If you like beer, you should love forests.
OktoberForest If you like beer, you should love forests. © iStock.com/isuaneye

Stories in Minnesota

Roundhouse: Brewing in the Heart of Lake Country

Celebrating OktoberForest in Minnesota

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Roundhouse Brewery logo © 2015 Scott Engelstad

Creating craft beers in the Brainerd Lakes area for the past four years, Roundhouse has established itself as one of the area’s favorite taprooms – and for good reason! Roundhouse is just as dedicated to the local community as they are making great beer, making them a perfect fit as an OktoberForest partner. We got a chance to connect with head brewer, Chuck Martin, to learn why forests are important to him.

nature.org: Tell us a little bit about your brewery and history.

Chuck: Roundhouse Brewery started with two friends getting together over coffee to talk about the possibility of opening a brewery in Brainerd. A brewer was located, a location was picked in the old Northern Pacific rail yards, recipes were developed and tested, and we opened the doors in April 2016. We had two beers on tap that first day. One had been kegged earlier that morning.

nature.org: Where does Roundhouse Brewery get the water it uses to make beer?

Chuck: The water used is from Brainerd's municipal water system. The city does not use halogens for purification, and the mineral content makes it a good base for many beer styles.

nature.org: What makes the Mississippi River special to you?

Chuck: The Mississippi is central to almost everything in North Central Minnesota. It flows through our forests, our fields, our stories, our towns, our history. It's part of us and who we are. Everything connects to the Mississippi.

nature.org: Why are healthy forests important to brewers like you?

Chuck: Forests are a vital part of nature's water purification and retention system. Without forests, you don't get clean water, and without clean water, you don't get beer.

nature.org: Do your operations include any sustainable practices?

Chuck: It's a work in progress. Our spent grain goes to local farmers for livestock feed. We re-use our wort chilling water to brew the next batch. We're constantly looking at ways to minimize water and energy use through more efficient cleaning processes.

nature.org: On a personal note, why do you support forests?

Chuck: Forests are where I go to recharge. When I'm in the woods, and I can hear the wind in the trees, I can breathe easier.

Learn more about OktoberForest.

Healthy Forests = Clean Water = Great Beer Beer and forests may seem like an odd connection, but forests provide 40% of the world's usable water, beer's main ingredient.