If you’ve ever thirsted to run your own brewpub, there’s a property in downtown Jordan waiting for you.
It includes a historic building overlooking a creek, with walls of exposed limestone blocks — an atmospheric spot for savoring a pint. There are two patios for outdoor sipping. And there’s even a tourist attraction — a 40-foot cavern carved into the bluff behind the building.
“It’s really cool, with stalagmites and stalactites,” said property owner Barb Kochlin, describing the cave. It’s also cool literally — used to chill beer during the decades the place operated as a brewery.
Built in the 1860s, the old brewery has been home to several beer makers, including Schutz and Kaiser in the early 1900s and later the Mankato Brewery. During Prohibition, the brewery was used as a fish hatchery, with eggs stored in the cooling caves, until beer production resumed.
But the brewery fell on hard times. It was gutted by fire in 1954, and had been vacant for years when Kochlin’s grandmother, Gail Andersen, bought the property in 1972 at a tax-delinquent auction; she was the only bidder.
Andersen sold a half interest to a business partner, and began cleanup and restoration of the building, then sold her half to the partner’s widow after he died.
But the project lagged, and by 1990, the city planned to demolish the building due to lack of improvements to the property. So Andersen repurchased it and began an extensive renovation. The first floor became commercial space, currently occupied by an antique store. Andersen also added five apartments on the second and third floors. When the project was completed, she moved two historic Jordan houses onto the property, one of which also was renovated and includes an additional apartment.
Kochlin bought the place in 2011 (her grandmother died last year). Brewer Tim Routs was months away from opening a brewery in the space when mudslides heavily damaged the building in 2014. The Roets Jordan Brewery was forced to find a new location a block away.
Kochlin renovated the five apartments, and the state funded and managed stabilization of the hillside. The property is on the National Register of Historic Places, a designation secured by Andersen, Jordan’s first female mayor, in 1980. “That helped us get funding” for the hillside work, Kochlin said.
Now she’s decided it’s time for her to step away. “I don’t have to the money to take it to the next level,” she said. “It’d be nice to pass the torch.”
The apartments have tenants. “It cash-flows nicely,” Kochlin said of the property.
She’d love to see the place become a destination, bringing visitors to Jordan. “It could be a brewpub or a cool restaurant,” she said of the brewery. The larger of the two historic houses, a Victorian with a turret, could be a candidate to become a B&B, she noted.
The complex as a whole covers almost 8 acres and includes more than 11,500 square feet of finished space. It’s listed at $1.35 million.
Jason Brown, Caibert Real Estate Solutions, 612-490-4432, has the listing.