Now Open or Damn Close Rounds Up the Latest Players in the Region’s Brewing Scene
by Brian Kaufenberg
Bikers on the Cedar Lake Regional Trail have a new reason to stop in Victoria, Minnesota, just a 23-mile ride from Minneapolis. Inside the old town creamery, a redbrick building built in 1917, ENKI Brewing Company is serving up fresh pints of craft beer in their mission to “make the world a friendlier place, two beers at a time,” according to brewmaster Jason Davis.
Visit the taproom for a pint and you will find yourself within the brewhouse in what was the old cheese cellar of the creamery. With room to double their capacity, the placement of the taproom is clearly intentional. A quick pint turns into an informal tour where patrons can actually touch the fermenters. “We want people to be involved,” explains Davis.
Named for the god of “life-giving water” in ancient Sumer, the region of the Fertile Crescent thought to be the origin of beer, ENKI Brewing calls on the thousands of years of brewing tradition that came before it (as well as the 13 years of commercial brewing experience of their brewmaster) to create their own versions of classic styles.
ENKI Brewing’s co-founders John Hayes and Dan Norton met in the 80s working for another company named for an ancient god—Nike, the Greek goddess of winged victory. Ironically, Nike and ENKI are anagrams. Even more ironic is the Roman equivalent of Nike is the same name as the town where ENKI Brewing is located—Victoria.
Whether or not it was fate, ENKI Brewing is open now and is selling pints and growlers from the brewery and pints at local retailers in the Victoria area.
The Brewer: Jason Davis
The Beers: Citric Journey Pale Ale, Auburn Kölsch, Golden Ale
Visit: 7929 Victoria Dr., Victoria, MN 55286 – Hours: Thu & Fri – 4pm-10pm, Sat – 12pm-10pm – www.enkibrewing.com