Brau Brothers Brewing Co. is a great example an American craft brewery. They’re small, family-owned and operated and connected to their community. The brewery, based in Marshall, Minnesota, is fiercely independent and an advocate for traditional brewing methods, yet they’re not afraid to experiment.
I ran into sales and marketing director Lynn Richason at the Fargo Craft Beer Tour last Saturday and I had a chance to talk shop and sample some of their beers.
That’s Lynn on the right. This photo is my own, but all other photos in this post are courtesy of Brau Brothers Brewing Co.
Brau Brothers just completed a major expansion last fall, moving production to Marshall from the tiny town of Lucan, Minnesota. The move afforded the company more space and resources to expand their beer selection and open Marshall’s first taproom.
“We we now have a 37,000 square foot space with six new tanks added, (an) expanded packaging operation and additional barrel aging capacity. And now that we have the space, we promise more sours along with seasonals and limited releases to come,” says Lynn.
“We have been around awhile but we are at a point where we need to remind people we are still a major player in this state, making great beer and we are going to shake things up.”
Brau Brothers Brewing Co. is famous for their MoosJoos Oatmeal Milk Stout, which accounts for more than 60% of sales, but their taproom gives beer fans a chance to try a rotating variety of beers.
It’s a comfortable, family-friendly space with a refreshingly deep menu that includes appetizers, kids’ meals and sandwiches. Everyone who books a brewery tour can enjoy a free pint of beer or choose a house-brewed soda from a list of flavors that includes Prickly Pear, Tiger Cola and Mojito.
“People love where our beer comes from, the story beyond the name we have chosen for each brew and the fact that they can show up at our brewery any day of the week and an empty stool will be there waiting for them…whether you are a novice in the craft scene or a complete beer nerd,” says Lynn.
This connection to local drinkers and local agricultural producers really sets Brau Brothers apart from the competition.
“We believe that when breweries take responsibility for their beer, from grain to glass, not only is the quality better, but you begin to produce unique, fun beers distinct to your region,” says Lynn.
“Most people are surprised at what you can get done locally. We truly believe that you can and should source as much as you can locally.That’s why we grow our own hops, 13 different varieties. And that’s why we grow and malt our own two-row barley.”
The local ingredients contribute to some pretty great beer. The MooJoos was a hit with the stout fans I was drinking with and even though I’m biased towards hoppy beers, I really enjoyed it as well. It was rich and creamy and very drinkable; the “it looks dark, but doesn’t taste dark” cliche rings true here.
I also sampled the excellent Sheephead, a hoppy American Bitter with a touch of citrus and malt and the the mellow Bancreagie, a Peated Scotch Ale.
Lynn also recommends the White Cap Crystal Wit (a smooth Belgian white beer) for beer newbies and the rich and complex Ivan The Great Russian Imperial Stout for beer nerds.
You can find Brau Brothers Brewing Co. products all over the Midwest. And if you don’t, be sure to ask for them!
“We are distributed throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, South Dakota, North Dakota and Nebraska,” says Lynn. “And if you can’t find us in your favorite local liquor store please ask for them to bring us in. In all honesty, that is the #1 way we get product placements. Our fans are our greatest sales force.”
For updates on upcoming events and new brews, follow Brau Brothers Brewing Co. on Facebook.
Brau Brothers Brewing Co.
910 East Main Street
Monday – Sunday: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
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