(Alexandria, MN) Short of finding a time machine, nobody is going to know what it's like to be a Viking, fresh off the boat from some Scandinavian country, discovering new lands. 22 Northmen Brewing Co., the latest brewery in Alexandria, is hoping to give people a feel for that Viking lifestyle while you discover some new items for your taste buds. Their new brewery is a combination of something old and something new. The feel of the place is like something from a barbaric viking pub, complete with an enormous freestanding fireplace as you walk in the door. All of the wood covering the walls and ceilings are from an old 200 year old Catholic church. The huge chandeliers hovering high above the bar were created from recycled metal wire spools. The chairs and tables were all handmade by the brewery's co-owner, Kim Bredeson. Those huge, heavy, handmade tables, created for a community atmosphere, greet thirsty patrons. Steps off the main room is a kitchen you can order food from called Valkyrie wood fired pizza. It's open Wednesday through Sunday starting at noon. Featuring a handful of pizza options, flavor-fully baked at temps over 650 degrees, the Valkyrie name comes from mythological Norse warrior women. The name of the brewery comes from some of the first words off of the Kensington Runestone (Eight Gotalanders and 22 Northmen on acquisition journey from Vinland far to the west.) It also ties in with the Bredeson's Norwegian heritage.
Carlos Creek Winery is celebrating its 20th year in business. Kim and and Tami Bredeson have owned it since 2008. The brewery is positioned on the Carlos Creek grounds, just a few steps away from the winery's tasting room. Their son Tyler Bredeson is the VP of operations for both the winery and the brewery. Daughter-in-law Michelle Bredeson is the VP of marketing.
At the heart of a brewery is the beer. Head brewer Keith Hefley is excited about the opportunity to brew at 22 Northmen Brewing Co. He has a wealth of experience having brewed beer in brewery large and small. He says the focus for the beers at 22 Northmen will be classic, historical styles from the lands the Vikings explored, along with innovative yet tasteful selections that reflect the expansion of the Viking influence in more recent years.
The brewery is starting with 9 beers on tap. The brewery hours are Sun-Wed 12pm-8pm, Thurs-Sat 12pm-10pm.