to Jimmy’s Fish and Seafood and Fine Meats, which sold its products in southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin. According to Angry Hog’s co-owners and brewers, Joe Bower and Kevin Jones, … [ Read more]

Now Open (Or Damn Close): 11 Wells Cocktail Room

When it comes to local distilleries, we’ve learned to take their timelines with a handful of salt. Construction delays are inevitable. Permitting, licensing, inspections, and label approvals are at the whim of bureaucracy. Recipe development, especially for aged spirits, can be difficult if not agonizing. This is all to say, we don’t fault a distillery … [ Read more]

Now Open (Or Damn Close): Brother Justus Whiskey Company

In the never-ending debate on how long a whiskey needs to age, Phil Steger of Brother Justus Whiskey Company offers a fresh take. While many consider the job of an oak barrel to be “smoothing out” a spirit—giving the liquid time to breath, mellow, and evolve—Steger thinks that may be asking too much. “We want to show … [ Read more]

Now Open (Or Damn Close): Rustech Brewing in Monticello

It seems these days that the most successful way to revitalize a city’s downtown area is to add a brewery. So when longtime residents and husband and wife duo Bill and Penny Burt approached the city of Monticello last year inquiring why the zoning laws prohibited a brewery in their town, it started the ball rolling … [ Read more]

Now Open (Or Damn Close): Bobbing Bobber Brewing Company in Hutchinson

Looking at a map of Minnesota’s breweries, there’s a significant gap in the Hutchinson area. For 29 miles, there’s not a brewery to be found. For the last four years, Dan Hart and Lane Wanous worked to change that. And on May 23, Bobbing Bobber Brewing Company will finally open its doors in Hutchinson. The taproom … [ Read more]

Now Open (Or Damn Close): Invictus Brewing Company in Blaine

Name a Twin Cities sporting venue, and there’s bound to be a taproom within a few blocks. Taprooms are places for fans, regardless of team affiliation, to come together as a community. Despite most major sports facilities sporting at least one nearby taproom, the most highly trafficked venue in Minnesota—Blaine’s National Sports Complex (NSC)—doesn’t even … [ Read more]

Now Open (Or Damn Close): 10,000 Drops Craft Distillers in Faribault

It’s an expensive proposition to make grain to glass spirits when just starting a distillery business, but for the founders of 10,000 Drops Craft Distillers, soon to open in downtown Faribault, it’s an important commitment to make in an industry burdened with artful deception. “From start to finish, we do the work,” says Rob Kruchoski, … [ Read more]

Now Open (Or Damn Close): Garphish Brewing Company in Bethel

The building at 165 Main Street in the small town of Bethel, Minnesota, has housed many kinds of businesses and organizations since it was built in 1907. During Prohibition, it was a silent movie theater; people were married there while it hosted a Lutheran church; and a few years ago, Bethel City Hall even occupied its basement as … [ Read more]

Now Open (Or Damn Close): Wooden Hill Brewing Company in Edina

For years, while breweries popped up all around the Twin Cities, Edina watched idly by from the sidelines. But brothers James and Sean Ewen, who recently opened Wooden Hill Brewing Company, believed beer lovers in the Twin Cities’ southwestern suburbs wanted a brewery to call their own. And so far, the people of Edina have … [ Read more]

Now Open (Or Damn Close): Boathouse Brothers Brewing Co.

When Emmett Swartout was just a boy, his dad received a Mr. Beer kit as a present. Swartout was so excited to work on the process with his dad, until he realized the end result would be something he wouldn’t be allowed to drink. Fast-forward a couple of decades, and Swartout is not only able … [ Read more]

Now Open (Or Damn Close): Lost Sanity Brewing in Madelia

Doug and Caleb Fenske admit that opening a brewery in Madelia, Minnesota—a community of just over 2,200, and half an hour southwest of Mankato—must seem crazy. But the father-son team have gone all in to open Lost Sanity Brewing. “It’s very, very aptly named for us,” says Caleb, 38, who grew up in the town. … [ Read more]

Now Open (Or Damn Close): AEGIR Brewing in Elk River

According to Norse mythology, Ægir (pronounced AH-year) was a giant who lived under the sea. He was known as the brewer to the gods and held elaborate parties where the glasses were never empty. But if the gods were unable to set aside their differences and play nice, they were banished from all future festivities. … [ Read more]

Now Open (Or Damn Close): Tilion Brewing Company

“We weren’t even talking about beer; we weren’t even talking about opening the brewery,” Chris Larson recalls. “We were just fishing.” One day in 2015, on Lake Andrew near Alexandria, Larson handed Ryan Seabright a bottle of his homebrewed, aptly named “Lake Andrew unCommon.” He readied the fishing poles, and heard Seabright finally say, “Okay, let’s … [ Read more]