Red Wing Brewery: As Good as it Gets

I am not, by any means, a beer snob. I don’t understand the subtle nuances that go into brewing the “perfect” beer, but I do appreciate the passion and dedication that goes into opening a small brewery in Minnesota, and I know a good beer when I sip one.

I sipped excellent beer, ate excellent pizza, and had excellent service at the Red Wing Brewery January 12 after a day of snowboarding at Welch Village.

This place is a gem. It’s located on Old West Main Street in Red Wing, just off Highway 61, one block from the marina. (It’s on the road that leads from downtown Red Wing to the historic Pottery Place and Pottery Salesroom).

Group at breweryI recommend you checking it out if a.) you’re in the area b.) you like beer c.) you like pizza or d.) all of the above. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

The co-owner of the brewery, William “Norm” Norman, was our server and I appreciated his honesty, his enthusiasm, and his attentive service. When I waffled over whether or not to order the Goodhue Farmhouse ale, he offered to bring me a sample before I committed to buying a pint.

“People either love this beer or really don’t care for it,” he said.

I wasn’t crazy about the flavor (although liked the lingering banana after-taste) and opted for a lighter beer instead. My husband ordered two “snits;” one of Pepie’s Porter (Pepie is the legendary creature that lives in nearby Lake Pepin), another of the Stoneware Stout (named after the handmade stoneware pottery produced in Red Wing) and thought both were delicious. We also tried the homemade root beer, which was very, very good.

We were there with friends after skiing/snowboarding all morning, and we were a hungry and thirsty group. We ordered two large custom pizzas, one with pepperoni and pineapple; the other with sausage and black olives, and wow. That was honestly the best pizza I’ve ever had. It could have been because we had worked up an appetite, or because it was past the usual lunch hour and we were starving, but I think it was because the handmade crust is from a local bread shop and made with Red Wing Brewery’s own leftover spent grains (crispy yet chewy) and the locally-sourced cheese was perfectly flavorful and melted. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

The brewery is closed on Mondays, open from 4-9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, open from noon to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. For more information, visit


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