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. This threat provided enough incentive to keep the gods on their best behavior.
This myth is what provides the inspiration for the newest brewery in Minnesota, and the first in Elk River, AEGIR Brewing Company, opening March 24. Brothers Jeremy and Tim Jones, along with their friend Jeff Marjamaa, are aspiring to create a space where good beer and friendly conversation flow freely and any differences are set aside.
Jeremy and Tim’s connection to Elk River runs deep, as it is the hometown of their grandparents. Each attended Lincoln Elementary in Elk River for a short time, but most of their childhood was spent in Ghana and California. However, the pull to return to Minnesota and raise their families here was strong. After several years living just outside of Pasadena, Tim returned to Elk River two years ago in time for his eldest child to start kindergarten.
Jeremy’s return took a little longer. After homebrewing for over 10 years while in California and refining his recipes, Jeremy returned to Minnesota, having agreed be to the head brewer for AEGIR Brewing Company.
Despite drawing their name from a giant, AEGIR’s location is quite small at approximately 1,100-square-feet. The size, coupled with the dark walls, creates a cozy feel to the space. While many have warned the size limitation could be too challenging, the Jones brothers plan to use it to their advantage. Their two-and-a-half-barrel nano-system provides opportunity to brew small enough batches that they could potentially brew special beers upon request. They also want to let the surrounding community dictate what beers to put on tap.
They didn’t intend to land in such a small space, but when Tim found it, he felt it was too good to be true. Located in the heart of Elk River, the foot traffic from an increasingly popular downtown seemed advantageous, as did the patio off the back door that overlooks the Mississippi River. During the lengthy journey to transform the place from a bakery to a brewery, they have used the time to focus on making the space unique. They did a large majority of the construction themselves, working to create a style they describe as “modern Viking.” As they would discover things that were needed for the brewery, Tim would always first ask, “How can I make this myself?” His handiwork can be seen in the stained wood art of two Minnesota Vikings players on the wall, as well as a bathroom soap dispenser fashioned out of a growler.
Since taking over the space and chatting to future customers who have stopped by, it’s become clear that the local clientele is anxious to learn more about the process of making beer. While the actual brewing will happen outside of normal business hours, customers will come face-to-face with the brewhouse. Signage will explain what each piece of equipment is and at what stage it’s used in the brewing process.
“We’ve gotten a lot of feedback from the community that they’re curious to step into the world of craft brewing,” says Tim. Tagging off of that, Jeremy adds, “We want to be a place where people can come in and experience a stepping stone into the flavorful, colorful, complex world of craft beer.”
Brewer: Jeremy Jones
Beers: AEGIR IPA, Rán Pale Ale, and Shield Maidens Blonde
Address: 707 Main Street Northwest, Elk River, MN 55330
Hours: Thur & Fri, 4pm–11pm, Sat & Sun 11am–11pm