Minnesota Based Startup Rolls Out First Kegs

Mankato BreweryEarlier this week, the Mankato, Minn. based start-up Mankato Brewery rolled its first kegs to 17 accounts. The brewery is the first in town since Mankato Brewing closed its doors in 1967.

Co-Founder Tim Tupy, who also owns a successful spa business with his wife Tami, began planning for Mankato Brewery in 2009, but his brewing heritage dates back to the late 1800s, he said. His great, great, great-grandfather started a brewery in New Prague, Minn. in 1884, but it didn’t survive prohibition.

Tupy and co-founder Tony Feuchtenberger had been home brewers together before they decided to turn their passion into their profession. Despite their home brewing experience, in August, the two made the decision to hire a professional, bringing on Mike Miziorko, a former brewer with Summit Brewing Company. Summit produced over 96,000 barrels in 2010.

Currently, Mankato distributes just one style on draught — Mankato Original — a 4.8 percent kolsch-style beer made with all German ingredients. Original is described on the company website as “an homage to the traditional top-fermented beers of Cologne, Germany.”

Tupy plans to release four styles throughout the year and to begin bottling in 12 oz. 6-packs as soon as March.

“We are ‘crawling’ right now,” he said. “We will be ‘walking’ once we churn out bottles and when we expand our markets that we distribute to, we will be ‘running.’”

Mankato has already signed with nearby Tow Distributing, who carries notable craft brands Anchor Brewing, Odell Brewing and Southern Tier among others.

Tupy is also planning to open a tasting room at the brewery headquarters in March, where he will offer growler fills. The company is currently operating on a 15-barrel brew system. Tupy partially self-funded the project along with help from private investors.