By Drew Kerr
HammerHeart Brewing Co.
- Courtesy of HammerHeart Brewing Co.
Like the black metal band that inspired its name, HammerHeart Brewing Co.’s beers are anything but subtle.
The Lino Lakes brewery – named after an album by the Swedish metal group Bathory – doesn’t have a single beer under six percent alcohol by volume in its lineup. One, a limited-release, 12.5 percent ABV porter, features bites of jalapeño and habanero flesh and is not recommended for the “weak of heart.”
A sour IPA is meanwhile described as the beer equivalent of a dreamsicle, and more than half of the brewery’s beers feature cherrywood, peat or beechwood smoked malts.
Nathaniel Chapman, who is opening Hammerheart with his brother-in-law Austin Lunn, acknowledges the beers are “all pretty in your face,” and unlike many of the craft beer offerings found in Minnesota.
But Chapman says he thinks craft beer fans or even casual beer drinkers will fall for the flavors, just as he and Lunn have.
“It may be a little bit of an uphill battle, but we’ll be working hard to get people to understand the beer and accept the smoke,” he says. “And for beer nerds, it’s right up their alley.”
The beers aren’t the brewery’s only distinctive attribute, either.
The beer names – Loki’s Treachery, Olaf the Stout, Surtr’s Flame – carry a notable Scandanavian flare that grew from Chapman and Lunn’s Nordic and Celtic heritage, and Lunn’s time apprenticing at the Norwegian brewery Haand Bryggeriet. The 1,000-square-foot taproom will also be designed to mimic an old drinking hall.
“It’s going to be raw, unfiltered and relaxed,” Chapman says of the taproom space. “It’s going to be a unique Nordic experience.”
Besides the taproom – where growlers and single-use kegs will be on offer – the hope is to be on tap at more than two dozen bars and restaurants, and to begin bottling in three to six months.
As its reach expands, Chapman hopes the brewery will become a new landmark for Lino Lakes. Due to open this spring, HammerHeart is the city’s first brewery.
“We had no idea there were so many people here wanting a brewery,” Chapman says. “It can help with identity and bring character to a city, which is why I think everybody’s been so welcoming.”
The Brewers: Nathaniel Chapman, Austin Lunn
The Beers: Surtr’s Flame (Smoked IPA), Olaf the Stout (Oaked Rye Stout), Thor’s Imperial Porter
Visit: Thur.-Sat. evenings, 7785 Lake Dr., Lino Lakes, MN