News & Updates

New Brainerd Brewery

Plucked directly from BA:

New Beer Brand Launches in Area–Brainerd Lakes Brewery

November 5, 2008 – Brainerd, MN – Dan Stanifer and Jesse Grant announced today their partnership in the formation of Brainerd Lakes Brewery. The announcement comes at the same time as invitations to local media were
sent out for a private, invitation-only Media Event/Beer Tasting at Prairie Bay
(15115 Edgewood Drive, Baxter, MN) on November 11 from 5 – 7pm.

Brainerd Lakes Brewery will be located in the Northern Pacific Center in Brainerd. This space will house operations and a tasting room open to the public select hours. Once full production is reached in the spring, beer will be available in the 6-pack at regional liquor stores and on tap at many local and regional restaurants and bars. Distribution arrangements are in the works to allow for rapid regional growth toward the Twin Cities Metro and throughout the Midwest.

Stanifer and Grant have been in the planning stages for Brainerd Lakes Brewery for the last 12 months. As part of their planning for this venture, they attended the Great American Beer Festival in fall of 2007. Beer formulations are
currently being refined and expected release of Brainerd Lakes Brewery beer is spring 2009.

The vision for the business, according to Stanifer, “To not only give somebody a great beer but a great experience with their beer. With some beer companies they put a good beer in the bottle and that is where it ends. With us we want you to enjoy it, not just the taste but the whole experience. The food you eat with it, the people you are with, the situation you are in, take in the world with every sip. We want to educate you about the beer and the experience, teach you how a great beer is made.”

About the Founders.
Dan Stanifer has been home brewing for the last 12 years and has wanted to be a professional brewer for the last 6 years. Originally from just south of Detroit, MI, Stanifer moved to Brainerd in 1998. He is married, has four children and one grandchild.

Jesse Grant is a Brainerd native, currently living in Little Falls, who has been home brewing for four years. He is married and has three children.

Stanifer and Grant met at a local business networking event in 2004 and have been brew partners ever since.

History of Breweries in Brainerd.
The first brewery on record in Brainerd was John Hoffman (1872 – ?) though little is known about it and the company appeared to be short lived, maybe in existence for only one year. Just a few years later, in 1881, Brainerd Brewing Co. started when local saloonkeeper Peter Ort began to supply his own beer. Located on the East side of Boom Lake (listed on city directories as the south end of Fourth Street at Pennsylvania Ave.), the brewery expanded quickly and by 1883 was registered as a brewer of more than 500 barrels.

Articles in the Brainerd Dispatch from 1884 indicate that Ort refurbished the brewery saloon and added a bottling department. The Brainerd Brewing Co. entered the twentieth century under the management of Fred Hoffman and Edward Boppel, expanding capacity between 6,000 and 10,000 barrels per year.

According the 1903 directory, the brewery had at least four employees and two drivers. The company was incorporated in 1906. It was closed by Federal treaty enforcement in 1915.


  1. Chip W. says:

    Welcome BLB. So nice to have another brewery coming into the state! Can’t wait to get up there and sample the brews.

  2. Chip W. says:

    Come on THREE GUY OFF THE SCALE. The blessing of Springtime!

  3. Chip W. says:

    That 2nd comment was supposed to be on Dark Horse post. It’s early.

  4. WitsEnd says:

    Great find Ryan! The update came as quite a surprise to me (the guy that brewed their pilot batches).

  5. ryan says:

    Chip – many of us have typed more regretful things early in the am. No worries!

    WitsEnd – Thanks. Credit is due to Zapp on BeerAdvocate though… I’m only finding it second-hand. Regardless, I hope for the best for these guys!

  6. Matt says:

    Can’t wait to see what they do. I am always excited over new brewers and new ideas.

  7. WitsEnd says:

    From the same post, here’s what they have for a starting lineup (tenative, I’m sure)

    Brown-eyed Mutt….A charismatic mix of brown and ipa

    Rubarb Crisp…A surprisingly tangy summertime —(couldn’t make out the last word..perhaps weizen but hard to read it).

    30 degree IPA…Brewed with the finest hops

    Grandma Sarge…A century old family wheat

  8. Mag says:

    Road triiiiiip!

  9. ryan says:

    Hotels in Brainerd couldn’t be too expensive… too bad Paul Bunyan Land is gone!

  10. Erik says:

    Along the lines of new brewing ventures if anyone is looking for an investor I’ve got seed money and I couldn’t be happier if it went toward a great little suburban microbrewery. Of course, I’d have to have my own “Norm” stool at the bar. Any homebrewers interested in taking the next step???

  11. WitsEnd says:

    While Paul Bunyan Land is gone, most of the attractions moved either to the waterslide in nisswa or This Old Farm just east of town.

    Hotels can’t be that bad. Plenty on the Baxter 371 corridor and many with waterparks. I don’t know why every hotel has to have a waterpark, but I guess that’s the new thing now. For discounted rates, check out

    I’ll keep MNBeer updated on anything I hear from this new brewery.

    Hope to FINALLY get some beer events happening in greater MN.

  12. Schermann says:

    FINALLY – A brewpub in the Brainard area! THANK YOU!

  13. mnbeerbabe says:

    This project sounds like a micro not a brewpub…

  14. WitsEnd says:

    mnbeerbabe – you’re right. The plan is to start a micro. Talk was to start small with a pilot system and contract the bulk of production. May have changed since then, however.

    I would agree that a brewpub in Brainerd would be the cat’s meow. I’d pull one together, but have no interest in the resturant buisness.

  15. WitsEnd says:

    There’s not much content for now, but here’s a splash page for the new brewery:

  16. andy says:

    Here’s the article in this sunday’s Brainerd Dispatch:

    A little thin on detail but it does seem you’ll be able to get growlers hopefully sometime after ice out…

  17. Dan says:

    As always there are two sides to every story. I hope someday we may meet and over a pint we can discuss things. thank you everybody for your support, I hope to see you all at the brewery some day. if anybody has any questions please email Jesse or myself.

  18. ryan says:

    [editors note]

    I’ve deleted a comment about Dan that dealt with his personal life. This isn’t the place for that kind of thing. We don’t delete many posts here on but will gladly do so when people cross the line.

    Now let’s talk about beer!

  19. Jesse says:

    ryan, Thanks for the integrity.

    Absolutely thin on the dtails so far. Dan and are still finalizing what we want this thing to look like. We are hoping to take the very best ideas out there and put them to good use. We would be glad to hear you thoughts on what makes a great a beer experience.

  20. mike l says:

    I want to try this beer, and if I like it, I want to be your Twin Cities sales representitive. Send me an e-mail so we can sit down and talk. I think this could benefit all!
    Mile Landberg

Comments are closed.