Now Open (Or Damn Close): Montgomery Brewing


Montgomery Brewing has a rare combination of hometown charm and historic cachet.

When you have access to a 130-year-old defunct brewery building, there’s only one thing to do—start brewing in it. That’s exactly what Charles Dorsey and AJ Newton did these past years when they drove from the Twin Cities to Montgomery, Minnesota, to homebrew inside the historic Montgomery Brewing Company building owned by Dorsey’s in-laws.

Montgomery Brewing 5

Photo courtesy of Montgomery Brewing

Dorsey and Newton first met in high school, kept their friendship going after graduation, and spent the last ten years homebrewing together. In 2000, Dorsey’s father-in-law purchased the historic brewery in Montgomery with a plan to renovate the 25,000 sq ft building for residential apartments. In the meantime, Chuck and AJ took the opportunity to do their homebrewing inside the facility.

Now they are looking to bring commercial brewing back to Montgomery, Minnesota, since the original brewery closed in 1942. Dorsey and Newton have established the new Montgomery Brewing Company, which will occupy a 1,500 sq ft space inside the old bottling house.

“I think the interest is definitely there,” said head brewer AJ Newton on opening the craft brewery in Montgomery, which has a proud Bohemian background. They plan to take a similar approach of other new breweries in greater Minnesota by offering approachable, yet full-flavored beers to whet the palates of newer craft beer drinkers.

“Most of our beers are sessionable,” added Dorsey. “Really our goal is to make quality beer.” When asked whether they considered opening a brewery nearer the booming craft beer scene in the Twin Cities, Dorsey was unequivocal: “The Montgomery brewery was always the right choice for us.”

Dorsey and Newton enlisted the help of Dorsey’s father-in-law Steve Simon, who purchased the building in 2000. Simon is an engineer with over 40 years of building experience and will assist with brewery operations and quality assurance.

Together they will produce four flagship beers and a rotating selection of seasonals on their 3 bbl brewhouse and four 3 bbl fermenters. The brewery has room to add up to ten additional fermenters and will distribute their beer to bars and restaurants in the Montgomery area.

Being a community gathering place for what Dorsey calls a “classic small town” where “everybody knows everybody” is important to the brewery and they are currently constructing a 500–750 sq ft taproom where patrons will be able to visit the brewery for pints and growlers.

The Brewer: AJ Newton and Charles Dorsey
The Beer: The Chief Beer American Amber Ale, Northside Blonde Ale, Flag Street APA, Shelterbelt Brown Ale, and rotating seasonals
Visit: 306 2nd St. NW, Montgomery, MN
Hours: TBD

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Brian Kaufenberg is the editor-in-chief of The Growler Magazine.

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