We believe that good living comes from good brewing and that good brewing starts with honoring the traditions of brewers who have gone before us. Our beer is brewed using the highest quality water from the historic Glenwood Spring to produce beer that is classic yet uniquely distinct. Using tried and true brewing practices and the latest in brewing technology, we’re creating a new tradition in the Twin Cities that brings friends and families together to share good times and great beer.
Using high quality water provided from the historic onsite wells, we create sweet wort by mashing malted barley grains that we mill onsite. This sweet wort is transferred to a kettle and boiled with hops (both high alpha and aromatic varieties, depending upon the recipe) to create a sterile and flavorful wort. After high-speed cooling, this wort is placed in a temperature controlled fermenter and pitched with a recipe specific brewer’s yeast.
The brewing equipment—a maze of stainless steel pipes, mash and lauter tuns, a kettle, and six giant, two-story fermenting tanks—was custom-designed and imported from Bavaria. The tanks came from a family that has spent three generations fabricating equipment for breweries. The brewhouse also boasts the first-ever North American installation of the energy-saving Vario Boil system, which helps cut their energy use by almost 75%. Award-winning brewmaster Eric Harper manages all of it using traditional skills, like smell and taste, as well as modern technology: his control center looks like the flight deck of a science-fiction spaceship.
With a 50bbl capacity brewhouse and both 50bbl and 100bbl fermenters, it takes either one or two rounds of brewing to complete a “batch” of beer. As the beer ferments, which is the action of the yeast consuming available sugars in the wort, the yeast produce CO2, alcohol, and various flavors to create what we perceive as beer. Depending upon the amount of sugar in the wort, the type of yeast used, and fermentation temperature, the production period will vary from
one week to three weeks.
Our initial set up of two 100bbl and four 50bbl fermenters allows us to have six different batches of beer in production at the same time. Varied size tanks allow for scale production of flagship recipes and smaller for seasonal recipes. Utilizing a 60bbl “bright beer” tank, we can move finished beer out of the fermenters to allow additional production. Once finished beer is moved to the bright beer tank, where it is packaged either in ½ bbl kegs or canned.