Like the historic connector it’s named after, Lift Bridge Brewing Co. will soon have a foothold on either side of the St. Croix River, with a new taproom in New Richmond, Wisconsin.
The Stillwater-based brewery announced on Wednesday it will expand in partnership with Big Watt Beverage Co., the manufacturer of specialty coffee and plant-based energy drinks that grew out of Twin Cities-based Five Watt Coffee. Big Watt worked with Lift Bridge several years ago on an Irish Coffee Stout, and now it’s leasing out its Wisconsin building to the brewery.
This will allow Lift Bridge to open a second taproom and production facility, increasing brewing capacity by 15,000 barrels per year while seating 60 guests in a 1,200-square-foot space—plus spacious patio. The tentative opening date is May 1.
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Brad Glynn, Lift Bridge co-founder and vice president of marketing, says the company is “looking forward to taking advantage of the opportunities and laws Wisconsin has to offer while remaining true to our roots in Stillwater.” This isn’t the first time Wisconsin has seduced a local drinks purveyor because of Minnesota state law. Minnesota does not allow to-go sales at breweries that produce more than 20,000 barrels per year, while Wisconsin’s cap is 300,000. To that end, the new taproom will have takeout options and intends to develop its 16-ounce canned offerings.
About an hour-long drive east of the Twin Cities, the location is close to 45th Parallel Distillery—potentially a new collaborator, according to a press release.