Minnesota brewery's road to retail shelves runs through Wisconsin

Thursday, October 17, 2019
Mark Reilly, Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal


Forager Brewery in Rochester, Minnesota, has thought up a workaround for Minnesota state rules that ordinarily would prevent the brewpub from making beer for sales at restaurants and liquor stores: Make the beer in Wisconsin.

The Post Bulletin reports on the plan by Forager owners Annie Henderson and Austin Jevne, who started the business about five years ago and have gotten interest in selling the beer elsewhere. The issue: Minnesota laws restrict brewpubs to selling packaged beer only in growlers and similar-sized bottles.

Their answer: Start a new production unit, called Humble Forager Brewery, and brew their beers at Octopi Brewing Co. in Madison and distribute them through Wisconsin-based Pequod Distribution in Waunakee, which plans to expand to Minnesota markets next year.

The Rochester brewery will still produce its own beers, but will free up some production capacity to experiment with new styles.