Beer fans, rejoice! Drekker Brewing Company will open to the public on Friday, October 10th at 4 p.m.
Mark Bjornstad, Jesse Feigum and Darin and Mason Montplaisir have been hard at work getting their downtown taproom and brewery ready and they let my husband Derrick and I stop by to take a look.
Here’s your exclusive sneak peek inside Drekker Brewing Company!
The first thing you notice as you approach the brewery is the great downtown location.
It’s at street level in the middle of a developing stretch of 1st Avenue anchored by Wurst Bier Hall just a few doors to the east.
A rotating selection of work by local artists (the piece below is by Kim Jore) has shielded the interior from view over the past few months…and increased the sense of anticipation in the neighborhood.
When you stand at the front window you can see all the way back to the delivery door that opens into the back alley.
The view is dominated by the bar (it’s still under construction in the photo below), with the fermenters tucked just behind the bar and the brewhouse in back.
Everything, including the brewery itself, is out in the open.
That’s all by design.
“We want to give our customers a really intimate connection with the beer,” says Mark. “There’s not a step in the process they they won’t see.”
Official tours will be available, but with only a short wall separating customers from the brewery, Drekker customers can get a brewing education every time they stop in.
The guys were brewing when we visited, so we got an up-close look at Drekker Brewing Company’s Irish Red.
These are some of the hops they use for this particular beer. (If I ever make a perfume, I’m definitely including a hops note — they smelled incredible.)
All six year-round beers (a porter, a Black IPA, an American IPA, the aforementioned Irish Red, an American Wheat and a Pale Ale) will be soon be available in the taproom, along with a rotating selection of seasonal beers.
Look for some new summery wheat beers when the weather warms up and an Oktoberfest brew, some brown ales and an American Red by this time next year.
Drekker Brewing Company has a capacity of about 1000 barrels and they’ll continue to use their custom-designed system to create a variety of beers by hand.
Brewing fewer varieties and using an automated system would be more efficient, but that’s not really what Drekker Brewing Company is all about.
“We wanted a variety of beer,” says Mark. “Right now we want to provide variety and creativity to the taproom for our customers.”
Since my visit the floors have been stained, the walls have been painted and more murals and art are going up all over the building.
And the guys of Drekker Brewing Company are doing a lot of that work themselves, salvaging decorative tin from a 100 year-old barn and finishing reclaimed wood from a dismantled corn crib to use as trim.
On top of all the construction work, they’re brewing pretty much non-stop to get ready for their Friday opening, a hot, messy job that requires constant cleaning and sanitization.
“We severely underestimated the amount of squeegeeing we’d have to do,” laughs Jesse.
They’re obviously not afraid to get their hands dirty and their pride in their beer and their taproom is obvious. I can’t wait to see how it looks when it’s done!
If you want to learn more about Drekker Brewing Company and their brewing philosophy, check out this article I wrote about them for The Good Life magazine.
Drekker Brewing Company
630 1st Avenue North
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