It’s only fitting that a brewery, whose name relates to wolves, should find a home in the heart of “Big Woods” country in Delano, Minnesota. Lupine Brewing was started by Hanover, Minnesota, resident James Anderle, his childhood neighbor Eric Sergeant, and his current neighbor Mike Dumas.
“I spent 25 years in corporate America, in the health care industry,” Anderle says. “My youngest son graduated from high school and I always wanted to own my own business, so I figured ‘Why not now?” While discussing business ideas with Dumas, an Internet salesman, and Sergeant, a robotics engineer, they kept returning to the craft-beer industry. After doing six months of research, interviewing brewery owners and brewers, and building a business plan, Lupine Brewing was born.
Lupine is already a familiar name to some Minnesota craft-beer drinkers. While the company searched for a permanent home west of Minneapolis–St. Paul, they got a jumpstart on brewing by moving into the former McCann’s Food & Brew in St. Cloud. It allowed the company to get their beer into the market as they finalized details for their permanent taproom.
They nearly closed on a building in Hanover, but plans fell through and the team was back to square one. “We wanted to be out in the western suburbs,” says Anderle, Lupine’s president, “so we looked at Long Lake and a couple properties there, but it didn’t pan out.” Then their realtor found a 3,500 square foot space in Delano. The Lupine team took a look at it, and decided they could “really do something cool with it.”
“Something cool” includes a 20-barrel brewhouse with a three-barrel pilot system for limited taproom-only brews, a crescent-shaped bar that opens into the brewhouse, and a small patio at the back of the century-old building that overlooks the Crow River valley.
Currently, Lupine Head Brewer Grant Aldrich is brewing up to eight different beers at the 10-barrel St. Cloud location where they host tastings and sell growlers. Aldrich was most recently brewing at Brau Brothers Brewing in Lucan, Minnesota. He’s perhaps the most excited of the Lupine crew to get the Delano brewery operational.
“This is going to be a more efficient space for us,” Anderle explains. “Right now [in] St. Cloud the equipment and system is separated on two different floors. It was a brewpub concept versus a production brewery, you know, so it’s not the most efficient design.”
“It’s good exercise though,” he adds, laughing with Aldrich.
The company recently hired a full-time sales person and will continue to expand their distribution to bars and restaurants around St. Cloud, the Twin Cities, and the West Metro. But it’s their permanent home in Delano, which they’re hoping to have open by mid- to late-June 2015, that will help shape the company’s identity as they settle into the community. Check back here for updates or follow their progress on Lupine’s Facebook and Twitter.
Brewer: Grant Aldrich
Beer: IPA, cranberry oatmeal stout, brown, APA, Irish ale, cayenne chocolate stout, altbier, and Convocation Tea Ale
Visit: 248 River St, Delano, Minnesota
Hours: Wed & Thurs 4–10pm, Fri 4–11pm, Sat 1–11pm