In our worldview, the brewery taproom is the new town square — a place where people of all walks of life come together and congregate, with beer as the common denominator.
Years of thought went into how we could “build” that sense of community, with the beer we brew always being at the core. We draw inspiration from farmhouse and Belgian beers. We experiment with styles. We combine traditional Belgian techniques and yeasts with modern and global inspiration. But the common thread through all we do and brew is a commitment to using the highest quality and most local ingredients whenever we can.
Like any other food, the beer you drink is only as good as the ingredients you put into it. In our case, we endeavor to make sure that many of those ingredients are grown by small family farmers located within 100 miles of where we work and make the beer. Brewing in Minnesota’s four distinct seasons can create challenges – how can we get oranges in a Minnesota winter? – but the end product always justifies the effort.
Partnering with local farmers to source ingredients has major positive effects not only on the beer, but other areas as well:
- Local ingredients taste better and are healthier – When food travels long distances or goes a long time between harvest and use, the flavors deteriorate and they begin to lose nutritional value.
- Using local ingredients supports the environment – A University of Iowa study estimated that the average piece of grocery produce travels 1,500 miles before getting to the consumer. We can reduce the carbon footprint by dramatically decreasing that distance, and support farmers who grow responsibly with an eye on land stewardship.
- Local ingredients strengthen our local economy
Finally, there’s an emotional component to our sourcing practices. One of my favorite things is being able to build a relationship with the farmers we work with, getting to know their families, going to their farms to pick up ingredients, and sitting down with them and sharing a beer made from what they’ve grown.
Our roots go back to family farms, with our own family having immigrated to Harmony, MN in the mid-1800’s to build a farmstead — the same one where my father was born in 1928. That history of farming is a key part of not only the state’s heritage, but also the country’s. We’re proud to be a part of that fabric and to uphold the tradition of bringing the community together under one roof, with a great beer.