Central Minnesota Beer
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.