When we wanted the skinny on the ever-changing micro-brewery scene in the St. Croix Valley, we sourced Adam Frankenfeld who was once a beer buyer for Haskell’s in Stillwater.
Frankenfeld listed some of the major players in the local minor league of micro-brewing he believes are worth their suds:
- In Stillwater, Minn. check out Lift Bridge Brewing, Joseph Wolf and Maple Island Brewing.
- In New Richmond, Wis. try Barley John’s.
- In Hudson, Wis. don’t miss Hop & Barrel and Pitchfork Brewing.
- In Somerset, Wis. head to Oliphant Brewing.
- In St. Croix Falls, Wis. give Trap Rock Brewing a try.
Frankenfeld says, “Lift Bridge is by far the largest operation in the St. Croix Valley area, producing more than 19,000 barrels in 2018.”
Frankenfeld notes this distinction doesn’t mean a loss of quality or innovative spirit. He says Oliphant is also notable for its innovative ideas, like its raspberry sour with coconut, lactose, sea salt and lime.
Of special note, Frankenfeld reports that Joseph Wolf “seems to have found their niche,” he says, in German and Belgian style ales.
Last but certainly not least, Frankenfeld says, “The most important thing to remember is that all of these breweries started as a small group of folks and a passion for beer.” This bold mom-and-pop innovation and ingenuity is what drives the dynamic brew scene in the St. Croix Valley, at Oktoberfest or any time.
For more information on the availability and variety of local brews, contact Haskell’s in Stillwater or check out their Instagram.