Craft beer is coming to Winona later this year at the new Island City Brewing Company, tentatively scheduled to open sometime this fall. The brewery and taproom will be at 65 E. Front Street in an unused part of the Jefferson Pub and Grill building located between Winona’s historic downtown and the Mississippi River.
It’s the project of beer fans Colton Altobell and Tommy Rodengen, who are familiar characters in the Minnesota beer scene already. Altobell, who worked for Lucid Brewing (now North Loop BrewCo.) and Lakes & Legends is a co-founder, and CEO while Rodengen, who also worked at Lucid, will be the head brewer.
Prior to signing their lease, Island City worked with city officials to update the city’s brewing regulations and they plan to be heavily involved in the community once they’ve started production as well.
“We aim to create a landmark and destination in Winona, a gathering place for people of all ages,” Altobell says. The brewery will emphasize collaboration between beer and local art, music, food, and agriculture.
Island City beer, he says, will be accessible to the local community first. They currently plan to launch with a California common, cream ale, IPA, fruit ale, and a non-alcoholic raspberry soda. In time, they aim to distribute to surrounding areas, including Wisconsin and Iowa.
First and foremost, Island City will look within the community, pulling inspiration from the river city’s citizens and its brewing roots.
“[Peter Bub, who founded Bub’s Brewing in the 1870s], said ‘What Winona makes, makes Winona,’” says Altobell. “That phrase speaks to our desire to build something our community is proud of. This river town under the bluffs is a special place we are glad to call home.”
It will be the second brewery in the Winona area, with Wenonah Brewing opened in neighboring Goodview, Minnesota in late 2013.
Stay tuned for more information on Island City Brewing.