“My dream has always been to open a restaurant, and about a year ago my dream became to open a brewpub,” explains Glen Bruestle, one of four owners at Lakeville Brewing Company, set to open June 13. Bruestle and his wife Kate were looking for a building to house their restaurant plans, and ended up meeting Don and Megan Seiler, two aspiring brewery owners.
When the Seilers decided to open their own production brewery, they were missing a couple key elements—namely, a brewer and a location. The couple put an ad in The Growler and found brewer Reece Wagstaff. In their search for a location, they ended up at VFW Post 210—the same building the Bruestles were considering for their restaurant. “We were looking at this building and the owner said somebody else is looking and wants to put in a restaurant,” remembers Megan. “Can we meet him?” she asked. The foursome got together and eventually decided to meet in the middle and establish Lakeville’s only brewpub.
The process got off to a bit of a rocky start. To start, the building needed a lot of work. VFW Post 210 had only three windows and lacked an inviting atmosphere. Besides that, the remodel was thrown another costly delay when the Bruestles and Seilers were informed that the building couldn’t support their fermenters. That meant cutting out the brewhouse floor and using stackable tanks instead, which are now showcased along the building’s northern wall of windows and make the space feel more open. Although it worked out in the end, it still meant for some headaches. “We wanted to be open in October,” Bruestle says. Instead, “We didn’t start construction until October.”
The atmosphere at Lakeville Brewing Company is defined by the natural lighting bouncing off the woodwork. Outside, a small patio and a large open yard adds to the friendly vibe. The brewpub focuses on family dining and creating a hometown feel, in addition to good beer—something that stands out from Lakeville’s many chain restaurants.
“There are houses going up everywhere around here. It’s 25 to 45 [year olds] and they all like craft beer and they all have young kids,” explains Glen, a father himself. “I have kids ranging in age from one to four. We like to go out and we need a family-friendly place where people will feel comfortable.”
The menu will be American and Mexican influenced: burgers, fish tacos, tortas, a mix of appetizers, sandwiches, and entrees. They will be open for dinner on weekdays and serve brunch on weekends.
The beer will be accessible, yet varied in style. “The beer menu has evolved as we’ve done tastings in the community to meet what people want,” says Wagstaff, a longtime homebrewer who has been gaining commercial experience by moonlighting with friends in the industry for the past year. “The question I get asked the most at tastings is, ‘What is your lightest beer?’” he says, and his beers will meet that demand. “We’re going to have that for them. I’m going to make them the best damn light beer they’ve ever had. But hopefully that is the gateway to other stuff,” he says.
The lineup will balance accessible craft styles with seasonals and more varied “brewer’s choice” styles. With 10 total taps, two will be dedicated to guest ciders, but still give Wagstaff room to experiment. For opening day, he hopes to have three lagers ready, and plans to keep at least one lager on tap at all times. While the core lineup leans toward gateway beers, Wagstaff did mention an interest in smoked lagers, the Finnish sahti style; he and Don have also been working to recreate a broyhan beer from old German recipes.
Like other brewers, Wagstaff got into the industry because of friendship and a love of beer. He has friends who opened a brewery, and notes that the process of brewing appealed to his scientific background. He holds a degree in chemistry and previously worked at the University of Minnesota as a research scientist and HIV researcher. “I was getting to where I would need another degree to go further and I didn’t really want to do that,” he says. Seeing Don and Megan’s ad sparked his career change, and he’s since been applying his knowledge to their 10-barrel brewing system.
With the remodel finally behind them, Lakeville Brewing is looking forward to serving the public. “Just the character of this building—what it was and what we’ve helped turn it into—is pretty cool,” Glen says. From a non-descript and nearly windowless brick building to a light-filled pub, the team behind Lakeville Brewing hopes their business will attract the same energy they’ve put into it.
Lakeville Brewing Company will be open on Monday, June 13 with guest beers on tap, and they expect their beer to be flowing by June 24.
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Brewers: Reece Wagstaff, Taylor Quill
Beer: Cream ale, Irish red, American light lager, milk stout, IPA
Visit: 8790 Upper 208th St, Lakeville, Minnesota
Hours: Thursday 4–10pm, Friday 11am–11pm, Saturday 9am–11pm, Sunday 9am–9pm