Our southern Minnesota Explorations series continued on July 27 with a trip to Oswald Brewing Company in Blue Earth! Oswald, which opened in fall 2015, is located in a former bank on Main Street. Our visit included a tour through the restored historical building, including the brewing operation partially housed in a former bank vault. We also tasted flights of Nordic-inspired beers like Thor's Thirst, Erik the Red, and the Fjord Farm Ale.
One of the themes of our tour was the value of community support when launching a new venture. As a small business in a small town (Blue Earth has a population of about 3,300), Oswald Brewing has quickly been embraced by local customers and other businesses in the area. The tap handles in the brewery are wooden figures hand-carved by the owner of a furniture store just down the street from Oswald, and the brewery works with local suppliers including a honey producer and a nearby orchard. Those connections make Oswald part of a whole network of small businesses helping each other succeed.
With a growing business, owner and brewer John Oswald also has to be flexible and ready to try new recipes and flavors. The small barrels Oswald uses allow him to be creative and react quickly to the market. That said, he stays true to what he likes and is inspired to brew, not just jumping on trends. One of his rules: "No pumpkin beer."
Learn more about Oswald Brewing Company from their website, and watch for more Explorations in Blue Earth and southern Minnesota!