Osseo Oasis: Northwoods upgrades microbrewery, restaurant

Haley Wright

ALL DECKED OUT. “It had a lot of character and just felt right,” says Sean Annis of Northwoods Brewpub’s new home in Osseo. Annis is the brewpub and eatery’s general manager. Northwoods brought many familiar items to its new building, like its log cabin style booths, but it more than doubled its brewing capacity.
ALL DECKED OUT. “It had a lot of character and just felt right,” says Sean Annis of Northwoods Brewpub’s new home in Osseo. Annis is the brewpub and eatery’s general manager. Northwoods brought many familiar items to its new building, like its log cabin style booths, but it more than doubled its brewing capacity.

Northwoods Brewpub, formerly a mainstay in Eau Claire near Oakwood Mall, now has a new location in a gorgeous historical building in Osseo. General Manager Sean Annis says Osseo was chosen for the new location because it is located centrally for several surrounding communities, with good access to major roadways, and it is easy to find.

He says the brick building, which was built in the early 20th century and formerly housed a creamery, was set up for manufacturing and production. “It had a lot of character and just felt right,” Annis said. It was a good fit for expanding their microbrewery, a goal that precipitated the move from Eau Claire.

“The building size and our expansion has allowed us to more than double our production. We can now make beer twice as fast, and for half as much,” Annis said. “We previously had a seven-barrel system, and we now have a 15-barrel system. We were previously able to make 70 to 100 cases in a day in our Eau Claire facility, and (we) can now make 100 cases in an hour.” This increased production capacity has helped in filling off-sale orders and distribution orders in Minnesota, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

Annis says you can tour the brewery at the beginning of every hour, and that someone is always available to give a tour at other times by request. He says the expansion of the brewery business has gone so well they hope to add a distillery to the business in the first part of 2017 to manufacture spirits on site as well.

Even with a new location, Northwoods has retained a lot of the distinct and charming details that customers will know and love from its previous location (which is now Monk’s Bar and Grill), including its log cabin booths and mug club. The new location includes a pub and taproom, a very large outside patio area, and a second-floor event facility that can accommodate up to 685 people. Northwoods customers might also recognize some of the wood carvings from the Eau Claire location that have been mounted on the walls at the new location. He says some new cool new features include wood trim made from repurposed barn boards from a couple of local barns, an all-glass elevator, and murals created by area artists Kevin Miles and Wendy Schafer-Miles that feature parts of the Northwoods beer logos and labels.

Northwoods Brewpub still offers some delicious food choices as well. The restaurant portion of the business has changed a little in the sense that a full menu is no longer offered; instead, there is a smaller menu consisting primarily of appetizers, sandwiches, and wraps. To keep things exciting, the menu rotates quarterly to compliment seasonal beer choices (rather than annually as it did in the previous location). They still offer some customer favorites, such as the fish fry, but Annis said, “The current menu may even offer a higher quality of food because of the ability to concentrate on perfecting a smaller menu.”

For both a familiar and new experience, be sure to check out Northwoods Brewpub in Osseo for a tour, a beer, and a delicious meal.

Learn more at northwoodsbrewpub.com.

Press and hold the up/down arrows to scroll.