In downtown Anoka, past the floral shop and family dentistry, a new business is brewing.
Ashley and Jesse Hauf, a sister-brother duo, will open the city’s first microbrewery — named 10K Brewing, in a nod to the state’s Land of 10,000 Lakes slogan.
The Haufs, who hope to open their business in July, say they’re trying to fill a void, with no microbreweries in Anoka, and that they “have a huge following.”
“Nothing like it in the area,” Ashley Hauf said. “Anoka has a pretty decent bar scene anyway, but we wanted to bring in craft beer and maybe a little bit different atmosphere. There’s literally nothing like it in the Anoka area.”
Last fall the Haufs decided to combine their areas of expertise: Ashley has a background in marketing, and Jesse has made a hobby of home brewing, something he started a few years ago when his girlfriend gave him a do-it-yourself kit. Jesse has even brewed with local breweries, Ashley said.
The duo plans to brew the beer on site using a three-barrel system, with four beers rotating on tap each week. Their website, 10kbrew.com, currently has four beers listed: Hazelnut Porter, 10K IPA, Oatmeal Rye Strong Pale Ale and Northern Blonde.
Every week there will be something new for patrons to try.
“If you are a Coors Light [consumer] we may have a lighter blonde beer … for someone who isn’t used to all the flavored beers might like this,” Ashley Hauf said. She added that they also plan to sell handmade craft soda.
In preparation for their new venture, the Haufs have made the rounds of the local breweries, often posting about research on their Facebook page.
Last week they launched a Kickstarter campaign. Depending on how patrons donate, they could receive T-shirts, glassware, handmade growlers and carriers.
The Haufs have rented 2,000 square feet in a 130-year-old building on the 2000 block of 2nd Avenue. Ashley said they have done some preliminary work on the site. She plans to restore it by removing the Sheetrock to expose the stone and brick wall, among other things.
“It’s going to take a lot of work to bring it back to original,” Ashley Hauf said. “It’s going to be cool.”
Embraced by Anoka
Anoka is just one of several cities that have changed their zoning codes and ordinances to include microbrewery and microdistiller language, City Manager Tim Cruikshank said.
“We are trying to just stay ahead of that curve and attract someone to our area,” Cruikshank said.
Two hundred breweries with taprooms are expected to open within the next two years, according to the Minnesota Brewers Association.
“Craft beer is becoming more and more known,” Ashley Hauf said.
In 2012, the Anoka City Council voted to allow brewery taproom licenses in several districts of the city. A recent vote added the East and West Main Street districts, Anoka’s downtown area.
Under city rules, microbreweries will be limited to producing less than 15,000 barrels of malt liquor a year and microdistillers to no more than 40,000 proof gallons per year.
Cruikshank said he’s “surprised we don’t already have a microbrewery or a taproom because it seems like a perfect fit.”
He said the city got in contact with the owners of Surly Brewing when the company was looking for the newest location.
“It just seems like a perfect fit to have something like that in Anoka,” he added.
The feedback the Haufs have received from their new neighbors has been encouraging, Ashley Hauf said.
Local owners are “pumped,” especially neighboring bars and restaurants, she said. “They are excited to have this in town.”