Beer from here: Brewhouse and tap room featuring locally brewed craft beer to open soon in New London
NEW LONDON -- Ever since he started his beer-making hobby in 1996 while living in the craft beer mecca of the Pacific Northwest, Josh Reed has been gaining knowledge and experience and honing about 20 of his best home-brew recipes that will be av...
NEW LONDON - Ever since he started his beer-making hobby in 1996 while living in the craft beer mecca of the Pacific Northwest, Josh Reed has been gaining knowledge and experience and honing about 20 of his best home-brew recipes that will be available for quaffing at his soon-to-be-opened brewhouse and tap room, Goat Ridge Brewing Company.
With the slogan of “beer from here,” Reed will use hops he grows on his family farm north of Games Lake - in an area he’s always known as Goat Ridge - to brew his locally produced craft beer in New London.
Reed, who in October quit his full-time day job as an administrator for a nonprofit organization, said he’s always been a do-it-from-scratch kind of guy.
Brewing beer from his homegrown hops and honey from a neighboring beekeeper will celebrate the “uniqueness of the prairie glacial hills area in our flavors and our stories and local characters and spirit of the independence of this area,” he said.
Located on the edge of the Middle Fork of the Crow River and a stone’s throw downstream from the scenic Mill Pond Dam, the brewhouse and tap room is located in an existing building at 17 Central Avenue that’s still undergoing final decorating touches but already hosts an eclectic combination of art, sun-drenched windows and old barn wood and doors repurposed and remade into bar furniture.
The brewery will have seating for about 50 people. In the summertime there will be additional seating in the brewery’s garden alongside the river.
Reed said he wants to “bring people together over beer” in a “comfortable, easy atmosphere,” ripe with live music and locally produced art. “I want to bend their notion of what beer is,” Reed said.
Reed has received approval of the federal brewer’s notice for the tap room after a five-month process and filing “this much paperwork,” said Reed holding his thumb and forefinger about two inches apart.
He is now waiting for inspections from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the state Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement.
He’s hopes to begin brewing in about two weeks with the goal of opening the doors for business by the end of March.
By then he will have his brand new stainless steel fermenters running to produce about 80 gallons with each batch of beer.
Depending on the recipe, it will take anywhere from 10 days to six weeks to brew beer that will be served from chilled kegs.
Reed said it’s an “exciting time” in the world of craft beers, which have been gaining a strong foothold in Minnesota.
“This is what New London needs,” said Reed, who wants the Goat Ridge Brewery to complement the growing list of art studios, performance art, cafes and boutiques and that are making New London a destination location.
Community support for the brewery has been strong, he said.
The Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission provided financial backing that helped him secure a local bank loan.
Future customers have also been buying into the business even before it has opened.
Reed said about a dozen of the 20 available Dam Beer Club founding memberships have been purchased for $1,000. This week Reed also kicked off a fundraising campaign through crowd-sourcing network Indiegogo to fund another $8,000, with levels ranging from $50 to $225.
There are perks for getting in on the ground floor of the business, including stainless steel growlers and hand-crafted pottery bottles for off-sale beer purchases.
Reed, who will serve as manager and head brewer, will be assisted by business partner and assistant brewer Kelly Asche of Hancock.
Reed’s wife, Christa Otteson, is also helping with the business.
Besides brewing specialty craft beers, Reed said they will also brew homemade root beer.
Depending on how much is raised with the crowd-funding, Reed said they will be able to increase the brewing capacity and the number of varieties of beers they can make and sell.