Now Open (Or Damn Close): Drastic Measures Brewing in Wadena

Drastic Measures Brewing // Photo by Nicole Stracek

Drastic Measures Brewing, Brett and Ashley Doebbling’s new brewery in Wadena, Minnesota // Photo by Nicole Stracek

After two years of planning, Drastic Measures Brewing in Wadena, Minnesota, will finally enjoy its grand opening on Friday, March 15.

Housed in a vintage hardware store on the corner of Jefferson Street and Aldrich Avenue in historic downtown Wadena, about three hours northwest of the Twin Cities, Drastic Measures Brewing is owned by Brett and Ashley Doebbeling, plus a group of local investors. Brett is the former head brewer and co-founder at Disgruntled Brewing in Perham. Since stepping away from the business, he has kept his brewing skills sharp by creating several collaboration beers at other Minnesota breweries, all the while working on starting Drastic Measures.

“We looked for quite some time for the right place to start the brewery,” Brett says. “There were a lot of really great places, including some in the Metro area that good friends of ours suggested,” but they wanted a place closer to their hometowns. Brett grew up in Verndale (about seven miles east of Wadena) and Ashley in New York Mills (about 14 miles west of Wadena), and the couple says Wadena felt right for their brewery. “Settling in Wadena just made sense. My mother and grandmother were born here, and the city is constantly looking for ways to expand their options that help bring more diverse businesses into the community,” Brett explains.

Once funding was secured, the Doebbelings worked as quickly as possible to rehab and renovate the 4,800-square-foot, industrial-style, historic building into a state-of-the-art brewery and taproom. “The basement is over 143 years old and there is a really cool plaque bolted to the exterior of the building that has every owner’s name inscribed,” Brett says. “I’m looking forward to adding our names.”

Speaking of names, the couple struggled to find a suitable name for the brewery. “It was really hard to come up with a name that we just loved,” explains Brett. “But my wife actually came up with the name ‘Drastic Measures.’ Because we had to take drastic measures to get the brewery going, the name just fit.”

The bar of Drastic Measures Brewing Company // Photo by Nicole Stracek

The bar of Drastic Measures Brewing in Wadena, Minnesota // Photo by Nicole Stracek

The Drastic Measures taproom features industrial-vibe decor that blends seamlessly with the main feature: a set of windows behind the bar so patrons can see into the basement, where the 10-barrel brewing system and canning line outfitted for 16-ounce tallboys is housed. The Doebbelings hope to eventually distribute their beer throughout the state but are concentrating on the taproom for now. “We are looking forward to coming up with brands, but our overall focus is brewing the highest quality beer,” says Brett.

As for what that beer will be, the couple plans on offering a wide variety of styles. “We have a full range of styles, mostly concentrating on IPAs, fruited kettle sours, adjunct stouts, and barrel-aged beers,” Brett lists. In addition to the beer, the brewery will also host live music and events. The couple also hopes to incorporate a kitchen later. “Our focus is on creating a really cool place to hang out. We wanted to create an environment that is fun [and] inviting, and a great place to come back to. Besides our beer, providing exceptional customer service is something we take really seriously.”

The grand opening will feature six beers on tap including their first IPA, Pat McCrotch, and Richard Cranium, an amber ale. It will also include games, food catered by Eats-N-Ales, plus live music at 7pm featuring acoustic musician and songwriter Anthony Miltich. Patrons can also enter for a chance to win free Drastic Measures merchandise.

Grand Opening: 3pm, Friday, March 15, 2019

Head Brewer: Brett Doebbeling

Beers: Oatie American Blonde, Traditional Gose, Richard Cranium ESB, Pat McCrotch NEIPA, Humble Mumble Double Milk Stout

Where: Drastic Measures Brewing, 101 Jefferson St. S., Wadena, Minnesota

Website: Facebook

A Blind Tasting beer festival

Taste & Rate 48 Minnesota Oktoberfests

Sept. 20, 2019 | 5:30–9pm
Upper Landing Park
Tickets: GA $40 | DD $20