German immigrants settling in Central Minnesota in the early 1800s built a thriving brewing culture. While Prohibition destroyed these early beer empires--like the St. Cloud Brewing Company and New Munich's Pitzl Brewing--the Cold Spring Brewing Company survived various reincarnations and financial crises to brew continually at the same spot since 1874.
In recent years, the craft beer boom added medals and new chapters to a saga that includes Prohibition brawls, a New Deal project, the famous Billy Beer, Elvira's personal brand and a multistate brewpub chain. The rise of taproom culture throughout the region has given new identities to St. Cloud, St. Joseph, Annandale, Big Lake and more. Beer writer Jacob Laxen presents this definitive take on the region's rich brewing history.
Jacob Laxen is a former award-winning USA Today reporter who worked for the St. Cloud Times newspaper during separate stints from 2007 to 2010 and from 2014 to 2016. The St. Cloud State University graduate traveled to the many communities of Central Minnesota in search of good beer and stories.
He also covered craft and domestic beer nationally.
Laxen now covers the beer scene in Fort Collins, Colorado, but teams with local homebrew pioneer Bruce LeBlanc and photographer Andrew Webster for this book.